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Photon Management
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Old January 8th, 2009, 05:10 PM   #1
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Woohoo! Got it right the first time!

I'm actually kinda pleased about this - I just shot a video and I think I got the lighting I needed to right - in fact, I think I got it to the point that I don't need any color correction.

What do you think?

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_FyOzK_D24kc/SW...0/lighting.jpg
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Old January 8th, 2009, 05:21 PM   #2
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Well,

It's usually customary to have the brighter side of the face be the side away from the camera, but in a room this small, it's not that big a deal.

Looks clear and clean.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 06:42 PM   #3
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his right eye is really lost.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 07:38 AM   #4
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Shadow under the lip is fighting with the highlight on the upper part of the chin and the shadow under it and drawing attention to that area. Might be distracting as he talks.

A little more fill would be nice. Or a bit lower/softer key? or both?

Just thoughts for improvement. Generally, looks reasonably good.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 10:19 PM   #5
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My eye is pulled over to that hot spot where the red water bottle is.

Well, you asked us...
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Old January 10th, 2009, 12:12 AM   #6
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Well, since you mention it, the yellow post-its also grab the eye a bit.

And the more I look at it the more I think the highlights on the forehead and bridge of the nose are too hot.
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Old January 10th, 2009, 03:42 PM   #7
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You might want to consider putting a desklamp, plant, or something in the area where you have the wall wash light to break up that space. It's kind of stark back there.

Your "key" main light seems to high and not bright enough.

And one other thing, turn on the desktop computer, put up a chart on the screen, or something relavent to whatever that guy does. That will add a little depth as well.

Get rid of the red bottle, and tattered post it notes.

Or zoom in a little tighter, push laptop closer to wall, this might make some of the blank wall go away too

FWIw

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Old January 10th, 2009, 07:17 PM   #8
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Here's the finished product.

YouTube - The Five Different Types of Network Delay - Whiteboard Series
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Old January 10th, 2009, 07:20 PM   #9
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Distracting background elements, including cords, bottle and post-its. No depth to the scene (background appears flat instead of 3D). Dark eye sockets that could benefit from a bit of bounce card below the talent (just off camera). Slouching talent (Sit straight!). Carry a makeup kit to do some 'shine control' on the high-spots (forehead, bridge of nose, etc.). You could have isolated the talent better by controlling the light spill.

Of course, lighting is subjective and what you can accomplish is limited to time/budget/equipment/room constraints...etc. Even if you're a newbie, you will greatly benefit from a book on lighting for photography or video (the same principles apply when dealing with 'hot' lights). Keep at it!
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Old January 11th, 2009, 03:40 AM   #10
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If you got him further away from the wall, you could light that separately and use a gel to give it a splash of color. Have the background a little darker than your subject to make him stand out more.

For basic "portrait" lighting, have the light 45 degrees off to one side and 45 degrees above the imaginary line from the camera lens to the subject. It can vary widely from there, but that's just basic lighting. Right now the subject's eyes look shadowy.

"Flag" the lighting toward the top of the wall to provide some sort of gradient that will feather off the light toward the top of the frame. Keeps the viewer's eye from straying out of the frame.

A little edge light can add some drama to the subject. Doesn't have to be much.

As a network consultant, this person's office doesn't provide a high-tech setting. A server room might have been more suitable. Something that provides a better environment. Right now it looks like he borrowed someone's office and is forced to work off his personal laptop.

When you get a chance, make a collection of images. Take note of the ones that catch your eye for whatever reason, then figure out what it is that gives you that impression. Low key. High key. Moody. Where does your eye go, and what drew it there? Highlights and shadows. Make them all work in your favor.

Lighting can be the most challenging (and interesting) part of it all since light and shadow will define the image you get. Play with it. Experiment. Learn to know when it's enough and when it's overdone. Good luck!
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