December 21, 2013

Turning a Single Light into Multiple Sources: An Advanced Lighting Tutorial from 'The Slanted Lens'

Lighting 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:

What's most incredible about these techniques is just how amazingly versatile they can be, and how many unique and compelling lighting scenarios can be created from the single source. What's even better than the versatility of these setups is just how cost-efficiently they can be achieved. With a single affordable light source, such as those from companies like Lowell (or even some of the Chinese brands), and a few items from your local hardware or craft supply store, you can begin creating looks like these, as well as experimenting to create brand new lighting schemes.

Even if you don't have a strong enough source of light to use these tricks in an interior setting, all of these modification techniques are equally as applicable to shooting outdoors with the sun as your primary source of light.

As we talked about in this post about exterior lighting, various modifiers can be harnessed in order to make the sun look like multiple sources of light. Through mastering these light modification techniques, in both interior and exterior shooting situations, your lighting will very quickly be taken to the next level.

What do you guys think? Have you ever needed (or wanted) to use a single light to create the illusion of multiple sources? What are some of your tips and tricks for how to use a single source as effectively as possible? Let us know in the comments!

Link: The Slanted Lens channel -- YouTube

Your Comment

24 Comments

Amazing tutorial. Really neat.

December 21, 2013 at 5:09PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Yusuf

I use a single light all the time. Being from the uk many terraced houses just don't have the room for multiple lighting set ups.

December 21, 2013 at 5:34PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Rob

I need to get a meer.

December 21, 2013 at 5:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I can't help but point out that he said, and I quote "rim her from behind" and also "rim her on that right side, that gives us a double rim" can't believe nobody else has commented on that, good tutorial though.

December 21, 2013 at 6:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Filthy Punt

Can we assume she was dp'd by him

December 21, 2013 at 8:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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thadon calico

Rofl.

December 22, 2013 at 5:34AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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lol

December 22, 2013 at 6:21AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I really shouldn't, but no he got his monopod out.

December 22, 2013 at 8:35AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Saied

I hope they didn't shoot this on a BM camera.

December 22, 2013 at 2:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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if you want a career filled with innuendos cinematography is a goldmine

December 27, 2013 at 8:56AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Snail

Gimme a blonde and two red heads.

December 31, 2013 at 7:29PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Daniel Mimura

you forgot to add Film-Riot's single light video ;D.. just saying :)

December 21, 2013 at 8:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Impaczus

Loved it, but what you save in lighting you'll spend double on c-stands

December 22, 2013 at 6:27AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Anthony Marino

My thoughts exactly

December 22, 2013 at 6:50AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Rbert fandango

Great information .... But would be a much better video tutorial if the voice over was slowed waaaaaaaaaaaay dooooowwwn. Delivery was so rapid fire I could barely keep up.

December 22, 2013 at 9:27AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Linda Mac

Yeah, I definitely had to watch it twice to catch everything that he was talking about.

December 22, 2013 at 3:31PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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avatar
Rob Hardy
Founder of Filmmaker Freedom
4496

astonishing - thanks

December 24, 2013 at 2:55AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Lighting is a pretty fascinating topic -- in commercial lighting, we have to consider the placement of all the lights and how they will collectively light a workplace at desk level. This is based on the lights themselves, their height, reflective surfaces, etc. And that's for general lighting, rather than the specialized lighting needed in film. I've always thought that crafted lighting for photography was a special talent when done well.

December 27, 2013 at 9:48AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Thanks,
I sent the link on to the folks at The Newmarket Camera Club in Newmarket Ontario - Canada.

Happy New Year

Brian

December 30, 2013 at 9:00AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I light this way whenever I can get away with it. One of the biggest advantages of using your key to bounce the fill is that it instantly keeps your ratios good...reflective surfaces like the dappled silver or gold bounce can mess with it if the bounce is too close, but basically it's as easy to get good key-to-fill ratios as it is with dimmers.

December 31, 2013 at 7:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Daniel Mimura

Awesome tutorial! Thanks!

January 4, 2014 at 12:05AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I also noticed at one point she got double rimmed.

March 31, 2014 at 9:22AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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JPS

hahahaha

August 11, 2014 at 5:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Adamsonline

exactly my thoughts

August 11, 2014 at 5:29PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Adamsonline