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Thein Win

Lighting two person table scene

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Hello I am Thein Win from Yangon, Myanmar and this is my first time posting 🙂

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TableScene_Diag.png.18ae272e74070edca60d3cf325e2b36a.png

 

I want to light this simple scene. Wide and over the shoulder shots. I am thinking of using a 1.2k chinaball hanging in the middle and two 120d mark II on both side for back light. Never used chinaball before. This is going to be a reality show. So light cant be moved around for retakes. I would like to know if this a good set up or if theres better way around. I still am new and learning. Would like to hear your thoughts on this.

Thanks 🙂 

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I'd like to achieve this look 😍

High key and super soft light quality. 

I am using Sony A7III.

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As no one else is responding, I'll give my extremely inexperienced opinion. Which is that I'd doubt the China ball has the oomph alone. If it works out, fine. But I'd be ready to put a heavily diffused 120d on either side of the central camera and backlight with something else - maybe just a reflector. 

 

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In your diagram.. you have two lights on the sides, right and left.. on the same axis as the cameras there.. for the over shoulder shots.. I would put the lights on the other side of the line, of the two actors.. each actor will then be "looking towards the light"..for the over shoulder cameras..giving a "nice" modeling light.. rather than a very flat on same axis of camera light.. ie classic interview lighting .. which can also probably give a bit of backlight for your central wide shot on each subject .. if you want it 

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Posted (edited)

I would agree with Robin.. Not only is the window visually screaming to motivate the far side key, but combine that with Robin's other point that keying on the camera side will make it flat. Your dilemma would then be hiding the lights, which is where a menace could come in, if you have the skill/crew for it.. or exposure to the cieling if there are safe rigging points.

Do you have a softbox for the aputures? You can also provide a little bit of warmth on the fill side with tungsten. Can't really tell, or time of day, but windows might be blown with just the aputures, especially if softened.

Were you wanting the chinaball in frame as a practical?

 

 

Edited by Joseph Tese
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Hiya very sorry for my late reply. Really appreciate all of your helps with the lighting techniques. But actual shoot was like in two days after I posted so I didn't get to consider any of the suggestion I have been given. Still helps alot with my upcoming shoots 🙂 . By the way for this table scene I ended up using only two 120d with softbox. One directly on top and the other as kinda key for the girl. 

Thank once again! 

(WIP)

a4.png.0eaecddf649a5901a9504aae74865f3e.png

a2.png.5caf285da02391ffe51c9b8951d29499.png

 

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Looks fine.. yeah generally (although no rules )... having your lights on the same axis as the camera.. will of course give you a very flat light.. traditionally for that over shoulder shot .. you would put the light to the right of the guy in the checkered shirt .. giving her a ¾ angle key light..she is looking "into" the light .. especially with that location as the windows are the obvious motivation for a light source... and some shadow/modeling on her left side..

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True @Robin R Probyn. I would love to put my lights on the opposite side of the camera to motivate window lights and which also gives cinematic looking image. Because the shoot was like a live tv show (Dating show), all camera running at the same time, I couldn't figure out where to hide my lights. Attaching to the ceiling wasn't the option as well..... location wasnt high enough and is not in our budget. I personally am not completely satisfied with the looks too. Could have added some practical lights or unmotivated lights for the background.   

(WIP) 

A6.png.50908bcb455f823785d47474cb4a12cf.png

Thanks for your insights Robin and for quick respond 🙂 Will do consider on my next shoot.

 

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oh ok I didn't know it was a live ,multi camera shoot.. then I think it looks great under the restraints .. a lot better than some big budget productions,.. that are massively over lit.. 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Robin ☺️. Means alot to me. 

Edited by Thein Win

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13 hours ago, Robin R Probyn said:

Looks fine.. yeah generally (although no rules )... having your lights on the same axis as the camera.. will of course give you a very flat light.

But the light in those shots is not "very flat". Not everything should be lit like a film noir. More balanced lighting is typical of a rom com, which is a good model for a reality dating show. And lighting the wide side makes expressions easier to read and suggests openness - which is probably vital. Lighting should fit purpose. This does.

High key is just as "cinematic" (American Psycho uses it superbly and it's Wes Anderson's default) as low key but it's harder to get right. I think Thein did extremely well.

 

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Yes I wasn't criticizing it.. and I didn't know the constraints ..  just pointing out that generally the key is nicer from the across the line.. doesn't make it film noir BTW 🙂 .. as I said .. no rules and it looks great.. . but still if it was one camera I would put my key the other side for the over shoulder .. if for no other reason that logically it would be from those big windows ..  you can have plenty of fill light.. thats another decision for the over all look.. 

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8 hours ago, Robin R Probyn said:

Yes I wasn't criticizing it.. and I didn't know the constraints ..  just pointing out that generally the key is nicer from the across the line..

