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Lighting for Video: Cleaning Up Light Spill

Lighting for Video: Cleaning Up Light Spill
Imagine you're in a restaurant and you knock over a full glass of water. To stop the spilled water from landing in your lap you put a napkin barrier around the spill and prevent any further encroachment. This is similar to the way light spill works. You turn your light on, the light spills forward and, if you don't block certain areas off, you're going to get light in places you don't want it. There are many reasons you might choose to control the spill. Perhaps the spill is interfering with another light source, or maybe you want to strategically place a dramatic shadow that will conceal an area of your scene. Whatever the reason, learning the ways in which you can control light spill will allow you to light your scene more effectively. You can control light spill in a number of ways while creating either hard edge or soft edge lighting. For example, a barndoor is an accessory that mounts onto the front of a light and is characterized by its adjustable hinged doors. Barndoors physically mask the light from reaching areas that don't require it, while creating a hard edge where the light and the shadow meet. Other ways to control your spill include using diffusion screens, flags and lights equipped with Fresnel lenses. Experimenting with different light controls, and the learning the techniques involved with each one, will allow you to successfully mask light spill during your next shoot. Eliminating unwanted spills will increase the effectiveness of your lighting setup while improving the look of your video. For more information about spill control and techniques whether you're indoors or outside, check out Light Source: Mop Up That Spill!
August 19th, 2010