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No Control Grid? No Problem.

I love using big sources for my key light. It has a very natural looking quality and wraps around the subject’s face beautifully.

The biggest drawback to something so big is that it will spray light all over the place and flatten your image if steps aren’t taken to control the spill. 🙅‍♂️

One solution that most people will be able to recreate uses two pieces of duvetyn on the front of the diffusion frame. One piece goes across the bottom to keep unwanted hotspots off the floor, and the second piece goes across the top to help keep some light off the back wall. You can adjust the height of the duve to your liking. Sometimes it just becomes a wide and narrow strip of light that passes through. DoP Choice and Honeycrates make control grids that really help with this but I’m not made of money, ok?? (Please sponsor me)

In addition to the duvetyn topper and bottomer on the diffusion frame, we also used a 24x72 “meat axe” (a long boi flag) as a teaser to cut light off the props in the foreground while still letting light gradually pass over and hit the subject’s face. (A teaser is where you sort of angle the flag so it’s not a hard cut and creates a gradient - but that’s like a whole separate post)

This shoot was the first time I used my 1200D! Triple broken key light with the 12x12 bleached mus doing the lord’s work. Two Nova 300s for our psychedelic background, and a couple 300Xs for a warm edge. At one point we had 16 Aputure lights connected to Sidus Link. Take that HMIs.

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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