Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating dancing shadows, part of Practical Motion Background Workshop.
Our first technique is really straightforward. We are just going to set up a scene and get some objects that are on the table. I recommend something that's fairly reflective. In this case, we are using some jewelry, and we are going to bounce the light off of it. We are just going to move the lighting source around to create some dancing shadows. It's really pretty straightforward. Just remember, if you're handling hot lights, wear gloves, and be careful not to get too close to your objects so you don't burn them. I am using a cool fluorescent light, so you can get this light at hardware store.
Let's go ahead and turn the lighting source on, and you see it powers up. Now, as I move that, it creates a lot of change within the scene. Now, I'm currently at F 1.8 on the camera. That's letting in a whole bunch of light. Let's go ahead and change the F stop so it's little bit darker. You also see that it definitely impacts the bokeh of the camera. There we go. We are going to go ahead and modify the light source a little bit here to get a little bit of a different color.
You can always change color in postproduction, but by changing it during production stages, we can get a mixing and get very different results. I am just going to grab a sheet of gel to do that. So I've wrapped that in some green gel: you see without and with. The nice thing is that the gel also knocked down the intensity of the light. It's giving us a very different feel.
Let's make a little change to the camera level here. I will adjust the rack focus and change the F stop to increase the bokeh. I am just going to move the lighting source slowly in and out. So, a really straightforward technique. All you are doing is moving that lighting source around, and in doing so you create dancing shadows. Super easy, vary to speed up, try changing the shutter speed on the camera to get a little bit of different results, vary the actual focus by racking and getting different positions, and what you'll find is that by moving the camera or making small changes you will get a very different pattern.
If you're using a prime lens, you will need to move the camera in and out physically. You can do that by changing the head of the tripod. Or if using a zoom, just adjust the zoom's distance. Let's make that adjustment. Here we go. And we will reengage the light source. So there you have it, variety just by movement. Really straightforward.
Let's go explore a few more techniques.
This course was created and produced by Rich Harrington. lynda.com is proud to host this content in our library.
- Selecting a camera
- Using a turntable to rotate your subject while you film
- Lighting the scene
- Choosing a frame rate
- Creating dancing shadows
- Shooting "through" objects
- Making a loop
- Building the composition
- Retiming clips
- Rendering the background