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EXT Lighting for Interviews

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BrianT
EXT Lighting for Interviews
on Jun 7, 2007 at 5:44:03 pm

Anyone suggest a technique and or product for shooting outdoors in bright sunlight? We'd like to have the talent with soft shadows, but obviously try to maintain our brightness levels so the background isn't blown out.

Is an overhead silk a good solution? Obviously, wind can be an issue with this type of setup.

The Visual Rabbi


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Leo Ticheli
Re: EXT Lighting for Interviews
on Jun 7, 2007 at 7:05:06 pm

Generally speaking, shooting outdoors in bright sunlight is a challenge, especially with cameras with more limited dynamic range.

Unless you have sufficient crew, time, and equipment, flying a large silk and kicking with a big HMI to emulate the snap of the BG light is not an option.

You can use a small silk, but you are then limited to very tight framing.

The easiest method is to shoot in the shade; easy on the talent's eyes and can be very pretty as the open sky is a large soft light.

If you can't use a shaded area, put the sun to the subject's back and fire away. This looks best when the sun is to one side at about a 45


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Dennis Size
Re: EXT Lighting for Interviews
on Jun 7, 2007 at 7:49:34 pm

There is an incredible list of questions that you need to answer to get an accurate response to your query..... and you'll find there will be an even longer list of possible solutions.
Rule of thumb....avoid shooting your talent in bright, open, sunlight.
When that is not an option, to combat the effects of bright sunlight on blown-out backgrounds I always use a 12kw or 18kw HMI Fresnel (depending on the distance my instrument needs to be from the talent).
My favorite new instrument of choice is the ARRIMAX 18/12. You can't go wrong with that fixture. Remember, you can always make your light dimmer and softer; but you can't make it brighter when you need it.

DS


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AlexHuber69
Re: EXT Lighting for Interviews
on Jun 8, 2007 at 1:21:03 am

Sure, that's ideal... but lets be a little realistic...

An Arri 12/18 would be great... but do you honestly think that somewho who is asking a fairly basic photographic question like that (no offense intended at all, Brian) just happens to have a $28,000 HMI laying around? Possible, but doubtful.

I'm betting Brian would benefit from a bit more practical (and less expensive) advice.

Brian, yes, overheads would work. Wind is an issue always, but people deal with that every day. A couple of sandbags and an assitant should make it workable. If you don't want to invest in real Hollywood frames, keep in mind that some butterfly frames are basically just electrical conduit and you can make your own spending just a few bucks at Home Depot. And sure you can write a big check to Matthews for silks scrims grifs and such -- or you can make your own rags with a variety of cheap materials from a fabric store -- everything from translucent curtain material to full solids to everything in between.

My specific advice for this setup: silk overhead with something very light, only a quarter stop or so, very translucent material will do a nice job. Then bounce light back in underneath with a reflector.

Hope this helps.

A


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Dennis Size
Re: EXT Lighting for Interviews
on Jun 11, 2007 at 4:24:02 pm

Actually, this fixture --- with it's crank-o-vator stand -- would cost closer to $40,000.00.

DS


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AlexHuber69
Re: EXT Lighting for Interviews
on Jun 12, 2007 at 2:11:31 pm

My point exactly. I think this guy was looking for more affordable practical advice

A



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Dennis Size
Re: EXT Lighting for Interviews
on Jun 12, 2007 at 2:22:15 pm

Then he should have been more specific --- as I was in suggesting a product as he asked for --- on a PROFESSIONAL Lighting Forum.

DS


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AlexHuber69
Re: EXT Lighting for Interviews
on Jun 12, 2007 at 9:34:34 pm

[Dennis Size] "I was in suggesting a product as he asked for --- on a PROFESSIONAL Lighting Forum."

Have ya READ most of the questions asked on this forum? :)

A


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Nino Giannotti
Re: EXT Lighting for Interviews
on Jun 8, 2007 at 8:08:10 pm

Brian,

I do it everyday and you probably see it everyday on ESPN.

There's a full section about outdoor interviews on http://www.EFPlighting.com

Post any question you might have and I'll get to it.


Nino

http://www.EFPlighting.com


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Bob Cole
Re: EXT Lighting for Interviews
on Jun 13, 2007 at 7:17:31 pm

Great answers -- I'll add a few.

The usual low-budget (and not very pretty) answer: pose subject so sun acts as a backlight and use a Flex-fill to put some more light on his/her face. The slightly-bigger-budget answer: a small HMI near the camera, as diffused as you can afford it to be.

If wind isn't an issue and there is enough crew/set-up time to ensure safety, I like to use a very light silk in a Chimera 42x72" frame.

The environment can help: a white wall can act as a giant reflector. In the magic hours near dawn/dusk, full sunlight on the face can be terrific.

As said previously, avoid sun overhead at all costs as it will turn the nose into a bright white triangle.

Good luck!


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