For today’s The Slanted Lens lesson, we are shooting a commercial with Joel Ackerman of Ackermania Creative. They create viral-style commercials that are highly entertaining but still focus on selling the product. We will be using double reflectors to light a cave as we shoot out at the old LA Zoo in Los Angeles. We are shooting our talent in a mummy infested cave with a dirty toilet. We must use reflectors since the openings to the cave are all in the shade. The light must be bounced around a corner to get our talent. We’ll take a look at the technique we used to accomplish this.
#1 We bounced ambient light into the cave windows with a 12×12 silk. Here is our first image with just the ambient light.
#2 Next, we added a NorthStar Lite to balance as a fill light. It isn't strong enough to compete with the ambient light, or we would use it as a key light. We bounced it into a 6×6 reflector leaning against the cave wall to the right of the camera. Here is the image with the fill.
#3 Here is the setup of the NorthStar Lite.
#4 We added a 39×72 inch LitePanel in the first opening to bounce extra light onto the back wall. By moving this reflector panel around, it creates the illusion of light reflecting off a pool of water.
#5 Here is the setup of the LitePanel with the silk behind it.
#6 For our key light, we will use a double bounce technique. We set the first reflector out in the sun. That will be reflected to a second reflector standing in the shade, which will be aimed around the corner onto our talent. Here is our lighting diagram.
#7 I set my camera's color balance to Tungsten to allow all the daylight coming in the cave to appear very blue. Here is a look with the final lighting set up.
#8 Here is another look with our final setup.
Doing a double bounce is not as difficult as it sounds. Any small reflector will work. I always start with a hard reflector that will bounce into a soft reflector. This will work with LitePanels or round reflectors or a combination thereof–a simple technique that is very effective.
Thanks for watching! Keep those cameras rollin’ and keep on clickin’.
-Jay P Morgan