There are times when we only have minutes to set up for an interview instead of hours but regardless of how much time we have we still want our work to look as good as it can possibly be regardless of the circumstances.
Don't forget that our work is our calling card.
The example below was done with one single light and one large collapsible diffuser.
The diffuser is placed close to the subject, the lighting is provided by an open face light, any open face light will do the job as long as it is fitted with barndoors. The light in the illustration is a 650w Arri and it’s placed at a two to three feet distance from the diffuser, not closer than that or the heat generated by the light could cause problems. The light output angle is adjusted with the barndoor to cover the largest area possible on the diffuser making sure that no light will spill outside the diffuser. The light's intensity is controlled by a dimmer.
The open face light is placed at a 45 degree position as we’ve seen in the “Key Lights” chapter. Notice the triangle of light on the shadow side of the face, this indicates the light is placed correctly.
Even thou the main light source is a small open face the actual working source is the size of the diffuser, this is why a large diffuser is important. A 40x40 inch with 1 or 2 stops transmission diffusion is ideal for this type of work. The same diffuser can also be used outside as a white reflector.
The large size creates a very soft wraparound light while still being very directional. This type of set up would be the equivalent of using a very large softbox, something that would cost up to one thousand dollars.
The main disadvantage in using a diffuser instead of a large soft box is the inability to control the light. We don't have the accuracy as we normally would when using a soft box with a fabric grid or a honeycomb. When using a diffuser the light scatters all around the room, this however could be a considerable advantage especially when time is limited as the light
bouncing off every surface is actually giving us a good even illumination over the entire set. We might not be able to paint with lights as we do when we have plenty of time but the overall lighting will be very acceptable.
The diffuser is clamped to a light stand, this might cast a shadow on the subject. Don’t forget that this is supposed to be a quick setup.