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'Spot' lighting - any ideas?

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Billy Ho
'Spot' lighting - any ideas?
on Mar 1, 2006 at 2:32:13 pm

I am trying to light a black and white scene so that only the subject is illuminated and the background is black. Here is an approximation of what I'm going for:

http://www1.yatego.com/images/40750856891b03.1/L828295.jpg
http://www.itsablackthang.com/images/JeromeBrown/tupac.jpg


The shots will be mainly Medium CUs and CUs with some rapid movement and we are shooting on a Canon XL2 (miniDV).

Does anybody have any idea on how to achieve this effect please? What kind of lighting/setup is required? (The cheaper the better). Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks



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Frank Otto
Re: 'Spot' lighting - any ideas?
on Mar 1, 2006 at 5:19:37 pm

Based on the first example - I'd say the lights are set to the side, 2 or 3 -to - 1 ratio...camera left side light is set back behind at the 10 o'clock position( dead on is six o'clock - behind is 12 o'clock) and also causes a rim light effect on the shoulder.

Camera right light is mostly side light fill. There's also the possibility that the c.r. light was cut with a flag to keep the spill off the forehead - accenting the eye below the brow and cheek. Remember that the effect is enhanced by shooting in "limbo" meaning that the subject appears to be floating in black - no other lighting in the background.

Hard to tell if any Photoshopping was done to enhance the shadow...certain types of negative film produce a higher contrast ratio that may have something more than pushing the lighting to get the look

The second example you give is too Photoshopped to be an accurate idea of the lighting used. It's that portrait on velvet - sharply defined highlight look that is very hard to recreate with video. Guessing, the orgininal was lit with a soft light low and on the left side about 8 o'clock.

Cheers,

Frank Otto



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