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Ty Ford
Looking for three point kit.
on Nov 26, 2006 at 3:11:02 am

Hi,

I'm shooting a Canon XL2 and need a good three point light kit. Can someone give me some suggestions?

Thanks,

Ty

Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. Find out more at http://home.comcast.net/~tyreeford/AudioBootcamp.html
or http://www.tyford.com


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Dan Brockett
Re: Looking for three point kit.
on Nov 27, 2006 at 1:26:45 am

Hi Ty:

Three point lighting is more of a concept than a lighting kit configuration. What are you planning on shooting? Lighting a roundtable narrative scene is very different than lighting a single talking head interview.

It would be helpful to know what you are attempting to shoot and light, your maximum budget, do you work alone or with a crew. If by yourself, do you have any lighting experience? If with a crew, do you work with professional grips and gaffers? Do you need to fly with this gear? There are so many ways to go from Home Depot worklights to a full 3 ton grip and lighting truck and everything in-between. Fluorescent, LED, HMI, Tungsten, etc., etc.

Do you own any grip gear? Grip equipment to make all of this lighting workable and controllable is at least as important as the lighting itself.

Not trying to sound vague but you need to provide a LOT more specific information in order for us to make any intelligent recommendations.

Best,

Dan

Providing value added material to all of your favorite DVDs


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Ty Ford
Re: Looking for three point kit.
on Nov 27, 2006 at 3:02:16 am

Hi Dan,

I'll be working alone at first. I have a Canon XL2. My plans are uncertain but one shots and two shots are probably a good place to start.

I have a photographic background and have been watching and gripping for shooters on corporate industrial, documentary and commercial shoots.

I bought my Sachtler with the hard case just in case I need to fly with it. In my travels with other shooters, they carry the camera as carry-on. That;'s what I would do with the XL2.

I own not enough grip gear but understand its importance. This is a slippery slope, I realize. I think a softbox, key and rim light would be a good start; perhaps with a bounce fill. That's the kind of gear the people I'm working with have now with some extra practicals, gels and dimmers.

I may not need everything at once. I'd like to stay below $1500 for the first move.

Regards,

Ty Ford


Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. Find out more at http://home.comcast.net/~tyreeford/AudioBootcamp.html
or http://www.tyford.com


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Dan Brockett
Re: Looking for three point kit.
on Nov 27, 2006 at 4:39:11 pm

Hi Ty:

Good, so you at least have a clue about lighting and gripology.

I am sure you will get a million different suggestions on what lights/kit to buy but here is my recommendation. I will substantiate the rational behind each instrument.

1. Soft Key
Buy a Chimera kit as described here. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&... It's a 500 watt mogul base lamp and includes a small Chimera, 40 degree egg crate, stand, cases, bulb, the wole works. Just add water, makes it's own sauce.

The reason you want this is because for $539.00, it is a the best, most efficient soft key available that is of professional grade material. You can and will use and own this setup for years, if not decades, it will grow with you as your needs expand. For single talking heads, cannot be beat. If you fly, it is also a very small piece of kit that does a lot. I own four small Chimeras and they are one of my most valued pieces of gear.


2. Add a hairlight/rim light.
Buy a Lowel I-Light. This is a small, $109.00 light that includes barndoors and can be powered by a variety of different small output bulbs, 100, 150 and 250 watt. It's cheap and for a hairlight/rimlight, you don't have to have a fresnel. Add a small Impact or Manfrotto stand for $80.00 and you have your rim light and stand for under $200.00.

3. Add a BG light.
Buy an Arri 300 watt fresnel or if you want to save some money, an Altman. With barndoors and a set of scrims, will set you back about $320.00, figure $400.00 with a stand.

