Back Light: Where When and Why: Illumination Experience

INCLUDED IN THIS LESSON:  1.5 hours of video instruction

IN THIS LESSON YOU WILL LEARN:  Shane takes you through his mantra on WHERE, WHEN & WHY to use a back light. How can it increase dimension and mood? Shane not only takes you through these subtleties but also one of his strongest abilities, which is to understand and utilize DIY lighting to its fullest. Shane will show you how you can light a scene with 20K worth of Hollywood lights or 250 dollars worth of DIY clamp lights, batten lights and under counter floes where you are not able to tell the difference.

  • Understanding which side to back light from and WHY?
  • Soft and hard light for your back light and HOW and WHY?
  • Understanding how to light with Hollywood lights, then immediately match their quality and color with DIY lights from Home Depot
  • How you create your visual landscape
  • Feature film examples


We are directing all comments and questions to our New Forum, please find the related course in the forum’s categories to submit.

Solanki Chakraborty 6 days ago

Hi Shane, can you explain how can I make that 11 panel ceramic light panel. Which bulb I can use?

    • Shane Hurlbut, ASC    5 days ago

      @Solanki Chakraborty HI Solanki, Those are just ceramic sockets screwed into a 1" x 4" wooden batten board. Then I use 85 watt R30 spot bulbs, they are really hard to find now because they are not considered GREEN.

    • kurtratliff    7 days ago

      @Solanki Chakraborty Shane - it's so amazing that you have opened up this content! I have honestly learned more from these videos than almost any other content/experience I've had. I was wondering on the batten board setup - how are you controlling the output of the light?

    • Shane Hurlbut, ASC    7 days ago

      @Solanki Chakraborty Hi Kurt, I am so glad that it has struck a chord with you. I love this workshop as well. Took over 6 months to plan the curriculum and the tour. I am controlling the output with a variac. It is like a dimmer.

Luan de Souza Oliveira 14 days ago

How could someone mute the background with the DIY lighting as much as the hollywood setup did?

    • Shane Hurlbut, ASC    14 days ago

      @Luan de Souza Oliveira Hi Luan, SO sorry I do not understand the question, can you be more specific? Thank you

    • Luan de Souza Oliveira    13 days ago

      @Luan de Souza Oliveira of Course! At 1:29:12, on the side by side comparison, the image on the left (Hollywood lighting) has a darker background, providing a nice contrast with the model's face. On the right, the image is overtaken by a fuzzy clear quality, like a filter. I'm guessing that's the flare from the light on his right shoulder. Anyway, thanks for making this course free! It's very, well, illuminating(sorry)!

    • Shane Hurlbut, ASC    13 days ago

      @Luan de Souza Oliveira HI Luan, You are very welcome it is our pleasure during these difficult times. That side by side was not the best reference because I was showing the class what different diffusion filters on the lens would look like and I think they used the side by side with the filter instead of without it. So it was the same contrast, so sorry about that.

    • Luan de Souza Oliveira    13 days ago

      @Luan de Souza Oliveira ohhh, right, you did add that! I did not take that into consideration. Ok, that explains it! Thank you!

    • Shane Hurlbut, ASC    12 days ago

      @Luan de Souza Oliveira HI Luan, You are very welcome

Ana 22 days ago

This video is in spanish??

    • Shane Hurlbut, ASC    22 days ago

      @Ana Ana, This video is not in Spanish, if you want spanish you need to go here:

gilbert 26 days ago

video is not working

Britta Curkovic 29 days ago

I’m wondering if you create the batten lights or build them? If you build them, might you be able to share which lightbulbs you recommend to get that much power? Thank you very much for the course… it’s amazing and I can’t wait to go test a bunch of setups!

    • Shane Hurlbut, ASC    28 days ago

      @Britta Curkovic Hi Britta, I have built those lights by myself. I do not post anything on these lights because it is part of my Lighting style that is mine. I show you pictures and it is your job to figure this out on your own. The lights are R-30 Spot globes 85 Watt, Sylvania is the manufacturer.

    • Britta Curkovic    28 days ago

      @Britta Curkovic Thank you so much Shane, that’s a huge help... really appreciate it, and I am so excited about having found your course and your Acadamy! I’ve already started to see light completely differently... looking forward to continuing to learn from you!

    • Shane Hurlbut, ASC    28 days ago

      @Britta Curkovic Hi Britta, You are very welcome and I so glad that you found us. Lydia and I built this resource becasue this would be everything necessary to becoming a master cinematographer. I looked back on how I learned, how I lead and how I inspired my crew and learned my craft from amazing mentors. Now it is all right here in front of you to use your whole career. Welcome to the Academy Britta so happy to have you

dislamedia Today

This is My personal favorite lesson in the workshop! Thank you for making me aware of the equipment you use. The YouTube world talks about aputure lights and other LEDs, it’s nice to get a glimpse of what is being used in big productions as well so we as filmmakers can make a more informed decision. Thanks for allowing us the inside scoop. Please continue to make more!

    • Shane Hurlbut, ASC    Today

      @dislamedia Hi Dislamedia, boy you are chewing through this course my friend. HA HA Yes, I wanted to show you Hollywood lights and then how you can strip it all down with DIY solutions, this are to inspire you all to take the DIY to other levels.