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Old August 20th, 2003, 02:47 PM   #1
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Everything I ever wanted to know about lighting

I shoot event (DV) video and normally I have little or no control over the lighting. However, I'm beginning to do more and more interviews and need to have a portable lighting solution for them. I'm a novice at lighting and don't even know the terminologies that are being used in these threads.

Is there a good web based reference for the beginner on the basics of lighting, especially with a bent on lighting for interviewing? I'm looking to spend less than $1000 on my first solution. Should I be able find an acceptable and complete solution for interviews in the $750 t0 $1000 price range?
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Old August 20th, 2003, 03:38 PM   #2
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John Jackman of DV magazine has a lighting video out that will help you enormously. Go to here to check it out:

http://www.rbookshop.com/engineering...1578201152.htm
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Old August 20th, 2003, 03:57 PM   #3
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Here's a thread about a low cost studio solution:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=13410

For interviews, say on the street, one light will do.
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Old August 20th, 2003, 05:25 PM   #4
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My friend Bill offers lots of information.

http://www.power-of-lighting.com/


Tell him Richard - The lighting guy from Chimera sent you
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Old August 20th, 2003, 07:00 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone!
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Old September 4th, 2003, 10:21 PM   #6
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Hey, Jacques, thanks for the plug for the video. But at the risk of seeming self-promoting, I'd also recommend my book Lighting for Digital Video and Television. Most folks have found it very helpful.
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Old September 5th, 2003, 12:51 PM   #7
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Hi John,

great to hear from you and I'm glad to have you on this board.

Well, in the case of your book, I thought
I was giving the URL to purchase your lighting video, but it turned out
that link directed them to your book purchase (which I didn't know about).

So, I guess I plugged that too without knowing ;)

I hope you stick around this wonderful community enough to become
one of the "inner circle", but at least you aren't listed as a
"new boot" . . . yet :)
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Old September 5th, 2003, 01:57 PM   #8
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In addition to John's great book (which I recommend), I've also written a few tutorials on basic interview lighting.

www.mindspring.com/~schleicher
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Old September 5th, 2003, 02:02 PM   #9
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Thanks again everyone. Stephen, I plan on reading your tutorial and your AE6 tutorials too. I'm new to AE, with version 6, and am going through the total training disks now. I'll be sure to use your tutorial as part of my education.
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Old September 5th, 2003, 02:11 PM   #10
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Definately go through the Total Training for AE6 discs, but don't be surprised if you see ALOT of 5.5 screenshots. They only did new production for those areas of discussion revolving 6.0. Needless to say I was a little dissappointed it wasn't all new material. But, then again, I'll have all of that in a review next week.
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Old September 8th, 2003, 12:00 PM   #11
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Looking forward to that, Stephen -- many thanks,
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Old October 15th, 2003, 10:57 AM   #12
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I thought that I would post a follow-up and thank you. I used the 3 point lighting (with 4 lights) as described in Stephen's online tutorial. Overall, it worked great, however I probably had too much light coming from the back and I think that my 4th light used to cast a shadow on the background with a cookie was too strong (bright). Overall, it was a great first experience and the client was pleased.

I usualy do event video where I cannot control lighting and by doing this interview, I could really set my camera up properly and it really shined under the good lighting. The color and detail were outstanding. Anyway, thanks for the help, I'm sure that I will have more questions for you experts.
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Old October 15th, 2003, 11:41 AM   #13
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Glad you were able to use the method described for a great shot.

As far as the bright or too intense light, there are two things you can do: 1) Get a dimmer, which will change the color temperature of the light as it gets dimmer (good for effect, especially a nice orange hue on the hair) or 2) place a neutral density gel on the lens (or scrim, etc). A third possibility is to get bulbs that are of lower watage... for example, if your key light is a 500w, use a 300w for the fill or rim lights.

The big challenge for you now is to take the information you gained from the tutorial and modify your light set up.

Here is a quick exercise for you to practice with.

Take one room in your house/office (I prefer the office as it is more often than not the same setup you will find in the real world), and light that room five different ways to give the illusion that you are shooting in five different locations. I have done this a couple of times, and it is amazing at how changing some lights around, using different setups, props and camera position can truly alter a boring room.

BTW: I have added two additional lighting tutorials on my site. This is the 201 series "Beyond basic lighting". The first lesson take a look at lighting transparent and semi-transparent objects, and lesson two take a look at how to use negative light to achieve a good contrast on your subject when shooting outside on a cloudy day. This week (maybe thrusday), I should have a third installment on how to shoot a subject on a bright sunny day using diffusion material and reflectors.

Cheers!
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Old October 16th, 2003, 08:32 PM   #14
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Lighting on a bright sunny day is now online on my site.
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Old November 4th, 2003, 01:23 PM   #15
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more followup

I did some interviews last week in a very confined space and could not do any back-lighting, I did, however, turn on a 60w table lamp. I had subjects in chairs right against two walls at 90 degrees of each other. I used three lights, key light at 5 O'clock, second one at 7 O'clock, and a third at about 3 o'clock. Without all three, I got bad shadows on the wall directly behind their heads. With all three, I had a very flat composition and I had to use my ND filter to cut down the brightness. I think that I need some lower wattage lamps. I used umbrellas to diffuse the light of the two less powered omni lights and a reflective umbrella for the 700 Watt tota light. I was pretty much just experimenting and this scheme was the best that I could come up with.

Are there any rules for lighting when the background is right behind the subjects? What can be done to reduce glare off off a subject's glasses? I had to have one subject take off his glasses because the glare was so bad that he looked like he had lights coming out of his eyes.
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