Internet Lighting Tips

February 3rd, 2008 – 8:58 pm


Life is short. We all need Great lighting 

Here are some simple tips to help you create fabulous lighting for your next internet production.

THE 5 P’s of production:
Plan, Plan, Plan, Plan, Plan.

Prior Planning Prevents Poor Production

Always go to the location. If it’s an exterior shoot it makes good sense to go the day before at the same time to check out the lighting and setting. If you’re on set make sure the set is ready to be lit.

Make a shot list. Develop your lighting plan beforehand. Have plenty of tape stock ( if your camera uses tape), and charged batteries.  When you have enough charged batteries take an extra set.

A producer one said to me, “a great picture is mandatory…but lousy sound will f&*k it up every time. They’re absoultely right. Nothing can screw up a picture quicker than bad sound.

Great Pictures Need Great Sound.

If you have a separate sound department, wonderful!

If you’re doing an interview or wrap around, and sound is up to you – Be sure you get great sound. Always use headphones and monitor sound consistently.

Using camera mounted microphones.

Keep your subject close to the camera if you’re using on camera microphone.

Eliminate background noise as much as possible.  Always use an external microphone if available and make sure the microphone is out of the camera’s view.

Get the lighting right.

When Exterior,  Talent Placement is key!

Determine where the light is coming from. Remember we can’t move the sun…. so be clever about talent placement. Use a bounce card to fill your subject

Set your camera to match your shooting conditions. (tungsten, daylight, fluorescent, etc.)

Clear and steady.

Clear and Steady footage is the name of the game.

Unless you’re on a steadycam mount, use your camera’s image stabilization feature, for handheld shots. Use a tripod whenever possible. No tripod? Bend your arm comfortably against your body or lean against a solid surface to stabilize the shot…make sure the object you rely on for stabilization doesn’t move.

Get the story.

Think Master shot first. Establish the Location at the beginning of each scene.
The master will always work for the entire scene. A close up won’t always.

We’re story tellers so besure you can tell your story. Find images that tell the beginning, middle, and end of your story. Mix it up change locations and take shots from different angles and perspectives.

It’s in the Detail.

Look for details in the scene that help tell your story.

In addition the 5 P’s…there are the 5 W’s:

Does your footage answers the questions, who, what, when, where, and why.


Make sure all parts of your shot work together — the subject, background, color, and lighting. Frame off center makes for a more interesting shot.Make sure frame is clean.Don’t forget the background and keep the background simple.

A great background makes the shot more interesting, and helps propel the story. 
Always check to see there are no objects in the camera’s view, wires, stands, etc. We don’t want to come back with objects that look like they’re growing out of your subject. No one wants  a telephone pole all door knob coming out of talent’s head.

Get great shots.

Go for as much coverage as possible for each scene you film: close-up, medium, or wide.

Use an additional camera when possible to capture the same shot from different points of view. Always anticipate the action so you get the shots you need.

Never cut camera on the last word of dialog. Like a fine wine…let it breathe. It’s easier to edit. Candid shots make great inserts

Other notes:

Make your talent feel comfortable. Professional conduct counts bigAlways take a still camera. Good for promotion and advertising.Protect your recorded image. When you’re finished filming, take the tape out of the camera and put it in the “lock” mode. Always mark the tape roll.

Don’t Fix it in Post!

Sure post has saved everyone’s butt (including you know who) one time or another. But the great reality is let post do what they’re supposed to do… and not correct sloppy camera work.

I am not advocating “in the camera” manipulation of an image e.g. changing telemtery or shooting black and white…unless you are 100% certain that image is going to 1,000% stay in B+W.

Capture the best image you can with the tools and time you have.

You like less detail in a shot? Put it in with a filter. Much better than rolling off detail – especially if you like a more organic look.

Skin tone. Make it accurate. White Balance.

Lighting for the Internet

February 3rd, 2008 – 6:09 pm

Internet  production will equal ALL   Television and Cable production, worldwide  within 3 years and surpass it in 5.

The Internet is on track to surpass magazines to become the globe’s third largest advertising medium by 2010. Television will remain the leader in the global advertising market in 2010, with estimated revenues of $198.89 billion in revenues followed by newspapers.

