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MICHAEL TAPP

Avoiding Hot Spots in interview lighting setups

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Hi All,

 

I recently picked an ex88 rifa softbox to shoot talking heads. I recently tested it out and ran into an issue with hot spots on the subject's face. The silk on the rifa is 32x32 inches and I was also using the eggcrate. The source(1k) was about four feet from the subject. I didn't try using powder during the test. Is there anything else I can do with the softbox to avoid hot spots? Thank you for your insight and time!

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What do you mean by hotspots? If you mean specular reflections and shine from skin, then you'll get that from any lamp. You need to use powder to deal with it.

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Does your kit come with a baffle? That should eliminate any hot spots and spread the light evenly by the time it hits your silk. Is the light fully flooded?

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Are baffles another word for egg crates? I have a 40 degree egg crate. I'm thinking of trading in the 40 degree egg crate for a 30 degree egg crate.

 

And yes, the Rifa softbox is fully flooded. Because of the construction of the softbox you can't move the bulb.

Edited by MICHAEL TAPP

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Taping or clipping an additional sheet of diff over part of the softbox can help cut down those specular reflections without affecting the rest of the light too much.

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Thanks for the tip! What level of diff would you recommend? I'd like to kill the hot spots without losing too much light.

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I'd bring sheets of 216, 250 and 251 along and see what it needs. Powder to create more of a matte sheen on people's skin can go a long way for these things though.

Edited by Mark Kenfield

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All the diff you add, don't forget, will have the effect of dimming down the light; which often means you bring it in closer, which then takes away a level of it's softness. There is no free lunch.

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Another thing you can do is add a 4x4 frame of diffusion in front of the soft box. Try Light Gridcloth. That will make your key light even softer, so the reflection in the skin will be broader and more diffuse.

 

As Adrian says, you will lose some stop by doing this.

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All the diff you add, don't forget, will have the effect of dimming down the light; which often means you bring it in closer, which then takes away a level of it's softness. There is no free lunch.

 

Bringing it in closer would actually increase the amount of softness - a small frame near by creates the same size light source (relative to the subject) as a large frame far away.

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It does sound like the simple solution would be more makeup. And making sure you're not overexposing / clipping the highlights.

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