BC, Two words; Chinese Lan

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BC,

Two words; Chinese Lantern.

One word; Blocking.

Three more words; Compact Fluorescent Bulbs.

Okay, so you’re now asking, ‘what does any of that mean?’ Simple. You have your ‘single bulb’ which I surmise (never assume) is in frame. Just above your bulb out of frame you hang a Chinese Lantern of the same color temperature. Your in frame bulb should be low wattage or dimmed just enough to be seen as lit.

Inside the Chinese lantern (sounds like a movie title) should be of higher wattage to clearly illuminate your talent with some shadow present. You could even run the cord from your in frame light through the CL so when it swings, so will the lantern. You’re going to have to run some tests obviously and will probably need to use an ND filter so you can get an acceptable exposure and still see your effect. Not to mention you won’t want to shoot a light bulb even dimmed straight on with a video camera.

Blocking: that’s how you arrange your on-camera talent so they can be seen (I again surmise) at the same time and get your desired effect. Again you’ll need to run camera and lighting tests to see if this works according to your vision.

The reason I said CL and CFB’s is because the lantern will diffuse the light and the CFB’s are soft lights anyway hence softening the look even more. Since your on camera bulb will have to be dimmed, the lantern will provide enough light so when you’re shooting you won’t have to be wide open on your exposure. CL’s come in various sizes and in paper or nylon. Paper is very good at diffusing and cutting down the bulb’s output, but nylon has a nice way of evening the light out. You can buy chinese lanterns at party supply or craft stores cheap. Compact Fluorescent Bulbs you can get at a discount store in indoor white and daylight white. Don’t get colored lanterns! It’s easier (and cheaper) to just get white and use a colored CFB.

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