Thanks for the post. I really really love the photograph and it is a perfect expression of what I meant about "less is more" and sculpting with light. So often in my working life I have had to deal with cameramen who light themselves into a corner so to speak by adding more and more lights to illuminate away ugly multiple shadows when really all they had needed to do was to use less and less lamps with more cutting to shape the light into an interesting pattern.

I remember a guy I worked with who is one of my favourite cameramen here who came up with the idea to have only one brute arc as a light source pointing AWAY from the subject and use dozens of mirrors to reflect light back onto the set. In my eyes this looked great. If you do not know what a brute is try this:


Today the arcs are long gone because of the electricity and man power required but they were the staple of film lighting long ago.

Just for you information light illumination works on what is called the "inverse square law" which simply states that the foot-candles on a subject is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source. In human language this roughly translates to mean that the amount of light hitting a subject will double if you halve the distance from the source to the subject. It also means that you lose half your light each time you double the distance. It also means that each time you double the wattage of a similar type (fresnel, or open eye, or bounce etc. etc.) you double the foot-candles. It also means the same in reverse - half the wattage and half the foot-candles. But the kicker is that all these "halves" and "doubles" are equivalent to f stops. So if you need 1 more f stop you drag the lamp half way in to the subject or you double the wattage. Therefore the difference between the 650w and the 2k lamps are: 650w. x 2 = 1300w. - that is 1 stop; add 2/3 of a stop for the last 700w. and the difference you get 1 and 2/3 stop more light with a 2k than a 650w. This IS ONLY theoretical "back of the envelope" type calculation but it is a good place to start from. Obviously you cannot compare apples to oranges i.e. a tungsten lamp to an HMI (unless you know the scale of the value of the output differential, but that is a whole 'nother story!). Likewise if you bring a 650w. about 66% closer to the subject you will get about the same illumination as a 2k. and so on and so forth.......hope this is understandable.

For many years my Best Boy was a man from A'dam who started out in stills in fashion in Nederlands and moved onto London and finally Sydney. After awhile he got into the film industry to work with me. Today he is back in Holland and has started a technician booking agency called Crew Call. He and Het Licht produced a yearly directory of all film technicians in Holland and the cover of the books were a modern rendition of very famous Dutch paintings i.e. Rembrandt etc. etc. The book was published under the name of Five Star Crew but each year that it came out it had a different photographic rendition of a different famous painting shot using Het Lichts equipment. They are worth looking at if you can find the book or if you are at the studios and can ask....the one I am referring to at the moment is the 2010 book. Anyway thru this guy I have met many Dutch lighting guys but, no I have not worked in Holland - I just have drinks with the crew every few years when I visit.

Anyway sorry to be so long winded but I would tell you of my fave film for lighting if you ever get a chance to watch - Road to Perdition. It was for me the best photographed film that I have ever seen followed by Oh Brother Where Art Thou.

For now goodbye and good luck,