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Photon Management
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Old August 7th, 2009, 10:50 PM   #1
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How to get this look:

A client is doing a martial arts instructional and requested a lighting look similar to this one. They liked the black mats with the black background. Suggestions?

3 point lighting on the talent im guessing and then how to I best achieve the black background that seemlessly fades into the black mats? The more specific you can be, the more helpful.
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Old August 7th, 2009, 11:23 PM   #2
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I don't see anything there that would suggest 3 point in the traditional sense. Looks like 2 lights at about 60 degrees from the camera on either side on the talent. Maybe a soft top light.

Simple flags on the lights will keep the spill to the back at a minimum. If it were me, I'd set up 2 1k sources as primary lights, and a light a zero degrees to the camera and behind it.. way up high to front light the talent, and let the spill fill in just behind the talent. Nice fade off to black behind them.

I'll see what other think, but that's how I'd approach it.
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Old August 8th, 2009, 08:30 AM   #3
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Was the example a video or a still? I'd guess it was a still.

From the limited amount of experience I have I'd say that there isn't any background in the sense of a backdrop. To me it looks like it was shot in a very large auditorium with all the lights off on top of a black wrestling mat. It doesn't look like they used a lot of lighting. Maybe a 1k Fresnel for the key at about 8:00 to 8:30 (camera at 6:00 talent at 12:00) and a hair light up really high almost straight down placed just camera right. They could have used a snoot on the hair to really focus within a small target. They might have also used a small amount of backlighting, maybe just a bounce, coming from camera right low. The light going down the gentleman in the back's arm seem very even. I'm not sure how low the key was but it doesn't look like it's that high up.

That's at least what I'd try to set up first and tweak it from there.

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Old August 8th, 2009, 11:14 AM   #4
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Having watched the free sample clip, I can see they are using a fairly hard back light, which appears to be high and just behind them. There are secondary shadows that seem to indicate less powerful back lights on either side (hard for me to tell on my laptop). I can't nail down the front lighting other than possibly two soft lights. Looks like they created a pool of light, allowing the rest of the set to fall into shadow. They probably used the basic black drapes that can be found and any production studio, but if you lack those, you could probably shoot in any large room (gym) at night with the house lights off and the video lights barndoored and flagged...or even an unlit parking lot and get a blacked out background.
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Old August 8th, 2009, 12:59 PM   #5
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Thank you for your replies. I thought for a second they might be doing something in post to get the effect, but when i re-watch the videos (you have to do a free registration) I see that it is just a unlit backdrop.

I was thinking a Rifa 88 with 40 degree grid as a key and a rifa 44 with a 40 degree grid as fill and then a small hard back light. on the wall behind the subjects about 12 feet behind them, ill put several black bed sheets and/or cheap non professional fabric that i can find at a fabric store(anything wrong with that since its not lit?)
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