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Mimicking the Light in Famous Paintings Using the Nanlite Forza and MixPanels

This article was written by Nanlite, who is an official sponsor of My RØDE Reel 2020. With $1 million in cash to be won, plus heaps of awesome prizes and filmmaking gear (including some great Nanlite gear), this is the biggest My RØDE Reel edition yet. Got an idea for a short film? Head to myrodereel.com to find out more and download your starter pack. Entries close October 7, 2020.

Artists have been considering good lighting long before the invention of the camera. Many famous paintings demonstrate how important lighting is to create any image. In this video, Chuy Gutierrez, who is a DP and photographer, takes you on a behind-the-scenes look at a creative video shoot with cinematographer Mark Raker, recreating four famous paintings using the Nanlite Forza 500 with parabolic softboxes, MixPanel 60, MixPanel 150, and backdrop seamless paper. 

Below is a rundown of the different gear and settings used in each process, with the Nanlitle Forza 500 being the star of the show.

Want to win a Nanlitle Forza 500? All you have to do is make a 3-minute short film and enter it into My RØDE Reel for a chance to win one (plus heaps of other great prizes and $1 million in cash!).

Find out more here

First Painting: Girl With The Pearl Earring

Gear used:

1) Nanlite Forza 500 with 150 parabolic softbox and grid at 100% intensity positioned at eye level.

The background fell to black because the gird cut the light and also gives a more directional beam of light. You can also see that the light is very soft and natural-looking, which is due to the size of the softbox and it being so close to the subject. This allows for it to wrap around the subject's face as well as add a beautiful fall off into the shadows.

2) White 4x8 V-Flat for soft fill.

3) Black seamless backdrop

4) Canon C300 with a 24-70mm and black net over lens, to give a softer look to the image (White Balance 5600K, focal length 70mm at T3.5, ISO 200).

Second Painting: Rembrandt Self Portrait

Gear used:

1) Nanlite Forza 500 with 90 parabolic softbox and no grid at 19% intensity directed downwards at a high angle as the key light for the subject.

Attached a handmade flag along the side of the softbox to prevent some of the spill hitting the background.

2) Nanlite MixPanel 60 directed at Seamless (#16 Chestnut) backdrop to create the nice ocher color that has a nice fall off from top to the bottom much like you see in the painting.

3) Nanlite MixPanel 150 bouncing onto a white 4 x 8 V-Flat providing some fill on the subject.

3) Canon C300 with a 24-70mm and black net over lens (White Balance 15,000K, focal length 70mm at T3.5, ISO 200).

Third Painting: Nighthawks

Gear used:

1) Nanlite Forza 500 with 120 Softbox Parabolic at 30% intensity mounted overhead as the key for subjects.

2) Nanlite MixPanel 60 bouncing onto a White 4x8 V-Flat to provide some fill.

3) Nanlite MixPanel 150 directed at background.

4) Backdrop - seamless #18 evergreen, seamless # 34 oliver, seamless #93 Lemonade.

5) Canon C300 with a 24-70mm and black net over lens (White Balance 15,000K, focal length 70mm at T3.5, ISO 200).=

Fourth Painting: Jeanne Samary in Low Neck Dress

Gear used:

1) Nanlite Forza 500 with Softbox Parabolic 120 at 100% as the key light for the subject.

2) Nanlite MixPanel 60 bouncing into White 4x8 V-Flat placed to fill some of the shadows on the bottom part of the subject’s face.

3) Nanlite MixPanel 150 directed at a white seamless backdrop with adjusted hue and saturation to get a peach-orange color that matched the painting.

4) Canon C300 with a 24-70mm and black net over lens (White Balance 5600K, focal length 70mm at T4, ISO 200).

Entries for My RØDE Reel are open now and close Wednesday, October 7th, so get filming! Head to myrodereel.com to find out more and download your starter pack.