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How to Use Indirect Bounce Light

  • June 10, 2015
  • Shane Hurlbut, ASC
How to Use Indirect Bounce Light

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It is incredible how just one light that is not direct, but bouncing off something, changes the mood and tone of your image. It doesn’t have to be from a bounce card; it can be a wall, a floor or a ceiling. Indirect light is one of my favorite lights to use. I feel it mimics what your eyes see because it is natural, soft, forgiving and beautiful. Take these examples:

Bounce light 2-18k’s into 12 x 20 Ultra Bounce
Bounce light 2-18k’s into 12 x 20 Ultra Bounce – Crazy/Beautiful
Bounce light 2-18k’s into 12 x 20 Ultra Bounce
Bounce light 2-18k’s into 12 x 20 Ultra Bounce – Crazy/Beautiful
Bounce Light - 24 light maxi brute bouncing into a 8 x 8 Ultra Bounce - Terminator Salvation
Bounce Light – 24 light maxi brute bouncing into a 8 x 8 Ultra Bounce – Terminator Salvation
Bounce light- medical light reflected off a 4’ circle bounce
Bounce light- medical light reflected off a 4’ circle bounce – Terminator Salvation
Bounce light 12 x 20 with 1/2 soft frost double diffused – Swing Vote
Bounce light 12 x 20 with 1/2 soft frost double diffused – Swing Vote
Bounce light 12 x 20 with 1/2 soft frost double diffused – Swing Vote
Bounce light 12 x 20 with 1/2 soft frost double diffused – Swing Vote
Bounce light from the overhead 2K Chimera medium light bank off the floor that fills in Kelsey Grammer’s eyes – Swing Vote
Bounce light from the overhead 2K Chimera medium light bank off the floor that fills in Kelsey Grammer’s eyes – Swing Vote

 

Bounce light from the overhead 2K Chimera medium light bank off the floor that fills in Kelsey Grammer’s eyes – Swing Vote
Bounce light from the overhead 2K Chimera medium light bank off the floor that fills in Kelsey Grammer’s eyes – Swing Vote

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3- 18k’s blasting into a 12 x 20 Ultra Bounce through 12 x 12 1/2 grid - Deadfall
3- 18k’s blasting into a 12 x 20 Ultra Bounce through 12 x 12 1/2 grid – Deadfall
3- 18k’s blasting into a 12 x 20 Ultra Bounce through 12 x 12 1/2 grid to key light Sissy Spacek - Deadfall
3- 18k’s blasting into a 12 x 20 Ultra Bounce through 12 x 12 1/2 grid to key light Sissy Spacek – Deadfall
4 x 4 circle bead board bounce to bring up Aaron Paul’s eyes – Need for Speed
4 x 4 circle bead board bounce to bring up Aaron Paul’s eyes – Need for Speed
4 x 4 circle bead board bounce to bring up Dominic Cooper’s eyes – Need for Speed
4 x 4 circle bead board bounce to bring up Dominic Cooper’s eyes – Need for Speed
4-18k’s driving into 2- 12 x 20 Ultra Bounces – Semi Pro
4-18k’s driving into 2- 12 x 20 Ultra Bounces – Semi Pro
4-18k’s driving into 2- 12 x 20 Ultra Bounces – Semi Pro
4-18k’s driving into 2- 12 x 20 Ultra Bounces – Semi Pro

The Hurlblog will be benefitting from Shane’s Inner Circle in the coming months by sharing some of the pearls of content with you. This series that is currently at Part 5 goes into 32 types of bounce light sources of all colors, qualities and quantities. It dives into how I use DIY techniques to lower costs and save production money, how I can use a specific paper to emulate warm practical light, and showcases how hard some bounce sources can be and how to shape them to get the best out of a small lighting footprint. These videos based on my years of experience specifically take you through how I create, how I envision light and the emotional impact of that source and that choice. Please enjoy a small portion of “Lighting Techniques, the Power of Bounce Light: Part 1.” These tools are easy to implement and will change the way you light.

