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Keep it Simple

Gotta love it when one light is all you need! ⚡️

Knowing when to strike the balance between building a crazy rig and keeping it simple can be tough, but it does get easier with time.

This line of work is all about pattern recognition. Most situations you’ll find yourself in share some similarities with places you’ve been in the past. Eventually between muscle memory and your own two eyes you’ll be able to make these decisions in your sleep. You just need to ask yourself a few basic questions to determine the best approach.

💡What are the exposure values and contrast ratio you’re aiming for?

💡What sort of light quality are you looking to achieve?

💡What kind of resources are available to you?

Answering these questions will point you in the right direction when deciding how to light a given scene.

For this image, we wanted the key source to be around T4.0 with about a 3:1 contrast ratio (1.5 stops difference between key and fill light) We knew we wanted the key light to be very soft, and the crew was nimble (just myself and a key grip in G&E) so the setup had to be relatively simple.

With this information we determined the LiteMat Plus 2L with magic cloth and bleached muslin would give us the super soft quality and exposure value we were after. Then we used a 4x4 piece of bead board to lift the shadows and let the ambient light from the windows do the rest.

Tyler Kaschke is a freelance gaffer with a grip truck based in Lafayette, Colorado serving Boulder, Denver, Golden, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and the Rocky Mountain region at large.


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