Basic Single Person Interview Setup (1)
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The Job - A Corporate Interview with the National Sales Manager.

The bi-monthly message to the sales force message to be distributed within the company.

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The Location - Her Office.

Dimensions 10' x 12' with slanted 15' lodge ceilings. Windows on one wall with blinds. Overhead tungsten lights.

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The Requested Style - Semi-hard Light.

They wanted a business look, not too cosmetic.

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The Kit - Lowel DV Creator 1 Kit.

3 lights with accessories & stands, 1500 Watts total.

the setting the DV Creator 1 Kit

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The Approach...
Pre Lit wide shot

For a quick setup in this office we knew we couldn't compete with the amount of daylight from the window behind the desk so the blinds were closed. We didn't want to have a bland background either, so we turned on the table lamp behind her. Even though it's bulb had a blue cast, it was better to have it on. It made the set look more natural, created a sense of depth, and also added a little light to the flowers in the corner.

No Lights

 Lit wide shot
(Clockwise from top) - Pro-light, Omni-light with diffusion, Tota-light with silver reflective umbrella

The overhead office lights provide enough light to make an exposure but you can see they have a very unflattering effect on the subject. Her eyes are nearly lost in shadows, her forehead is the brightest part of her face, and there is a long shadow under her nose. We turned them off completely, altho, since they are also tungsten, we could have left them on to raise the room level . The camera was set up in the office doorway to allow a more telephoto lens shot, to try and get the background to be a little out of focus.

DV Creator 1 Kit
(L-R) Pro-light (250W focusable), Tota-light (750W broad throw), Omni-light (500W focusable)

DV Creator 1 Kit Light ON

The Omni-light from the kit was fitted with the gel frame and frost gel clipped to it. With the subject facing the interviewer's position, the position and height of the light were adjusted until the subject's nose shadow blended along the line below her cheek to the end of her mouth. One of the chairs in the room had to be removed to make room for the Omni & stand.

A stand with the Tota-light and umbrella was placed just to the left of the camera position, a little higher than her head. This caused the shadows from the light to fall down and behind the subject; avoiding a second set of shadows from being visible behind her. We adjusted the light's distance to the subject until we saw the amount of fill, or lightening of the shadows, we wanted. Enough shadow was left to still see a triangle of light below the eye nearest the camera.

The Pro-light was placed as far behind the subject as possible without the stand being visible in the frame. It was also set at a height that kept it clear of the frame. It added a shine to her hair that appears to be coming from the lamp in the background. If we placed this Back or Hair light too high there would be a hard shadow on the desktop in front of her, and the tip of her nose would have a distracting bright spot. The barn doors on this light were pinched together to only allow light on her hair.

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Same Approach, Different Kit...
Using the Rifa eX Small Triple Soft Kit
Rifa eX Small Triple Soft Kit
(L-R) Rifa 55 (500W softlight), Rifa 44 (250W softlight), Rifa 66 (750W max softlight).

For comparison purposes, this is the exact same setup using the Small Rifa Triple Soft Kit, instead of the DV Creator 1 Kit.

Both are 3 light kits but where the DV Creator 1 Kit is comprised of hard light sources, the Rifa Triple Soft Kit contains 3 dedicated soft sources.

In our original setup, shown above, the hard lights of the DV Creator 1 Kit were already softened some by adding a Gel-frame with diffusion gel to the Omni-light, and a reflective umbrella to the Tota-light. However softness of light is determined by the size of the source. The small bright point source of the bulb is no longer considered the source, it is now the larger diffusion gel, and the reflective umbrella attached to the lights.

Since the Rifa Triple Soft Kit features lights with front diffuser screens that are larger than the methods of diffusion added to the lights of the DV Creator 1 Kit, the effect of the lighting will be even softer.

Wide Shot with Rifa eX Small Triple Soft Kit
(Clockwise from top) - Rifa-44, Rifa-66, Rifa-55

Both Final Images
DV Creator 1 KitRifa eX Small Triple Soft Kit

Notice that the nose shadow is much less defined in the image on the right. Overall the lighting has a smoother appearance. The hair light puts a more subtle shine on her hair. The image has less contrast but there is still enough difference between the Key and Fill lights to show the contours of her face. Both are attractive images, and the difference is a matter of personal preference.
© 2008 Lowel-Light Mfg. All Rights Reserved.