How to Control Your Lighting For Higher Production Value
by Justin McLachlan
Your best lighting tool isn’t a light.
No, really. Lights are important, but if all you’ve got room for in the budget is a work light from Home Depot, it doesn’t mean you can’t build a great shot with it.
There’s a trick to it.
Work lights are pretty big sources, so spill might be a problem. You can opt again for a professional flag to control it or, if those aren’t in the budget, some Duvetyne cleverly hung (or held) just where you need it will also block light. Duvetyne has the added bonus of being safer to use with hot sources. It’s still not cheap, though, so one of my favorite tricks is black foam core. It works super-well and is super-cheap. I have a stock of varying sizes in my closet. When you do have some money to spend, I’d grab a couple 4′ x 8′ sheets that you can get at art stores. Tape two together with some gaffer’s tape and you’ve got a v-flat that will pretty much stand on its own.
Got any favorite lighting control tricks? Share them with me on Twitter @justinmclachlan.
*I need to point out that when using materials to modify lights, you always, always have to consider the fire risk. While professional gels can withstand very high temperatures, they’ll still melt if they get too hot. The same goes for something like a shower curtain. Keep it a safe distance from your light source.
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