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Old February 20th, 2004, 01:13 AM   #1
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where to place the Hair light exactely? (picture)

I just got Arri Fresnel kit (2x 650W and 2x 300W). So I'm doing some testing for interviews.

First, here's a drawing of my setup:

Light setup

The key light was straight in the face, no difuser, I wanted to see how harsh the light is (it is harsh. I'm using a difuser next time).

now. here's a frame grab from the shoot:

Frame Grab

As you see, the light is harsh, and the shadowis very obvious, even though there was a reflector. I'm gonna difuse the key light next time, and see how it comes out.

now, this is my question: The hair light did nothing. you could hardly see its effect. I positioned it right behind the subject (2 o'clock position), and same height as his head.

- Where should I position the light?
- how high should it be (how many feets above the subject's head)?

your help and comments are appreciated.
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Old February 20th, 2004, 01:20 AM   #2
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I could be wrong but I think the hair light should be directly behind the subject pointing towards the camera for the max effect.
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Old February 20th, 2004, 08:52 AM   #3
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You probably want to move it up so it point down toward the subject a hair. That way you will see it cresting the horizon of your subject. If your key fill ratio in this setup is too extreme make sure the key is pointing into the reflector.
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Old February 20th, 2004, 03:19 PM   #4
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I shoot TONS of interviews, and I'll give you my advice which you should take or leave a you like.

Looking at your lighting setup, you always want your backlight to be in line with the lense. This gives an even light on the shoulders and head. You can always scrim (using net or diffussion) to knock off a couple of stops if they have grey or blond hair.

I tend to have the interviewer (person asking questions) sit close to either side of the camera. If you have a number of interviews, I like to shoot 1/2 on one side, 1/22 on the other. Editors can cut them together easier. The eyeline is looking closer into the lense than having them look off to the side- can be distracting and maybe can loose intimacy.

You key light is always dependent on where light in the room is occuring naturally- "Motivated source" in other words. Lamp in the corner? Windows? Women look good with a well lit "facial pallet," and not such a contrast between fill and key. Men seem better with edgier lighting, and I see a lot of shooters use another backlight to rake the hair and jaw.

Now for the hair puller- all the rules above are meant to be broken. It depends on the message and content.

Good luck to you!

Jeff Patnaude
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Old February 20th, 2004, 11:58 PM   #5
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thanx guys. i'll do more experiments, and i'll port some frames.
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Old February 21st, 2004, 05:25 AM   #6
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experiment #2

Ok. I did my 2nd experiment. Here's a drawing of the new setup:

Setup #2

- I added a difuser to the key light (a cheap cooking sheet), and directed it to the reflector.
- Added a "cookie" to the background light, to give it some pattern (piece of aluminum foil with holes).
- Changed the direction of the hair light, and put it 2-3 feet above the subject.

Here's a frame of the result:

Frame Grab

What do you think of the setup now?

Also, is the blue gel too cheesy? I shot with bare light first, and it looked too bright and dull (Sample frame)

your comments are appreciated.
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Old February 21st, 2004, 08:57 AM   #7
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very nice, the blue background works great.
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Old February 21st, 2004, 09:52 AM   #8
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Looks much better. The blue is better than the red because it contrasts better with his face. The red made his face disappear too much.

Hair lights are usually much brighter than key lights. You moved the 300W closer and the 650 wasn't head on to his face so this solved the problem. I would have used a 1K as the hair light in the original frame.
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Old February 21st, 2004, 10:44 AM   #9
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Setup 2 is much better. I don't mind the blue. I like that you used a cookie to break up the background light.

I want to thank you for sharing the learning process. This way everubody who see this learns with you.

Scott
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Old February 22nd, 2004, 02:57 AM   #10
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thanx for the feedback.

while we're at it, is there any rule for which gel color to use for the background? for example: for fair skin, use this color.. etc.

I know it's a matter of taste, but is there any basic rules to follow (then break those rules according to personal taste)? This will save me time from trying different colors on different skins.
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Old February 22nd, 2004, 10:01 AM   #11
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The first rule is there are no rules. ;)

I usuallly like to gel the hair/backlight, so if I go warm with that gel, I'd go cool with the background light. If I go cool for the back light, then it's warm for the background. It also depends on what there person is wearing. If it's it's red, then I got the opposite with cool. Also, it depends on the background. If the wall is blue, then I might add a light orange gel to the backlight. You want to find ways the seperate the subject from the background, so you look for lighting and color which will do that.

Scott
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Old February 22nd, 2004, 11:10 AM   #12
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Cooler colors will look further away and give you a sense of greater depth.
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Old February 22nd, 2004, 11:07 PM   #13
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Cooking Sheet diffuser?

> I added a difuser to the key light (a cheap cooking sheet), and
> directed it to the reflector.


What's this part of the equation? Is this some sort of translucent cooking sheet you're shining your key light through, like wax paper or something?

My mom refers to her "cookie sheet" as being an aluminium baking tray that she bakes cookies on in the oven.

--Craig
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Old February 22nd, 2004, 11:57 PM   #14
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Craig,
cooking sheet is a piece of paper, that is heat resistant, you put under the cookies (or whatever ur cooking) to prevent it from sticking to the tray. It's kinda translucent. So when you mount it infront of your light source, it will difuse the light a little (and it won't burn).
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 12:02 PM   #15
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I have also used translucent mylar from an art supply store as a diffuser--pretty heat resistant.

And I have use flexible teflon sheets kitchen supply stores sell for baking (instead of the paper) in lieu of black wrap to make a quick snoot or flag off a light to close to the heat source--very heat resistant and durable but also very slippery (they work great for baking also).
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