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Sketching Light: An Illustrated Tour of the Possibilities of Flash by Joe McNally

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Set the Table with Light

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OCCASIONALLY, as we’re positioning a light, I’ll say to the crew, “Okay, let’s tabletop the main light.” Depending on who’s on the set, this will sometimes produce a quizzical head tilt, as in, “Whazzat? Tabletop the light?”

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This refers to the positioning of the surface of the light source relative to the subject. A tabletop is a flat 180 degrees in relationship to the floor. Same thing with this type of light, only it’s usually at a slightly less absolute angle than a table surface, most of the time. In other words, ...

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