Changing the mood with light by JP Caldeano

We first chose the lens (in this case 35mm) and the composition for our frame then lights.


A) 2K light behind a diffusion frame (flat against the window) on the left of camera to give the subject a soft look.

B) 2K light bounced on a polyboard outside the front window to create illusion of a bright day outside.

C) 2K on the right of camera (outside window) pointing to our character to give the idea of sun coming through the window (also works as a back light and separates the subject from the back wall.)

D) 2K on the right of camera bounced on a polyboard and bounced back on a diffusion frame to give a bit more fill light inside the room
Note: No filters used on lights! And practical light was switched off


To give it a sunset look, I kept the 2K bounced against the polyboard outside the window to keep it all white outside the window and we used ½ CTO on the other 2K pointing inside, giving a warmer look to the scene. Then on the window on the left of camera we kept the diffusion against the window and bounced (a bit less light than before) through using a ¼ CTB on the light.

Note: To create a more realistic look, we put the 2K outside the front window a bit lower than on the previous shot because the sun wouldn’t be as high as if it was midday


For the night scene we used the same 2K Light with ½ CTB to create the MOON color (camera left), then moved the diffusion frame so we could see the dark outside. Leaving it just outside frame to keep similar soft light on the subject.

A Practical Light was added to enhance the mood in the room, but wasn’t strong enough to work as a back light, so we positioned a 150w Dedo Light just outside the frame (camera right), giving the subject a bit more separation from the background

Note: We shot it at the exposure we chose, and then we did a take one stop under and a take one stop over, so we were able to compare the difference of light on skin tones and how over exposing or underexposing can affect the mood of your scene.
Model:JP Caldeano

Tests shot by: JP Caldeano, Caleb Wissun-Bhide, Ben Calloway, Matthew Muscat-Drago, Mohammed Alsaedi
Thanks:Sue Gibson BSC

Article written by: JP Caldeano

Twitter: @JP_DOP

Nic Cha Kim

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