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Old January 14th, 2010, 08:04 PM   #1
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Reflections From Lighting - Any Tricks?

The other day I was doing a promo for my wife and the plan was to shoot with her sitting on the floor in front of our fireplace. I set up my little light kit using a soft box for the key. I was then going to jib down to her playing her Hang, at which point she would begin to talk. Well it sounded good but all the woodwork of the fireplace is glossy which created a huge reflection that was quite annoying in the jib shot and wasn't much better for the static shot either. I tried moving the lights but due to space restrictions and the shot I wanted nothing worked - except moving the shot to another location in the house.

Is there anything I could have done to make this work? Since there are so many talented people here I thought maybe some one could have a solution that I could reflect upon.

I didn't even shoot one frame because it was that bad, so I can't post an example of the reflection but I'm sure you guys have had this problem before.

thanks
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Old January 14th, 2010, 10:14 PM   #2
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I think there's a dulling spray you'd use if you were on a set, but don't know if it would permanently screw up your woodwork. Seem to recall seeing this done.

I bet Charles can tell us for sure.

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Old January 14th, 2010, 11:13 PM   #3
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I've heard lemon pledge works. dunno if it's true.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 11:48 PM   #4
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Hi Kevin...........

Well, you could have tried using a polariser, as reflections from a surface such as that would definately have been killed.

That's the upside.

The downside is, a polariser does terrible things to skin tone and either some serious makeup work would be required or a bit of fudging in post.

The makeup sounds like your best bet, on reflection.


CS
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Old January 15th, 2010, 01:39 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Kevin Spahr View Post
The other day I was doing a promo for my wife and the plan was to shoot with her sitting on the floor in front of our fireplace. I set up my little light kit using a soft box for the key. I was then going to jib down to her playing her Hang, at which point she would begin to talk. Well it sounded good but all the woodwork of the fireplace is glossy which created a huge reflection that was quite annoying in the jib shot and wasn't much better for the static shot either. I tried moving the lights but due to space restrictions and the shot I wanted nothing worked - except moving the shot to another location in the house.

Is there anything I could have done to make this work? Since there are so many talented people here I thought maybe some one could have a solution that I could reflect upon.

I didn't even shoot one frame because it was that bad, so I can't post an example of the reflection but I'm sure you guys have had this problem before.

thanks


Nothing you can do about physics. The angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection - always has, always will.

First thing I do in a situation like that is think of the front of the fireplace as one big mirror. Then think "where can I put my light that the mirror won't reflect it?

Actually, with a fixed plane like a fireplace, the ONLY place where the fireplace surround should reflect the light would be from directly in front. And that would typically be my LEAST favorite angle anyway since shooting against a flat perpendicular surface is the first step down the road to a depthless, boring shot.

I would have moved the camera to shooting the fireplace face AT AN ANGLE - eliminating the reflection. And put the subject on the weak (furthest away apearing) side of the shot balancing against the fireplace angle.

Yeah, sometimes stuff just doesn't work. But that would have been my first thought.

YMMV
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Old January 15th, 2010, 02:58 AM   #6
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However, if you insist upon the composition you had, time to get fancy and start trying to flag that reflection off without killing your light on your subject. You need another stand, and a small piece of. . .anything really. Something flat and stiff (won't bend). blackwrap if you have it, if not. . .cardboard, etc.

You take this piece of whatever, hold it in front of the light, and move it around 'til you find the correct place to put it where it blocks enough light to kill the reflection. It may be that you find yourself having to use a very large piece of. . .whatever (you'll know because you'll see that you're blocking the reflection, but only a little, when trying to move the small piece of whatever around) instead of a small piece, in which case it might be impossible to flag the light without darkening your subject. At which point you either reposition the light, or find a different angle on the background, or find a different background.

By the way, you'll want to be away from the light with your "flag". Putting it right up to the softbox won't do any good. Try to get around halfway between the light and your subject, then start trying to find the magic spot.
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Old January 15th, 2010, 06:07 AM   #7
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Flags and negative fill.
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Old January 15th, 2010, 07:37 AM   #8
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Got a screen grab from your failed attempt?
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Old January 15th, 2010, 08:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Spahr View Post
I didn't even shoot one frame because it was that bad, so I can't post an example of the reflection but I'm sure you guys have had this problem before.
I just thought of asking about this problem here on the forum yesterday, the video is already done and being used. I was thinking what I would do if I ran into this problem again and didn't have the ability to move the shoot. A backdrop is all I came up with on my own...
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Old January 15th, 2010, 08:27 AM   #10
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I realized that the problem was the angle of the lights to the camera. But I wanted to light her face in a way that would reduce wrinkles (were not so young any more), but still highlight her cheekbones - light from the front. If I was shooting for a tough guy or a dramatic look I might have avoided the problem with using side lighting. In the finished video opening you can still see how the light reflection "follows" the jib shot in the green wall but here it wasn't bad.

YouTube - Janet Spahr: Hang
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Old January 15th, 2010, 02:47 PM   #11
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Excuse the OT comment, but I was fascinated by this instrument - I'd never heard of it before (and me a music teacher an' all). Thanks for posting, and for anyone else who was wondering Hang (musical instrument) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old January 15th, 2010, 02:48 PM   #12
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I often spray powder based underarm deodorant to dull glass reflections. Specifically I use Arrid Extra Dry for men. Cheap and effective.
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