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Old September 15th, 2009, 01:50 PM   #1
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Inexpensive Lowell Lighting for Interview Shoot?

Hi all,

I have a gig next month where instead of renting lighting I'm going to try and buy some very inexpensive lights, such as the Lowells recommended by Guy Cochran:

Originally Posted by Guy Cochran View Post
If you're trying to do this on the super low budget and lighting people, I'd get a couple of Lowel fluorescent bulbs that screw into standard household sockets. These are color accurate - make that highly color accurate bulbs that go for around $30 ea. The model is the Lowel X1-65
Use one for your Key light, and one for your Fill light. Get a desklamp that can be tungsten and provide a warmer look, use that one as your backlight.
Google for some cinefoil aka blackwrap and you can block the light if its going everywhere and you want it to go in one direction. Here's a video or that might help understanding what and where to place the key, fill and backlights:

YouTube - 3 point lighting technique
Lighting Infinite White on Vimeo

The Infinite white video shows lighting white, however the same could apply to green, but you'll need to get your talent back.

One more resource is the Lowel Edu website. These is a cool Flash movie that allows you to turn the lights on and off and see their effect. Lowel EDU - a Lighting Resource Center

Here is an example video I just shot that is lit using those same Lowel X1-65 bulbs. I've got a few of them on standard track lighting from home depot and a set in a Rifa 66 YouTube - Our new HD Studio - how we do it.

Hope this helps,
In the same thread: Jack Walker said "You can get flood reflectors with a standard base for a few dollars at Home Depot or a photo store. Put the Lowel flourescents in these." Is this what I'm looking for?

I have 2 mic stands that I should be able to clamp those on to. Also, I saw this video about a $7 flex fill, any thoughts?

Does that mean that theoretically I can get away with 1 Lowell light, the inexpensive flexfill substitute and the tungsten back light? Is the tungsten even necessary, and if so what would you recommend?

Here are a couple examples of the kind of videos I'll be shooting:

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Old September 15th, 2009, 05:07 PM   #2
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I'm all for doing lighting on the cheap, and I certainly have some of these flood lamps. But honestly, you'd be better off going with a small kit. The more you can control the environment you shoot in, the less lights you will need. If you cannot control where you will be shooting, the more lights (and grip) you'll need.

I've done lighting setups with 2 stands, 1 light, and a piece of foamcore. Not the easiest way to shoot, but it works if you have strict control.

I would advise you to be careful with using silver shinyboard. Get it wrong and you'll blind the talent. And they will NOT be happy. I prefer using a butterfly to soften the direct sunlight, than trying to fill on the side away from the sun. And the talent is always appreciative of you taking them out of the direct sun.
DVX100, PMW-EX1, Canon 550D, FigRig, Dell Octocore, Avid MC4/5, MB Looks, RedCineX, Matrox MX02 mini, GTech RAID, Edirol R-4, Senn. G2 Evo, Countryman, Moles and Lowels.
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Old September 15th, 2009, 06:47 PM   #3
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Hi Perrone,

Thanks for the tip, but I really can't afford to buy a kit right now. I think I'll buy 2 Lowells, the flood reflectors and maybe a tungsten for the back. How necessary is the tungsten backlight? And if I have to get one, should I get a desk lamp like Guy mentioned, or will the tungsten work with another flood reflector?

This shoot will be indoors at a hotel, so it should be fine, but I will want to have these lights to make sure everything goes well. I think it will be pretty much like the example videos I posted, but I want to make the lighting better than what's in those videos.
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