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: One method is to use a Cucoloris. Some will refer to it a s a cookie cutter:The 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:As 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: Now I’ll bring the light source closer to the Cucoloris. The light is now about 3′ away: Look at the photo below, and you will see the shadowed texture is beginning to soften:Now I’ll move the light source about 1′ from the Cucoloris:Look at the image below, see how soft the shadow texture is now?Did 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.
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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.
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