There are a million different ways to create drama in your images and footage. A lot of it comes down to infinitesimal fine tuning of your on-screen talent and adjusting the shadows and highlights to find the right amount of falloff.
Adding shafts of light to your image is yet another one of the ways to increase the emotional response to your images. And while they’re remarkably easy to capture, they’re very difficult to capture perfectly. This video seeks to help you get it right every time.
Jay P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens is here to let you know exactly what to do to get that perfect angle and feel. He’s narrowed it down to 4 specific concepts that you need to fully understand before you can get the professional results you seek.
One thing that could address that but isn’t fully discussed in the video is how to get the haze look in a large space without having to create a fire like they often do in outdoor shoots. However, if you’re wanting to know the basics of figuring out shafts of light and finding the correct gear to do it, this is what you need in your life.
Creating Shafts of Light for Photo and Video
Watch: 4 Principles That Will Help You Create Beautiful Shafts of Light
Via No Film School:
Morgan goes into depth about creating shafts of light in his blog post, but here's a quick summary to get you started. First of all, the four principles he describes in the video are:
1. Atmosphere: You need to fill up your set with haze or smoke in order for light to show up in-camera.
2. Angle: The angle at which you point your light n relation to your camera (as well as its distance from it) is important. Morgan says a 45-degree angle works well.
3. Quality of light: Using lights that are powerful and able to focus your light enough is integral to creating those iconic shafts of light. Fresnels work well for this.
4. Shaping the light: You need to be able to manipulate your light into the particular “shaft” shape you want. There are tons of ways to do this: using windows, flags, trees, grids, even cardboard cutouts.
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(cover photo credit: snap from No Film School)
He shoots a lot and often.
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