Digital Angle-Finder (protractor)

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by hjoseph7, Jan 3, 2022.

1. hjoseph7

For those of you who have problems understanding Lighting Diagrams, I found this a nifty tool for placing your lighting equipment:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00W395R5E?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details . I had all kinds of problems with Math when I was in school, especially Geometry. So when those Lighting Diagrams talk about place your Main light at this angle and your Fill light at that angle, I'm often left scratching my head . This tool makes it easy, all you have to do is point one arm(of the Angle Finder) at your subject while swinging the other arm until you reach the angle stated on the diagram. It's all digital and easy to see. I wish it had a back-lit LCD light though, because in dim situations you might have problems

2. BeBu Lamar

I don't really understand why one would need a protractor to understand lighting diagram.

3. rodeo_joe|1

Indeed.
Giving exact angles for lighting placement is pretty pointless except for a flat copying setup.

The correct setting for 'Rembrandt' lighting, for example, will depend on the size of the subject's nose and the height difference and facing angle between the subject's face and key light. In short, the 'correct' angle can only be judged and set by eye.

Much the same applies to 'butterfly' and 'split' lighting setups. Use your eyes, not a protractor!

4. JDMvW

Just a note from the fringes

I do no studio shooting aside from scientific specimens, being a "natural light" photographer who started off under the influence of Gordon Converse* and the field-side of Ansel Adams†
So I just move around till it "looks right". I think every photographer has to decide how they want to use light for themselves. Rigid prescriptions don't really do it.
*

Last edited: Jan 15, 2022
5. AlanKlein

I've never done lighting. But wouldn't the approach be different if you use continuous lighting where you can see the shadows vs. strobe lighting and let's say using film where you can't see the results at the shoot?

6. AJG

That's why professional studio strobes have modeling lights, usually adjustable to match the power levels of the flashes in use. Also, a little practice with an incident meter allows the photographer to anticipate results. Polaroid backs were also popular with pros in the film era, both to verify results and equipment operation as well as to show to clients to make sure that everybody was on the same page as to the final look of the image.