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Dimming 3-Point Lighting?!?!

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Eric Cannon
Dimming 3-Point Lighting?!?!
on Jan 22, 2009 at 6:01:19 am

So, I've been shooting interview for AMEX at some conventions and today i put my backlight on a dimmer(a cheap extension cord one). I was able to have dimming control from behind the camera of the backlight, which really sped up my process and was amazing!
I started toying with the idea in my head that i would like to build(with home depot supplies) a dimmer switch that would have 3 plugs from it (for each light), attached to 3 dimmer switches. This would be amazing to have right at my hands to fine tune my lighting quickly and easily. The only trick is the 3 plugs need to have the potential to be hooked to 3 separate outlets, since you never know when you'll be running like a couple of Arri 1000s and dont want to overload anything.
Im posting this to ask for tips or advice on how to build it(if any has before) or if there is already a product on the market that i dont know about. So it'd basically be like a 3-channel lighting mixer(for all you audio-minded people).

Thanks

"None but ourselves can free our minds"


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Rick Wise
Re: Dimming 3-Point Lighting?!?!
on Jan 24, 2009 at 6:13:31 pm

Interesting idea. If you're not comfortable wiring up your 3-extension, 3 dimmer kit, you can probably find an electrician who is. I'm sure you're aware that when you dim a tungsten light, you decrease the Kelvin color temperature. The more you dim, the warmer (more orange) the light becomes.

In practice, I see no need to dim your key light. Only the back light, and the fill. If for fill you use a piece of foamcore on a c-stand kicking some of the key back into the face on the darker side, it's a quick fix to move the foamcore closer or farther away to adjust the intensity.

A common problem with the key is placement for one interviewee may be wrong for the next. If you go from shooting a round and flat face to an angular face with deeply set eyes, you will have to move the key to a somewhat more frontal position and lower its height. A dimmer will be of zero help here.

Everything takes a little time. And of course we try to make everything as quick as we can.

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


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Mark Suszko
Re: Dimming 3-Point Lighting?!?!
on Jan 30, 2009 at 2:43:38 pm

My dimmer is usually the square-cube law:-)


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Thompson Coles
Re: Dimming 3-Point Lighting?!?!
on Feb 2, 2009 at 2:23:53 am

Dimmers can be fantastic, but watch out. a cheap dimmer can become noisier than a room of florescent. The DIY dimmer shouldn't be a hard item to make, a basic how-to for home wiring should make things clear.



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