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Thread: Slimbob's first lighting test in home made studio with budget lighting kit

  1. #1

    Smile Slimbob's first lighting test in home made studio with budget lighting kit

    Hi everyone

    First of all please excuse my voice in the video (getting over a head cold) so talking through my nose.

    This is my very first test shoot in my new budget black duvet studio and using my budget lighting kit!

    Fire extinguisher and fire blanket are close at hand and I have tested heat issue before shooting outside (ie) wonít catch fire short exposure (cinefoil) & thick mount board but heat does warp it after a while.
    (Rembrandt Rob was right (i.e.) use wood not cardboard!!!)
    Lights on max 10 minutes no longer with lots of breaks to cool down. Light kit is not moved till completely cool.

    I have reset manual WB on every shot and manually focused on myself using my homemade cardboard zoom /focus board type thing.

    Havenít experimented with manual (iris or shutter speed) yet but will soon.

    Have to walk before I can run.

    I am already acting on Rembrandt Robís great advice about using plywood rather than cardboard and also a smaller backlight (Par16) but until this gets sorted I needed to test out my stuff (cardboard)!

    Here are my own conclusions so far from the shoot.

    My stuff is meant to be fun and entertaining (comedy/stories) so the lighting has to reinforce that .The first few shots with less light are very moody and can be used now and again but not for the majority of the time.

    The more powerful lighting I personally think brings out the makeup best.

    Not sure now if 3 point lighting using different power light in key and fill are appropriate??? Maybe even lighting on left and right and a backlight works best as I move a lot the equal lighting seems to keep me well lit all the time with less shadows.

    The backlight is so important as is moving away from background !!!!!! (Thanks Tim)

    When I use 550w in key or on both sides after a while it does start to distort my cardboard kit and to me seems too bright to work under (eyes).

    I think using 275w max and experimenting with the iris could be good and I could also add more diffusion on the other side to still keep with the 3 point lighting look if you guys think that is best compared to even lighting ???. Or I could have no diffusion on key (275w) and use diffusion on fill (275w) to again create 3-point lighting look????.

    I will experiment.

    I personally think the 6500k incandescent craft/daylight bulbs show off the deep blue velvet curtain best compared to 2700k bulbs and less light on the curtain seem best just like Midnight Blue advised

    I am 4 feet from background and my flag sheets are working very well (ie) no light on background curtain!!!!

    Might experiment with twisting my body slightly next test compared to being square on all the time ?

    Still a lot to experiment with but this is the fun for me Ö learning about light and how to use my NVGS400 camera so I can do it justice.

    If you have the time to watch my 6 min video then I canít thank you enough.

    If you could advise on what you like best or if my shots are overexposed etc or basically any advice is massively appreciated.

    Everything is taken on board and copied and pasted for future reference.

    I am looking forward to eventually posting a short before and after comparison video.

    Thanks everyone.



    Last edited by slimbob; 03-16-2012 at 04:13 PM.

  2. #2
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    First YouTube video I've sat though in ages. Have no idea why! You have a great way of communicating.

  3. #3

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    Bloody hell thanks Marc !!!

    Any advice about my footage ??? .......still loads to learn

    Do you agree with my choice up to now as best overall look ......any feedback is much appreciated.

    Haven't experimented yet with manual iris or shutter speed ....uncharted ground for me .

    Thanks again for having the time to watch my first lighting test video made with (WMM 2.1) on my 20th century P.C !!!


  4. #4

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    Firstly a really nice bit of test footage. This shows you are getting a real understanding of what you are doing. It also shows you are not confident in your self about when I think you should be. I would tend to agree with you on the choice of which looked the best but there are a couple of things which need to be tweaked.

    The back light could do to be more central so the light wraps around both shoulders equally and also to my taste a little higher might be better. This may be a problem for you to do as:
    1. The stand will be in the shot unless you can hide it behind the curtain or the right shaped stand so it's not in shot.
    2. You are doing this on your own so you will have to keep moving backward and forward between the camera and the chair as you adjust the position of the light to look right.

    I think for some situations, for example interviews, it would be a bit strong but I think it looks right for what you will be doing.

    It's interesting how the 6500k really brings the blue out of the curtain which looks good.

    The final thing I have to say is that the shirt is burning out a bit with our lighting choice, this can be easily solved if you adjust the exposure on the camera a little, which I think will bring everything into perfect exposure. To do this try setting the frame rate at 50fps, just doing that might knock it down enough. If not you will have to close down the iris a little (just a little) I don't know what indication it has on your camera for iris setting but it is usually an F then a number. Make the number a little higher which means you are closing down the iris. So for example if the original setting is F4 change it to F5 and see what that looks like.

