Trying to get my lighitng right?

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    • #37439

      I’ve got some problems getting my lighting correct

      My lighting equipment:

      two each umbrella lights with 4 each 30Watt 5500K flourescent lamps 125-150watt equivalent

      One each mini-boom light with 1 each 30 watt 5400K flourescent lamp 200watt equivalent

      Five each clamp lights with 32 watt flourescent lamp 6500K 125 watt equivalent

      I bought the clamp lights Lowe’s and the lamps at a specialy lighting store.

      MyCamera Sony HDR-SR12 HD quality consumer camcorder


      I have spent several weeks experimenting with lighting and all of yesterday.

      Getting lighting correct does have some quirks that experience teaches I am sure of it. LOL

      My best arrangement so far has been 2 clamp lightsfacing the greenscreen. (Chest high)

      I’m shootingsternum up at this time.

      I place the umbrella lamps on each side of talent about arms length away, just above eye level.

      Eachumbrella fixture has 4 each of the flourescent 30watt lamps.

      The principal issue I have is lousy skin tones.

      If my subject moves back closer to the green screen backgroundskin tones go greyish, and when I move the subject closer to the camera the skintones are orangish. I cannot seem to getgood flesh skin tonesat all.

      If you cangive me some tips, pointers, links or anything that will help meresolve this skin tone thing I’ll sure appreciate it.

      Heck, I’ll go buy a book if I need to. I could have bought a dozen books for what it has cost me in timedoing the trial and error thing. LOL

    • #165943

      I think I understand what you are doing, but have a couple questions…

      You are keying out the greenscreen on a shot of your subject that is basically head and shoulders, right?

      Does your subject have to move closer to the greenscreen, or can you resize your background, to fake the movement, and keep your subject stationary to the lightsources?

      do you have any ambient lightsources that affect your set?

      here’s one I use:

      have you tried placing one light behind your subject at 45 deg to seperate from the background. (back or kick light)

      same two lights on the background (if that’s working for you, keep it). (background light)

      one light in front of your subject 45deg, placed diagonally across from the other light. (main light)

      one silver or white reflector to fill in the shadows on the subject face (reflect the main light into the shadows) (fill light)

      remember to get the main light and fill light as close to the subject as you can, without having them in the shot, any lensflare can be controlled with flags, or gobos between the light and the camera, and a lens hood is invaluable when working in tight spaces….

      use a photographic grey card to set exposure and color balance.

    • #165944

      Right on the head and shoulders

      Subject is pretty well fixed, onlyadvise small movement side to side.

      No ambient light sources

      The back lightsappear to work well.

      The umbrella lamps are placed about like you mention.

      I did try a clamp light at low level facing up toward subject, whichremoved some eyeand chin shadows.

      The lamps are very close to the subject. I really thought aboutthis when I bought them to use flourescents for cooler operation.


      Good point, I think you nailed it with the photographic grey card thing.

      The camera doesso many things automatically I just never thought about white balance being an issue.

      Since it hasAUTO white balancefunction enabled. The AUTO function is probably more of anoutdoor thing, certainly not a lighted studio thing.

      My camera does allow me toset White balancemanually.

      I’m not quite sure how to use thegrey card, or just what it does.

      I have read where people use what they call “warm and cool cards” to white balance.

    • #165945

      Umbrellas are usless for greenscreens, you wanna go with a couple of soft boxes and a barndoor for a back light.

      Me i have just 1 professional light and Jerry riged the rest.I use the following for chromokeying and get perfect results no matter where my subject stands.

      2 1000 watt work lights a router speed control to dim the lights I use this to light my green screen. I removed the wire guard and replaced the glass with frosted glass.

      To light the subject I hanged a white bed sheet from the celing on either side of my camera and put 2 more of those work lights behind it. I use black sheets on the side to reduce bleed over.

      for the back light i use the following–dsh–1000-WATT/Detailwith barn doors.

      Sounds like your not using a back light, you might wanna try that first before you go replacing your lights.

    • #165946


      for now:

      set your controls to manual, and adjust your exposure first, when it looks good, then set your whitebalance, using a sheet of white paper for now. that should get you going.


      goto a photo store and ask for a kodak greycard. ($18.00)

      to use you point your camera at it (holding it in the light where your subject is/will be) and fill the viewfinder with the greycard and take a manual exposure reading, and lock it, then do a cusom white balance off the card (in the same light) and lock it. you are good to go.

    • #165947

      Here is a link to Calumet grey cards.

      I’ve never used a grey card, so maybe you could suggest something (inexpensive would help).

      Or if you have other suggestion I’m open. I did find some sites on the web that had the warm and cool white balance cards.

