softy lite best light for video


Basic 3 point Lighting

Basic Key to Lighting

Complex Lighting

Low Key Lighting

Matching existing Lighting

Shooting an interview

Pack shot




Matching existing lighting

The task

A common task for DOPs is to match their lighting to existing lighting. In this example to light a scene so that it matches existing night lighting from room and street lighting.

lighting with softy lite

lighting with softy lite
The Actress walks from exterior to interior

The theory

We start from the existing exposure in this example our camera sensor has a sensitivity of 800 ASA and a shutter of 25 fps and a stop of 2.8. That means the exposure light would be 125 lux. With digital cameras the exposure can be found by the practical measure of adjusting the exposure until it looks good.

The exposure is a concept, in reality all or only a small area will be lit to the theoretical exposure. The following creates the night effect;

Only lighting small areas of the scene to the full exposure level.

Having a high lighting contrast. Lighting contrast is the relationship of the Fill light to the sum of the Fill and Key lights. In this example the Fill Light is 32 lux the Key Light 93 lux and the Key plus the Fill is the exposure 125 lux. The lighting contrast is the FILL to the FILL and KEY. 32 +93 : 32  =  125: 32  = 4:1

lighting with softy lite
Breakdown of the lighting and its values

Use of backlights to separate the subject from the background.
Backlights are set by eye and vary depending on the subject, a dark subject requires more light than a light subject


So now we use Softy Lite lights to light the scene of our actress moving from outside into close up.

We add a Softy Light as a backlight clamped on the left hand wall to help separate the actress from the dark background. We don’t want her black hair to merge into the black background.

Take off the diffuser to get more light; the nature of the light is not important when Softy Lite is used as a backlight.

lighting with softy lite
Lighting diagram

In the foreground we set up 3 Softy Lites as Fill Key and another backlight.

First the Fill to Fill the shadows to keep the desired detail in the shadows. The light meter helps set the Fill to a level of 32 lux. We place the Fill light higher than the camera and as near to the camera as possible. This is so that it does not produce a shadow visible to the camera.

The Key Light is then added to that and adjusted to give a level of 125 lux together with the Fill Light.
The second backlight is set by eye to help separate our actress from the background.  On the Key and the Backlight we put on the snoot and egg crate. This puts the light only where we want it. The Fill light is without the snoot giving a broad angle of illumination.

We walk the actress through the shot, making sure there are not hat spots or unwanted shadows.

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