So now you have a soft key source, a hair/rim light and a BG light. You have spent about $1,130.00 of your $1,500.00 budget. Spend another $50.00 on a 36" white and gold Flexfill. Great as a fill source when used opposite your Chimera, can also be used outdoors and that Gold side is nice for giving pale subjects a nice tan. Now you have spent $1,180.00. How about another $50.00 for a plastic Contico box from Home Depot to carry your three lights, stands, some Duvetyne, some stingers. Now you are at about $1,250.00. Find a used C-Stand with 40" grip arms, should be able to locate for about $80.00 ea. Now you are at $1,410.00. Spend the rest on some Cinefoil, stingers, gels, C-47s and a few scissor clips and grip clips and you are in business for right around $1,500.00.

You have assembled a basic lighting kit for $1,500.00 that is all professional quality gear that you will never outgrow, you can just add to it as your lighting needs expand. You will have a kit that functionally blows away any stupid Lowel or Britek kit or anything you assemble from Home Depot worklights.

This is very close to what I use as my solo travel interview kit except that I don't have the mogul base Chimera lamp, I use one of my old Lowel V-Lights in my small Chimera, which is also a 500 watt open faced light like the mogul light. And I used an Arri 150 fresnel instead of the Lowel i-Light as a hairlight but that's just because I already owned a couple of Arri 150s from a kit, the i-Light works just as well for this purpose and costs almost 1/3 as much as the Arri.

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Dan

Providing value added material to all of your favorite DVDs


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Leo Ticheli
Re: Looking for three point kit.
on Nov 27, 2006 at 6:58:09 pm

You might consider another option for your key light; a 500W source behind a Chimera is pretty wimpy, and is tungsten only. A poor choice for shooting in rooms with daylight windows. Your color pallet will be mixed unless you gel the windows, a labor and time-consuming process.

I would recommend a Kino Flo Diva 400; it's nice and soft with a bit of very light diffusion and can be tubed for either tungsten or daylight. We very rarely go with tungsten tubes, by the way, so you can buy those only if really needed.

You can pick up a Diva 400 for under $800.00.

Another choice, although a good bit heavier and more expensive, is the Mole Richardson Biax 8; it's around $1100.00, but is powerful enough to shoot with daylight windows in the shot without unacceptable blowout. It's my favorite small key light for location shooting.

Except for shooting in the studio and some night interiors, you should find daylight-balanced fixtures far more practical. Since HMI's are terribly expensive, fluorescent fixtures are a great choice.

In addition to the ability to do either tungsten or daylight, the fluorescent lights burn cool and draw very little power.

You might rent first and give your options a try.

Good shooting!

Leo



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Dan Brockett
Re: Looking for three point kit.
on Nov 28, 2006 at 1:41:36 am

Hi Leo:

Good points you made. Just as an addition, the Chimera kit that I recommend is also available as a 750 watt and 1,000 watt bulb setup for a few bucks more. I find the 500 watts with a small Chimera is more than adequate for most interior situations where I can control ambient lighting. I agree that if you must deal with ambient daylight, either the 1K tungsten or the daylight balanced lights are a better bet. But with the additional cost for the Kinos or Moles, we then crowd out Ty's budget for the rest of the needed gear.

I have rented the Divas many times and recently built two of my own homemade Diva 200s. After testing them, I have a few observations. The quality of light from a Diva is quite a bit harsher than a small Chimera with an eggcrate. The Kino has less wrap and much shorter falloff than with a tungsten instrument. True the Divas can accept the KF29 and KF55 biax lamps but honestly, I am discovering that the KF29 lamps look pretty bad, with either green, pink or magenta spikes. The daylight KF55 lamps are better, I recommend NOT using the 55 watt biax lamps in the KF2900 Kino flavor at least. I would still like to test some other brands to determine if this is a Kino issue or a 55 watt Biax issue.

The other drawback is that if you are using a Diva with the KF55 daylight lamps, what is Ty going to use as a hairlight and BG light if his key source is daylight balanced? I guess he could go very orange but that might not suit the project. IMHO, if you go daylight whether with HMIs or fluoros, you need a full daylight kit of at least two if not three or four daylight instruments. As you know, gelling a tungsten instrument with full CTB or dichroics cuts the output, usually to about 50%. I am also skeptical about the ability of accurately color balancing daylight Kinos with CTB or dichroic treated tungstens.

