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Old October 9th, 2006, 11:30 PM   #1
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Hair Light Advice Needed

For my last shoot I used two Omni lights for Key and Fill. The results were good, but somewhat flat looking. In a couple of weeks I will be shooting another speaker at a podium. I want to add a hair/rim light. I am thinking of a Arri 150 on a C-stand and boom above and behind the person. Any practical advice regarding the distance of the hair light and any heads-up regarding possible problems with this set-up would be most appreciated.
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Old October 10th, 2006, 12:02 AM   #2
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Good thinking. Backlighting really adds depth to those shots at a podium. Will the Arri have barn doors? One issue is the backlight hitting the camera lens and causing lens flares so controlling the spread is crucial. I personally use the Lowel Pro light with a 125W (FSH) instead of the standard 250W (GCA). With barn doors and bulb it should be less than $200. If there is any poles or anything to clamp to, I'll usually mount the Pro light on a Lowel large spring clamp which is around $15 bucks or so and has a 5/8" stud. Makes setting up a snap.
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Old October 12th, 2006, 12:47 AM   #3
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Ask the house lighting person if they can give the speaker a hair light, or see if they will let you hang a light, or two, from their grid. Though, you may have different electrical pugs than what the house uses.

Come seeking help. Tell the house person what you want to accomplish and see if he/she can help. That will fly better than demanding lights, or access to their grid.
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Old October 13th, 2006, 07:11 PM   #4
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This shoot will be in a hotel so I am bringing all my own stuff. Trying to get the lighting right is harder than I thought. I just purchased a Arri 150 for hair. Now I have to get the fill and key right with my two Omni's. My last shoot looked great on the EVF, but on my 27" flat screen I see nose shadows. So I am adding another umbrella and I will really look at the shadows on the subject. In a live setting this is a little tricky. That nose shadow is really bugging me. I look at it and all I see is the shadow. I want it to look as good as average C-Span. It getting close. Thanks for the advice.
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Old October 13th, 2006, 07:33 PM   #5
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Do you have any diffusion on the Omni's? With soft lighting on the key and fill lights, in other words a 1:1 ratio, positioned at an equal distance this should produce flat lighting with no shadows.

Are there by chance some powerful house can lights hitting from overhead that you have no control over?
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Old October 13th, 2006, 08:55 PM   #6
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On the set-up that produced the face shadow, I had an umbrella on one of the Omnis and the other had a frosted glass filter. Next time I am using an umbrella on both. So, my set up will be two Omnis with 300 watt watt bulbs, two umbrellas and two stands. I am adding one Arri 150 hair on stand and boom. So I am thinking one omni (key) up high about 45 degrees angle from the subject, and the other omni (fill) lower and on the other side and about 20 degrees angle from the speaker and the hair light high and behind the subject. Any better set up using this equipment? Should the Key and fill be the same wattage? I also have 500 watt bulbs.
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Old October 13th, 2006, 09:15 PM   #7
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Those umbrellas are going to throw light everywhere.

For your key, you may be better off tossing a 500W (FTK) in there with some tough spun or frost in the gel frame and utilizing the barn doors to control the light where you want it to go.

Experiment if you can beforehand. Globed with the FTK's you may be able to just even pull the light further back and not use any diffusion. Sometimes throwing light everywhere with two umbrellas just looks like using a bunch of light "just to use light."

It's all about control my friend.
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Old October 13th, 2006, 09:39 PM   #8
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Unless you can get the umbrellas in fairly close, which I doubt, your best bet is to go direct with some diffusion in front. If you can get high frontal lighting, you may only need one light and then the hair light. But most likely you'll have to go for basic three point lighting - key, fill and hair.

Often at an event there is no ideal set up since you can't put light stands in the audience, so you end up compromising. Ususally no matter what you do, it ends up looking like crap. If you can get into the venue a couple of hours beforehand and light it, that would be helpful. Bring along a test subject if possible and move things around 'til you're happy.

Once you get the hang of it you'll be able to figure out what light should go where and what wattage it should be to get your contrast ratios.
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Old October 13th, 2006, 09:57 PM   #9
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Thanks guys. You are so right about no perfect set-up at a live event. With that in mind, my first effort looks fine. I think I will forgo the umbrella and just use my lights with glass difussion. With a one man show (me) in a live situation, by the time I get the lights placed, the wireless mic put on, clean audio to the camera, the secondary audio recorder going, a feed to the house sound and the cables taped and stands sand-bagged, I really have trouble switching my mind to the 'Art of Light'. I think with your suggestions, my next attempt will be even better.
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