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Old April 10th, 2009, 07:36 PM   #1
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Lighting Rx

I am going to be shooting a speaker in a week at a church, and got into to look at what the lighting is like. I have very little in the way of lighting to take with me. I set up an Arri 650 fresnel from about 40' away (which is the same area where I have set my cameras). For this test, the 650 was about 15' left of camera, so there was not much of an angle there.

It looks to me like I need some fill on the right and a back light. The shadow on the back wall has got me though. I'm not sure what to do there.

Please look at the attached and any advice you can offer will be greatly appreciated. My budget is next to nothing, so whatever fixes I do will need to be creative and low budget.

Thanks.
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Lighting Rx-light-grab.jpg  
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Old April 10th, 2009, 09:39 PM   #2
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well for the shadow on the back wall you can 1) set the light up higher which will then cause a longer shadow on the face (not a good thing but it will get the back wall shadow out) 2) move the speaker farther from the wall which I'll guess you can't do so then the only other thing you can do without spending a bunch of money on lights that you may or may not use again is to light it flatter. IOW, move the light closer to the camera position. and just let it be. Oh yeah bring it up slightly higher.
In many cases when I do interviews I'll just set up 1 light (a 600W softbox) on an 8 foot stand about 3 or 4 feet from the camera and shoot. It's not the most attractive lighting but for interviews or seminars it works.
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Old April 10th, 2009, 10:11 PM   #3
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What if I put some cheapo spots (like 150W PARs) on the back wall from the sides? I think having that back wall brighter would soften the shadow.
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Old April 10th, 2009, 11:24 PM   #4
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What's wrong with the shadow?

Life has shadows.

After 1 second everyone in the audience will see the shadow, understand it, and FORGET ABOUT IT.

You should do the same.

The fill light you're using is doing it's task just fine.

The speaker is lit well enough to see clearly. The shadows on his face give a pleasing enough sense of three dimensional depth.

As long as you get the audio right - and by that I mean as ruthlessly clear and clean recording as possible - you're done.
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Old April 11th, 2009, 12:54 PM   #5
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Your key light is the one on the left correct? If so, can't you just move your camera to the right. That way the camera would be on the same side as the fill...or does the fill have a big shadow also?
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Old April 11th, 2009, 02:25 PM   #6
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you I can use some PARS or some sort of other back light but trying not to spend any more cash on lighting, honestly I would just move the key light a bit closer to the camera or as was stated above, just let it go. To me it really isn't objectionable and I really didn't pay a lot of attention to it even after knowing it was there. Heck if you really want to, pick up a cheap flood type light from the local camera store (Smith Victor makes them among others) throw a piece of diffusion material on it put it on a low stand facing the wall check the color temp (white balance) and go for it. Probably a 50 or 100W bulb would do it.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 11:16 AM   #7
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I'm sort of with the "let it go" group as, other than that, everything looks good. I think the only reason the shadow is somewhat bothersome (although not terrible by any means) is because it's on a light colored background. If the whole background were the color of the rest of the wall I wouldn't even see it.

It looks like there is very little space behind the speaker so the shadow is better defined than one would like it - also leading to greater contrast between shadow and light colored wall which makes it more noticeable. On the other hand, I think with the scant space behind the speaker it would be hard to light the wall evenly and in the end the hot spot would be bigger and more distracting than the shadow.

Maybe a little more diffused/larger key, slightly higher key etc might help, but moving the speaker away from the wall would probably be best, if it were possible.

This is all lilly gilding - it looks quite nice as it is and I wouldn't mess with it much.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 11:26 AM   #8
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Thank you to everyone for your comments. I can raise that key light another 4 feet or so from where I had it that day, and that will probably be the biggest help. It will also help the speaker as it won't be as much in their line of sight looking at the crowd. I'll need to weight the stand a little more (heavier sand bags) to be safe.

Thanks!!
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