I love shooting on-location. If you are lucky enough to be working with good locations, the opportunities for beautiful images are everywhere. But, sometimes the best of locations can be very public places (theme parks, train stations, beaches, shopping areas, etc). For reasons of public safety, many of these locations do not allow the use of their power, or the use of any powerful HMI lights (daylight balanced sources) on a generator. Whether you're working inside or out, light control on-location is critical for producing powerful images. So ... what to do?
This is when your grip department becomes your lighting department. Other than the use of an occasional battery operated LED for an eye-light or accent, you have to rely on silks, blacks, reflectors, mirrors and bounce cards. On my recent shoot for the City of Anaheim, we were shooting at Disneyland, the city's new train station, a food mall and the beach. None of these locations allowed for powering anything more than our monitors and battery chargers. The images below show how I used my grip department to control and shape the light for each image - regardless of the situation. Sometimes only a simple bounce card was needed for fill light...and other shots demanded some extensive light modification.
We will be exploring the use of grip equipment in lighting in an upcoming VLT workshop.
All the Best!
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