In this blog I will explain how I used one light to help create a dramatic look for my story profile video “Determined.”
My friend has been training his daughter to box since she was three years old. She is now 13-years old and has a very hard punch. I wanted to do a short profile on her and ask her why she trains so hard. I knew I wanted to shoot this profile story with one light. The mood I was trying to create was a dramatic one.
For the interview I chose to light from the side, instead of at the normal 45 degree angle. Lighting this way gave the interviewee a more dramatic look with just part of her face lit. Funny story is I forgot my soft box. However, I was able to find a standing clothes rack that I was able to drape some silk with and shoot through. It created a very soft look but because I positioned the light camera right, it also allowed for drama. I placed an additional silk around the light barn doors to soften it even further. For those who are curious on what type of light I was using it was the Aputure 120 Mark ll.
Once the interview was complete, I took both silks down and added a 30 degree grid to the front of the Aputure light. This gave me more directional light which I was needing. By focusing the light in a narrower pattern, I was able to place light only on the boxer while she was training. The light was up high around 7-8 feet and I used the barn doors to cut the light from bouncing onto the ceiling. By back lighting my subject I was able to get a cool silhouette. The light was able to wrap around the boxer when she moved back and forth and right to left, which allowed me to see her face even thought there was no light hitting her from the front. If I did place the light in front of her it would have given a flatter look and that is not what I wanted at all.
So, in conclusion, depending on what type of story you’re producing will dictate many things; one of them and most importantly is the lighting. I did not need a lot of light to pull this off because before I even showed up, I envisioned what it could look like. I had an idea, the look I wanted and thankfully it came together. It’s also a good idea to know how you can light a subject if you forget your soft box. Learning how to light and the characteristics of it help you out tremendously when you do not have the go-to tools like I did on this shoot. I hope this helps you and if you found this information useful please share it with someone you feel can benefit from it as well.
I have been working in television and media for over 18 years. My experience includes news photojournalist, editor, producer and storyteller.