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Old January 19th, 2010, 04:54 PM   #1
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What lights for lighting talent in front of white background?

I want to shot some video tutorials with broadcaster in front of white background (maybe in front of green/blue screen too in the future). Something like this video tutorial on how to use Rapidshare: RapidShare: 1-CLICK Web hosting - Easy Filehosting (I know their lighting is not perfect, its only a example I found).
It will be a medium shot of broadcaster (he will be standing besides table with notebook too). So nothing big. I will be shooting it at my flat probably.
The question is what kind of lights (and how many of them)? do I need for this kind of setup? I'm looking for some solution which won't cost me more than $1000 (and doesn't blow my fuse). If you know about cheaper solution, its ok too :) Thanks for any help!
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Old January 19th, 2010, 06:03 PM   #2
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When I was doing still photography I used 1 light and a reflectoron the other side and most everything was done on a white background. For video I would use 2 lights and a hairlight. Personally I would use either a softbox or an umbrella for the key light and set that about 5 feet from the talent with it being slightly higher than head height and tilteddown slightly. At that I would probably use something like a 300W light. Then use a 2nd light at the camera position slightly to 1 side and a bit lower as a fill light. ADjust as needed so as not to blow out highlights and to lighten up the shadow on the face. The most natural look or common look is to have the shadow from the nose meet the corner of the mouth or slightly shorter but keep it open with the fill light. The hair light could be a 50 or 100W light on a boom just grazing the dome of the subjects head. That'll put a bit of seperation between the subject and the background. Keep the shadows from the key and fill off the background let them fall to the floor or at least below the waist so it's out of frame.
Softer lighting is always more flattering IMO and easier to work with so if not softboxes or umbrellas, then use some diffusion material on the lights.
YOu'll need to adjust the lighting a bit to fine tune them to the talent but it's a good place to start. Key about 5 feet and about a 45 degree angle from the talent and the fill further back and ALMOST next to the camera.
There are lots of other ways to light the job but I think this might be the easiest.
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Old January 19th, 2010, 06:23 PM   #3
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The example looks pretty flat. For these types of demonstrations or presentations I would start with two LCD floods or soft FLO's and a 150W Fresnel overhead for a hair light.

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Old January 20th, 2010, 08:29 AM   #4
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Thanks for the answers.
I just found this tutorial (what do you think about this solution? the result looks pretty good, I almost can't believe that this cheap setup could work so well):

Last edited by Peter Berger; January 20th, 2010 at 09:13 AM.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 10:19 AM   #5
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Hey if you want to go the DIY route this video has a lot of useful tips. Personally I don't like the top light hitting the front of the face. You may find that your subjects pose more problems than the presenter here if they have glasses or are bald or have thinning hair.
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