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Reducing backlight outdoors

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Wes Browning
Reducing backlight outdoors
on Aug 15, 2008 at 6:11:36 am

I'm shooting an interview this weekend, and need to shoot in one particular spot that is very scenic. The unfortunate part here is that it will be during the day- around 6pm when the area is shaded by trees, but the scenic background is pretty heavily backlit. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on how to reduce the backlighting in this case. I was contemplating using some black screening (like what's used in screen doors or windows) and drape it between two light stands. Has anyone ever tried something like this before?


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Todd Terry
Re: Reducing backlight outdoors
on Aug 15, 2008 at 1:32:47 pm

Yes Wes....

Good guess, that's exactly the way it is done.

There are plenty of professional scrim products made just for that, but your screen-door material will do pretty much the same thing (at a fraction of the cost, too).

Just a couple of things to watch out for....

You probably don't want to just drape it over light stands, the preferable way would be to stretch it tight rather than drape it. Any folds, wrinkles, or just non-tight parts will give it away. The usual way to do it would be to stretch it in a frame.

Make sure the scrim is in the shade... if you put it far back enough so that it is in the sun and light hits the scrim itself it won't work. If you have to put the scrim in the sun, flag it.

Make sure you have a reasonable distance between your talent and the scrim... the scrim must be out of focus for the gag to work.

Good luck!


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Bob Woodhead
Re: Reducing backlight outdoors
on Aug 15, 2008 at 6:25:46 pm

And the next thread down talks about using electrical conduit or PVC as a cheap frame. When you're at Home Cheapo, also look for some plastic alligator-toothed clamps, about 3 time the width of C-47s, but same length... they've a hole at the end to thread a cord through... work great for stretching out any diffusion in a frame. Think they're called tarp clips.

"Constituo, ergo sum"

Bob Woodhead / Atlanta
http://www.CoolNewMedia.net
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Wes Browning
Re: Reducing backlight outdoors
on Aug 18, 2008 at 3:23:45 pm

This worked perfectly! I purchased a 25ft (72"wide) roll of screen from Home Depot and some 1" PVC pipe/elbows. I threw together a 120"x 68" frame when I got to location and clamped on the screen with 2" spring clamps. I used additional spring clamps to clamp the frame to some light stands from my Lowell kit. After sandbagging down the stands we went around and stretched out the screen until all the wrinkles were gone. Below are some stills of the background with/without the screen and then the finished product. Thanks!







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Todd Terry
Re: Reducing backlight outdoors
on Aug 18, 2008 at 3:29:05 pm

Lookin' good!...

...and now you have another trick up your sleeve for next time.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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