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Lighting - Low Key
Old 08-10-2004, 05:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi all,
Could someone explain or diagram a low key lighting situation for me. I know this is general but I've not tried this and want a starting place.

Here are my guesses.....(and what I like)
Black background.
Side or maybe even a little back lighting. (1 light setup - probably)
light at a good distance so that it is more harsh and drops of faster.
Gobo so the lens is blocked from the light and to keep if off the background.

I have studio flash with umbrellas and some hot lights. I was thinking it might be easier to work with the hot lights so that I can see what the light is doing.

Also if someone has examples and can explain the setup that would be great.

Thanks,
Jim
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OK, I\'ll give it a shot
Old 08-10-2004, 06:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A low key image is one in which the predominent tone is black or dark gray, the low end of the tonal range. From a purely technical standpoint, no more that 5% to 20% should be normal or light tone. The number of lights is really unimportant, though I normally use only one or two.

The background should be dark and the lights placed so that no light falls on the background. Place the model several feet from the background or use a gobo. Any sort of light can be used, personally I've used everythoing from 60 watt light bulbs to studio flash in lare soft bxes. Sometimes I turn off the flash and use only the modeling light. Light(s) can be placed anywhere, but control of the placement of light and shadow is all important.

This shot was one flash in a one by four foot softbox, placed cloe to the model's left side (camera right).


This was one flash head wearing a snoot, to the model's right and a bit higher than her shoulder.

This was done with flash on a five ft square softbox, mounted high and to camera left, looking down towared the models.


Again, a softbox, high and to camera right.

I don;t have an examle handy, but grids also work well well to restrict the light and place it just where you want. Not being a personal fan of hot light, I would suggest a very dark room nd using the modeling light to study the shadows. With some practice, you it's posible to learn to see shadows even in a lit room.
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Very Nice
Old 08-10-2004, 08:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks Doug. That is very helpful. Beautiful images as well. I hope to be able to give it a try soon.
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Re: Lighting - Low Key
Old 08-11-2004, 12:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Doug brought up some excellent points. If you want to control where the light is going, try "barn doors" or a "snoot." If you don't have some and are on a tight budget, try using heavy dark colored construction paper or something to that effect. It won't look like something expensive, but it will get the job done until you can purchase the real deal.

Isaiah Brink
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Re: Lighting - Low Key
Old 08-11-2004, 12:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Good Idea. I'll keep it in mind.

Jim
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