    The final, final thing which is just a personal taste thing is try putting a double layer of filter paper on the fill light side just to knock down the evenness a little or try moving the fill light a little further back.

    Great job bob.

    I'm sure Rob will have some expert things to say if he's around.

  5. #5

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    Firstly a really nice bit of test footage. This shows you are getting a real understanding of what you are doing. It also shows you are not confident in your self about when I think you should be. I would tend to agree with you on the choice of which looked the best but there are a couple of things which need to be tweaked.

    Thanks MB !!!! Appreciate that


    The back light could do to be more central so the light wraps around both shoulders equally and also to my taste a little higher might be better. This may be a problem for you to do as:
    1. The stand will be in the shot unless you can hide it behind the curtain or the right shaped stand so it's not in shot.
    2. You are doing this on your own so you will have to keep moving backward and forward between the camera and the chair as you adjust the position of the light to look right.

    I think for some situations, for example interviews, it would be a bit strong but I think it looks right for what you will be doing.

    Great !!!
    My light can’t go any higher (damn!!!) ceiling in the way
    I could try to centralise it ......I have a boom arm which came with one of the light stands and I will experiment …Iagree with you by the way.

    Also two other options which might be easier if you think they are valid.

    1 – Have a 2nd backlight on opposite side (symmetrically lighting both shoulders equally)??? or too much ?????

    2 . Up light by self with central light on floor pointing up lighting back of me – wont be in shot or glare lens however not sure if this is the done thing with your advice about going higher???

    I will do what you suggest just need a back up plan in case boom arm doesn't work

    It's interesting how the 6500k really brings the blue out of the curtain which looks good.

    Yes I agree. I thought you would like the blue curtain Midnight Blue hence your name …isn’t it fab !!!! 900g per square metre theatre velvet fabric… I am so pleased with it thanks for recommending the blue and showing me what it would look like in your great video way back!!

    The final thing I have to say is that the shirt is burning out a bit with our lighting choice, this can be easily solved if you adjust the exposure on the camera a little, which I think will bring everything into perfect exposure. To do this try setting the frame rate at 50fps,

    Is (50fps)shutter speed MB ??? please advise
    The shutter speed was set at 1/50 ??? is that what you mean ????
    My camera automatically sets at 1/50

    just doing that might knock it down enough. If not you will have to close down the iris a little (just a little) I don't know what indication it has on your camera for iris setting but it is usually an F then a number. Make the number a little higher which means you are closing down the iris. So for example if the original setting is F4 change it to F5 and see what that looks like.

    Yes (F) is used (F16 TO FI.7) F16 IS CLOSED I will close iris down slightly like you suggest MB and experiment.

    The final, final thing which is just a personal taste thing is try putting a double layer of filter paper on the fill light side just to knock down the evenness a little or try moving the fill light a little further back.

    Consider it done !!!!
    I can’t move lights unfortunately so adding more diffusion on fill will work perfectly !
    Plus limited on power (ie) can only find 275w photoflood bulbs at 3400k or 500w at 3200k but clamp lights won' take 500w bulbs so I am left with 275 w photoflood choice.

    Great job bob.

    Thanks MB I really appreciate that .......and all you advice as you know is taken on board and will be acted on .
    I will post my next video with all the tweaks for you to see.

    I'm sure Rob will have some expert things to say if he's around.

    I am sure he will if he is around..... Rob has helped me so much as well ....along with you,Tim and everyone else.. I am a very lucky guy …

    Thanks everyone.


  6. #6

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    I don't think the two back light solution would be a good idea, it would be to bright, just getting one light as central as possible should be just fine.

    The 1/50 is the right shutter speed ie 50 fps, the usual guide line is the shutter speed is set at twice the frame rate (25fps) PAL, for normal speed shooting but this is not cast in stone. I often shoot faster shutter speeds just to get things looking right, it enables you to keep the iris open to help get a more shallow depth of field but keeps the exposure down but I don't want to overwhelm you with information overload.

    You might want to experiment on using different materials as double diffusion on what you already have might be to much, I just don't know without seeing it, this is were a dimmer would come in handy just to make the fill a little less brighter than the key light. Remember this is only my personal taste and is not a hard and fast rule. The fill light is there to reduce the amount of shadow caused by the key light and I'm sure different people have different opinions on how much fill to use.