While Kinos and Mole fluoros are nice lights, I think for Ty's limited budget, they are a door to a more expensive solution than his budget supports. The full Diva 400 kit is close to $1,100.00 to $1,200.00 isn't it? Doesn't leave him much to buy other lights or gripology.

All the best,

Dan


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Leo Ticheli
Re: Looking for three point kit.
on Nov 28, 2006 at 4:51:49 pm

Of course we all have our favorite ways of working, but I think the negatives of tungsten quartz lights are considerable.

The color temperature problem is really unsolvable by any practical means. Gelling the windows is far too time-consuming and very difficult to do transparently enough so that it does not show. Gelling the lamp with full blue knocks the output down to a meager level even with a 1000W lamp. There is no way include a day-lit window in the shot without profound blowout. If this is your artistic preference, fine; if not, it's not acceptable.

I think most of us have to shoot people in offices with large exposures of windows and the only viable options are HMI or beefy fluorescent fixtures.

With the hot quartz fixtures, you are forced to make compromises about where you shoot and the time of day, unless you use a really big lamp, such as a 5K. Then, of course, you're faced with power problems; you haven't lived on the edge until you're forced to explain how you knocked out a floor of computers. Undoubtedly a punchy daylight-balanced fixture is far more flexible.

As for the issue of the softness of the light, the softness of the light is directly proportional to the relative size of the aperture of the light to the subject. A diffusion of the same size as a Chimera in front of a Kino Flo 400 will produce the same degree of softness. An egg-crate has no effect on softness, just control of spill.

As we all know, fluorescent fixtures have color temperature characteristics just as do all lamps; they are widely used world-wide by accomplished cinematographers. I have no problems with either my Mole Richardson or Kino Flo fixtures.

At the end, the perfect kit contains the lighting fixtures and grip equipment necessary to achieve the results desired at a cost the cinematographer & client can afford. For me, look comes first, quickly followed by speed and flexibility. When I have a larger area for the key, I'll use an HMI behind a huge Chimera; for tighter locations, the larger fluorescent fixtures are wonderful. They have the punch, low-power draw, and they are talent-friendly - nice and cool burning.

If something else works better for you, you're wise to use it.

Good shooting!

Leo







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Ty Ford
Re: Looking for three point kit.
on Nov 28, 2006 at 8:35:10 pm

OK,

How about one of these 4-lighters (http://www.lowel.com/caselite/caselite_b.html#info) with bounce fill and several small spots for hair and background.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. Find out more at http://home.comcast.net/~tyreeford/AudioBootcamp.html
or http://www.tyford.com


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Leo Ticheli
Re: Looking for three point kit.
on Nov 28, 2006 at 9:01:46 pm

I've not used Lowel gear for a long time, but my previous experience with them was that their equipment was not as robust as I would like. It seemed aimed at those just entering the business, with fairly attractive prices and some innovative equipment.

I tend to stick to the category leaders, with more rugged equipment that will last for a very long time. For that reason, I would go with the likes of Mole Richardson or Kino Flo for fixtures and Mathews or similar for stands and grip.

On the other hand, the Lowel kit seems like a well thought out solution, with the built-in storage.

Either solution should give you good results with your key lighting.

Good shooting!

Leo









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Dan Brockett
Re: Looking for three point kit.
on Nov 29, 2006 at 12:14:03 am

Hi Leo and Ty:

"The color temperature problem is really unsolvable by any practical means. Gelling the windows is far too time-consuming and very difficult to do transparently enough so that it does not show. Gelling the lamp with full blue knocks the output down to a meager level even with a 1000W lamp. There is no way include a day-lit window in the shot without profound blowout. If this is your artistic preference, fine; if not, it's not acceptable.

I think most of us have to shoot people in offices with large exposures of windows and the only viable options are HMI or beefy fluorescent fixtures."

