Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Diffusing, part of Lighting a Video Interview.
>> While a net can actually knock down the intensity of the light, sometimes we just want to make the light softer by spreading it out over a broader surface. In the photography world sometimes they'll use a Chimera is a brand name for this, or a soft box. But similar tools exist for video as well, right? >> Yeah, I mean, a net or scrim is a way to decrease the intensity of the light without necessarily changing the quality of the light. Once you start adding these other families of diffusers, you're actually changing the quality of the light and generally the direction of softness.
And there is a whole range of gels, and cloth materials, and just about anything that spreads the light, that gets used these days. They're heat resistant, so you can put them right in front of the light, and there not going to, you know, catch fire or anything. But to taste, they will, you know, change the diffuse, the soft quality of the light, decrease shadows, spread shadows. And the other thing you can do with diffusion is actually change the physical proximity of the source.
In other words, you can change the size and proximity of the source by actually making it larger and closer to the subject, because once you put a diffuser in front of the light, effectively that diffusion becomes the source. So you can go from, say a eight or nine inch fixture, and put a three foot by three foot diffuser in front of it, and that's going to effectively become your source. A three foot by three foot source, which is more naturalistic. The sun coming through a window is not nine inches wide.
It's not three feet wide either, but you're moving in the direction of a more natural, softer source. >> And you actually are going to walk us through that. Let's jump back on set and take a look at how we manipulate the light to diffuse it and really dial down its intensity. >> Okay, so we talked earlier about light modifiers. And in this case, with our key light, we decided we probably want to soften it a little bit for our subject. And in this case, I'm going to use a flex fill diffusion which travels really well, it gets really small.
going to drop it right in. This is just a creative choice that we could use the soft box with the HMI that we did before. Or in this case I'm just dropping something in. You can keep going with this kind of strategy. If one layer's not enough, I can another layer. In this case in my kit I've brought some diffusion. In this case this is called 250 diffusion, and I'm just going to add it to the light in addition to the flex fill I just put up there.
So the more layers, the softer it's going to get for your subject. So with all of these lights that we put into place, we want to modify them some way. We either want to cut them, or soften them. In this case with one of our backlights, I decided I'd like to soften it a little bit. And so I'm using one of these light modifiers called a silk. And this is a portable one that comes in a collapsible frame made by RoadRags. They're very handy. And I'm just going to put this in front of this light panel to soften the edge a little bit.
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- Creating a lighting kit of essential gear
- Working with shutter speed, aperture, and ISO
- Determining the emotional tone and genre of the interview
- Choosing a background
- Finding the best angle
- Using three-point lighting
- Lighting backgrounds and faces
- Color correcting light on set