5 Techniques That'll Help You Shape Light Like a Pro

A major part of being a master of light is knowing how to shape it. 

Light is an essential ingredient in filmmaking—in fact, aside from a recording device, it might even be the most important thing. However, light is rebellious. It likes to go everywhere and shine too brightly (or not brightly enough), which is why it's integral to learn how to shape it.

This tutorial from Film Riot shows you 5 techniques you can use to do just that.

Here are the 5 techniques mentioned by host Ryan Connolly:

  • Bouncing light
  • Flagging light
  • Skirting light
  • Blackwrap
  • Breaking up light

Shaping light is a skill that takes a lot of practice to master—hell, it takes a lot of practice to just not be that terrible. Every project poses its own unique set of lighting challenges that you have to overcome in a short amount of time. Something as simple as shooting outside or inside or set size can change everything about the way light needs to be wrangled, wrestled, diffused, and shaped.

However, learning the five techniques from the video will definitely give you some great options when it comes time to light your scenes and solve common issues. And luckily, a lot of the tools you'll need are either inexpensive or relatively simple to make yourself, like bounce cards, Blackwrap, china balls (paper lanterns), and hula hoops. (Never would've thought hula hoops would be a tool in my gear closet, but there you go.)     

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5 Comments

Film riot combines humor with tips and tricks within all facets of film production.
Highly recommend their channel on youtube.

July 3, 2016 at 7:56AM

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Abraham Marquez
Independent Filmmaker
184

I am a regular student there :)

July 4, 2016 at 3:10PM

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Sameir Ali
Director of Photography
1687

Lighting is the most difficult part in my work.
Thanks for the video.
Expecting more detailed videos soon. :)

July 4, 2016 at 3:10PM

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Sameir Ali
Director of Photography
1687

LOVE FILM RIOT

July 9, 2016 at 6:23AM

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Sannah Parker
Producer/Editor
256

Hate these clowns.

July 9, 2016 at 11:28AM

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zetty
Filmmaker
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