I do sometimes shoot in these office situations but I usually throw a 12' wide piece of Duvetyne over the window. Doesn't change overall color temp but makes it so that you can actually get some punch out of a CTB covered 1k in close-up shots. It's easy, I rarely try to compete with daylight streaming through windows unless I have HMIs to play with.

"A diffusion of the same size as a Chimera in front of a Kino Flo 400 will produce the same degree of softness."

Sure, the same degree of softness but definitely not the same throw or wrap with a Diva with diffusion on it. I find that when I put diffusion on the fronts of Divas, they lose so much throw that they become almost useless past a couple of feet away. Pair this with competing with ambient daylight levels and IMHO, Kinos get just as wimpy, if not more on the output as a tungsten with CTB.

Case in point, I shot an interview with pop artist Ed Ruscha a few weeks ago in his Venice studio. The room featured two large skylights. The BG elements we ended up including in the frame happened to put Ruscha directly underneath one of these skylights. I keyed his interview with a small Chimera with an Arri 1k open face punched through full CTB. With the Chimera placed about 3 feet to Ruscha's face, I was able to obtain a perfect key source that blended nicely with the daylight.

Nothing wrong with Kinos, I like mine. But I do not like the color renditions of the KF 29 Kino lamps and I do not think that they match tungsten instruments very well. The Kinos are expensive for what they are, I am much more satisfied with my homemade Diva 200s than with the real Divas I have rented. If Ty can afford more than his stated $1,500.00 budget, the Kinos or Moles are great but for sticking to his budget, I feel that they are not the best recommendation.

Best,

Dan


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Leo Ticheli
Re: Looking for three point kit.
on Nov 29, 2006 at 1:21:49 am

Obviously, throwing a black cloth over a window won't work when the window is in the shot! I very much like to motivate my light and windows look good. At least they do to me.

My understanding of light must be different from yours. In my experience, equal sized fixture apertures of equal intensity have identical fall-off, following the law of squares. At least in my little Newtonian world, the laws of physics don't bend more than the vagaries of imprecise measurement allow.

I do like the easier to achieve spill control of a closed softbox; the Mole Richardson Biax 8 is the same, with no place for light to leak from open sides, so they are equal in spill control.

If you are not getting enough level, you are either using too dense diffusion or starting with too weak a source. A diffused two-tube fluorescent is just too weak for keying unless the shot is so tight it can be placed very close to the subject.

I prefer to not suffer the limitations of 3200


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David DiCanio
Re: Looking for three point kit.
on Nov 29, 2006 at 1:24:45 am

I'd like to throw in my two cents. Not disagreeing with what's been said. I just today bit the $2300 bullet and bought myself an Arri kit, with Chimera softbox and fabric grid.

For the last four years I've been shooting with a cheap but rather remarkable 3 - 500watt softbox kit, that is not perfect, but is major bang for the buck. The kit is called a JTL Everlight kit ( http://www.jtl-lighting.com/ ). The kit is only $500, and you get 3 softboxes, 3 stands, and 3 lamps. I added egg-creates ($87 each). They say you can use 750 watt and 1000 watt, but that's not true, they overheat and shut off. 500 watt is the max.

I've flown to Kenya, Spain, Ireland, and throughout the States shooting with this kit and it's given me very little trouble. It's not super rugged, but for the money, it's a very good start. I added an LTM 420 Pepper as a kicker light, and used a Lowel Omni for a background light. I regularly used a reflector for the fill, but sometimes used the second softbox with a 300 watt lamp for fill. It looked quite nice.

This kit, with an Omni and Pepper would easily fit your budget.



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Ken Zukin
Re: Looking for three point kit.
on Nov 29, 2006 at 12:27:33 pm

I'll just jump into the fray here and say that my experience pretty much dovetails that of Leo's.

For me the flourescent fixtures are a time-saving godsend. It's super efficient to be able to go into virtually any situation with my Mole Biax 4 rig and not have to worry if I'm going to end up shooting in a tungsten or daylight world.

