Thursday, 6 February 2014

Location lighting - Rooms - single light diffuse

This is a suggestion for a test shoot you should explore and try out in situ.

The scenario - You want to shoot someone in their house, it could be a bedroom or similar? Beforehand you should record how you might go about it and what approach you're going to use and identify how the images might be used and therefore identify the quality aspects of the images and how you might attain those qualities. You might want to consider the lighting and the implications of the mood that might inherent in the space and the impact this has on the image? Perhaps look at the link above or look at other approaches via the photographers in this link here and consider what it is they're trying to achieve with their lighting and whether it matches your intentions?

Or you could simply following the instructions here and just try this out as a test shoot?

This approach uses and exceptionally simple 'Flat' light with very little contrast, the results should be virtually shadowless and diffuse with a very even light effect. My wife learned this or a very similar approach when assisting Bill Morton in the 1990's.

The version I'm using here would suit a medium sized room, but could be readily adapted in a variety of ways. The basic principles employ the use of inverse square law to spread the light as much as possible in order to gain a high degree of control over the light.

The subject and the key features in the image need to be pretty much on the same plane of focus, to make this easy. The subject in the diagram is placed on one side of the room with the objects around them potentially being integral to the image as in a bedroom scenario. The light which is singular needs to be relatively powerful and is fitted with a dish or a small soft box ensuring that the light is directed towards the corner of the room (Ceiling and wall corner).

The light needs to be as far away as practicable from the ceiling/wall corner to facilitate the inverse square law benefits. The further away the light is from the corner, the bigger the reflected light source becomes and the more even the light quality. Needless to say this is modifiable and can be increased/decreased in order to affect the qualities of the shadow.

Floor plan to follow....

* Once you've got this far and tried the technique out, you can look to make it far more subtle and perhaps look at using the same system and approach but look to use the flash as a secondary source. The ambient light in the room in this scenario could be used as the primary light source, with this set-up used as a fill-in. You would probably need to somehow massively reduce the light output or use a good flash-gun instead. This way the mood of the room as seen with the eye would be recorded if worked on carefully.