It's All A Balancing Act
(Singer Seal demonstrates balance)
by Walter Graff
I do lot of those celebrity interviews you see on
such channels as The TV Guide Channel. I recently
found myself doing a few that I would like to
We got to the hotel. It was small. I found out we were in a bar in the lobby. The bar was closed. It was a typical downtown spot, minimalist. When we walked in the room another crew was already set up for a two-camera shoot for BET. And low and behold whatever was in the room, they had as props in their two angles, leaving me with some wood tables and a few candles. But as I always show, no fear, we’ll make it work.
So I had the other boring corner of the room. I
tried to squint to see what would work and then
said to myself, why do I have to imagine so much
But that was fine with me. In fact since minimalist
was my theme for the shot, I kind of laughed at
their set-up thinking it had too much going on.
If I asked you which way the weight of the picture above was leaning would you say to the right? In other words, if I wanted to balance the background with someone in front of it, which side would the talent work on better on, right or left? Let's look:
Above: Room weighted left and me left
Above: Room weighted left and me on the right for balance
Okay, I just realized it’s not the best demo I could come up with. In fact, the photo is of me from high school.
When I look at a room I see natural lines that create weight in a picture. These lines are created not only by real lines that might exist in moldings, etc on walls, but lamps, and pictures. Imagine having a car you load up with objects. If you put all the weight on the right side of the car, you would need something on the left to balance out the weight. I see that weight visually. So if the room leans left as it does in my original example above (illustration 1), I would want to put the person on the right for balance as I did in the second example of me in high school above. If I put myself on the left, there is lots of clutter as I have a room weighted left and my talent on the left leaving allot of area to the right that offers no visual balance. I almost feel like I am fighting the background when my talent is on the left and feel more balance when it's on the right.
So I am using three lights as seen in the photos below. #1- 100 watt LTM Fresnel, #2-600 watt omni with CTB, #3 Cukaloris, #4- Chimera with 600 w omni.
The reflector on the right (above) has one purpose, to block the Chimera (not seen in photo) from spilling onto the background wall. Cuckoldries which creates the pattern on the wall can be seen on the left (above behind talent). The Rim/Back light is hidden from view behind it.
Similar shot as shown in first photo above also showing the Chimera also in the photo. Talent is behind make-up girl bending over on the left.
And for clarity here is the lighting plot:
#1- 100 watt LTM Fresnel
Here is the finished shot. The blue in the background is soft and I think
Copyright 2013 by Walter Graff. This article may be circulated and shared as long as the following reference is made:
'This article appears courtesy of Walter Graff- http://www.waltergraff.com'
Please don't hesitate to send me an e-mail if you have any questions or comments please e-mail me at Walter@waltergraff.com