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stan welks
Lighting Arrangement Questions
on Jun 27, 2008 at 4:32:50 am

I want to film some podcasts of me providing instruction/information in my apartment. I will be standing against a wall with a table in front of me. I am including a link with something similar to what I would like to accomplish, though I will be against a flat wall. I have zero lighting knowledge and greatly appreciate any info/advice you are willing to provide.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/12872593@N06/2614454971/

1. How many lights are needed for this layout?
2. How far from the wall do I need to be to not cast shadows?
3. How far will the lights need to be from me?

Thanks for any help!!!!


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Rick Wise
Re: Lighting Arrangement Questions
on Jun 27, 2008 at 7:07:13 pm

I presume you will be the only person on the podcast, unlike your sample image. To answer you questions:
1. You can do 3-point lighting with 2 lights and a piece of foamcore or white board.
2. You want to be as far from the wall as possible so that you can control the light on the wall independently of the light on you. You may, or may not, need an additional light for the wall.
3. How far the lights are from you depends on their size and intensity.

Where to place your lights: Ideally, you would key -- your main light -- with a soft light around 3-4 feet from you. Place it 45º to either the right or left of you, and set high enough to be around 45º above horizontal. Place a 4x4 sheet of foamcore or white board on the opposite side and move it closer or farther to adjust the amount of fill light it provides. You would hang/sling a small second light behind and above you, high enough so that you light the back of your head and shoulders. You may need to flag it off so it doesn't shine into the lens. Use a friend standing/sitting in your place so you can see the results of your lighting. Experiment!

What lights to use: The choices are infinite. You might start with this link, which lists B& H choices of profession and semi-pro fluorescents from the cheapest to the most expensive. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=sort&A=search&Q=&sortDrop...

There are two types of lights/blulbs: daylight, and tungsten. If you have a lot of daylight in your room, be sure to get daylight bulbs.

Fluorescents are a relatively cheap and efficient way to go. LED lighting is coming in, but is still expensive. HMI/daylight lights will always be very expensive. Tungsten units are hot, and also somewhat expensive, and you can't use them in a daylight environment unless you gel them with some 1/2 blue -- always a possibility.

Your backlight needs be only 1/4 the intensity of your key. You can even do without the backlight, for starters.





Rick Wise
director of photography
Oakland, CA
http://www.RickWiseDP.com
email: Rick@RickWiseDP.com


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stan welks
Re: Lighting Arrangement Questions
on Jun 28, 2008 at 6:32:08 am

Thanks so much for taking your time to respond.

- I will mostly be the only person on the podcast, however, there may be times when I might have someone else on it as well.
- I have access to an Arri lighting kit (not sure of the model, it was around $3,500) that has at least four lights (not sure what types of bulbs)
- I have access to a soft box.
- The room I am shooting in does not have much daylight.

1. Does any of the info I provided make any difference with regards to your recommendations?

2. I'm trying to determine whether it is even feasible to do this in my apartment. Will being 3-4 ft from the wall be sufficient? Is there a minimum distance that I need to realistically be?

3. I do not have much daylight in the room. I am not sure what types of bulbs the Arri kit currently has. Will it make much difference since I do not have much daylight in the room?


Thanks again!



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Rick Wise
Re: Lighting Arrangement Questions
on Jun 28, 2008 at 6:46:20 pm

The Arri lighting kit you have probably has: one 300 W tungsten fresnel unit, two 650 watt tungsten fresnel units, and one open-faced 1,000 w tungsten unit, plus stands, barn doors, scrims, and possibly a chimera for the open-faced 1K.

If so, I'd use the 1K with a Chimera as a key. I'd rig the 300 as your back light, probably with a red (double) scrim in it. As before, a piece of foamcore or white board will serve for fill, bouncing the key toward your shadow side.

AS for daylight, is there is very, very little, then you can probably ignore it. However, if some of it is contaminating the wall behind you, you need to either block it off (black garbage bags work just fine) or else put 1/2 blue on all your tungsten units. Otherwise the wall will have a blue edge.

Rick Wise
director of photography
Oakland, CA
http://www.RickWiseDP.com
email: Rick@RickWiseDP.com


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stan welks
Re: Lighting Arrangement Questions
on Jun 30, 2008 at 10:58:42 pm

Thanks so much for all of your help!



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stan welks
Re: Lighting Arrangement Questions
on Jul 1, 2008 at 9:08:14 pm

Reading the details of your response again, I have a couple questions:

1. "Your backlight needs be only 1/4 the intensity of your key. You can even do without the backlight, for starters."

How do you measure whether it is only 1/4 the intensity of your key?

2."Place it 45º to either the right or left of you, and set high enough to be around 45º above horizontal."

I understand what you mean by 45º to either the right of left, though, what do you mean by "...set high enough to be around 45º above horizontal." How do you measure above horizontal?

Thanks!!!



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Rick Wise
Re: Lighting Arrangement Questions
on Jul 2, 2008 at 2:38:51 am

You can measure the intensity with a light meter. But don't sweat it -- just make it small, light, and LOOK at the results. Everyone's head is different. Does it look OK to you? Too hot? Too dark. Adjust accordingly.

45º above horizontal means just what it says: 45º above the height of your face. That's a very rough estimate. Remember, 90º would be straight up. So it's half way between level with your face and straight up. Obviously, were it straight up, it would be directly over your head. You can place your arm at the height of your face, and then lift it 1/2 the way to straight up. Project forward, and place your light there.

Rick Wise
director of photography
Oakland, CA
http://www.RickWiseDP.com
email: Rick@RickWiseDP.com


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stan welks
Re: Lighting Arrangement Questions
on Jul 2, 2008 at 8:18:10 pm

also, you mentioned:

"You would hang/sling a small second light behind and above you, high enough so that you light the back of
your head and shoulders. You may need to flag it off so it doesn't shine into the lens."

1. What do you mean by "hang/sling?"

Thanks again!










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Rick Wise
Re: Lighting Arrangement Questions
on Jul 2, 2008 at 11:30:31 pm

Whatever you can do to hang the light above and behind you. There are many, many methods. Be inventive.

Rick Wise
director of photography
Oakland, CA
http://www.RickWiseDP.com
email: Rick@RickWiseDP.com


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