LIGHTING The technique of adding light and color to a scene
Lighting • Approach: • Consider the effect you want to achieve... bright & open, dark & mysterious, shadowy and intimate, 'natural,’ soft/harsh • then devise a method for achieving it.
Other factors • talent movement (sitcoms lit bright to accommodate movement on 'stage'... lighting generally not key to story)\ • type of production - hard news, magazine/depth interview style, narrative
Other factors • goals of production • availability of equipment and time constraints
Lighting Units (fixtures, housings) • General categories of lights: • Spots - focused beam, bright, intense, adjustable • Floods- softer, more diffuse beam, sometimes adjustable, sometimes not
Spots • focused beam, bright, intense • lamp (bulb) moved to focus/flood beam • very common
Fresnel (freh-NEL) • Very common studio and field light • Adjustable bulb - slides back and forth within the light housing • Special lens at front of light - circular pattern adds both focus and diffusion to the light beam
Ellipsoidal (leko) • complex lens system • very precise, less common, studio only
External reflector spot • "field" light w/moveable bulb • Very common in field production • 1000W Lowel DP Light • Chimera Soft Box • 650W fotolite • Barn doors • 250W Lowel Pro Light • Umbrella mount
Flood • diffused light, reduces/fills shadows • scrim can be added to increase diffusion • Scoop -fixed" bulb, soft light • Broadlight - "box" shaped, may have many lamps, used in studio or field. • Lowel Tota light - 650W • Often used w/umbrella • Built-in barn doors (2, not 4)
Elements (bulbs) • INCANDESCENT - typical light bulbs,yellowish color • QUARTZ/HALOGEN - very bright and hot • 3200K • - handle w/care: use gloves, oils from hands can ruin bulb • HMI - halogen-metal-iodine - 5600K • bluish light, not common
Mounting devices • Lighting grid - mounted on ceiling, 12-20 feet high (studio only) • C-clamp (studio) - connects to grid • Light stands (field) - tip easily, use sandbags if possible, be careful when extending fully • Various field light clamps - ceiling clips, door mounts...
Brightness control • Studio lighting control panel - all lighting inputs controlled from panel • Dimmers - in-line power controls which enable lights to be dimmed (make sure light wattage doesn't exceed dimmer capacity [e.g., 600 watts])
Diffusion devices • Goal - soften light and shadows, reduce harshness • Reflector umbrella - light faces away from the camera, bounces off of umbrella (think 'senior portrait'). • Soft box - nylon box mounts to lighting unit with a wire frame, white material softens light • Diffusion gels - different materials which soften light, connected with clothes pins or gel frame
Diffusion continued • Bounce light off the ceiling/wall to create a diffused light on the subject. • Bounce-fills - white/gold nylon on expandable frames to bounce light onto fill side of subject. Very useful in the sun or with only one light. • - put bounce on opposite side of key light • - use a C-stand if possible
Diffusion continued • Silks/scrims (some bounce fills can do this too) • Reduce the amount of sunlight falling on talent (creates shade) a C-stand if possible
Direction control • Barn doors - fit onto lighting unit, help "shape" light • Snoot - same, circular pattern ('coffee can' on front of light helps really narrow beam)
Gels • colored acetate mounted on front of light • adds color to light • can be used to 'correct' color (turn tungsten to daylight temp or vice versa) • CTO - orange, makes daylight warmer • CTB - blue, makes lighting units match sunlight
LIGHTING TECHNIQUE • 3-POINT LIGHTING - basic method • KEY LIGHT - main light source on subject • focused, tight beam • creates strong shadow • vertical angle: 30-40 degrees • too low - reflection, shadows on wall • too high - shadows on face • side angle: 15-30 deg. to side of camera • Instruments - Fresnel, ellipsoidal, external reflector
3-Point Lighting cont’d. • FILL LIGHT - soft, diffused, • - opposite side of camera from key light • - removes shadows from KEY • Elements: scoop, broad, flooded Fresnel or external reflector w/diffusion • One person's key can be another's fill.
3-Point Lighting cont’d. • BACK LIGHT lights the back of the subject • highlights edges, back, hair • separates subject from the background • higher angle than others - 45-50 deg. • so it won't spill into camera lens • can be mounted low (rim light)
OTHER LIGHTING TECHNIQUES • BACKGROUND lighting • - lights the 'background' • - be selective and careful, light separately • - color helps separate subject from background • - gobos, 'cookies' can shape light, add patterns to light
OTHER LIGHTING TECHNIQUES • KICKER - low level light, lights specific item or area on set • Trend is toward lower overall light levels, more naturalistic lighting
Some basic lighting suggestions: • Be very aware of the direction, color and intensity of light when setting up on location. • Where is the light coming from? • Can it be controlled, eliminated? • What color is it? Is outside light bleeding in? What can we do about it? • Is light too intense? Too soft? How can this be adjusted?
Some basic lighting suggestions: 2. Don't set lights until camera position and talent position have been determined. Don't set camera and talent until lighting issues have been considered. 3. Make sure you look through the viewfinder when determining proper light levels (don't just use your eyes).
Some basic lighting suggestions: 4. Do NOT plug lights and cameras into the same outlets. Buzz/hum. 5. Never plug a light in with the switch in the ON position (ALWAYS turn lights off before plugging in). 6. Warn people that you are turning lights on so that they don't get 'blinded' by the light. “STRIKING!”
Some basic lighting suggestions: 7. Use gloves to handle lights once they have been turned on - housings get very hot very fast. 8. Never touch the bulbs with bare hands, oils will cause them to break.
Some basic lighting suggestions: 9. Light foreground and background separately. Light from main lights should NOT also light the background. • Provide plenty of room between subject and the background. • Light the background with separate units.