Lighting Quick Tip
Halogen light bulbs should never be touched with the naked hand; skin oil can cause a weak spot, resulting in an explosion of the bulb. Because of this potential, halogen lights should never be pointed directly at talent.
Not suprisingly, the light from these bulbs is extremely harsh and bright, which brings us to Tip #2 .
Quick Tip #2 -- make an aluminum foil reflector from an old umbrella to soften the light. Fit the aluminum foil, dull side down, into the underside of an old umbrella and tape the pieces of foil securely in place. Mount the umbrella handle to the light stand, and bounce the light off the inside of the umbrella.
Finished with your shoot? Just close the umbrella and store it away for next time.
For photographs and a detailed description of the umbrella reflector, see Videomaker Magazine for October, 1998, page 136 for an article by Chuck Peters, Videomaker's Managing Editor.
Light still too harsh? Then consider Tip #3.
Quick Tip #3 -- Need an ultra-soft light reflector. Use an old movie screen. You can often find old movie screens -- the kind that have their own stand and roll up into a metal container -- at second-hand stores. Position the screen in the key or fill light position and shine a light directly onto the screen. The bounce light will be very even and soft.
Quick Tip #4 -- For another soft (diffused) light, try hanging a photo-flood bulb -- you can get one from a photo supply house -- inside a large Chinese rice-paper lantern. This gives a beautiful even spread of light, and the trick has been used by film makers and videographers for many years, but it is not without its dangers.
Better still, invest in a soft box or build one yourself. You'll find lots of ideas on Google and YouTube.
Last modified 1/2/18