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Clarification for crosslight and back light


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#1 Israel Yang

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 11:56 AM

Hi
I hear about cross light all the time, and the only instances I see it used is as back light, so I was wondering if crosslight is just one of the implementation methods for back lighting.
If not, what's cross light best for. Thank you very much.
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#2 John Holland

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 12:06 PM

Back light ,the light is behind the subject ! cross light means it is from right or left of subject so just one side is lit , sorry but this very basic .
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#3 Israel Yang

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 12:38 PM

Back light ,the light is behind the subject ! cross light means it is from right or left of subject so just one side is lit , sorry but this very basic .


Thank you John Holland.
I used to think the term 'crosslight' actually is 2 lights coming from both sides of the subject, hence the word cross. Thanks again for your clarification.
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#4 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 09:55 PM

Cross light can be any of three things, what John said, a person being lighted on both sides or two people being lighted by crossing beams of light.

Google image search "cross light" with the word cinematography and you'll see some examples, one definition from the Lowel website.

The cross light with two subjects is usually, for example, two people sitting at a table. One light is behind Subject 1 and aimed across the table at Subject 2 at about a 45 degree angle or so. The other is the same, just vice versa.
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#5 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 11:10 PM

Cross light can be any of three things, what John said, a person being lighted on both sides or two people being lighted by crossing beams of light.

Google image search "cross light" with the word cinematography and you'll see some examples, one definition from the Lowel website.

The cross light with two subjects is usually, for example, two people sitting at a table. One light is behind Subject 1 and aimed across the table at Subject 2 at about a 45 degree angle or so. The other is the same, just vice versa.



I've heard people say that they're going to key a subject with 3/4 backlighting. Not always sure that
they've all meant the same thing.

Once on a big feature when I was getting started I asked the DP who was very friendly about his
lighting for a shot of a driver in a parked jeep with two small units up front and a 12K coming in
the back through the plastic rear "window" of the soft top, It was a learning experience when I asked
him which was the key and he told me the 12K...but it did manage to light up most of the driver's
face, even from directly behind him.
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#6 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 11:14 PM

I've heard people say that they're going to key a subject with 3/4 backlighting.


Yeah, in that case it's a backlight or kicker. But that two subject example of "cross light" mainly refers to the fact that the 2 light beams are literally crossing each other :)

So many terms used around the world, it mainly just depends on what words a DP uses to best explain what he's doing at the moment.
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#7 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 08:29 PM

Yeah, in that case it's a backlight or kicker. But that two subject example of "cross light" mainly refers to the fact that the 2 light beams are literally crossing each other :)

So many terms used around the world, it mainly just depends on what words a DP uses to best explain what he's doing at the moment.


Yes, indeed. Your table example is also a good example for anybody with a low budget/small crew
or whatever to get the work of possibly four lights out of two. For example the light behind subject 1
that is aimed at subject 2 may also be used to edge/backlight subject 1 and the same dual lighting
can be done from the other side with the other light.
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#8 Michael Nash

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 08:43 PM

For example the light behind subject 1
that is aimed at subject 2 may also be used to edge/backlight subject 1 and the same dual lighting
can be done from the other side with the other light.


Isn't that what the light would be doing in real life? ;)
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#9 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 10:33 PM

Isn't that what the light would be doing in real life? ;)



Sure but I thought that I'd mention it since I've seen people door their lights or simply position them
so that they don't take advantage of this opportunity and not so much by design as simply by missing
the posibility of doing so.
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#10 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 01:32 AM

Yes, indeed. Your table example is also a good example for anybody with a low budget/small crew
or whatever to get the work of possibly four lights out of two. For example the light behind subject 1
that is aimed at subject 2 may also be used to edge/backlight subject 1 and the same dual lighting
can be done from the other side with the other light.


Exactly :)
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#11 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 02:10 PM

Once on a big feature when I was getting started I asked the DP who was very friendly about his
lighting for a shot of a driver in a parked jeep with two small units up front and a 12K coming in
the back through the plastic rear "window" of the soft top, It was a learning experience when I asked
him which was the key and he told me the 12K...but it did manage to light up most of the driver's
face, even from directly behind him.


For me, the key light is whichever lamp is most important to the setup, no matter where it is.
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#12 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 07:23 PM

For me, the key light is whichever lamp is most important to the setup, no matter where it is.


That's excellent!
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