» Posts Tagged ‘light’

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Scorpion LightAt this point, there should be little doubt that LED’s are going to play a crucial role in the future of film and video production, especially considering their benefits over traditional lighting technologies. It should also come as no surprise that we now have the ability to light with smaller fixtures as our cameras become more and more sensitive. It follows that small LED fixtures will be an essential tool for discerning cinematographers as time rolls on. A new company called Blind Spot Gear is taking this concept to a whole new level with the Scorpion Light, a tiny, high-intensity/high-CRI LED that can be easily modified and mounted anywhere (and I mean anywhere). Read on to see what all of the fuss is about. More »

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Lighting For CloseupsThere are few educational resources for cinematographers that are as rock-solid as the various publications, blogs, and podcasts from the American Society of Cinematographers. Last time we checked in with the ASC, we heard a podcast interview with Phedon Papamichael about his work shooting Alexander Payne’s delightful black and white road film, Nebraska. This time, accomplished Danish cinematographer Eric Kress DFF, (who shot the fantastic Swedish version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) walks us through his approach to shooting matched closeups in this excellent workshop from Gokinema & thefilmbook. More »

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FlagsLighting is complicated, to say the very least. While there a numerous things that make lighting difficult, one of the most overwhelming aspects of lighting is just how many different tools there are. Without a practical knowledge of the various tools at your disposal and how to use them to sculpt light, your lighting can never reach its full potential. However, breaking the process down into small pieces and learning one tool at a time can make it far more manageable. Today, we’ll look at one of the most underrated and under-utilized lighting tools, the flag. More »

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Lighting on location is almost always a challenge for one reason or another. Sometimes it’s difficult or impossible to rig lights in the places you really need them. Other times, power management and distribution prove to be problematic. More often than not, however, the most irritating part of lighting on location is that there just isn’t enough space to light with traditional studio methods, which forces you to improvise. I ran into such a situation recently when shooting a screen test for an up-and-coming Denver actress named Emma Moody. With 15 square feet of space, two high-powered LED’s, a little bit of natural light, and a MacGuyver-esque mindset, we managed to get it done. Here’s how. More »

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Single Light With ModifiersLighting is hard. Lighting with limited resources is even harder. Therefore, using a single light to create multiple sources in order to light a subject and the background in one fell swoop should be impossible, right? Wrong. Through a combination of careful light placement and using various types of bounces, mirrors, and other light modifiers, you can create some absolutely stunning results with just a few tools and on a shoestring budget. Here are the fine folks at The Slanted Lens to show you how: More »

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Strahlen Product Shots R3-020

These days, we seem to be at the beginning of an LED lighting revolution, and the future of the technology is certainly bright (dah-dun-chhh). However, the LED lighting solutions that are currently available on the market are either cheaply built, really difficult to modify, or they’re just insanely expensive. Last year, Andy Waplinger, a freelance filmmaker out of San Diego, set out to create the perfect LED light for low-budget and professional filmmakers alike. He created Strahlen, and the company’s first product, the ST-100, a ruggedly simplistic, yet incredibly powerful LED light is now available. I recently talked with Andy about the creation of these lights. Read on to see what Strahlen’s all about. More »

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ArriLighting, whether we like it or not, is a highly technical craft. Even though it isn’t necessary to know the amount of footcandles or lux that a light gives off at a certain distance, or how a light’s CRI will affect the final image, in order to light a shot effectively, you can bet that the most discerning cinematographers and their gaffers are absolutely thinking about those technical characteristics when they light. Even though that type of information can be intimidating for beginning (and even intermediate) filmmakers, Arri’s new Photometrics app puts all of it right at your fingertips: More »

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Dean Semler LightingOver the past few weeks, we’ve talked about lighting a few different times. First we shared a perspective on lighting Hollywood films from renowned gaffer, John Higgins. Then we wrote up a post about methods for improving your daytime exterior lighting. All of these posts have some helpful information, but lighting is such an expansive craft that it takes constant study and practical application to improve your skills. Today’s post: a masterclass in creating artificial firelight from the Oscar-winning DP of Dances With Wolves, Dean Semler. More »

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Stillmotion Lighting OutsideIt’s one of the clear-cut signs of amateur filmmaking: daytime exteriors that look terrible. This usually manifests itself in the form of harsh, blown out areas on the face of your talent, or as overly flat images in which there’s no separation of foreground from background. Avoiding these exterior lighting maladies doesn’t require an immaculate understanding of light, however. It just takes a basic understanding of a few simple concepts that are easy to put into practice. Read on to find out what these concepts are and how to start incorporating them into your work. More »

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kino flo fluorescent soft light lighting Frieder Hochheim Shane Hurlbut ASC hurlblog visuals interview documentary filmmakingThere are several exciting new lighting revolutions in development these days, namely LED and plasma fixtures. The first such high-output/low-footprint alternative lighting technology — all but perfected for the performance needed in high-end film production — came about twenty-five years ago, with the advent of Kino Flo Lighting Systems. Kino Flo isn’t the only manufacturer pushing alternative lighting solutions with filmmaking in mind, but its name is still nearly synonymous with the technology it helped revolutionize. Check out an excellent interview below from Shane Hurlbut, ASC, with Kino Flo founder and president Frieder Hochheim to hear about how it all began and about how the company plans on lending its namesake to some of those new revolutions in lighting, too. More »