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| p.1 #20 · This video explained so many things about light to me |
Would not have recognized Jay in this video. We went to Art Center together and this is really just a very basic lighting 101 demo.
The most important lighting assignment, a precursor to this exercise, was an assignment where you had to photograph three blocks of white painted wood on a white background - a ball, a cube, and a cylinder - all in the same shot and have all surfaces separate and have three distinct tones in the cube as well as a highlight, shadow and core on the cylinder. First with hard light and then again with soft reflected light, then for good measure, finding balls, cubes and cylinders out in the real world, all photographed to illustrate those lighting principles. Then on to shooting mannequin heads with all the lighting types demonstrated here and finally on actual live people.
Going through all those building steps before the people helped you develop an understanding and respect for the light that was already ingrained in you before you started to deal with the added task of directing people. So what Jay P is demonstrating here (and I almost didn't recognize him but did remember his voice) is really a very very condensed version of what was drilled into us in school. Understanding the basics is always the best way to learning anything and once you understand those basic as it relates to lighting, wherever that light comes from, will help any photographer learn to tell his or her story more effectively.
The one thing I never ever heard at Art Center was any reference to lighting in terms of ratios of key to fill or in terms of angle to the face. Never once. We were taught to see the light and determine with our own sensibility whether it was right or not, whether it needed more or less fill or if you need to raise the light to hide a double chin.
We have it so easy today with instant feedback. All those assignments we did were on 4x5 Plus-X and Tri-X, printed on Kodak #2 paper and no Polaroids. You shot, developed, proofed and then, more often than not, re-shot until it was right. That's the part you can never see in a video liked this unless you've been through the same course.
The end, in my opinion is not funny. It's a cheap attempt to be funny, like an SNL skit that never made it past dress. It the thirty plus years of shooting people on sets, I've never seen that happen. I don't believe it.