So often someone will take the time to light the talent to look great but forget to light the background and give the image some depth:Plain One method is to use a Cucoloris. Some will refer to it a s a cookie cutter:CookieCutterThe Cucoloris will create a shadowed texture onto your background depending on the distance the light source is from the Cucoloris. The general rule with light is that the closer the light the softer the light, the larger the light the softer the light. Allow me to show you this theory in practical application:Sharp2As you can see in the above image the light source with a standard 7″ reflector never changes in size. It is about 6′ away from the Cucoloris. Looking at the image below you can see it creates a defined shadowed texture onto the seamless: SharpNow I’ll bring the light source closer to the Cucoloris. The light is now about 3′ away:Medium2 Look at the photo below, and you will see the shadowed texture is beginning to soften:MediumNow I’ll move the light source about 1′ from the Cucoloris:softLook at the image below, see how soft the shadow texture is now?soft2Did you notice that I never moved the Cucoloris closer to the seamless? I did; however, raise or lower and rotate the Cucoloris to control the placement of the shadowed texture onto the seamless. This is all subjective to how you like the look. When you don’t have a Cucoloris, you can always use other items to create a shadowed texture onto your seamless or wall. I have actually used branches in the past. Think outside the box. Apply some lighting theory, and go create some shadowed textures to enhance your images.

Thank you for your time and reading my post.

That’s a wrap, fade to black.


Mike PR Image

Mike Kubeisy has been shooting celebrities in Hollywood for over 30 years as a Motion Picture and Television Stills Photographer. No photographer’s work is seen by more people than Mike’s work worldwide.

Mike is best known for his work on countless popular shows that are household names: CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, JAG, Boston Legal, Pretty Little Liars to name a few. His current projects are NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles.

Mike is a Trainer for KelbyOne, and Los Angeles Center of Photography. Mike is also a member of the International Cinematographers Guild.

You can view Mike’s work at 4stills.com, and follow him on Facebook at 4Stills.


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Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. I love this. I never really though this was a piece of hardware, I always thought it was part of the background seamless. Are there time tested shapes to the Cucoloris, or will any grouping of non-regular shapes work?

    Reply
    • Hi Eric, The Cucoloris is a standard pattern, I know many photographers cut their own. The results are subjective, too dark too sharp.The great thing is you control the way it look. I hope I answered your question.

      Reply

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About Kubeisy

Mike Kubeisy has been shooting celebrities in Hollywood for over 30 years as a Motion Picture and Television Stills Photographer. No photographer’s work is seen by more people than Mike’s work worldwide. Mike is best known for his work on countless popular shows that are household names: CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, JAG, Boston Legal, Pretty Little Liars to name a few. His current projects are NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles. Mike is a Trainer for KelbyOne, and Los Angeles Center of Photography. Mike is also a member of the International Cinematographers Guild. You can view Mike’s work at 4stills.com, and follow him on Facebook at 4Stills.

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