How to properly light a character leaning against a wall?

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Jacobcullen

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How to properly light a character leaning against a wall?

PostFri Feb 15, 2019 9:24 am

Hey guys. I am planning a future short film shoot, in which one of the characters leans against a wall while sitting on the floor.

Planning to do some Rembrandt lighting maybe. But most importantly, is it possible to light my character without hideous shadows on the wall? If so, how would i pull that off?
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Ric Murray

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Re: How to properly light a character leaning against a wall

PostFri Feb 15, 2019 4:05 pm

The larger the light source the smaller the shadow. for the described situation I would likely start with a 4'x6' soft box to one side. This will give you a small, soft edged shadow on the opposite side that will just add to the "moody" look. Adjust fill to taste. Going larger or smaller, closer or pulled back, will change the contrast and shadow size.
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Uli Plank

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Re: How to properly light a character leaning against a wall

PostSun Feb 17, 2019 2:24 pm

Well, what Rembrandt did is generally described as 'Chiaroscuro' (light and dark in Italian) and it is first of all based on having a dark environment with local 'islands' of light.

You can't easily pull that off in front of a white wall and in any environment with white or light walls. To get complete control over lighting, studios have dark walls.
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Brad Hurley

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Re: How to properly light a character leaning against a wall

PostSun Feb 17, 2019 2:48 pm

Uli Plank wrote:Well, what Rembrandt did is generally described as 'Chiaroscuro' (light and dark in Italian) and it is first of all based on having a dark environment with local 'islands' of light.


I think in this case, though, "Rembrandt lighting" refers to a very specific lighting technique for portraits; it's a term coined by Cecil B. DeMille in the early years of the 1900s: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rembrandt_lighting
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Ric Murray

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Re: How to properly light a character leaning against a wall

PostSun Feb 17, 2019 10:26 pm

Rembrandt lighting was what I described above, a dark room with a single window light source to one side. The soft box concept was developed to mimic the look of "north" light through a large window. I should have added That I usually use an egg crate baffle on the soft box in order to control the spill and lesson light bouncing off the inevitable light beige or white walls & ceilings in most modern locations. Homes at the time of Rembrandt were much darker smokey places with heavy fabrics (not white) hung about to discourage drafts. The only light sources were expensive, so daylight was a big deal and clear glass was hi tech.
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rick.lang

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Re: How to properly light a character leaning against a wall

PostMon Feb 18, 2019 4:40 am

Self-Portrait with Two Circles

“One of many Rembrandt’s self-portraits shows the artist at work.” Good illustration of the technique.


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