Join Eduardo Angel for an in-depth discussion in this video Lighting and location working together to create an exterior scene, part of Lighting Design for Video Productions.
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Choosing the right locations is one of the most important decisions we can make, especially if we have a small lighting crew and budget. Our story called for an outdoor, early morning scene, with a girl sitting on a bench, sipping coffee. We chose this specific location and time of day because the benches will be facing the sunrise. Additionally, because we placed our talent near the water, we could also benefit from all the light kicking off the river. We wanted to be extremely portable and needed to work fast as the light was changing rapidly.
In this scene, we started by using only available light, but it was too flat. We had no shadows, shape, or depth. When we properly exposed the girl's face, the bright colored clothes were totally blown out. As you can see, there's no detail on her shirt. Correcting the exposure to recover the highlights might work, but there's not guarantee. And most likely, it would affect her skin tones. A better strategy was to simply identify a nearby location that worked better for us.
We move the girl to a second bench in the open shade. The idea was to harness the available shade and create a directional light with a portable light source. We simply added an LED light very close to the girl's face and adjusted the color balance to a slightly warmer setting than daylight. We finally added the portable golden reflector and were able to enhance the early morning mood that we wanted for our story. By choosing the right location and time of day, and even with weather conditions that were less than perfect, we were able to work very fast, with very little gear and achieve the right look for our story.
This course was created and produced by Eduardo Angel. We're honored to host this content in our library.
- Understanding the role of lighting
- Lighting interior and exterior scenes
- Directing the viewer's attention
- Enhancing mood in a scene
- Achieving great light under harsh conditions
- Deciding on the right lighting style for your story