View Full Version : Technical Term

05-30-2007, 07:47 AM (

Anyone know what the technical term for the light cluster in the b/g of this shot would be? I've noticed it a lot on "Lost" and in a few films recently.

05-30-2007, 08:40 AM
Looks like lens flare to me through a nice long lens with many elements, an interesting way to create Chiaroscuro using practicals.

05-30-2007, 10:17 AM

Personally, its one of my absolute favorite things in the world. I love it when used appropriately.

Also, I have read you can control the shape of the bokeh by placing a shape cutout in front of the lens, as can be seen on this page:

05-30-2007, 11:04 AM

Sorry, I meant the name of the rig they used to create it. I'm not gonna say it's not simply a light with a cookie placed in front of it, but it seems like an actual rig to me.

05-30-2007, 12:27 PM
They're just lights in the background with a long lens (zoomed in) blowing out the focus on the background elements. Street lights when in focus, throw more light than can be captured, but it's confined to a small space. As the light spreads out from blurring the focus, the overdriven light blooms outward making the pretty circle of light you see there. Just frame with a lighted bridge in the background, or some city lights. Shoot for shallow DoF and watch the beautiful blooming in the background.

05-30-2007, 02:36 PM
I know how to accomplish the effect with building lights or lights on a bridge or even a few strings of big bulb Christmas lights or cars on a highway at night (also, aiming a light at a group of wine glasses or shot glasses works well -- did this in a bar a few weeks back).

I was just wondering if anyone knew if Hollywood DPs had access to certain rigs that bunched lights together like this, and if anyone knew the term for said rig.

This... (

...looks like city lights. This... (

...looks more like a rig -- possibly a dome grid where lights are placed every few feet apart, with the peak of the dome being fifteen feet tall -- place something like that fifty feet or so behind your actor. What do you call that rig, and if it doesn' exist can we call it the Nick Rig?

05-30-2007, 03:05 PM
how about putting small colored tissue paper windows in a large sheet of construction paper and calling it the kintergarten rig? (or gels + diffusion in a chunk of foamcore, backlit).

I call it a "colored nicklight".

05-30-2007, 03:08 PM
Looking at the two pictures, it just looks like the same shot (second slightly more to the right) zoomed in on a 35mm camera. Same setup. The reason it looks slightly like a rig is that we're used to longer DoF, so less is in your blood! The machines are taking over.