Jump to content


Photo

Soft lighting technique


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 Ben Brahem Ziryab

Ben Brahem Ziryab
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 126 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 28 November 2016 - 12:43 PM

Hello all,

 

There is something interesting happening with the soft lighting on Leo's face.

 

inception-2401-e1480354317890.jpg

 

It looks like a large soft source close to camera as the light falls off quickly (and perhaps some negative fill), but there is a bit of a highlight on Leo's face.

 

Could it be a book light, and in between the two frames, a small fresnel light pointing directly towards Leo?


  • 0




#2 Tyler Purcell

Tyler Purcell
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2574 posts
  • Other
  • Los Angeles

Posted 28 November 2016 - 12:58 PM

I'd say it's an HMI source outside the window to the right of frame and down stage slightly. It's not close to camera because it's not very bright and the angle of his face is changing the brightness considerably. You can see it lighting the pillar to the left of him and another vertical object reflecting to the right of him.

This is a very common trick when lighting fast and doing simple dialog scenes. Set up a big backlight source to fill in the negative space (windows behind leo) and then use a single key to light objects in frame with. The look is trying to mimmic a big bay window to the right of frame that you can see in the actual movie. I'm pretty sure they just fogged the window so when the camera moved around, you couldn't see out the window. That's what's making the light so soft and pretty.
  • 0

#3 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 18958 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 28 November 2016 - 01:31 PM

I don't think you could decide whether a light was softened by a book light technique (bounced light passed through diffusion) versus any other soft light technique (just diffused or just bounced) only by looking at the results.

 

What I see here is fairly common, there are two soft lights hitting the actor.  There is a big soft light for the room and there is a closer soft light that was added to wrap the soft room light around more frontally for the close-up, from the same side as the farther, big soft light but more 3/4 frontal instead of side.  And that closer light is lower and less soft / less large judging up the faint upwards nose shadow on his face and the bright reflection in his right eye.  There is also a double shadow on his neck from his shirt collar. Maybe something like a 4-bank Kinoflo wrapping the window light effect around, or maybe a Lowell Rifa type light on a low stand.


  • 0

#4 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 18958 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 28 November 2016 - 01:41 PM

Of course, sometimes you get that double shadow effect just because there are rows of windows, each soft but separated enough to create multiple shadows.


  • 0

#5 Stuart Brereton

Stuart Brereton
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2646 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 29 November 2016 - 11:32 AM

The highlight on the left side of his face is what you get when a light source (large and soft, in this case) is coming from a side to 3/4 kicker position. The further round it goes, the more it picks up the sheen from his skin. That soft source maybe big enough that it wraps around to a side position and catches the camera side of his face, or it may be a second smaller source. It looks like there is only one catchlight in his eye, which would suggest a single, large source, but it's hard to tell from this still. If it's a real location, it could be low level natural, ambient light that is providing the wrap, and a movie light that is at 3/4 to the action.

 

What movie is the still from?


  • 0

#6 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11371 posts
  • Other

Posted 29 November 2016 - 11:36 AM

It just looks like he's near a window with a British summer outside. This is a look I avoid!


  • 0


Metropolis Post

Pro 8mm

Tai Audio

Glidecam

Visual Products

The Slider

Ritter Battery

CineTape

Quantum Music Works

Aerial Filmworks

Paralinx LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

CineLab

Willys Widgets

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Abel Cine

Zylight

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Abel Cine

Pro 8mm

Glidecam

The Slider

Rig Wheels Passport

CineLab

Quantum Music Works

Zylight

Ritter Battery

Aerial Filmworks

Willys Widgets

Visual Products

Metropolis Post

Tai Audio

Paralinx LLC

CineTape