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Hair light exposure rule of thumb
Old 10-19-2004, 04:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
Steve_Kirby
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My hair lights always seem to be a little hot, what is a good rule of thumb exposure wise? I have been adding about 1.5 to 2 stops to the base exposure.

 
 
Re: Hair light exposure rule of thumb
Old 10-19-2004, 05:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Steve

I set the hairlight at the same as the mail light. That would make you 1.5 - 3 stops too hot....

Bob
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Re: Hair light exposure rule of thumb
Old 10-19-2004, 08:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yea... don't forget to add the light already comming from camera angle... it's cumulative.

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some rule of thumbs (or should that read rules of thumb?)
Old 10-20-2004, 11:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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These are general/ballpark portrait exposures.

As an example, if your mainlight is f5.6 your fill light should be f4. Rim lights at 5.62... hairlight depends on model's hair color: blondes 5.62, brunettes 5.65 and black hair 5.67.

Again, these aren't etched in stone and aren't applicable to all situations; they're just general rules of thumb or rule of thumbs or whatever you want to call them.
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Two Things
Old 10-20-2004, 05:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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1. Most of it has to do with the subject's hair color.

2. What YOU expect out of a hair light.

A subject with blonde hair, will require less exposure (on the hair) than a subject with black hair. If you're shooting digitally, you should be able to adjust on the spot. However, if your shooting film then you're just going to have to test subjects with different hair colors to get the effect you're looking for.

Here's some starting suggestions (based upon your taking aperture).

Black hair: 1 to 1 1/2 stops over
Brown hair: Same as your taking exposure
Dark blond: 1 stop less
Blond: 1 1/2 stop less
Very light: 2 stops less

The above are only (my)suggestions to start from a point of reference. Everyone will have different opinions of what they want to "see" with a hair light.

Have fun,

Ed
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