How do you do that Spotlight/Light Beam effect

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Ed Shapiro
Ed Shapiro Regular Member • Posts: 328
Re: How do you do that Spotlight/Light Beam effect

jlafferty wrote:

I have to say it’s surprising how willfully people keep insisting this isn’t done with lighting. The light isn’t at an angle relative to the wall - the subject-shadow separation is due to camera angle. It’s also the case that you can move the light source relative to the subject to increase shadow separation from the subject, while keeping the projector front element parallel to the wall. The light has a crisp edge because they made the face of the projector parallel to the wall, and moved around that. It’s *possible* they also cleaned up the edge in post but my hunch says *not necessary*.

I am not "insisting" or arguing about anything. I am just making an educated guess based on light and shadow in the images and what I observed based on my experience with ordinary equipment.  If, in fact, there's new innovative equipment that modifies light to behave in new and different ways- as I wrote, I find that interesting.  If there is a technique that I am not familiar with, I would like to see it performed- someone mentioned an online video.

Again, IF, there is a light modifier incorporating a parabolic umbrella that defies the inverse square law that can be utilized with ordinary studio-like equipment, not laser or laboratory-generated point light sources, that's interesting too. Otherwise it just interesting topics of scientific conversation that have no practical usage in applied photography.

I love "lighting", I teach lighting, and I study and learn to light so any effect that can be done with lighting and does not require all kind of messing around with in post-processing, appeals to me.

As for the images in the OP's question.  to me, the effect looks artificial.  The edges of the spot of light look unreal. If the effect is strictly the function of lighting via a specialized technique or equipment, I don't feel the technique was applied with sufficient nuance.

This is my OPINION- it ain't carved in stone- I'm always receptive to other ideas and opinions.

Ed Shapiro- Commercial and Portrait Photographer. Ottawa, Ontario Canada

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