Internet advertising – including pure-play websites and digital extensions of traditional media – will replace newspapers as the largest ad medium in 2011.

Directors of Photography, Lighting Designers, Lighting Directors, Stage and Studio Lighting Technicians who know how to make great digital pictures are going to be in hot demand.

Life is short… everyone needs great lighting! 


Digital camera technology is getting easier. More and more people than ever before are shooting. So what separates great camera work from the ho-hum?

To achieve that ethereal quality of great lighting one must possess two qualities.  Vision and Technique.  Look around. Great internet lighting is easy to spot….but how do you get it?

Digital Cameras manipulate image electroniocally. Great lighting is organic. While it’s true cameras operate under any source and we can  “white balance” for any condition, it’s not the same when a location is correctly lit leaving nothing to chance.

Great lighting by design, not luck.

Sure we all have our “serendipitious moments” when everything just falls into place, but why leave it to Kismet when great Internet and Video Lighting results can be achieved time after time consistently?

Light Like the pros.

Next up. 

Stay tuned.




February 3rd, 2008 – 5:05 pm


The sun is our key light. Think of all the astonishing visions of light there are from sunrise to sunset.  The warm pink eds of morning, crisp hot white noon light. Afternoon embers. Dusky pastels, vibrant primaries. Gray rainy days, a cold white winter day. Starry night.

As painters of light we store a never ending repertoire of evocative images in our mind’s eye.  What did your world look like when you woke up this morning? Did you notice the subtle shifts as night flows into day.

You you got home this evening. You turned on a light in a room. How did you feel? Did you connect with the esence of that room? How would you recreate that room on stage? In a studio? You’re standing in a grand hotel. How do you feel? Is it the way the light streaked across the wall? A perfect shadow falling on a column?  A soft white glow in an atrium from light bounced of white marble tile?  Notice. Look. See. Remember.  What is the key?



October 18th, 2007 – 6:50 am

Free your mind and your ass will follow……

George Clinton


We are definitely standing on the verge of a spectacular revolution in television, and this revolution will definitely not be televised – it is on Brightcove, Facebook, YouTube, and thousands of other portals already. But this is only an intermediate step in world media domination by Yahoo, Google, AOL, and others as they become the new super global networks that will control EVERYTHING you see, and hear- and by logical conclusion shape your perception, your thoughts and actions.

In one area of programing you can already see this in action- NEWS – but they have not yet made the BIG quantum leap to full 24/7 broadcast of all entertainment programming, I mean streaming, of content.


The Internet is a visual kinetic medium.  IMAGE IS EVERYTHING. What an image looks like shapes perception which drives sales, and those sales are already in record numbers and GROWING.  What that means for the Director of Photography and lighting designer is a whole new stage.

Every minute of every day, millions of people are offering something for sale on the Internet from automobiles to self help gurus to products on eBay. How the product looks directly effects sales outcome to the tune of into millions of dollars.  Great lighting creates an ambiance of greatness. 

Success is click away – Your presentation needs to be great!

Right now look around the web. Notice what catches your eye – or better yet-what doesn’t.  Is it content or image? 


Eye Light

October 17th, 2007 – 10:48 am


Welcome to EyeLight.

Explore lighting design and existential questions on life on our journey into the land of infinite possibility between the worlds of light and shadow. 

EyeLight In a portrait, an eye light is a source of light give eyes sparkle without this source the subject’s eyes tend to be lifeless opaque orbs. Look at any Rembrandt painting and look into the eyes, you’ll instantly see what I mean.

Eye Light is a supernal light emanating from one’s third also known as the inner eye or sixth Chakra is spoken of as the gateless gate that leads within to inner realms and spaces of higher consciousness. When Shakespeare said, “all the world’s a stage” he was not only talking about actors and activity but also about the light and shadow realms the Hindu’s call MAYA the world of illusion.Which side of the proscenium then is the illusion? The answer is both of them. Life imitates art, art imitates life and as visionaries knowing where to focus our light is our gift and our art.


