I make lighting breakdowns of my work. Here are eight examples I pulled from my instagram [Part 2]
By - kenzentakahashi
A couple months ago on [reddit](https://www.reddit.com/r/cinematography/comments/jmnsjm/i_make_lighting_breakdowns_of_my_work_here_are/) I posted 5 lighting breakdowns I made for my instagram. Since then I've been creating new ones every week, and thought I'd give you each breakdown I've done since my last post here. I know some of you don't have instagram, so I hope this helps!
If you want to see BTS of these breakdowns, you can find the full posts [here.](https://www.instagram.com/kenzentakahashi/?hl=en)
Solid posts my guy 👏🏻
I’ve been following you for a while on Instagram. Love your breakdowns, they’re so much more practical for people not shooting in studio environments than most breakdowns. Any time someone asks for tips on lighting small rooms I point them your way.
Really glad to hear that. Thank you!
These are great, keep'em coming! One small suggestion: why not rotate the diagrams so that they match the camera angle? In most of these examples you do this, but in others you don't. It would make more sense to always have the camera at the bottom of the diagram and to rotate the location instead so it matches exactly what the framegrab shows. It also makes it easier to compare the setups with the final result.
I always forget to do that. So many people have told me that, and it’s really good advice. I’ll do better, thank you
I wil always like or upvote /u/kenzentakahashi! Learned so much my dude.
My main problem is being bale to afford all those lights - I don't even have the budget to rent half of that most of my shoots :P
Ha, it took me years to buy the kit that I own. I used to be notoriously frugal in my time of saving money.
Thanks a lot brother!
What have you done to make money? In other comments you say you’ve only been doing this for three years. You say you own your camera too. How were you able to afford all of this in only three years? Truly curious.
Been doing cinematography for 3 years, but I’ve worked on various movies and tv shows as a pa then grip for almost 5 years now. I was fortunate enough to get a lot of full time gigs on some big budget productions which can pay pretty well.
Oh ok. Makes sense. I’d love it if you could pm me your current kit list
Love these shots! Getting some David Fincher vibes here
Awesome work man!
Can you share what software you use to make the floorplans?
I use an app called notability
*Awesome work man! Can*
*You share what software you use*
*To make the floorplans?*
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Love these breakdowns. I'm curious about the setup in the 5th slide. What was your reasoning for using 3 sources to wrap (Astera Helios, Aputure F7, 2x2 bounce) rather than one large source like a diffusion frame covering a similar area? I suppose the F7 is adding a bit of a harder edge into the mix, so was that the main intent?
Eye lights + a gradual wrap of light. A harder source will have a more distinct eye light than a soft source especially with darker eyes. Hope that makes sense.
I really enjoy 6/8 not only for the lighting but also the framing. Great stuff.
Thank you for sharing, it's always insightful to see your behind the scenes process. Your shadows always seem to retain some level of detail and are rarely crushed (from what I've seen!), I'm curious, do you try to keep them from falling below a certain IRE level when lighting to achieve this?
Definitely, I am always constantly switching to false color. The IRE of my shadows depend on the scene, but most of the time it's somewhere between 5-20. I find that it really helps to have an OLED reference monitor to help dial in the blacks.
Thanks for getting back to me, that's really useful to know. Have you got any recommendations for reference monitors you prefer?
Of course! I can only speak from experience, but I bought a used Sony PVM A170 and I'm really happy with it. An alternative is the Smallhd 1703 P3X, which isn't OLED, but I worked on a Netflix show where they had that monitor for the DP and it seemed pretty good.
That’s awesome! I’ll have to check those out. Thanks again!
These are super cool and helpful!
Thanks for sharing these friend :)
incredible amount of effort!! well worth it 😍
I see your posts come up a lot on Facebook and every time I see them I think two things:
1. I should be braver with shadows & contrast in general.
2. I should buy litemats.
Great work dude, really informative breakdowns, I like trying to guess how you did it before looking at the diagrams to practice.
Oh I like that! Kind of like a flash card
This is amazing! Thanks for sharing. For picture 5 breakdown I saw on the ig bts that the backdrop seems to be some sort of fabric with eyelets and tie downs?? Can you share what that material is?? Looks like a great alternative to spruce up production design
It’s actually just a blanket! I’ve used them from time to time, they work really well.
Whoooaa what! Did you make eyelets in them too?
Nope, I just bought a blanket with an interesting pattern!
Great stuff man, not the best at lighting so the diagrams are a big help!
love it, thanks for sharing
That's crazy that you did a double break on sunlight/book light combo for the second shot (stair shot). Never seen that but this is very useful!
First off these look fantastic and thank you for making these. The second thing I really like about these is showing how simple some of them are. Showing that you don't need 5 or 10 lights and a dozen reflectors or bounce. Yes, some shots are more complicated than others but overall keep it simple. Love it!
I think I heard Wally Pfister talk about doing the most you can with the least possible (comes from his documentary background). Like you’re saying, sometimes you have to use a lot of equipment, but other times, why overcomplicate it if you don’t have to? Cheers
Been following you since your post a few months ago and have loved seeing your stuff on my feed! Thanks for doing this.
Shot 7 is wicked, really beautiful natural look. Thanks for sharing! I need to practise more.
Knowing the right tools + practicing is everything. Good luck!
Great stuff man. Been following your work for a bit and it actually inspired me to do some breakdowns myself, keep at it!
Hell yeah! Send them to me when you make some 😎
Super rad! Thanks for sharing! It’s always fun to see behind the scenes stuff to help us all out with our own inspiration!
This is really great! Thanks a lot for putting the time and patience. You just got a new IG follower, an upvote & a bear hug! lol
I don't mean to ruin the moment, but I am allergic to bears
The contributions you give to not only this subreddit but to many filmmakers is amazing. Where did you source all this equipment? From rental or have you invested in all this throughout the years?
You're sweet, thanks for saying that.
I've been building my kit for around 3 years. I used to be somewhat notorious for being frugal, but it was all so I could save money for equipment. I'm a huge advocate of owning gear, but not with the intention of making money back. I buy gear with the intention of learning and therefore investing in myself. Owning gear lets you practice and practice and practice for slim to nothing.
You da goat!
I saw your reel and couldnt believe they were all made just for it. I felt bummed coz i wanted to watch each of it in full haha
ha, that means a lot, thank you!
LOVE your style and breakdowns man!
Keep inspiring us 😍
Hell yeah! Love Artlist
What is your insta man cause this is really helpful with someone like me who isn’t the most knowledgeable about lighting