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Small lights are important, too!

Sometimes small lights are just as important as big lights for interior scenes.

Once you establish your key source and the ambient room tone, little fixtures will elevate the depth of your shot by adding layers and visual interest to the composition. These are sometimes referred to as “specials” as in, “that picture frame on the wall has its very own light. Isn’t that special?” 😉

You’ll usually want to keep the value of the accent lights low in relation to the key so they aren’t a distraction from the subject. Just enough to lift certain parts of the frame and bring life to an otherwise dead area 👼

A bar location like this one is a great time to use small fixtures to create pools of light throughout the frame. The vibe would be completely different in a corporate office building, but you can still add accent lighting in those environments as well!

The Nanlite 60C is a perfect light for a special. It’s basically a RGB 21st century version of an Arri 150. Its small form factor and full color capability make it a super versatile tool. Unfortunately I didn’t have that light at the time of this project, but it’s been fantastic to have in the kit for this exact purpose. I also love the Aputure MCs for accent lighting. Low profile and battery powered means you can get them into some tight spaces!

When most people are building their lighting kit, they tend to focus on the Baja Blasters™️, but overlook the small lights. It’s really important to have a well rounded variety of tools available for different uses! (See previous post for more on this)

This location had very low ceilings, so we needed low profile fixtures to hide out of frame. Titan tubes were the tool of choice, and Snapgrids played an extremely important role in keeping the spill off the ceilings and walls. We keyed the subject with a Litemat 4 Spectrum through a frame of 250 with a control grid (no room for a forest of flags) a Litemat 2L Plus played on the background talent, a B7C practical doin’ it’s thing, and we placed a few MCs on the ceiling with paper tape snoots to create pools of light across the bar.

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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