These Tests Show You What Faces Look Like with Different Lights and Lenses

What does a subject look like when it's lit by a Keno Flo, Ice Light, or Par Can—or a 24mm, 50mm, or 135mm—or with different colored gels?

Knowing how different lights and lenses affect a subject takes a lot of time and experience using different camera and lighting equipment. However, if you watch this video from Film Riot, you can at least get a pretty good idea of it. Ryan Connolly tests a bunch of different kinds of lighting units, as well gels, diffusion, lenses, and light angles to see how they change the look of a subject's face. Check it out below!

Connolly and the Film Riot crew put a ton of different units and products to the test. For lights, they used an Aputure Light Dome, 4Bank Keno Flo, Can Light, Par Can, Ikan Rayden, Westcott Ice Light 2, and an Aputure C120. They range in price from the cheap (Light Dome and can lights) to the reasonably priced (Ikan Rayden, Westcott Ice Light 2) to the expensive ( Aputure C120 and 4Bank Keno Flo). They also show how gels that have similar color temperatures look on a subject, comparing CTO and CTS, as well as Steel Blue and CTB. When it comes to diffusion, they run the gamut, from professional materials, like photo muslin, to stuff you can find in your bathroom, like a shower curtain.

The light angle test is pretty interesting. It actually has the same idea as Nacho Guzman's music video for Opale's single "Sparkle and Wine", which we've actually featured here before. It's an amazing demonstration of just how powerful the angle of light actually is.

What's nice about Film Riot's video is that it answers a bunch of common questions that new filmmakers ask all at once: What kind of lights should I use? Should I use gels? What do different light modifiers do? Which lens is right for a certain moment or look? Does it matter where I place my light? It's certainly a great place to start if you don't have a ton of equipment to work with.     

Your Comment


Please at least act like you are in the film business and learn to spell Kino Flo properly before writing articles to this community.

September 30, 2016 at 9:56PM

Craig Kabrhel
VP, Director of Multimedia

Giving credit where credit is due, Nacho Guzman plagiarized Clouzot 1964 work:

September 30, 2016 at 11:56PM, Edited September 30, 11:56PM


total think no one would figure out where it was stolen from.

October 2, 2016 at 11:13PM

Steve Oakley
DP • Audio Mixer • Colorist • VFX Artist

Updated Clouzot's tech here:

October 4, 2016 at 12:17PM

Jon Wolding