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Lighting from below like in the film "Blade Runner"
Blade Runner Lighting…Sort Of
In the film Blade Runner, the lighting was strange and beautiful.* It was also very challenging to the technicians.* Making the actors look good under the type of lighting used was a real feat.* Kino Flo lighting was often used and not conventionally.* Many of the shots were lit from below.
You might notice that in my “Spoon”magazine shoot video, I used a mix of many light sources and for several I used a mix of Kino Light, open flash and soft box.* For several of my shots the light source was from directly below and below at around 45° up to the model.
When using this technique, where you are located is very important to achieve a balance between the harmony of the light hitting the model, the angle at which you are shooting the subject and the balance between shadows and highlights.* If you wish to kick in a bit more light, you may, as one might do for a still life session, using white or silver modifiers.* I prefer not to as the light being reflected back from the backdrop is often sufficient for me when using a white background.* I usually am shooting the background 1.5-2.5 stops hotter than the foreground.
If on a tight budget, you can replicate Kino Flo light by getting 6-10 fluorescent lights combined in an array i.e.parallel to each other attached to a white plexiglass or wood (painted white) support. I often mix Kino Flo with flash, HMI and tungsten, but used alone can also be quite effective.* It really depends on what you wish to accomplish.* When building a Kino Flo light type of configuration, it should be enclosed in a kind of light box looking structure, perhaps 6″-20cm deep.* You may also attach some barn doors or flags to control the light more effectively.
You can also get an approximate replication of Kino Flo light, using a soft box lit from below. Although this works, it doesn’t have the radical fall off that Kino* Flo Lights have.
Anyhow, give lighting from below a try, but remember to place yourself accordingly as the model will often be looking down in to the light and that will be a creative challenge for you…
None the less, have fun experimenting.
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