How To Light A White Cyc With Kino Flos

Regardless if it’s video projects or stills, the goal is to light the area as even as possible to achieve that infinite white effect and to minimize shadows. Our studio boasts a 30’x32′ white cyc with a lighting grid suspended from the ceiling. The best solution for even lighting is to use spacelights to illuminate the area. When spacelights aren’t available, another very reliable and viable solution is to utilize Kino Flo fluorescents to get even coverage across the cyc. The soft light produced by Kinos is flattering and won’t create harsh unattractive shadows.

When we were approached by the San Francisco band Notorious to shoot video snippets of their cover songs for their website, we knew from the onset that Kino Flos were our go to. Not only do we have a complete arsenal of them in house, we wanted to use daylight balanced fixtures since much of our lighting gear we use often are HMIs and LEDs. Using tungsten balanced spacelights would require for us to gel our supplementary daylight fixtures with CTB and reduce the light transmission substantially.

Taking advantage of our cyc’s depth diagonally, our overhead lighting setup was easily mirrored on each side. The diagram above illustrates the positioning of all the lighting fixtures. Five Kinos, three Image 40s and two 4Banks, were dedicated to solely light the walls. The combination of these five lights provided more than enough illumination. Two 4Banks were used to light the band from the front, while an additional two were used for backlights. Since we predominantly lit from above, the lighting became a little bit too “toppy” creating minor shading of the eyes. To fill in these shadows we shined an ArriSun 1.2K HMI through a 12’x12′ polysilk.

The final result were shots that had a white brilliance and a sole focus on the band’s performance.