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Lighting 102

Lesson 33 from: Fundamentals of DSLR Filmmaking

Victor Ha

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Lesson Info

33. Lighting 102

Next Lesson: One Light Setup

Lesson Info

Lighting 102

Where I wanna start is that people get freaked out about lighting. They get freaked out about lighting. It's not anything that we need to get freaked out about because it's something you can bite off in manageable pieces. You look at the studio, they do a pull back of the studio, you'll see, there's a lot of equipment up here. And it looks intimidating at first, but I promise you, at the end of this segment, if this doesn't look and make sense to you, then I haven't done my job. My goal is to make sure that you guys understand what I'm doing here and why I'm doing it. So I'm gonna run through, a couple slides really quickly. You wanna start simple. Everything I've talked about, everything that I've said, for the duration of this course has been, start simple. And then we wanna talk about looking at the light. We experimented earlier today about how to read light and understand how light is falling and understand how it can help be very flattering to a subject. And the last thing, I wan...

t us to figure out is, follow the numbers. And I think one of the questions I got earlier about light meters if I don't have a light meter, and if I don't own a light meter, is it something that that I can get by? And here's the thing, is that at some point, if you wanna do this, you're gonna need a light meter. Because if you wanna repeat this, you're gonna need a light meter. And hopefully, the course up to this point has been a value to get you to a point where you know what identifying a need for a light meter will allow you to continue your pathway into doing motion, in a more compelling way. There's different type of lighting that we have, we have tungsten, we have HMI and then we have fluorescent and LED. Now, there's benefits and pros and cons to all types of lighting. As you can see here, I've kind of settled on LEDs and I'll talk about why I pick LED. But if you look at tungsten lights, so tungsten lights are what you normally would see in like traditional Hollywood sets. They're big, they're hot. 10% of that light fixture, of that wattage that's being pumped into that light, is actual light power. The other 90% comes out in heat. So if you think about filling an entire room like this up with light using tungsten, it's gonna get very hot, very quickly and the most important thing outside of that is your talent's gonna get very hot very quickly. Their makeup's gonna start to wear off, they're gonna start to sweat, it's just not gonna be a very pretty scenario for them but that's the thing is you can buy a lot of tungsten for very few dollars. Okay typically, it's very affordable. You can buy three lights, for X amount of dollars and it's pretty affordable. And a lot of people actually start off on tungsten. Now the thing is is like as you get bigger in wattage, so you'll hear terms thrown out there in the world called one Ks, two Ks three Ks, that's one thousand watts, two thousand watts, four thousand watts, all these wattage. So its how much wattage, how much power is being pumped into the light. So take that four thousand watt light, 10% of that so 400 watts is actually power, is actually light. Now you go into HMI and everyone always asks me what HMI stands for and it stands for that, I'm not gonna try to say it. And it's a pure light, whereas tungsten, you know tungsten right away because it's got that orange cast to it, it looks orange when you look at the light bulb. HMI is white light, its 5600 Kelvin, its daylight. It's cooler to your talent. So when it's own, it's not gonna emit heat out, nearly as much as a tungsten light. But it's still gonna get hot, 30% of it is about light power 70% is about heat. And they're big and heavy and the thing is, they're expensive and a HMI bulb can cost upwards of several thousand dollars depending on the watts. If you break a bulb, they're expensive. And next thing is, sorry, we have LED and fluorescent. Now I settle on LED and fluorescent. And there was a time that i didn't because the LED panels were very unpredictable, it really depended upon what manufacture you're using, 'cause there's a lot of things you have to worry about or had to worry about back then about the quality of light that you'd get from LED. But the cool thing about LEDs and fluorescent is their cooler. They run really really cool. And I've got three lights here that are emitting a lot of power but consuming very little wattage. For example, that LED panel that I've got right here is .5 amps, so on a 15 amps circuit, I can but 30 of them into a space which is phenomenal because that's a household circuit, you know? That guy's only seven and 1/2 amps. So it's very, I mean, it's not drawing a lot of power. It's very easy to go into a space and not have to worry about blowing a breaker, blowing a circuit because I'm drawing too much power. Now there also, middle ranged in price. The quality will vary depending upon what manufacture you have, but there's a couple things that I want to make you aware of, but it can be mitigated is something called color spectrum and CRI. CRI is funny to me for me to talk about because its standard that people rate LEDs by and it's actually an incorrect standard. It's a standard that they use for film and CRI stands for Color Rendering Index. And Color Rendering Index we deal with on a daily basis. We wake up in the morning, we go to our sock drawer and we pick out a navy blue sock and a black sock and we can't tell the difference 'cause the lights are dim. So what to do we do? We go to the window and then immediately at the window, we can tell black and navy blue. That's CRI, our ability to tell differences between colors. The sun is a hundred CRI, we have the ability to to determine, to a great level of fidelity the color differences between navy blue and black. The thing is, is when you try to rate LEDs it's not the same, it's not the same measurement. You'll see numbers and people will say, oh I've got a CRI of 93 on this LED and well, CRI is measured on a number of different levels. And if one of those levels its 93 and all those other levels are 82, well they can still say its 93, right? Anyway, I only bring it up because it's a poor measurement of quality. The other thing is called color spectrum. And color spectrum in LEDs means of how much how much that light has shifted or in the overall visual color spectrum of this light, where is there the most color, what color is peaking the most? And in LEDs, you have a magenta, and a green shift. And a magenta shift means there's too much magenta, and green shift, there's too much green. And a lot of people say well, that light's too magenta or that light's too green and you can throw gels in and you can mitigate that but that's just some of the things you wanna be aware of with using LEDs is that every LED in the planet, will shift out to magenta or green. Does that mean, you were doing custom white balance anyway, will that remove it? So there's four way in which light in which light affects color, or color's affected by light. We have our red and blue scale, which is white balance. And we have our magenta and green shift, which is not affected by white balance. Oh man. So you can custom white balance but if you have a magenta or green shift, you have to actually mitigate that somehow by adding a pink gel or green gel to the light. And we'll talk about that in a second. Now, I use LEDs because they're easy to pack, easy to ship, they work. These bulbs will last over 10,000 hours in a given year, that's about, that's roughly one year and a quarter leaving them on 24-7 365 days a year. So they're very very, in terms of longevity, they last for a very long time. I don't wanna spend this entire time talking about gear but there's a couple things here that I use to make my life easier when it comes to lighting for an interview. I've got these stands on rollers and I'm typically on a roller right now because I'm gonna be moving these lights around. On a job, you probably won't be using rollers because you might not have the space to to roll lights but, you will most likely be using what's called a C-stand. C-stand is just a more supportive light stand that has a knuckle and an arm that allows you to kind of extend little modifiers out, I've got some flags and some nets out here that help me modify the light. And I'll talk about these nets and stuff in a bit. And then what I do have is, Javier you gonna give me a hand. Whoa Sorry about that, what I do have in the end of this little nub here is a hex pin. So on the end of this little grip arm, it's an arm by Kupo, it has a little faceted hex pin because normal grip arms, if you look down at this one. Normal grips arm are round and if I try to fix a light on the end of that grip arm right there, the light will spin. As opposed to this guy, it's gonna sit on one of those facets.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Victors White Board Notes - High Resolution
Pre-Production Planner
Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews

