Control Your Fill Lighting
So this becomes the let's control my fill section, okay? So here I have lots of fill on the left hand side. I have no fill on the right hand side. In the next slide, I have some fill. So I'm going to take you through what that looks like. There we go. This is done through two polar opposite modifications. So the one on the left, the fill is controlled through the use of a v-flat. It's just a white piece of foam for reflection. It's brought in relatively close to the side of his face. With the right image, there is a ... It actually uses negative fill. So what I have used here is a black flat brought in really close to the face, and that's absorbing the light. It's making the shadows even darker. Now, if you do decide to use a v-flat, or maybe you're using a secondary fill light serving the same purpose, it's analog control, so the closer it is to your subject, the brighter it's going to be. The further away it is, the darker it's going to be. Then when you want something to be really d...
ark, you bring that flat in and you put it really close. That's generally how that works. That's kind of my in between. Here you can see what the actual set looks like. So we have the v-flat brought in really close. That gives me the lots of fill. You can see that umbrella being held kind of just off axis and behind him a little bit to the left. Then over on the right hand side, I have the fill, the black fill brought in, to make that a little bit more shadowy and darker over on the right hand side. Then we have to build in separation, and this is adding in something like a rim light or a hair light. Call these whatever you want them, but what they are trying to do is achieve a little bit of visual separation on the dark part of the side of your subject. So on the left side of the image, you can see there's no white on the hat. There's not really much on his dark shoulder. So he gets lost a little bit in those very shadowy areas. This becomes our way that we can work around the image being too dark overall. We're looking at a lot of dark images. Chances are, you might end up falling into some darker tones then you're maybe used to when it comes to lighting photographically. You know, we're always talking about shadow detail and preserving shadow detail. This tends to get a little bit darker overall, because cinematography tends to have a few more kind of leniencies in that direction. Now this particular light in the background the one above had, this is a pro tungsten, so it's a continuous tungsten light. It's relatively bright. I've used barn doors on it to just create a very tight pocket of light on the shoulders and the hat. We are working in a really small space with white walls. The idea was all about controlling what the different lights were doing. So had I just put that light up an pointed it down, it would have bounced light off all of the sides of the hallway and made the fill a lot brighter. So by using barn doors to constrict the light, I could really put it specifically where I wanted it to go. As an extra thought on that, that rim light also looks like it's coming from the overhead light. Okay, and it's very subtle. It doesn't have to be overwhelming. You don't have to be going many stops over what your key looks like. But I have just that little bit over here. I have it on him. The whole thing kind of works together, and it feels like it's being lit by what is a relatively complicated scene. One of my other favorite elements about this was a little bit of a stroke of luck. Because of the angle I was at, you can actually see how the light up top is bouncing off the back wall, which has given me a little bit more separation on that collar, and I really like that element of the background. I didn't plan for it. It was just kind of one of those happy accidents of the space. The walls had, they were dark painted, but there was a little bit of a glossy finish, so it caught light at just the right angle. So that gave me that look. As a one extra aside step, which is a little bit of a tangent, with film noir kind of framing, they use lots of wide angle lenses and lots of close kind of more extreme angles compared to how a lot of other filmmakers were making things during the period. So that's why it's shot at a pretty wide angle, kind of low. It's just meant to call back to that stylistically a little bit. I know this is a little bit more of a lighting class, but also things like framing and composition are important things to remember when it comes to these other technical stylistic decisions for how the image is meant to look.