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#1 Benjamin G

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 07:20 PM

I was working on a bigger feature film a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately not in any cinematography or directors capacity. But I noticed they did one shot with a filter(?) in front of the lens that was just a ring of light outside of the lens.

I haven't had my "big break" yet and most of my experience is on indie stuff where I'm lucky to have a 1K to work with. So I'm not familiar with all the fun gadgets. Can someone fill me in on what this thing is and what it does? At first I thought it was a color temp. thing but it was shot on RED which gives you pretty good control over color temps.

Thanks
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#2 robert duke

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 10:51 PM

what you saw was called a ringlight. It gives a smooth softening light to the subject and a nice eyelight. It is frequently used on aging actresses and beauty shots where you really want to enhance the face. there are several manufacturers from Kino flo to Litepanels to Gekko. you can make your own as many gaffers have done.

make it simple with a piece of foamcore and x mas lights, or complex with aluminum and leds. we used to use plywood and 16 55w bulbs.


Some reality shows use them in their "private" interviews.

My favorite are the creative ring lights. 6x6 with 4ft kino tubes making crazy shapes and stuff, or colored xmas lights creating a pulsing ring etc.

ring lights are another tool for dp's and gaffers to use. they have their place.
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#3 Benjamin G

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 12:25 AM

what you saw was called a ringlight. It gives a smooth softening light to the subject and a nice eyelight. It is frequently used on aging actresses and beauty shots where you really want to enhance the face. there are several manufacturers from Kino flo to Litepanels to Gekko. you can make your own as many gaffers have done.

make it simple with a piece of foamcore and x mas lights, or complex with aluminum and leds. we used to use plywood and 16 55w bulbs.


Some reality shows use them in their "private" interviews.

My favorite are the creative ring lights. 6x6 with 4ft kino tubes making crazy shapes and stuff, or colored xmas lights creating a pulsing ring etc.

ring lights are another tool for dp's and gaffers to use. they have their place.



Thats definitely what it was. Thanks!

I have no idea what brand they were using. It was very cool though, unlike the ones by Kino, Gekko, or Litepanels. It was a round piece of two pane glass with what looked like a paper thin light within it. There was a cable run out the bottom to a control box at the back.

Anyways, that brings up a couple more questions. First of all what are the pros/cons/differences between what a ringlight will give you as opposed to a hotshoe mount mini light panel? Or is it pretty much the same effect at another mounting point?

Other question is what is the range of something like this? The reason I ask is that it was a two camera shoot and both camera's were sharing a dolly track probably 20 feet back from the actress. One camera without the ring light was a medium and the other with the ring light was a C/U. At that range would it add any of the soft fill or would it just be the eye light?

Either way I think I may go make myself one of these. I've watched too many indies lately where everybody has big black holes for eyes.
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#4 robert duke

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 01:58 AM

As to pros and cons it first starts with the DP's personal likes. that is paramount.

A ring like give you light from above and below the lens, the lens becomes the flattest light possible, and imagine the reflection on a gloss black globe and that is the ring light as an eye light. the reflection creates a ring that resembles an iris. so with an eyeball it highlights the eye color and can really make the eye pop. (makeup advertising was one of the first big commercial pushes for the use of the ring light.)

a hot shoe light only has one direction, where it is mounted so the eye highlight takes the shape of the light. imagine the gloss black ball. the light will look very conventional and be a small point source 9 depending on the camera /light distance. the hot shoe light is flat but still can create shadows with crows feet and other age wrinkles.

you can camera test these using a 8 ball. great teaching tool.

they are best at close ups but can give a camera eyelight from further away. personally i feel they arent worth much after 8 or so feet. I have known people who have used them up to 15 to 20 but... to each his own.

Ive been waiting on a project to use EL wire and get crazy. Ive got some ideas, might just do a portrait series for fun. I have strung x mas lights on an empty 2x3 frame for a fun effect.
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#5 Benjamin G

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 07:45 PM

EL wire would open up a lot of possibilities. I'm going to have to get my pool balls (and table) out of storage and do some tests.

Thanks for the info
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Technodolly

Opal

Wooden Camera

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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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