Grip Tools: Wind and Haze Machines
Big fan of using wind machines. Now you don't necessarily always have to go out and buy a fancy wind machine fan. You can also get away with using, you know, a simple floor fan or a cyclone fan. A really good option if you wanna swing for it and you're on location, is going and buying a cordless blower from the home improvement store. Battery operated so that you're not on location you're not worried about having to plug a fan in. You wanna get the move of the dress or the move of the hair, you just have an assistant go (motor running sound effect) and throw it in and you get the nice movement and you're not worried about tethering to electricity. Really useful to use. The fan, you can use, buy a regular floor fan. Doesn't have to be anything fancy. We use one on location. There are all good options as long as you can move enough. If you are having to worry about audio, that's a very different story. But I love the cordless blower. I think it works really well, and they're relatively s...
mall and easy to kinda maneuver with. The other thing that I use all the time is a haze machine. And I wanna make a point to say that a haze machine is not a fog machine. They're different. They're really different. And so yes, they both create these particles in the air, but a fog machine creates clouds of smoke. A haze machine is not really supposed to. Haze machines make white show up, and so it shows streaks of light. It creates an atmosphere. Think of it's kinda like lowers the contrast of the room and it makes lights glow. We call this bloom; it makes lights bloom, highlights bloom. It also shows you shafts and streaks of light. And I'm gonna show you what this looks like a little bit later in a room. Again, not about showing you clouds of smoke, it's about making the lights show up and glow in the scene. Spielberg uses these all the time. And once you know it's there, you never unsee it in a film. But cinematographers use the haze machine all the time. But know that it requires a lot of, you gotta run it for a while when you're using it and then not run it because you could use it too much. It's all about like gaging what's too much, what's not enough. You also don't want the plumes of smoke to show up. You just want it to be kind of hazy. And so like when we're doing a big space, we had to come in and run it for an hour or two before the shoot to make sure everything was dissipated and moved around in the space evenly. So it didn't look like there was a toxic cloud across part of the theater, which it does for the first bit. Like, you'll see it in the behind-the-scenes video, but you can see it just kind of accumulates on the bottom floor. So we're actually having to move it around the room and use fans to spread it out, because we want it to be consistent across the space, not just lingering in one area. When you're in a small space, when you're in a studio you run it for 15 minutes and you're fine. It's just when you're in a huge environment it's a very different consideration. Also if you're in a small environment, haze in a can gives you a really effective use of this. But haze in a can gets expensive. I mean, I think one can is 15, 18 bucks. I'll do a shoot and I'd run through two cans. So it gets expensive, not as expensive as a haze machine. I think at the entry level they're around like 400 bucks. Entry level. The industrial, like commercial ones, I think start at, they're 12, 1300 bucks. I've got this one, which was around four something, and it's awesome, I love it. I think it's great. Does the job that I need. It's not filling cavernous spaces, but for the studio, for normal rooms it's totally acceptable. And they last forever on juice. I think I've had it for a year, probably run it 20 times and I've not filled it back up since the first time. So yeah, they'll run it for a while. But that's a really good one and I like that a lot.
Most photographers get comfortable with the lighting setups they use, and tend to shy away from trying new or different ones. Pushing yourself to incorporate new lighting techniques can help to expand your photographic style. You don’t need to buy more lighting equipment to start thinking about how the light is appropriate for what you’re shooting. Learning to see and light a location or scene and bring it to life in your images takes an in-depth understanding of lighting, direction, and creative vision. Join Chris Knight, well-known photographer, instructor, and author, to learn how to create cinematic lighting that allows you to be more innovative for your clients and yourself.
Chris will explain:
- How to think like a filmmaker but apply those ideas to a single image
- Motivated lighting and how to incorporate the techniques into your creative vision
- Framing and layering for your images
- How to use direction and guidance to achieve a cinematic look
- How to enhance the cinematic lighting you achieved in-camera through post production processes
In this class, Chris takes you through his creative process during two cinematic style shoots at two different locations to share with you his behind-the-scenes thoughts, motivations, and scenarios. Chris also takes you through an in-studio shoot to explain the importance of prop placement, intentional set design, and light. You’ll learn the confidence to develop and incorporate new thought processes and get out of your everyday routines when lighting your subjects.