A bulb change can be handled in less than one minute, the units are cool to the touch, don't pop circuit breakers, are natively soft and flattering, and with their higher "fall-off" they don't pollute the BG. They're much faster to set up than a typical Chimera type rig. And they're dimmable.

If you do decide to move forward with a tungsten-based assortment of fixtures, I'd stay away from Lowell from a durability standpoint. One way you can save some money though is to use a cheaper (and lighter) open faced unit, as opposed to a fresnel, behind your Chimera.

But the smart money in the long run is on the Diva, and the new Barfly product that Kino will be releasing shortly.


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Ty Ford
Re: Looking for three point kit.
on Nov 29, 2006 at 10:54:29 pm

Hi,

So today, after being somewhat influenced by the talk of fluorescents, I looked up a four light Caselite. Whne I mentioned that to a local shooter he said he was very wary of them because he had heard of operating instructions that demanded that the tubes be oriented so that the "bottom" of the tube was "up."

Apparently the concern was that particles in the tubes would fall down to the contacts and cause the tube to malfunction. Does anyone know anything about this?

Ty (audio is looking easier everyday except for mixing analog and digital wireless mics in one kit and then you might have problems) Ford


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Raymond Motion Pictures
Re: Looking for three point kit.
on Nov 30, 2006 at 12:25:45 am

[Ty Ford] "Apparently the concern was that particles in the tubes would fall down to the contacts and cause the tube to malfunction. Does anyone know anything about this?"


Not to worry. The contact end of a 'U' tube is where the heat is - it should be at the bottom.



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Raymond Motion Pictures
Re: Looking for three point kit.
on Nov 30, 2006 at 12:44:17 am

OK - here's a cheap solution of a florescent interview kit. B&H Impact IMDLSF3K - $219.

3 stands, one with a boom arm - 30 watt daylight florescent lamps (150 watt incandescent equivalent)93csi

I bought it for shooting small products - but tried it today as an interview kit - worked great, no heat!

For the price, I was surprised at how well it was constructed and how even the light.

Don't laugh - that leaves $1300 in your budget.



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Bob Cole
Re: Looking for three point kit.
on Nov 30, 2006 at 2:53:22 pm

[Ty Ford] "operating instructions that demanded that the tubes be oriented so that the "bottom" of the tube was "up.""


Kino says you should tilt the fixture so the tube's bottom is higher than the tip, to keep mercury away from the cathodes and maintain better color stability. Lowel's Caselite alternates the tops and bottoms of its lamps, so that would not be possible with a Lowel.

Leo's right about the price of the Diva by itself, but with bulbs, accessories, case, it's going to cost several hundred more.

I would like to point out to the lighting expert community that Ty is a good friend of mine, and that as far as I know, as a shooter, he is a fantastic sound man.

-- Bob C


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Leo Ticheli
Re: Looking for three point kit.
on Nov 30, 2006 at 3:17:56 pm

Good morning, Bob!

I don't know whether you made a typo or the ultimate put-down of poor Ty! Still trying to figure this one out, "as a shooter he's the ultimate sound man." I'm sure you didn't mean it the way it sounded, but I do plan to use it in my bag of jokes!

My own purchasing philosophy has been to buy only professional equipment or rent until I could. The few times I've violated this rule have had less than satisfactory results. Generally speaking, cheap equipment doesn't perform as well, doesn't hold up, and ends it's life in the dumpster.

I realize it's a dilemma; when the budget won't allow what's needed for the job, but we tend to be a resourceful bunch in this business, and we usually find a way. Sometimes it's changing the demands of the job rather than approaching it ill-equipped.

Of course a head-shot kit is so fundamentally necessary, we've got to purchase something that works for us and there are many, many solutions ranging from open-faced lights bouncing off cards or umbrellas to giant Kino Wall o Lights.

When I recommend to someone developing their first kit, I suggest lamps that are safe, produce beautiful results, are flexible, easy, and fast to employ, and have lasting value. That's why I recommend Mole Richardson and Kino Flo. Doubtless there are others, but these I know and trust; they have performed well for me for many years.

