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Robert Richardson style of lighting - wideshot


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#1 Gregory Earls

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 04:56 PM

Using Par Cans for an overhead halo look for my actors (two guys sitting on opposite ends of the couch. In close up, I can use bounce card as a source on their faces, but I need to match that look in the wide shot, where cards will be seen. I know that a white table cloth (or another white object on a table) acts as a practical fill, however that is not an option. I'm thinking of using LED lights, with Light Grid Cloth as as a diffusion, to bring up the ambiant light for the faces. Then switch to bounce in the close ups. Wondering if these seems feasible to you folks, and I have a couple more questions...

LED lights have a dimmer on them, do you know if there's a change in color temperature with these lights as you dial them up or down.

Do you think I should leave the bounce cards out all together, and just use the LED fill for consistency?

Thanks. This is my first shoot in a loooooong time. Gave up the career as a DP at a young age. This is my first time back in the water, at age 46. Wish me luck. :-)

G.
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 05:57 PM

Honestly; I'd maybe not even worry about it for a wide, depending on the wide. It's ok if it's not 100% the same.

Aside from that, I'd just use another head through something like a 4x4 for 216 for fill if you want to maintain a similar contrast ratio. But you'd be surprised with the murder you can get away with continuity wise between a wide and a close.

I certainly wouldn't use LEDs; but that's me. They're too green and often the wrong color temp or just generally unappealing-- at least to my eye.
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#3 M Joel W

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 06:07 PM

You probably know more about this than I do, but I'm interested in the same subject so I'm posting to read others' replies.

A few thoughts, anyway:

What format are you shooting--I don't think dSLR or Red could handle the blown highlights and you might need more fill to compensate, whereas film or the Alexa could get there and you might need less fill. The flipside of which is that a less grainy medium will allow you to use power windows more aggressively and I find the Alexa and film have more texture in the midtones (whereas the Epic just has tons of noise in the shadows, worse for what it is but perceptually cleaner if you crush the blacks in post).

I assume you're using some diffusion on camera, promist maybe?

Matching LEDs to tungsten is an imperfect science from what I've seen, but I'm only worked with pretty low end LEDs. If you're lighting through heavy diff, anyway, such as half grid why would you use LEDs rather than fresnels or soft lights; the quality of the light will be impacted by the diff either way to a really significant extent and LEDs won't render color as well. Why not just use a book light if you're looking for a big, shadowless fill? I suppose you could fill selectively with an LED (it's not super hard, but it is easily controlled and directional, so it's got a unique quality of light), but diffusion would cancel that out.

You could also just bring in more fill as needed for the CUs if faces don't need to read in the widest shots. The difference probably won't be that big a deal.

Edited by M Joel W, 01 September 2012 - 06:08 PM.

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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 06:43 PM

Using Par Cans for an overhead halo look for my actors (two guys sitting on opposite ends of the couch. In close up, I can use bounce card as a source on their faces, but I need to match that look in the wide shot, where cards will be seen. I know that a white table cloth (or another white object on a table) acts as a practical fill, however that is not an option. I'm thinking of using LED lights, with Light Grid Cloth as as a diffusion, to bring up the ambiant light for the faces. Then switch to bounce in the close ups. Wondering if these seems feasible to you folks, and I have a couple more questions...

LED lights have a dimmer on them, do you know if there's a change in color temperature with these lights as you dial them up or down.

Do you think I should leave the bounce cards out all together, and just use the LED fill for consistency?

Thanks. This is my first shoot in a loooooong time. Gave up the career as a DP at a young age. This is my first time back in the water, at age 46. Wish me luck. :-)

G.


You may get too much bounce back from white cards anyway, with Richardson the hot top/back light was so intense that the shadows were filled in from the bounce back from clothing and furniture. It doesn't hurt to find some light-toned art direction that the light can hit, then it will be the same in the close-ups. Otherwise, I've used white cards with a single net laid over them, or bobbinet, to knock down the reflectivity, like using a grey card instead of a white card.

If you really need more ambient fill in the wide, then I'd use another tungsten light to match the color of the Parcans.
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#5 Ari Davidson

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 05:40 PM

If you really need more ambient fill in the wide, then I'd use another tungsten light to match the color of the Parcans.


I second this approach. Usually a redhead into some foam does it.
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