How to Master This Cinematic Lighting Setup

Understanding how to use light is one of the most important lessons a photographer needs to learn. Master this easy yet effective setup before your next shoot.

The team over at Westcott Lighting are back once again with another insightful video on creating cinematic light for headshots. This week, San Diego-based filmmaker and educator Caleb Wojcik breaks down his approach to lighting in a very understandable and accessible way. If you're new to using lights in your work, it can be rather intimidating to see several different kinds of lights on set and know exactly what all the various components are doing. This video is different from many educational ones in that it shows what each light is doing separately before it is added to the final setup. This approach not only helps us to understand what is going on, but it also makes it much easier for us to try and recreate the same setup for ourselves.

While the video uses Flex LED lights to accomplish the finished product, you could easily do something similar with any lights you already have and a couple of colored gels for your background. The main thing to understand in this useful video is how and why Wojcik uses the light he does. Once you grasp lighting concepts such as this one, you will begin to open up a world of creative possibilities which will help you take your photography and filmmaking to the next level.

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1 Comment

no no . that's a marketing stunt that works like this (all the time): departments have products to push, artists are called to show .
for example grids? better than nuthing, but useless 99.99% of the time. the main goal is to reduce spills and diffuse a little (the basic principle of honeycomb panels): result? they dont reduce spills and dont diffuse because they are too close to the source and away from the subject. Porteble TV crews use the grids with some extension to move'em away fro n the panels. for example.
I urge the colleagues to consider one item that does that beautifully instead and since ... forever: a scrim. Used by all the professional crews I know (stills and motion): they do diffuse and direct the source gently because they are closer to the subject and away from the source.
cost nothing and give back plenty. Plus there is no other way, to be brutally clear.
all the other gadgets are mostly useless with one purpose only: to keep the marketing departments of gadgets busy.
scrims must be big and are difficult to keep in place.that's why they are not popular in the pret-a-porter gadget oriented biz.
but I promise you: try one once and you'll NEVER shoot without them. Find a way to use them and place them. Then use ANY source of light.

the way I use them : get a frame (any) and a solid mount for c-stands and weights. Material: from tracing paper to artificial silk to plexiglass (which is hands down the best for a scrim but kinda heavy) PVC paper does basically the same job of plexi.

And remember : closer to the subject and away from the source. That's the law.

then look at the results. Was it so easy? and cheap?