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How do you think this was lit?

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I saw this awesome video the other day by Garrett Shannon and I'm trying to figure out how he lit the interview/talking head portion. It's very clean and very soft, and I would like to figure out how to light something like that.




If anybody has any idea please share it here! BTW you can watch the video online here: https://vimeo.com/51228350





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For the shot pictured, it was more likely than not a LARGE, soft source, at least as a key. Phil is right in that the lighter color of the set pieces definitely plays a big part. It helps in the making the scene bright (duh) and, in most viewers eyes, soft as well. He probably used a separate source for the shelf, something hard as the shadows camera right of the shelf are hard, but the shadow of the lamp camera right are soft and coming from a slightly different angle. Something to note are the differing shadows on both the two lamp shades in the scene.

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I agree with what everyone previously said.


But I would not be surprised if there was also big windows in addition to the lights. And the location might have been chosen in part for having good natural light. Just a guess.


When I try to figure how something was lit I look into the eyes and look at the shape and size of the light/s reflected on the eye balls. It's easier to do with still images but it helps with cinematography too. I used to do it all the time while studying other people's portrait photography when I was learning. I could figure out if it was a soft box, an umbrella or a window, etc.


The light you can see her eyes looks pretty big and square and coming from her right, high up. It looks like a vary large window to me (unnatural lights have very defined edges and shapes). That might explain why you see shadows on her left in the background but not on her right. The window light might have been soft but to bring up the light on her left - where the window light was losing its power another light might have been used to balance it out.


Just a huge guess on my part :) However it was lit.... a lot of light was used.

Edited by Chris Mirden
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Ahhhh!!! I take back what I said on this particular shot. But I've passed the time window to edit my post. I watched the whole video and you can see there is no window in the shot towards the end.


Whoever shot this just seems to like creating very large soft light sources. The shot where they couple are walking outdoors is also lit with a very large soft source.

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