Today on the Slanted Lens we are shooting in a studio in downtown Los Angeles. We have beautiful Cynthia Chavez on our set and we will be exploring advanced lighting setups. Combining a single Dynalite strobe head with a Photoflex silver P22 reflector and a $15.00 dollar mirror from Home Depot we can make a single strobe head look like several heads on set. This is a look at advanced lighting with a single head. I hope you will find this advanced look at a single light setup helpful. It's important to remember that hard light from mirrors and silver reflectors becomes almost as powerful as the main light source and can create multiple light sources on set. A 15 dollar mirror from Home depot is a great investment. You can modify them much like a regular light with flags and scrims and even diffusion.
1. Here is our first shot . This is a single head with a medium soft box. The head is pointed straight at the talent. This will be our starting point.
2. We turned our box slightly away from the background to create a dark background. We will add a silver reflector from camera right to open up the BG and help her separate from the BG.
3. Here is our image with the silver reflector. This is a very open look but our background stays dark. A silver reflector needs very little light to be useful. You can cover some of the reflector with cloth or paper to reduce the reflection or to make the reflection small. As we turn the lightbox away from the talent it reduces the light on her face and increases the light on the reflector. If I now open up a half stop I will open up the shadows or reduce the light ratio. The shadows become brighter which reduces the light ratio.
4. One of my favorite tools on set is a mirror. It's not a super lighting mirror, it's just a 15 dollar mirror from Home Depot. It needs even less light than a silver reflector and it can create a very distinct light pattern. Here we have a soft box on her face and a mirror reflecting a shape from the box onto the background. We can cut paper to change this shape to whatever we would like.
5. We now add a silver reflector and we have an interesting portrait. We see the shape on the background and the open shadow area on her face. This is acting like 2 lights and a fill. It's important to meter the shadow side of the face and decide how close we want to have the fill light. Having the fill light one stop darker than the key side of the face is a nice open look. I sometimes prefer to have the shadow side of the face 2 stops darker to add mood.
We will now move the soft box behind the talent to create a rim light. This rims her body nicely. We have moved the soft box from the key light position to a rim light position.
We will now move the mirror into place as our key light. The mirror reflects the rim light back into her face and creates a 2 light portrait.
If we now tilt the mirror up it creates more mood in the image. This becomes a variation on a 2 light setup. From here we are going to build a 4 light setup. We have our rim and a key that is tilted up off the body.
6. We will now add a mirror on the camera right side to rim her arm and we have created a 3 light setup. This rim separates her arm form the background and opens up her left shoulder.
If I now tilt the soft box up it will cut the unwanted light on her white dress.This keeps the emphasis on her face and not the white dress.
We will now add our silver reflector on the background. This becomes a 4 light setup when we add the silver reflector on the background.
7. We will now move our box overhead from behind as a double rim or overhead backlight. This rims all of her hair and shoulders and does not favor one side.
We now add the mirror as the key. This becomes a simple two light setup.
8. We won't take the time to add the rim from camera right on her arm or the silver reflector on the background but this could easily be done if you wanted to for your subject.
9. Let's move on to another single light setup. We will move our soft box above the camera directed at the talent creating a butterfly light on her face. Here is the first image. It's very bright and could be a single light but we are looking to do something a bit different.
10. We will now cover the light with a piece of foam core. This allows the light to bounce around the foam core and create an open fill light but a darker background. This shows the effect of the foam core.
11. Now on the camera left side we will add a silver reflector to rim her from behind. We are reflecting the light that is escaping around the foam core and reflecting it back into her face.
12. We will now add a silver reflector from the camera right side to rim her. This gives us a double rim that leaves a dark area on her face.
13. We will now open up a small area that we have cut in the foam core and allow a touch of light to alluminate her face. This foam core helped us to create an overall fill on the set and with a small opening became our final key accent on her face. This is our final image. This is a great multiple light setup using only one light. Keep those cameras rolling and keep on clickn'.
Thanks to our sponsors.