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Old December 9th, 2009, 08:31 PM   #1
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Lowel Rifa EX 55 with two hard lights:

Hello,

I just got the Rifa EX 55 (500W) which is an awesome soft light.

I am using it combined with two Lowel Pro lights at 250W each.

I use this setup for interviews. I am new to lighting and wondered what the height of the fill and back lights should be in relation to a soft light like the Rifa EX.

Any general tips about heights of lights for the key and backlight would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Simon
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Old December 10th, 2009, 02:54 PM   #2
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I use a similar setup and generally try to get the backlight as high as possible - depends on the subject of course, but if they are wearing a collared shirt and the backlight is too low it tends to throw an odd straight shadow across their neck. Other than that I basically go by what looks best in the situation.
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Old December 10th, 2009, 04:13 PM   #3
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I too try to go pretty toppy with the backlight/hairlight to get hair separation as well as some light falling on shoulders as well. Try to avoid lighting the TOP of someone's head though.

I tend to use my RIFA opposite a ProLight bounced into a silver umbrella. Depending on whether I'm keying near or far side of face, I'll use either the RIFA OR the ProLight as key. Keying FARSIDE, I may use the bounced Pro and fill with the RIFA from a little further back. Keying NEARSIDE, I'll almost always use the RIFA.
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Old December 10th, 2009, 09:24 PM   #4
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Rifa rules! :)

I am practicing with the Rifa for the second night and I LOVE THIS LIGHT. It is not cheap but what good equipment is.

Thanks for the advice guys. Makes sense. I will experiment a bit more.

Take care,

Simon
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 06:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Zimmer View Post
I use this setup for interviews. I am new to lighting and wondered what the height of the fill and back lights should be in relation to a soft light like the Rifa EX.
You're using the same set-up I do with the Lowel Rifa and Pro lights. Depending on if I'm in studio or on-location will determine which stands I take with us. If you can get over the top and back just a bit, that will provide a nice hair light / back light. I would then take the 2nd Pro light and position it on the opposite side of the key light as a kicker. 250W is often too much and those "GCA" bulbs are really prone to early failure with any bump. I prefer the 200W FVL or the 125W FSH. Even then with the lower wattage, I still find myself cutting it back with the barn doors, a half CTB and a cheap dimmer from harbor freight - Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices
Note that as you dim tungsten light, it will get warmer, sometimes too warm for my taste, hence adding the 1/2 CTB. If you're going to make it warm, do it all the way and add some orange (CTO) or yellow gel.

There is a great example at Lowel EDU: Components of Interview Lighting

You can learn more about positioning the back light, "kicker" or "edge light" in the two DVD's

DV Enlightenment at DVcreators.net
Vortex Media: VIDEO & PHOTO Tools and Training

And here is a helpful combi stand by Manfrotto

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Old December 23rd, 2009, 09:12 AM   #6
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Great info!

Thanks,

Simon
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