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Photon Management
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Old February 14th, 2008, 02:21 PM   #1
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Terry Richardson-eque light


Im trying to uprade my tiny Sony Hdr-Hc1 by adding simple on-camera lighting so i can take my cam to the parties, should friends, people dancing etc.

Im trying to find something that would give this spotlight effect like the one in following clips:




this one may be not so safe for work


Ive been wondering if the cheap SONY HVL-HL1 would be enough (its only 3w but maybe its enough for my needs) or maybe i should look for something else. How do i make sure that the light produces the spotlight effect without extremely sharp edge? maybe i should add vignette in post and keep light more universal.

any help would be appreciated.
Voitek Nosovski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 14th, 2008, 05:39 PM   #2
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Location: Wurzburg, Germany
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A 3W halogen light is not enough for anything but a little eye-light. You'd need at least 20W halogen to do something like that, 30 would be better.
If you have an on-camera light that uses standard 12V halogen lamps with reflectors, you can try one with a narrow angle (20 or 36) to achieve that effect, but you can also do it in post pretty easily with a black vignette.
Heiko Saele is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 17th, 2008, 11:36 AM   #3
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3w lights are not enough.

That Fiona Apple video was shot by Harris Savides, the DP for The Game, Zodiac, and a whole bunch of other top movies. (Look him up, and if you haven't seen The Game, you need to see it, preferably in a dark room with a good monitor.) Savides is the king of practicals. The king.

You're going to need to get at least a good 20W light to pull that off. And if you're going for an effect with it, I would suggest a homemade snoot with it. (Black foil or construction paper and scotch tape, it's not going to get that hot. It can't start a fire.) The little Sony light you can buy on Amazon with two lights that slaps right on top of your camera with a Sony battery is great for an eye light, just make sure you have an extra battery, as they suck them down like crazy.

If you're going to use it as an effect, may I suggest that you get a monitor and a cable, and play around with it for a little while so you can learn your camera, because it's very specific on looks for each camera with an on top light. Small, on camera lights, are, in essence, a pain in the butt that you must have if you're going to do anything 'run and gun.' They're there for speed, and it takes practice to know how to use them without making anything look like junk. Your distance with the people talking is going to be a bear. It might be best, if you're running around, that you would get a small shotgun mic and a cable, and use it in your free hand, so you can play with a sweet spot for exposure on your camera and still get good sound.

I'm a pro overnight photog, and I always double fist it (mic in off hand, dangling on the pinky, ready to go), even with a big honkin' Betacam. It gets best results.

Remember. You should always attempt, if people are talking, to get the mic less than a foot from them.
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