The response from Inner Circle members about this lighting technique series has been amazing.

What Inner Circle Members have said about the Power of Bounce Light Series

Hunter – “Holy Cow! @hurlbutvisuals inner circle is the best deal on the Internet. Today’s bounce tutorial was worth a whole year of subscription!”

Nathan – “This is the best lighting tutorial series on the internet! I went to the Illumination Experience and I feel like these videos are just like being there with Shane. Thanks for the new video content and I can’t wait for more!”

Christopher – “You hit it out of the park again Shane. A full 10 out of 10 for this tutorial. Thanks team Hurlbut.”

Ben – “Wooooowwww!!! Watching it now, what a treasure trove! You really go above and beyond for us, Shane Hurlbut, thanks!!!”

Phil – “I spend a lot of time on the net looking for ways to improve my work, what the Hurlbut Visuals team has done here is light years ahead of anything else. Pun intended :-)”

David – “Incredibly in-depth. You’re saving me money and improving my skills. My work already looks incredibly different.”

Gerrod – “Was wonderful to watch this! Eye opener!!”

Rick – “For a beginner like me this is the place to be for sure! I think I just learned more about lighting than in the whole of last year!”

The DIY Tools in Your Toolbox

Understanding various types of tools in your filmmaking arsenal will set you up for success when it comes time to get out and shoot your next project. This is something I went over in great detail during the Illumination Experience Tour, showing the different qualities of light and exactly how to create them.

I’ve always been a huge fan of the DIY in filmmaking. I love getting my hands dirty, coming up with different ideas and new ways to create the look I’m going for. So I wanted to share with you a portion from our first Power of Bounce Light post within the Inner Circle.

DIY Beadboard from Lowe’s Hardware
DIY Beadboard from Lowe’s Hardware

My favorite type of soft bounce source is the beadboard bounce. I’ve mentioned time and time again that you can purchase sheets of beadboard at Filmtools or your local Grip & Electric house for a couple hundred bucks. They usually make you buy a dozen at a time, but what if you just need one?

That’s when you have to head over to your favorite hardware store and take a look into getting a sheet of foam insulation board that ranges from ½” thick to a 1” thick, for oh, about $11. Yes, $11! They come in the same size as a standard piece of beadboard, 8’x4’. Depending on what your store carries, the board will be white on one side and silver on the other. Sometimes there is a thin clear film that has blue lettering from the company who made the board, which you can easily peel away. (I did it in the video below.)

You can pick one up at Lowe’s here: Expanded Polystyrene Foam Board Insulation

Lowe’s “poly shield” board
Lowe’s “poly shield” board

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The rest of this article dives into:
● Color of Bounce light – “white, neutral, hyper white, and gold”
● Using bead board, the “circle bounce”
● Side-by-side comparisons of different qualities of Bounce Light
● Using Ultra Bounce and what it creates
● Lighting Diagram of our setup for the instructional shoot
● Use of various levels of diffusion with bounce light, showcasing different qualities

 

Members of Shane’s Inner Circle who were members in February 2015 received this entire article as part of their membership.

If you would like to view the rest of this article, it may be purchased in Shane’s Store, as can all other educational content of interest.

Don’t miss out on another article from Shane’s Inner Circle! Sign up now.

All videos were edited on HP Z840 workstations using HP Z24x DreamColor monitors.

 

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  • Chimera
  • Deadfall
  • diffusion
  • DP
  • Film
  • filmmaking
  • Flanders Scientific
  • Grip
  • HP
  • hurlblog
  • Illumination Experience Tour
  • Indirect Bounce Light
  • Kelsey Grammer
  • Key light
  • lighting
  • lighting design
  • Lighting techniques
  • Matthews Studio Equipment
  • Musicbed
  • Need for Speed
  • RED Digital Cinema Company
  • Shane Hurlbut
  • Terminator Salvation

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