single source soft lighting
Posted 03 November 2005 - 09:33 AM
I was thinking that it would be nice to try the single big soft source that wraps around faces. I have never attempted this lighting set up before, and was wondering if anyone had any words of wisdom on this lighting approach. How big of a source will I need to get that wrapping in the wide shot? I will be limited to the ten 20amp circuits that the house has available. So if anyone has some ideas of what lights I should use to light the diffusion? Ideas on diffusion material? I was also thinking that I would just CTO the windows and use tungsten sources for all the interiors. I don?t think the small budget would support a full array of HMIs for the week of production. Just looking for some guidance.
Posted 03 November 2005 - 10:10 AM
The two keys of soft light are source size, and source-to-subject distance, which is why its generally better, when creating a soft effect, to shoot through a 4x4 or 6x6 frame instead of diffusing on the unit, so that the dif in the frame effectively becomes the light source, and also to move whatever unit you have close to the edge of frame (the soft light of an overcast sky is because the whole sky becomes a source, diffusing the light of the sun). As you move the unit away, it gradually decreases in relative size to whatever you are lighting, and thus starts to cast a harder light (the sun at noon, very hard, very very far away).
However, most of your audience is really only going to be look at the faces of your characters. Does the light need to softly touch the entire room? Or do you want it to softly wrap the characters faces and drop off towards the edges of frame? What is motivating your light?
Depending on budget, I would seriously consider Kino Flos. They don't have a lot of punch (they don't throw their light very far), they are cool running (good in small space), they work well off house power, and they are generally large sources (4' long for many units) which will help in lighting a large peice of diffusion evenly.
However, they don't have much punch, so it would be better to skin a 4x4 with Hampshire Frost or Light Opal rather than Muslin or Silk, which are much thicker and harder to get light through, if you are going to use Kinos.
Hope something in all that is helpful.
Posted 03 November 2005 - 10:47 AM
Would that size source in these size rooms effectively light then entire room, and feel like it was motivated by a big wall of windows?
I was also thinking that I could vary the units behind the 12by6 as it come around to the front of the actors. Like a 2k at the back then halfway down like a 1k then at the other end like a 500w. So as the light wraps it could also be dimmer and fall off as it gets around the faces. Then in the close ups if needed I could wrap it a little more if needed.
I was trying to get the single source to light the entire set. Plus or minus a few little other touches of light that may be needed.
Posted 03 November 2005 - 11:16 AM
Kinos are also useful in tight quarters, plus they are switchable from daylight to tungsten.
As to whether to gel a whole room to tungsten, it just depends on if that is more practical, cost-effective, time efficient, etc. than using daylight lamps like HMI's & Kinos. If you're trying to get the effect of window light, at some point, you're going to want to have the light shining from outside a window into a room, so if it's a window gelled orange, then you're still going to need a daylight lamp outside of that window. Personally, gelling a room is always a last resort for me unless the windows are small.
Posted 03 November 2005 - 12:28 PM
All has to do with the action you have in the frame and the movement of your subjects in relation to your lens.
For some shots maybe there could be enough space, but for some others it won't.
I am suggesting to have the windows for the general shots, placed at nine or three o clock of the camera, so u will have side lighting that could be more even.(By either having lights come in the scene from the windows with any diffusion you like, or by just put some tracing paper on the windows using the daylight itself).
But this is just a gesture, I don't have any story board infront of me, to help you more.
If you can be more specific, I will try to help you more.
You see the action itself sometimes dictates the lighting.
If you have a vertical action for example of a person moving towards your camera and the light is placed just near you, the f/stop change could be dramatic, and not so elegant I may say.
Posted 03 November 2005 - 01:04 PM
Posted 03 November 2005 - 05:31 PM
but if you need high lighting or more indirect than the single bounce you can point the light almost straight up into a corner and black wrap 180 degrees around the light. i shot in a small (10ft by 15ft) dorm room and this is how I lit the majority of the scene. (make sure your DP doesnt insist on using a 5 ft jib arm for all locked down shots, its a long agrovating story i have about that)
If you need more than one light but still want just one light 'source' you can gang a bunch together and bounce off the same part of the wall.
Posted 03 November 2005 - 06:01 PM
also depends on what time of day you are shooting - if you can shoot later on in the day when there's generally warmer light coming in (also depending on which direction your windows are facing) you might be able to get away with not gelling or correcting the camera if you're shooting tungsten stock.
daylight 4x4 kinos with some opal or 251 are good inside depending on the size of your space. also depends on the skin-tones of the actors as some people look better with slightly cooler light hitting their faces softly, and some respond better to warmer light. a 2k mighty with a chimera will be fine with your power and is a lovely large soft source for an interior. its also an easy light to change types of diffusion on as you can just tear away or add layers to eye. you can also add stages of blue to it if you aren't correcting the windows or the camera. a little half-blue on the mighty might play nice with late afternoon sunlight.
hope this helps. happy shooting!
Posted 05 November 2005 - 10:04 AM
Posted 05 November 2005 - 10:57 AM
I love big soft lights. But they take time to get right, rig and flag. A soft light isn't as easy to acheive as one thinks. That's why I'm always blown away when I see Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC's expert handling of it. Also, soft lights just doesn't mix very well with un-designed environments - you have to have good production design to get away with them.
This begs one very important question: What does your location look like, and can you change it if need be? If it's white or very light walls in the small spaces you mentioned, you might think about painting it. Soft light in a white-walled environment that small (i.e.- limited space for cutting devices) will get very flat very fast.
Also, have you decided on a filmstock yet? If you're shooting fast film (7218 for a likely example) you will have a much easier time creating this soft light in the small spaces than if you were shooting 100T film.
Posted 07 November 2005 - 11:53 AM
Posted 07 November 2005 - 12:30 PM
Posted 09 November 2005 - 07:59 PM
I was gaffing on a film shoot that was shot in a hospital. What me and the dp decided was to use a 2k mole zip light along with practicals and a couple of 650 watt fresnels. Everyone may not agree with what I me but I believe that you can use a soft light. What I would probally do is put 1/2 CTB on the light and maybe a net if need be. It's all up to how it looks and feels to you and the director.
Hope this helps