You were very polite - I definitely don't want to imply that you sounded critical! My point is that lighting primarily has to serve the purpose of the "story" rather than looking "nice." If you light a scene so that the broad side is dimmer then you're sending all sorts of messages to the watcher. In particular, you're generally creating emotional distance and a more serious tone.

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25 minutes ago, David Mawson said:

You were very polite - I definitely don't want to imply that you sounded critical! My point is that lighting primarily has to serve the purpose of the "story" rather than looking "nice." If you light a scene so that the broad side is dimmer then you're sending all sorts of messages to the watcher. In particular, you're generally creating emotional distance and a more serious tone.

Yes agree lighting serves the story .. don't agree with your broadside lighting theory though .. in this situation its the logical side to motivate the key light... which ever way you look at it..for a natural look..  as you have established the windows in the wide..  

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image.png.dac600171efd62560dc49f025b510eaa.png

I have a question about composition after viewing the above still. (The question does not relate to T. Win's set-up as he used multi-cameras and I don't know where any of the cameras were.) Let's say I had a single camera and wanted it pointed as shown in the above  photo and let's say the actors were in their normal "starting posture" in the above photo, ie, they would bob back and forth but always return to the "starting posture." Would I want to move the table (and the and the background table) either way a few inches so that the actors faces were in the door window panes and not in the wood mullions?

It seems to me that I would want to move the table slightly, but I can see a case for not doing so, and wonder if there are authoritative opinions or answers?   

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Nice thing you point out Charles. I agree, it would have been better to have the actors face positioned in the window frame. They would pop out more. Wasn't aware of it during the shoot 😑.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Thein Win said:

Nice thing you point out Charles. I agree, it would have been better to have the actors face positioned in the window frame. They would pop out more. Wasn't aware of it during the shoot 😑.

You'd have had to shoot from much further away, which I suspect wasn't possible, otherwise you'd have done it for perspective.

And look at the design of those windows - especially the upper curved part. If you put the subjects at the center of the windows they're going to have what look like spikes or rays coming out of their heads - it will be as distracting as hell.

Your first priority should always be avoiding this type of foreground/background alignment - the wedding photographer's dreaded "Lamppost growing out of head" syndrome.

 

Edited by David Mawson
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11 minutes ago, David Mawson said:

You'd have had to shoot from much further away, which I suspect wasn't possible, otherwise you'd have done it for perspective.

That's right David I wanted to go further away but there's this same pillar, as you can see in the scene, just right back of the camera . No room for me to squeeze in 😄. Didn't want to use very wide focal length as well. Went with 24mm on this shot. Over the shoulder shots were 75mm.

 

21 minutes ago, David Mawson said:

If you put the subjects at the center of the windows they're going to have what look like spikes or rays coming out of their heads - it will be as distracting as hell.

You just made me feel better

 

22 minutes ago, David Mawson said:

Your first priority should always be avoiding this type of foreground/background alignment - the wedding photographer's dreaded "Lamppost growing out of head" syndrome.

 

Noted   

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On 6/11/2019 at 11:52 AM, Robin R Probyn said:

In your diagram.. you have two lights on the sides, right and left.. on the same axis as the cameras there.. for the over shoulder shots.. I would put the lights on the other side of the line, of the two actors.. each actor will then be "looking towards the light"..for the over shoulder cameras..giving a "nice" modeling light.. rather than a very flat on same axis of camera light.. ie classic interview lighting .. which can also probably give a bit of backlight for your central wide shot on each subject .. if you want it 

 

On 6/17/2019 at 8:37 PM, Thein Win said:

Hiya very sorry for my late reply. Really appreciate all of your helps with the lighting techniques. But actual shoot was like in two days after I posted so I didn't get to consider any of the suggestion I have been given. Still helps alot with my upcoming shoots 🙂 . By the way for this table scene I ended up using only two 120d with softbox. One directly on top and the other as kinda key for the girl. 

Thank once again! 

(WIP)

a4.png.0eaecddf649a5901a9504aae74865f3e.png

a2.png.5caf285da02391ffe51c9b8951d29499.png

 

6

Firstly is this a location shoot or a studio. If a studio you need to have light presumably coming through the windows from the sun giving a feeling of reality or is this night as you have a practical light illuminated up stage wide shot. If daylight the two people at the table need to be lit from upstage behind the acting line with modelling to create a mood that they are lit from the windows. The close ups will need some contrast control from the axis of the wide shot camera and the back lights will generally be directly in the axis line of the close up cameras from up stage. Sorry but without the required scenario of day or night, studio or location its very difficult to be precise. I hope this helps you. The shots look very flat without a feeling of depth or three dimensions. Close up just doesn't do it for me.

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When I can't rig a light to the ceiling, my next option is to rig some white to the ceiling, perhaps with a white card also hanging down slightly, and then bounce a Source-4 Leko into it (daylight HMI Jo-Leko if daylight-balanced interior). The other option is to use menace arms with lightweight lights (Litemats these days).

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