Cinematic Lighting with Just ONE Light

published on July 17, 2020

Hey it's me from the a-team and on today's four-minute film school we are creating a professional lighting setup with only one light let's go I'm here with hunter Gulen a commercial DP he works in a lot of music videos but today we are gonna do an experiment what are

We going for we're going for a high key look with one light source that can be a little tricky sometimes why would you only use one light either you're limited to a small space and you can only fit one light in the area or two you just

Don't have the budget to get a lot of different lights so when you only have one light it's all about controlling it it's all about bouncing it diffusing it doing what you can to shape that light so in this instance we had both a male

Talent and a female talent we did the same lighting on both of them for the first setup we had a aperture 300 d mark 2 with the dome and the grid and we focused it at a 3/4 angle upwards down at the talent to give them kind of a

Nice almost completely frontal look on their face almost wrap all the way around and that gave us a good starting point to start modifying the light from there and make it into a more high key look what are some of the advantages of

The dome and the grid together it reduces the spread so focus is at more in one direction so when you place just one light on someone's face whether it's a hard light or a soft source you're still gonna have a pretty significant

Contrast ratio between the lights over their face and the dark side of their face so how do you argument that we started out by bringing in a shiny board we brought it in camera left just to the right of talent we brought it in really

Close to fill in the shadows and bring up the talent the right side of their face we brought it in close enough to where it was wrapping around the back of the talent and almost made it look like it was a whole nother light source yeah

You can use a shiny board or a mirror when I was starting out I even used a piece of cardboard and just tape tinfoil to it and it worked great yeah anything that reflects a light it's gonna seem like an additional light source what

Else did you add to shape that light so secondly we took a 4×4 foam card and place it right under talent bouncing the light we were getting from the 300 deep back up into the talent really filling in those shadows

Underneath the chin nose and eyes I use this a lot in beauty lighting as well and then you also had a kicker off to the side so lastly we had a five in one reflector gold side off to camera right talents left side really just bouncing

The light back in giving a little bit of highlight in the hair and I chose to use the gold shiny side because both of the talents hair color was more kind of a darker side so of course the 300d big powerful LED light if you were to do

This on a budget what would you substitute for the second setup we bounced a 672 off of foam bounce card back through an opal frost diffusion to really give it that same soft look that we were getting from the

Light dome on the 300d so let's see both of those shots together the higher quality LED and the more budget-friendly option

Hunter you also shot this with an iPhone correct yep to show an even more budget option of what you can do with one light did you change any of the lighting at all for this particular scene we didn't have to change anything because it was a

Pretty high key look and the ratio was about the same on on both cameras but an iPhone being a lesser dynamic range if you needed to you could always walk in your field bring up the ratio a little bit even it out to compensate for the

Lesser dynamic range so let's actually see both of those shots side by side the red and the iPhone all right hunter if we're gonna do a high key lighting setup with just one

Light on a face what are some takeaways create a soft key that can be either with with a light dome or some sort of diffusion bouncing it whatever to is fill in the shadows as much as you can to create an even ratio across the face

And three is bring in something kind of shiny with some punch that you can kind of edge the talent with and make it seem like there's almost a second light source there yeah this really looks like a three light setup when in fact it's

Just one light which brings us to the question of this video which is what was the first light that you had and how did you use it you don't want to know mine was let us know in the comments the best answer is going to win a little aperture

M C which is our new RGB panel that's it for us today if you liked this episode if you found it useful please give us a like and subscribe to the channel if you want to follow us our social media links will be down below and that's it for us

Have a great day bye

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