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    #11
    Senior Member paulears's Avatar
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    Is this not just a reinvention? It’s a sort of move towards a keyless, shadowless approach that’s always been available, but fashion likes the key and fill approach. We liked the hard shadow on the nose and eye socket shadows, and the variable amount of fill to reduce them. Then tv studios went LED and light got universally soft, and we liked the new look, with many attributing the look to LED when it was just soft light, often at the same sorts of angle as the ‘new’ book lighting creates. The shadows and slats on the background go back to Linnebach so this is the new. I’ve even got reflectors in my store and not used them for years.

    My question is what suddenly made this flat, even light appealing? It reduces surface detail, so everyone looks less spotty and blemish. Through choice, I still prefer key, fill and a back hair light of some sort, and I don’t like the soft light to be too soft. I can appreciate the new trend for softness in the extreme, but find it bland and a bit unexciting. It always looks like outside on an overcast day. It’s a nice video on how to do it, but I dont like it. The irony is that I’ve gone LED in my studio and find it hard NOT to be bland, and really miss a tungsten Fresnel key. My LEDs can’t really replicate that. Are we really on a quest for a no shadow world on faces?


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    Interesting point this. I'm primarily a still shooter and early in lockdown I started experimenting in the studio with hard lighting (there was a reason, it was an attempt to recover some of my lost prom shoots with portraits instead). Very different and I found myself instinctively trying to fill in the shadows because I'm so used to putting in a couple of large softboxes and a hairlight and so I just wasn't seeing what I expected. It took ages to get something I was even remotely happy with and it was a lot harder than I expected it to be


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    #13
    Senior Member paulears's Avatar
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    In lockdown, I've taken a few jobs I wouldn't perhaps have done before, and discovered that my LED panel lighting was not good at creating shadows at all, but this had a positive effect on green screen keying - so much better, and shooting products on white cloth. I really didn't like the effect though on faces. They lit them for illumination, but the loss of texture, and the humps and bumps of faces made everything look a bit sterile and medical. Bland, dull and boring - but well lit. In that video, I did like the touches from the slats, and they worked nicely and were subtle. I'm also theatre based normally, so am used to two 45 degree from centre key lights so the entire audience get nose shadows and can tell from a distance facial features. It took many years to get theatre from a general wash all over, down to areas and then real face light. Theatre now has the shadows and modelling and TV is moving back to wash. Very strange.


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    #14
    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulears View Post
    In lockdown, I've taken a few jobs I wouldn't perhaps have done before, and discovered that my LED panel lighting was not good at creating shadows at all, but this had a positive effect on green screen keying - so much better, and shooting products on white cloth. I really didn't like the effect though on faces. They lit them for illumination, but the loss of texture, and the humps and bumps of faces made everything look a bit sterile and medical. Bland, dull and boring - but well lit. In that video, I did like the touches from the slats, and they worked nicely and were subtle. I'm also theatre based normally, so am used to two 45 degree from centre key lights so the entire audience get nose shadows and can tell from a distance facial features. It took many years to get theatre from a general wash all over, down to areas and then real face light. Theatre now has the shadows and modelling and TV is moving back to wash. Very strange.
    I REALLY hate the trend of the last several years, that studio TV shows(sitcoms) have gone to. I mean they were never going to win Emmy’s for Cinematography, BUT at least the images had contrast, shadows and color, now so many are just so flat and boring. It looks like someone walked into a room, turned on all of the overhead flo’s(I guess LED’s, now) and shot in log and then forgot to grade it. And it’s not just new shows, I’ve seen the transition of existing shows that had an existing look. It’s like lighting is devolving and regressing back to “we just need illumination” instead of “let’s craft an image”. I’d almost say that it seems like the better narrative is becoming(has become) they purposefully and conversely make the sitcoms ugly.


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    #15
    Senior Member paulears's Avatar
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    I'm glad it s not just me that thinks this. You're so right - it really does look like everything is a big panel, or a other work lights and just washed the hell out of everything. In my studio I usually shoot against blue, green, white or black, and I was trying out a couple of the panels - and put one either side of centre, and it was bright, but bland. I slapped up a Fresnel, off to one side, because being honest there was a clamp dangling, and it gave me deeper shadows due to the angle, but I liked it and kept it there. I have another Fresnel on order - one that YouTube people have slammed because it has drop off at the edges, has soft edges to the barn doors and has a hot spot and isn't mega variable beam. Pretty much like all Fresnels. The people reviewing lighting now seem to have absolutely NO history or experience of lighting, and criticise kit for not being wide and really soft. It's like the school kids are teaching the others, not the teachers.


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