New Lighting Methods for HDSLRs

DSLR Lighting Techniques and Existing Light

Most D.P.’s will agree that lighting makes the shot.  But lighting evolves with the filmmaking tools we use.  We’ve come a long way from the  “Paramount (butterfly) lighting” that was popular for the female stars in the black and white days.  A butterfly shaped shadow appeared under the nose.

Paramount (Butterfly) Lighting Example




Today a woman’s closeup lit with a butterfly lighting set up would shock the audience, even though we saw plenty of that in “The Artist“, which portrayed the silent era in pictures, and won the Oscar.






Prague Woman


The HDSLR, specifically the Canon 5D MK III, the camera is so sensitive to light that it has opened a broad palette of lighting setups…often using soft daylight from a window or just everyday lamps.




Woman asleep

For a “moonlight” shot, we had a shiny board outside the window, reflecting sunlight through a blue gel. With the Canon 5D Mark III we could shoot at a high ISO, which gave us a deep depth of focus so that the woman’s profile stayed in focus as the jib arm lifted up into the ceiling of this “dream” sequence.

New LED lights bring a easy solution to situations where you need a soft, skylight fill.   The ones with adjustable color temperature like the Zabolight give you a spectrum of color at your fingertips.  No more pesky gels to deal with…except one.  You may need to add a minus green to take the excessive amount of green spike you’ll see in almost all LED.

And so we focus a larger part of the Canon Boot Camp Pro Level Two workshop on lighting with different fixtures in different lighting setups.  This is so you can exploit the power these Canon HDSLRs give you to shoot virtually anywhere there is light.

In the new Pro Level Two classes, students practice solving different lighting challenges and explore new lighting fixtures you’ve never used at higher ISO’s.  The Pro Level Two class is a great workshop to sharpen your filmmaking and lighting skills.

Hope we see you there. It sheds a whole new light on things.

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