Ty, if you can rent or borrow a kit, or better yet, work with someone proficient with the lamps, you'll be able to find the system that works best for you. If you are in my area, you're welcome to come to my studio and play to your heart's content. Surely others at the Cow would be glad to help you.

Good shooting!

Leo







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Bob Cole
Re: Looking for three point kit.
on Nov 30, 2006 at 3:56:36 pm

[Leo Ticheli] "Ty, if you can rent or borrow a kit, or better yet, work with someone proficient with the lamps, you'll be able to find the system that works best for you. If you are in my area, you're welcome to come to my studio and play to your heart's content. Surely others at the Cow would be glad to help you."

Good advice. I volunteer too.

[Leo Ticheli] "I don't know whether you made a typo or the ultimate put-down of poor Ty! Still trying to figure this one out, "as a shooter he's the ultimate sound man." I'm sure you didn't mean it the way it sounded, but I do plan to use it in my bag of jokes!"

Yeah, it was a joke. For those who do not know, Ty has literally written the book on audio and is a fantastically skilled sound man. Unfortunately he also has an unquenchable appetite for trouble, I mean, for more knowledge.

-- Bob C



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Ty Ford
Re: Looking for three point kit.
on Nov 30, 2006 at 4:01:26 pm

Hey Bob,

I resemble that!

Ty

Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. Find out more at http://home.comcast.net/~tyreeford/AudioBootcamp.html
or http://www.tyford.com


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Ty Ford
Re: Looking for three point kit.
on Nov 30, 2006 at 3:59:55 pm

Thanks guys/gals,

Leo, I appreciate your sense of humor. At this point I'm a much better sound person than a shooter or LD, but, providing I am given a few more years on the planet, I may change that.

Here's what I know. In speaking to anyone with a lighting kit, EVERRYONE has a room somewhere in which they have tossed lighting gear that was a bad purchase and didn't do what they wanted or expected. I'm trying to leapfrog that and get gear that I'll be able to use and keep on using. Right now I need lighting for one shot and two shot, probably 16:9 interiors with no windows. Windows will eventually come into play.

Lightweight, functional tools that will remain part of my kit. That's what makes the most sense to me. My experience (as a soundman + grip) is that a soft key light, fill light, hair light and some backlight toys should get me where I want for this stage.

Is that so wrong!?!? :)

Regards,

Ty Ford

Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. Find out more at http://home.comcast.net/~tyreeford/AudioBootcamp.html
or http://www.tyford.com


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Bob Cole
Re: Looking for three point kit.
on Nov 30, 2006 at 4:13:57 pm

[Ty Ford] "Is that so wrong!?!? :)"


Almost got it, Ty. You should buy a great key light, scrounge for the rest if you have to because they just do not matter as much.

1. Key light (soft) using either fluorescents or Chimera with a cheap open-face fixture.
2. No need for fill light. Use reflector -- even a white board is okay.
3. Hair or backlight optional. Little fresnel is great for this.
4. Light for background optional. My choice (from advice on this forum)= Source 4.

ANY artificial light is optional. You can sit your subject next to a nice big window and shoot.

When I was primarily a producer, I hired a great film shooter who came to an interview with a carload of lighting gear. He took one look at the nice big window, put camera on tripod, said, "Ready." It looked beautiful.

And for Gods sake make sure the microphone is not in the shot. How often do I have to tell the sound guy to get that thing up higher....


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Leo Ticheli
Re: Looking for three point kit.
on Nov 30, 2006 at 5:51:32 pm

Bob, I'm with you all the way.

I rarely use a kick light these days unless I think the shot really needs it for separation or it's motivated by widows or practical sources. Love a FlexFill because it's so easy to use and acoustically transparent.

To my taste, overuse of a kick can give your shots a "mall photo studio" look; too predictable and ho-hum.

I don't have a "standard" fixture for the BG; often I use nothing at all if the ambient looks good and is at such a level that I can adjust the key for compatibility. For other backgrounds, I use everything on the truck!