      They’re expensive, but another couple days of this… I’ll be toast.(burned out) LOL

    • #165948

      goto a stationary store and get some paper.

      get a few sheets of that pale blue tinted paper, and find some pale orange paper. use that to get custom white balances…play with it till you find something that works (me, I just lay a color gel over a peice of white, cause I got the gels laying around anyways)

    • #165949

      lighting is a specialized feild in it’s own right.

      every minute you invest in learning will pay off big in the long run.

    • #165950

      I just got in. Stopped at a Camera store to get the Kodak Gray Scale.

      They didn’t have the Kodak Grey card, but the salesman recommended I buy this Munsell X-rite Mini ThreeStep Gray Scale card 421868.

      He said it was much simpler to use, and would speed things up.

      He neglected to say there was nothing in the package… except a credit cardlooking card with three stripesBlack Gray and White. $41.00

      Idon’t know what I was thinking when Ibought it.

      Anyway, I’m not sure how to work with this little card and my Camcorder.

      I do have Sony MovieStudio 9Platinum Pro and the Windows Movie thing that comes with Vista Ultimate.

      I have an Infranview installed as well.

      The salesman mentioned software, but didn’t go far with any discussion. I guess he thought I was some kind of world class expert or something.

      Afterall, it was in the Camera PRO department. LOL


    • #165951

      I wouldn’t buy that, but using it is the same as descrbed above. fill the frame, set your exposure (use spot meter) off the grey area. then custom color balance off any part of the card.

      your exposure is right when you got all three bars looking right, ie black is black, grey is grey and whites are white but not blown out.

    • #165952


      I appreciate the heck out of your responses.

      Sad to say, I don’t know whatyou said?

      My camera has a SPOT meter so I guess I’ll brush up on that.

      The part about custom color balance off any part of the card???Sorry, that went right over my head.

      I should take a close up video of my subject holding thecard facingthe camera. I then zoom on thecard.

      THen I use the Spot on the gray area.

      I Don’tunderstand”custom balance off any part ofthe card”

      I don’t get the part about 3 bars looking right either?

      I know this is must be elementary stuff, because you can’t find anything about it on the internet.

      Even the salesman at the camera store acted likeusing the card was a no-brainer.

    • #165953

      ok, dont worry about focus, and when you take a reading off the card, make sure the zoom setting on the camera is where you’ll have it set when shooting (ie wide zoom) if you zoom in using the zoom (tele) button, your exposure will be off.

      when doing a color balance, try the white or grey area of the card, it’s easier.

      do go through your manual , and set everything to manual.


      set the focus to the silver control knob on the front of the camera, on manual.

      set the exposure to spot, and use the touchscreen to set it off the card…make sure the card is in the same light as your subjeect.

      then set the color balance off the card…

      just look up each step in your manual as you go.

      it’s all in there.

      I got some time tommorow. if you aren’t getting anywhere, I’ll make a short video clip and post it for you.

    • #165954


      I found a couple ofcard chart sites,and one of them had a list ofscreencasts about theirperfectnuetral gray color charts,etc.

      So, like youmentied above a grey card is probably all that is needed.

      Here is an article I found

      This is a link to products by Munsell – I have the little Black/gray/white card.

      Here is the video tutor

      I think I get the idea,yet still confused. I don’t understand why anyone would take the time to shoot a video that might have numerous shoots under varying light conditionsthen doing edits on all thevideo takes.

      Everything I’ve found seems to point to fixing the problem after you are done.

      One would think it would be best practice to get AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE to good color when you are shooting the video or video takes.

      I’m not against using a card from what I have learned so far. In fact, it almost would seem “not too smart” not to use a color card chart.

      Back to white balance– Probably best to set white balance off the white stipe on the card first before shooting, or use a white paper and get a good white reference to start. Then shoot the videos, obviously using a color chart in the first few frames to prepare for color matching issues you deal with in the editor.

      I can’t believe I landed on something so simple or supposed to be simple that istwisting my brain like this. LOL

      My take on all this, I think if you create a video you might take some time to prepare it. There doesn’t appear to be a decent discussion or tutor about it anywhere on the web. There are some video that explain White Balance, etc. none of them tie the whole package together in an understandable fashion.

    • #165955

      the three colored card (white gray and black) will be useful to color correct with the color correction plug in vegas. click the minus button under each wheel and select the appropriate areas of the card to adjust to. but it is important that you shoot in manual modes so you don’t have shifts going on during your shoot.


    • #165956

      Well it’s always best to get it right in camera.

      You will get it. and consider yourself lucky…

      on a wedding shoot, I need to get 2 video cameras, and three d-slrs set up right, so the images match…. under different lighting, multiple locations, little time to set up, and only one chance to get it right…

      it comes with practice….


    • #165957

      Well it’s always best to get it right in camera. You will get it. and consider yourself lucky… on a wedding shoot, I need to get 2 video cameras, and three d-slrs set up right, so the images match…. under different lighting, multiple locations, little time to set up, and only one chance to get it right… it comes with practice…. lol

      Man… I admire you for that.

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