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Lighting Considerations for Car Shots

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James Murphy
Lighting Considerations for Car Shots
on Oct 4, 2010 at 8:44:07 pm

What kind of lighting considerations should I take when shooting my subject inside a car from outside using an HVX200? How can I keep the subject well-lit?

Low-budget commercial project.


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Fernando Mol
Re: Lighting Considerations for Car Shots
on Oct 4, 2010 at 9:34:02 pm

Difference in the intensity of light outside and inside the car is going to be one problem.

Can you describe your shot a little more?

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James Murphy
Re: Lighting Considerations for Car Shots
on Oct 4, 2010 at 10:03:14 pm

The shot, lasting maybe a second on-screen, is of a guy sitting in the front driver seat. I'm hoping the angle for it will be about 45-degrees to the right of the front windshield looking at the subject through the windshield.


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Fernando Mol
Re: Lighting Considerations for Car Shots
on Oct 4, 2010 at 11:18:27 pm

Others may suggest better, but if it's daylight, you can use a big mirror to reflect the sun into the drivers face. A translucent cloth in front of the mirror can help to soft the light.

For a mirror, you can use any reflective surface. Aluminum paper over a cardboard can do the trick.

You can soften the light of the person outside the mirror by covering the sun with a translucent cloth. For a super low budget production, you can use a shower curtain.

Be sure to do some tests before shooting for real.

I hope this helps.

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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Lighting Considerations for Car Shots
on Oct 5, 2010 at 1:25:58 pm

Sounds like a perfect situation for a daylight balanced litepanel or similar device.


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Steve Culpepper
Re: Lighting Considerations for Car Shots
on Oct 8, 2010 at 5:43:55 pm

Lite Panel is awesome in this situation.

If you are working on the cheap and can't afford the rental, get a power inverter that plugs into the cig lighter and buy a color temp appropriate rope light from wal-mart or other box store. Have the driver ball the rope up in his lap out of frame.

This works great at night and if you can find a long rope light (more light) it can work fine during the day.


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Steve Culpepper
Re: Lighting Considerations for Car Shots
on Oct 8, 2010 at 5:52:47 pm

Also, a small paper lantern in subjects lap will work. Or, get a 2ft kino and pull the bulbs out. Unplug all but one of the bulbs and tape it low (off camera) on the dash or on the ceiling of the car where the windshield meets the interior cieling (if this is off camera of course).


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