September 6th, 2007 – 12:18 pm
Tagged as: Brad Delp


photo credit: Lee Rose


photo credit: Lee Rose

A live  concert morphed into a 7 camera video shoot when Ernie Boch, Jr. , Boston  auto magnate and founder of  Ernie & the Automatics, showed up to record the historic event for posterity.  The entire 5 hour concert is in the can, and I understand a DVD of the entire event is proposed.  At last report no date for release is known at this time.

Members of the original Boston crew convened in a downtown hotel the night before to reflect, reconnect and talk about Brad Delp, this gentle man with the golden voice we knew and loved. For some of us, it had been 25 years or more since we saw each other.

Crew Reunion


photo: Ron Pownall

Top Row:

Richard Oshen,  Roy Bennett,  Andy Polin,  Michael Hill, Ron Pownall


Lee Rose,  Bob Morrissey,  Rob Rosatti,  Butch Tardiff,  Kevin Griffin ( insert in frame)

A lot of the guys couldn’t be with us, but they were with us in spirt:

Jim Beauregard, Bob Burkhart, Eric Carr, Ted Fritzen, Hank McHugh, Dana Roun, Arthur ‘Torch” Russo, Chuck Weisner, and Paco Zimmer.

R.I.P. Brad Delp, Joe Astrella, Ratman, and Charlie McKenzie.

Don’t Look Back of the T- shirt


photo: Ron Pownall

The singleness of purpose, the “family” like feeling (even with the scrabbling children that any family has) and the camaraderie that I felt while on those 70’s tours with Boston was something that I have rarely felt again since then. We were all fortunate to have the opportunity to be there at that time and to participate in those days. (I can’t forget getting off the bus in Oakland for the Day On The Green and seeing a guy siphoning gas from a forklift into a Jaguar. When I asked they told me it was Bill Graham)Those of us still standing should be grateful to have survived it all and I know I will remember those of us that didn’t make it this far.


Sorry to have missed the reunion . That really was a special trip with lots of good times with good friends. It seemed like us against all  – Unless of course it was band bus  vs. light and sound bus as in the Great Bottle Rocket Battle of the Shreeveport  Fairgrounds !   I’ll be sure to make the next  reunion with a little more lead time. Miss you all .Take Care.



August 29th, 2007 – 1:39 am
Tagged as: Brad Delp

Good-bye Brad


I must share with you that from the moment I arrived in Boston I felt Brad’s gentle presence. Brad touched our lives and I know he is part of us, as we are part of him. I truly miss him.As Ron’s photos become available I will post them. Check back often.Peace and blessings to you – and may his sweet voice comfort you.


August 28th, 2007 – 9:23 pm
Tagged as: Brad Delp


August 21st, 2007 – 5:31 pm
Tagged as: Brad Delp

Remembering Brad Delp

 delp.jpg                    brad_globe.JPG

A sign on the front of Johnny D’s on Friday declared, “Brad, we miss you.” Inside, someone had put flowers on the empty stage. Delp’s group, Beatle Juice, his side project to his more famous singing role in the mega-platinum band Boston, had canceled that night because Delp was found dead in his New Hampshire home during the afternoon of still-unexplained causes.



August 21st, 2007 – 1:51 pm
Tagged as: Brad Delp

CONCERT REVIEW – Tribute show salutes Boston’s Brad Delp

For The Patriot Ledger


A tribute to Brad Delp, who died earlier this year, was held during the weekend. (Patriot Ledger file photo)

Tribute concerts to fallen stars are often messy logistical affairs. ‘‘How should we honor the departed?’’ and ‘‘Who should sing what?’’ aren’t easy questions, especially considering the scope, in this case, of Brad Delp’s talents and the balance of his two core creative outlets: ’70s and ’80s arena rock bigwigs Boston and the charmed Fab Four cover group Beatle Juice.

True to form, the planning for ‘‘Come Together: A Tribute to the Life of Brad Delp’’ took a number of twists and turns in the past months, with a lineup and structure that saw revisions as late as last Thursday. But these things tend to work out because the right hearts are in the right places, and ‘‘Come Together,’’ last night at the Bank of America Pavilion, was a satisfying five-hour salute to one of the Boston area’s most beloved rock figures.