How do you do that Spotlight/Light Beam effect

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
Rico Tudor Contributing Member • Posts: 834
Re: How do you do that Spotlight/Light Beam effect

I wanted to achieve this kind of lighting on my next portrait. It boggles me how these photographers achieve this look, considering the sharp edge of the circular light on the background - without the edges getting soft or faded.

I have the standard array of modifiers to confine light. In order of increasing edge quality, these are fresnel, snoot, followspot, and projector. Fresnel lenses for studio are generally stippled to create smoother distribution but edges are nonexistent by design. The snoot has a better-defined edge but still fuzzy. The followspot, popular on live stage, has two glass elements for zooming and light distribution is excellent with sharp edges but the edges have fringing due to lack of chromatic correction. Best is the projector fixture with multi-element lens which will produce a razor-sharp edge:

Profoto MultiSpot, DP-1 attachment with 85mm lens. Above, the fixture distance and iris setting approximates sunlight for edge blur. For flat projection, the edge is perfectly defined at the focal distance. I haven't had time to actually use this gizmo.

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Canon, Nikon, Contax RTS, Leica M, Sony, Profoto

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