I tend to prefer very dramatic portrait lighting, with a nice darker band on the face between the key and fill; it's very three-dimensional and reveals the character of the subject. I like to key pretty high too, to fill the neck with soft shadow.

Perhaps I go too far; many people prefer a flat look. I guess that's why the ice cream store has so many flavors, but I'd rather be a CPA than shoot that way unless the story really demands it. When the client demands it contrary to the way it should be, life is not a fun as it should be.

Sigh.

Good shooting!

Leo









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Ty Ford
Re: Looking for three point kit.
on Nov 30, 2006 at 8:14:48 pm

Thanks again Leo


so, http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?A=details&kw=MOB4OK&is=REG&...


Ty

Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. Find out more at http://home.comcast.net/~tyreeford/AudioBootcamp.html
or http://www.tyford.com


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Leo Ticheli
Re: Looking for three point kit.
on Dec 1, 2006 at 3:57:42 pm

I prefer the Biax 8 from Mole Richardson; plenty of punch.

In the 4 tube fixtures, have a look at Kino Flo.

By all means, rent or borrow before you buy!

Good shooting!

Leo



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Bob Cole
bulbs, comfort, and lighting physics
on Dec 1, 2006 at 6:11:38 pm

[Leo Ticheli] "I prefer the Biax 8 from Mole Richardson;"

Leo, does the Biax 8 have the same "feature" as the Kino Flo: bulbs in pairs, if either bulb (or socket) is bad, neither one lights up?

I'd like a Biax 8 for interviews, if for no other reason than that I could then move the fixture farther away from the subject and still have enough light. A lot of my interview setups resemble Spanish Inquisition torture scenes. ("Okay, you see that tiny spot surrounded by lights and stands and reflectors... That's where you sit, and RELAX.")

In your experience, working with non-professionals, do you have some personal rules about how close you are willing to place the key to the subject -- sheerly for the sake of a comfortable, relaxed environment for the interview?

One more random question: it's commonly said in favor of fluorescent keys, that the light falls off more rapidly from them as opposed to Chimeras, thus enabling you to control the light on the background. Why is this so? I can't understand the reason for this.

-- Bob C


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Leo Ticheli
Re: bulbs, comfort, and lighting physics
on Dec 1, 2006 at 9:30:24 pm

Leo, does the Biax 8 have the same "feature" as the Kino Flo: bulbs in pairs, if either bulb (or socket) is bad, neither one lights up?

Golly, I don't know! Never had the problem, but we always keep spares handy, even though I don't remember a tube failing on the set.

I'd like a Biax 8 for interviews, if for no other reason than that I could then move the fixture farther away from the subject and still have enough light. A lot of my interview setups resemble Spanish Inquisition torture scenes. ("Okay, you see that tiny spot surrounded by lights and stands and reflectors... That's where you sit, and RELAX.")

In your experience, working with non-professionals, do you have some personal rules about how close you are willing to place the key to the subject -- sheerly for the sake of a comfortable, relaxed environment for the interview?

Obviously, anything you can do physically to relax the subject will help, but more important is the psychological approach, the skill of the interviewer to engage the subject. Warm-up dialog and questions that elicit natural responses are more important. I do tend to light in such a way that the subject's discomfort is minimized.

One more random question: it's commonly said in favor of fluorescent keys, that the light falls off more rapidly from them as opposed to Chimeras, thus enabling you to control the light on the background. Why is this so? I can't understand the reason for this.

I think this belief is in the same category as the Bermuda Triangle, Atlanta, and the Loch Ness monster.

While different diffusion materials have a different character of light, my understanding of physics is that light sources of equal size aperture and intensity have equal fall-off following the law of squares. This is also my experience.

Good shooting!

Leo




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Leo Ticheli
Re: bulbs, comfort, and lighting physics
on Dec 1, 2006 at 9:59:02 pm

LOL!

I'm so used to typing "Atlanta," that I typed that for "Atlantis!"

Now that I think of it, Atlanta might just be as mythological as Atlantis!


Best regards to all,

Leo





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