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continous light or cool flo

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Jorge Vazquez
continous light or cool flo
on Jun 19, 2009 at 2:41:41 am

Hi I want to buy a basic light kit. I normaly do interviews my question is wich is better? or does it work pretty much the same a continuos light kit as a cool florecent light kit?

Thanks for your help

Jorge V

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Rick Wise
Re: continous light or cool flo
on Jun 21, 2009 at 6:14:36 pm

By "continuous light" I guess you mean a tungsten kit with fresnel lights. You can make a fresnel light into a soft light by placing diffusion such as 1/2 or full grid out in front, or else by placing a chimera on the light. You can never make a flo light into a fresnel light. Fluorescents are soft light tubes and cannot be focused.

For interviews, so much depends on the style you like. My personal preference would be to have a soft key, a piece of 4x4 foamcore to bounce the key into the fill side to taste, and a second soft light for a back light. For my 3rd light I'd like a fresnel light to put a splash of "sunlight" on the chest of the subject, when it's appropriate. Then I'd like 2-3 more lights, at least one of which would be fresnel, to handle the background.

Bottom line: I could work with either a complete set of fluorescents such as Kino Flos, plus 2 650 or 1K fresnel units, or else all fresnel tungsten units with some diffusion as needed.

If expense were no issue, I'd have a complete daylight set of lights, including some 1200 HMIs fresnels, some kinos bulbed daylight, etc. and some jokers. Why? Because 90% of interviews seem to be in rooms with daylight and/or existing cool-white fluorescents. If all I could afford was tungsten, I'd be sure to have plenty of 1/2 CTB gels. I'd also have minus-green and plus green to balance to green spikes in existing lights. See my post about the blue-red axis and the magenta-green axis on the thread, "a little bit of green."

And if any of the above is too expensive, start with just a flexfill to bounce some existing light into the eyes. If you look carefully at the location, you can almost always find a way to shoot with existing light plus some bounce. If you look carefully, you can also usually find a better available-light location in or near the same place, though then you have to be able to persuade your interviewee to move to that location.

Rick Wise
director of photography
and part-time instructor lighting and camera
grad school, SF Academy of Art University/Film and Video
Oakland, CA

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