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Old December 3rd, 2004, 11:00 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Jacksonville, OR
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Challenging Lighting-Boat in Studio

Hey All- Im looking for some help in the following situation: I am a Photographer who has been dipping into video production. Most of my photography experience has been outside the studio so studio lighting is relatively new to me. I am getting ready for a shoot in 2 weeks with a Jet Boat manufacturer. I will be shooting stills as well as video. We will spend most of our time on the water shooting but they also want to get studio shots of the boat, interior and exterior, Stills and Video. Here is the challenge, the boats are 20-25 ft in length, made of aluminum. The bottoms are polished aluminum (mirror like) and the rest is glossy painted. They are building some small dollies to set the boat on. The reflective nature of the boats makes for some good lighting challenges. One boat has irridecent paint that changes colors. We will be shooting in an empty showroom that is 60'x100', 11' white ceiling with white walls. Here is the equpment I have to work with. 2-300w arri fresnels, 2-600w arri fressnells, 1-750w tota. I also have 3-320 watt strobes and 2 canon 550ex speedlights. 2 softboxes and lots of foam core and stands. 30' of track for dolly, 8ft jib, camera is Gl2 and 1d Mark II know the strobes dont do me any good for video. What do you think would be the best way to light this? What could I use for a backdrop? What color should I use on the floor for the shiny down-sloping angles of the aluminum? Should I use the same lighting for both stills and video? My other thought was to do it outside on a cloudy day or with a huge homemade silk overhead on a sunny day. Along with some huge reflectors to fill in the rest. Also, has anyone shot irradecent paint? I would love to here your thoughts and suggestions.
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Old December 21st, 2004, 02:52 PM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 1,325
What is the floor made of (concrete, wood) and what color is it?

I usually like LARGE softboxes for this kind of shoot,
but you could bounce off of foam core to try get that look.
I usually avoid a lot of small lights as all those speculars usually
degrade the look imo.

This doesn't sound like an easy gig. Are there large windows in that space?
You could cover them with white paper or diffusion and turn those into
large softboxes.
Jacques Mersereau
University of Michigan-Video Studio Manager
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Old December 31st, 2004, 08:53 AM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Duluth, Georgia
Posts: 248
I worked on a Yamaha Boat-motor shoot some years ago and we used something that would probably work for you.

Try getting a Mylar sheet on large 4'x4' frames and bounce light off of it for a "water-reflection" look. Probably want to use one of the 600 fresnels. A 1 k would maybe be better. The Mylar is a mirror-like, flexible material you can get from most rental places.

If you can light the bottom of the boat that way, probably ideal.

Hope this idea is helpful.

Jeff P :>)
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Old December 31st, 2004, 11:27 AM   #4
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Location: Plano, TX
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The best way to shoot something that big with continuous reflective surfaces is with one (1) large solid light source as the primary and smaller secondaries to bring out specific parts.
Your idea of shooting outdoors with a big silk tent seems like the best bet because with only 11 foot ceilings you may have problems getting the light properly diffused from above.
You could probably rent some of the F2 Lightbanks that Chimera makes which are perfect for this type of work.

Of course you could always go for a more low key style for your interior shots and use snoots and blocked lighting to give more attention to the details but most companies prefer bright even lighting for stuff like this. (I don't)
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