Victor van Dijk

This course was quite a treat! I had been learning piecemeal about DSLR Filmmaking but never had the opportunity to follow a course that ties it all together. And my namesake Victor is ex-cel-lent!!! Fundamentals of DSLR Filmmaking is a very very clear (I would almost say, lucid!), carefully, comprehensively tied together course teaching all you need and wanted to know about DSLR Filmmaking. Massive PLUS is that the course is first and before all NOT about the nitty-gritty technical details and numbers, but all about the basics of what filmmaking REALLY is all about. And yes, technique and gear are part of that but not for their own sake. And Victor shares that it's all about fun, and telling your story your way in the way that you like. I truly admire Victor's carefully planned and laid out path, in my opinion he planned the course exactly and meticulously like he would a full-blown movie production. And he is very open and honest and not belittling at all. He is really passionate, compassionate and 'infectious' with his happy happy mood :-)! I HIGHLY recommend this course for anyone wanting to properly and thoroughly learn the ins and outs of filmmaking, with a strong focus on using a DSLR.

Penny Foster

This is a very well constructed course by Victor Ha, who is very easy to watch, and very knowledgeable about using the DSLR for more than just taking pictures. For a Wedding Photographer like me, who wants to add some moving images into a slideshow for my client, this course was perfect. Victor shows us that, with the equipment you already own as a working professional photographer, you can get started into video RIGHT NOW, with baby steps. This is not a course on video editing, so if you need that tuition look elsewhere, BUT, Victor shows us how to set our cameras up for success right from the start, so that when we are at the editing stage, the footage is in the perfect state possible to produce excellently exposed, perfectly colour balanced material. He goes over the use of a light meter for capturing video, and how essential it is to get the exposure right 'in camera', so this is certainly a Fundamental DSLR Filmmaking course, for anyone who is already using their DSLR for stills, but who is interested in adding something else to their skill set. Victor is so enthusiastic in his teaching style, and this is a course I will keep coming back to time after time.

Sara safajar

Excellent overview on how to think as a storyteller with DSLR video. Great breakdown and really accessible examples- fun video on the making of a peanut butter sandwich- which inspire and make it feel like the video beast can be conquered. This course is packed with great ideas on not only figuring out to how to make the switch from still to motion, but also creative inspiration on how to begin thinking cinematically. Well worth the price. Great course!

Student Work