    This is an interesting point, as you have got a good handle on the basics, the over all look is up to you really. It's what you want it to look like which is important, After all this is a Slimbob production not an MB production.

  7. #7

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    I don't think the two back light solution would be a good idea, it would be to bright, just getting one light as central as possible should be just fine.

    Got you !!!! I will experiment.

    The 1/50 is the right shutter speed ie 50 fps, the usual guide line is the shutter speed is set at twice the frame rate (25fps) PAL, for normal speed shooting but this is not cast in stone. I often shoot faster shutter speeds just to get things looking right, it enables you to keep the iris open to help get a more shallow depth of field but keeps the exposure down but I don't want to overwhelm you with information overload.

    Good to know my shutter speed was about right I will experiment with shutter speed.
    Some of my stuff is very dynamic so my thinking is s increased shutter speed 1/100 next jump on my camera might be better with very fast movement. The fun is in experimenting in my studio!!!

    You might want to experiment on using different materials as double diffusion on what you already have might be to much, I just don't know without seeing it, this is were a dimmer would come in handy just to make the fill a little less brighter than the key light.

    Are dimmers expensive?? Would it alter the colour temperature or is that not an issue … a dimmer sounds a great thing to invest in MB as it will give me so much control of my light !!!

    Remember this is only my personal taste and is not a hard and fast rule. The fill light is there to reduce the amount of shadow caused by the key light and I'm sure different people have different opinions on how much fill to use.

    Got you MB appreciate it is personal thing (ie) no right or wrong.

    This is an interesting point, as you have got a good handle on the basics, the over all look is up to you really. It's what you want it to look like which is important, After all this is a Slimbob production not an MB production.

    I know I have to take responsibility for my own work but experienced guys input like yours is worth its weight in gold to me.

    But I know you are right about overall look being up to me.

    Thanks as always Midnight Blue


  8. #8

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    It's looking really good, and great to see some testing going on.

    Can I do my best to try and convince you to use the 550 key and the 275 fill, it adds shape, depth and texture to your face. I'd even be tempted to dim the fill just a tiny little touch (if you had that option) but not as much as I would if you never had any makeup on, the contrast would fight with the makeup, but I think it's low enough to be there giving your face the shape back that the makeup takes away without fighting with it.

    I also agree with Midnight on getting that backlight onto both shoulders, but I wouldn't raise it. I quite like the height it's at.

    I'd even be tempted to cut the background lights completely, but I'd maybe try to get them more side on, just to keep the curtain in darkness with the highlights on the closest parts of the folds. It might look good.

    David.
    Last edited by david walsh; 03-16-2012 at 11:04 PM.

  9. #9

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    Can I do my best to try and convince you to use the 550 key and the 275 fill, it adds shape, depth and texture to your face
    I understand why you say that David BUT I think going for the equal 275 with extra filtering on the fill is a better idea for a few reasons.

    1. The white shirt is burning out too much with the 550 key
    2. The talent mentioned a couple of times how uncomfortable it was both with the brightness and the heat which could affect his performance.
    3. If the light is lower he can keep the iris that bit more open to help knock the back ground out of focus.

  10. #10

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    It's looking really good, and great to see some testing going on.

    Thanks David for the complement and dropping by my thread

    Can I do my best to try and convince you to use the 550 key and the 275 fill, it adds shape, depth and texture to your face. I'd even be tempted to dim the fill just a tiny little touch (if you had that option) but not as much as I would if you never had any makeup on, the contrast would fight with the makeup, but I think it's low enough to be there giving your face the shape back that the makeup takes away without fighting with it.

    All feedback is seriously taken onboard and very much appreciated.
    The thing I know is the 275 / 275 or 550/275 are the best options (personal opinion)compared to all other variations in video (ie) one side lighting or using a reflector .

    I also agree with Midnight on getting that backlight onto both shoulders, but I wouldn't raise it. I quite like the height it's at.

    The backlight can’t go any higher only lower due to studio limitations I am pretty stuck with that unfortunately David.
    Yes getting both shoulders lit is something I will definately do .

    I'd even be tempted to cut the background lights completely, but I'd maybe try to get them more side on, just to keep the curtain in darkness with the highlights on the closest parts of the folds. It might look good.

    Yes I too like the dark look but also love my deep blue curtain I know the 120w (2 - 60w) 6500k daylight incandescent bubs is the max I would go with and one 60w also looks a good possibility.
    I will definately experiment with your suggestion of placing lights to the sides.....Thanks for that suggestion.

    The fun is in experimenting!!!!

    Thanks a million David


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