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Old June 24th, 2006, 01:45 AM   #1
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Lighting Eyes

The fabric store had a sale on shiny gold cloth...so I bought some.

Here's a test shot with the fabric clothespined to a foamcore, reflecting light from an Omni at full tilt.

http://myspace-812.vo.llnwd.net/0086...61897812_l.jpg

It really needs some fill, but I'm happy with the quailty of the light on the skin. What really grabbs my attention though, is the way the left eye catches the light...

What I want to know is: how could I light both eyes to get that strange glow?

I think part of what's causing the effect is that the light source is so far to one side...so I can't just move the reflector over...can I? A second light setup on the other side would light the face too flat and too bright...so...?
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Old June 24th, 2006, 03:05 AM   #2
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Somewhere around here I read about the "eye light". It was described as a small light with a snoot placed near the camera with the sole purpose of putting a small specular highlight in the eye of the subject. It is supposed to be of a strength that it will not fill the side of the face. The snoot keeps spill from any other area like the background. Someone said that a director they worked with used a mini-maglite with a blackwrap snoot taped to the camera. Give it a try and let us know if that works.

BTW, your test shot looks a lot like it is lit from the side by a small softbox or reflective umbrella. Go to photoflex and look at their tutorials and you will get ideas how it is done with their fairly standard equipment.

http://www.photoflexlightingschool.com/
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Old June 24th, 2006, 10:22 AM   #3
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The glow in the eye is being caused by the shallow angle of the light coming in...to get the other eye, you would have to swing your light around just enough to hit the other eye (forward toward the camera physically - moved, not rotated). You would have to do this as little as possible to get the glow you are looking for in there, just enough to get the other eye to react, but not so much that the eye on the right of frame loses its' glow.

In this case, the nose is your foe...you could add a second card closer to hit the other eye instead so you could keep the shallow angle of the first and add the light from the second...if you dial down the intensity of the second by backing the card up away from the subject, you can almost get a "short lighting" effect. Short lighting is when the key and the fill work their way into black on the far side of the face (someone corrrect me if I'm wrong).
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Old June 24th, 2006, 03:58 PM   #4
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Thanks Cole, that confirms my suspicion...I'll try a few things later tonight.

Marcus, I'll search for the thread you mentioned, thanks.
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Old June 29th, 2006, 06:13 PM   #5
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Regarding Marcus' comment about using a mini Maglite with black-wrap for an eyelight. An even easier way to use the Maglite is to remove the lens portion, exposing the tiny bare bulb, which will be sufficient to create a nice pin spot of light in the eye (at a reasonable distance, of course). Any light source can create an eye light; the trick being to create the specular in the eye without adding additional light to the face, which is why, I assume, the director used the black wrap.

BTW, that bare bulb from the mini Mag is also an excellent aid for critical focus. That pinpoint source of light will quickly let you know when you are in focus on a long lens.
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Old August 1st, 2006, 01:26 PM   #6
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As far as eyelights, I find a great option is to have a small light (preferably an arri 150 on a pocket dimmer) hanging directly in front and a little above the subject on a boom or c-stand arm.
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