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Natural light: Too much of a good thing.

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Sean Healy
Natural light: Too much of a good thing.
on Aug 30, 2010 at 2:57:20 pm

I'm hoping that someone will give me a few options as to how I might deal with this lighting problem. Here's my the room where the interview will take place: http://screencast.com/t/ZGJmY2U4M. I'd like to use natural light for the shot, but because of all of the windows and mirrors in the room, controlling the light will be difficult. My current plan is to block the light coming from window A completely, use a roll of ND gel .6 to control the intensity of light coming from window B, use window C as the key and a flexfill reflector for fill. (I may throw in a hair light w/CTB, too.)


Because the room affords a lot of space, I want to shoot for shallow DOF -- or as much as my DVX100B will allow. At the time of the shoot, the background will be a bit more interesting than in this photo.

Are there better ways to handle the spill coming from windows A and B? How would you deal with this shot?

Thanks in advance!


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Thomas Miller
Re: Natural light: Too much of a good thing.
on Aug 30, 2010 at 4:12:58 pm

Oh, I love this stuff! I would bring in our good friend with a bad attitude - Negative Phil, aka negative fill. On the fill side of your subject's face, hang a piece of black duvateen, as close as you can get to the subject without seeing it in the shot. This will give you texture and shadow on the down side of the face, which will make the shot much less flat. It's hard to tell from the photo, but the window as a key might be too steep to provide a catch light in the eyes, so you may want to bring a shiny board or the silver side of a flex fill to the KEY side of the camera - 5 degrees or so off of it. You just want to mirror light into the persons eyes for that catch light. If the subjects are looking at an off camera interviewer, you should put that person on that key side as well. You might break up the background light a bit if you are sourcing it from that window. A cookie or some branches off camera will help. Also, block that left side window with duvateen as well so that the background looks like it's being lit from the same direction as the subject. And yes, a little hair light is a good plan. Also, make your 100b be as far away from your subject as the room will afford. This is a great way to reduce your DOF, and also it will contain the background so you don't have to see as much of that window. And of course, roll in the max ND so that your iris is as open as you can get it.

Hope this helps - good luck!

Tom Miller
Big Pictures Media
Denver, Colorado

http://www.BigPicturesMedia.com


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Sean Healy
Re: Natural light: Too much of a good thing.
on Aug 30, 2010 at 10:19:10 pm

Tom,

I really appreciate that you took the time to answer in such detail and will definitely put Neg Phil to work as well as your other suggestions. From what you can gather from the photo, would you use window gel on the right rear window (Window B)?


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