In today’s TSL video lighting tutorial, we will be shooting a simple continuous 2 light setup. With the option to increase the ISO on this new generation of cameras, it has made the use of continuous lighting more possible for still images. Using continuous light sources, you can create great images that have a cinematic look. We are pulling still frames from the new Canon 1DC that Lens Pro to Go delivered to us. In this case the motion blur will be fine because our subject is relatively static and we want motion in her scarf. We will use a smoke machine to add depth to the image.
In today’s slanted lens lesson we’ll be shooting a simple two light set up using continuous lights. We’re pulling still frames from the new Canon 1-DC that Lens Pro To Go delivered to us. In this case the motion blur is going to be fine because our subject is relatively static; we want the motion in her scarf. I think this combination is going to work.
Let’s look at a two light set up using continuous light. We’re shooting Tiffany Taylor and have dressed her in a vintage World War One outfit. The shirt and the pants were worn by the father of a good friend of mine. They are authentic, the leather flying skull hat was rented from Warner Brothers.
We put Tiffany on an apple box, so I’m looking up at her slightly, so, it makes her look very heroic. We will start with a duvetyn or dark background. We just want something that is dark and clean from side to side. I own a duvetyn so it’s just easy for me to put this up. But, any solid wall with no light on it or even just a dark background works. I’m shooting on the Canon 1DC with a Tamron 70 – 200 meter lens. We are exposing at 1/50 of a second at 5.6. This will accommodate both video and stills. Because I’m shooting with continuous lights, I’m going to move my ISO to 640 to give me the F-stop I want.
This one option is the reason photographers are now starting to shoot with continuous slight more and more than ever before. I would have never have considered pushing the ISO to 640 before I got to 5-D-Mark 2. With a Mark 3 this door is wide open for continuous light. Think about it this way, at 640 ISO I’m going to use a 2K or 2000 watts of power for my rim light. For the key light I’ll use 600 watt seconds in a beauty dish. This is not that many lights and equipment that I have. If I have to lower my ISO to 320 I’m going to need twice as much power or two 2K’s and two 600 watt lights. If I lower my ISO to 160, then I’m going to need four 2K’s and four 600 watt lights for my iso. Adjusting the ISO cuts the cost of production drastically and makes it so a single person can do a shoot. I’ve shot with 10K lights before on set and they are monsters. A 2K is very manageable by one person.
Now let’s get back to our lighting set. Our first light is Tungsten airy 2K. We’re going to place that on the camera right side of the frame way in the back and use it as rim light. We’ll place a blue gel on the 2K light, which will give us a nice background color, which gives us depth and interest. Here’s our first exposure with just our rim light. The 1/50 of a second gives us a nice blur on the scar. This is going to make great video and stills.
Next we have the Dynalite, HM2065 head. It’s a 600 watt second light source. I could put my beauty dish with a grid on this light source so that the light would be directional and have really nice quality. This is a continuous tungsten light source, with a strobe head as well. I’m going to put 1/2 son or CTO on the beauty dish to warm it up just a little bit.
You can see that the beauty dish with the grid is lighting her face and not her full body. I filtered this out so there would be a quick fall off on the front of her body. I’m using the bottom of the circle of coverage so it almost looks like it’s vignetted on her body. This is also going to spill on to the scarf.
Now for our last light, we’ll add a 1 K pointed against the wall to act as a fill light. I do this at times for several reasons: (1) This gives you a very soft overall feel in the room and (2) It gives us enough light to film our behind the scenes video for our lessons.
Here is our final lighting with the exception of our secret ingredient. Smoke is our secret ingredient, smoke from our Rosco 1700. The rim light is going to catch that smoke and bring the image alive. This is the final ingredient or spice as it were to make the image have a little zest, a little jalapeno in the world of bland, a bit of salt to tempt the taste buds. OK, enough of the food analogies, but it does work, it works so well with our lighting it’s kind of like shrimp on the barbi, or lobster with butter, it’s like hummus and pita bread, or steak and eggs. Oh, who eats steak and eggs anyway? More like steak and potatoes.
This is a montage of the best image pulls from the Canon 1-D-C. After all that work to get that blue background I took it into Niksoftware and used a filter called black gold. When I output it I erased the color a little bit out of her face, then I dubbed the whole layer down 20%. I really like the look.
As a follow up to our last lesson on shutter speeds and video, let’s take a look at this set up with different shutter speeds. First we’re going to do a 1/50 of a second at 5.6. This is 1/100 of a second at 5.6. The speed of the scarf varies so much it’s kind of hard to make any kind of comparison between the stills. But, the video is starting to become a little choppy. Now we’re going to go to 1/200 of a second. The video is definitely choppier and the stills are more in focus; the 1/50 of a second works for both the video and the stills because we want a blurry scarf, and she’s not moving very much.
One last note on the Canon 1 DC ; as much as I love this camera, and the storage was a bit crazy, we shot several hundred gigs for a single shoot; that said, the footage looks fabulous. Unfortunately we’ve got to send the 1DC back to Lens Pro To Go. I’m going to be saving my pennies.
Using continuous light is becoming more and more intuitive for photographers as we get lights like the Dynalite head that use the light modifiers that we’re used to. Still shooters had soft boxes long before the video or film shooters figured it out. Continuous light has its drawbacks when shooting stills, but, has come a long way. I hope you found this helpful. Keep those cameras rolling and keep on click’n.
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