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Lighting a person with a baseball hat on

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Mark Crews
Lighting a person with a baseball hat on
on Mar 19, 2018 at 12:37:29 am
Last Edited By Mark Crews on Mar 19, 2018 at 12:41:40 am

We just shot some interviews with guys wearing hats. We had a soft box directly beside the camera to get even lighting on their face instead of having to light on the left and right of the subject that caused shadows from the hat bill. The client didn’t like that you could see the reflection in their eyes, does anyone have any other techniques for this kind of lighting?


Do or Do Not, There is No Try....Yoda


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Mark Whitney
Re: Lighting a person with a baseball hat on
on Mar 19, 2018 at 3:23:10 am

Using to LARGE soft sources on both sides shouldn't have given any objectionable shadows. Hard sources would of course. A possible option though might have been to simply bounce hard light off the floor if you can't get the mooks to take their hats off to begin with! Or have them be "hip & stylish" and turn the brim to the back.


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Mark Crews
Re: Lighting a person with a baseball hat on
on Mar 19, 2018 at 10:28:17 am

Thanks, here is a screen capture from the shoot.

8e7fdc67-9952-4a1d-a45b-e5e47ee5d2ee.png

Do or Do Not, There is No Try....Yoda


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Todd Terry
Re: Lighting a person with a baseball hat on
on Mar 19, 2018 at 2:42:35 pm

I don't think the cap has much or anything to do with it, nor would it preclude you from lighting that guy the way you normally would.

I don't think it's bad but there are a couple of issues going on there. Firstly because you moved your key light so close to the camera you have a very front-on coming-right-at-you key. That makes the guy look very flat and uninteresting. It also makes him look different from the rest of the room which has some fairly heavy shadowing going on... so the end result is a very flat "pasted in" look to the guy.

I don't really have an issue with the eye reflections... all eyes will (should) have reflections. I think your client was just searching for something to describe what they felt was "wrong" about the scene and that's what they latched onto. As i said, all eyes will have reflections... if they didn't the guy would definitely have a very dead-eyed "children of the damned" look to him. But the position of the key does give a fairly more-toward-center reflection, and maybe they find that odd. The only eyeball reflections that ever bother me personally are the "donut around the pupil" reflections you get from ring lights... and this certainly isn't the case.

In hindsight, I'd light this guy more the way I'd normally light someone in that environment, with a key more to the side, and some fill on the other side, either bounced or with another instrument. I'd also probably add a bit of a back/side light, to cut him out of the background and maybe even give him a little coming-from-behind splash across the side of his face. His hat is not causing any issues, especially the way he has it cocked back on his head. If it does cause any cave-like shadows, just lower the instrument(s) a bit. You're probably used to raising your instruments to combat eyeglass reflections... it's just the opposite of that. As long as you don't lower them too much (you don't want to get below the eyeline, or you'll start getting that Boris Karloff look) it should be fine.

T2

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



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Mark Whitney
Re: Lighting a person with a baseball hat on
on Mar 19, 2018 at 2:43:35 pm

I'm assuming that client objected to two eye-catches which in this case for an interview situation is frankly picking nits. You want one otherwise the eyes look dead. Moving one light further to the side & diffusing a bit more might have lessened that w/o introducing objectionable shadow.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Lighting a person with a baseball hat on
on Mar 23, 2018 at 4:05:30 pm

Agree the catchlights are a feature, not a bug. Also agree the softlights could have been set 45 degrees off-axis or a little more, especially if the subject wears glasses.... THEN you'd possible have a reflection problem with the lights close to centerline.

I have had some success filling-in hat-shadowed faces in post, especially using the "spot" tool in FCPX. It's like a virtual fill light you can adjust more or less in virtual 3-d space, and it's keyframeable. Similar effect to "power windows" used in color grading applications. Max out the feathering slider when trying it.


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