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Old February 20th, 2010, 03:03 PM   #16
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I recently had to light a kitchen for a cooking segment with a huge window in the background overlooking a vineyard. While the view was beautiful I was concerned because I only had two 4 bank KinoFlos to light with. A quick trip to the local Home Depot was all I needed. I purchased the stick on window tinting (smoke color) and some screen door material and was able to knock down the windows so that they actually were slightly underexposed in the final shot which looked great because the vineyard colors became more saturated. Don't forget a squeegee for applying the window tinting because you don't want air bubbles. Good luck!
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Old February 20th, 2010, 03:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
But the PRIMARY question is this:

Will the camera need to see out of that window? If the answer is yes, then you need some ND Film over the window. Not too expensive and can be reused.

If the answer is no, then just put some black fabric over the window and you should be golden. Even a cheap black bedsheet from Wal-Mart will suffice.

Sorry the link mustve expired, but the blue tint is from my camera phone, not the kitchen
http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/6...1002131602.jpg

Thats the basic shot i want for the sequence, maybe a little wider.

I do have a black sheet I plan to use, my problem is how much of it will be visible in the shot and how distracting it'll be. The window will be entirely visible for most of the sequence minus the close ups
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Old February 20th, 2010, 08:51 PM   #18
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If the window is going to be visible, then you need to gel. Something like this:

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Old February 21st, 2010, 06:36 AM   #19
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Have you thought about erecting an overhead/tent outside the window so that the light that comes in will be from a shadow source rather than direct sunlight? This will decrease the light dramatically and also diffuse the shadows produced from the light that comes into the kitchen at the same time. you can rent a tent called an "Easy-up" pretty cheaply from a party supply store or even buy one if you look around. As stated, ND gel will work too. But you still may have some pretty contrasty shadows coming through. Either way you'll absolutely have to control that light source to have a nice looking shot. Good luck!

Edit:
Maybe something like this...
http://www.elitedeals.com/10x10spshcab.html
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Old February 21st, 2010, 10:11 AM   #20
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Thanks for the help guys, I may try either the ND filter on the window or the black blanket sheet over the window.

Also i own a Canon GL2 that has a ND Filter on it. If i apply the ND Filter to the window, do I have to use the filter setting on the camera?

Last edited by Lee Tamer; February 21st, 2010 at 10:48 AM.
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Old February 21st, 2010, 01:43 PM   #21
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"If i apply the ND Filter to the window, do I have to use the filter setting on the camera? "

Yes. You are trying to bring the lighting ratio into an acceptable range rather than the overall exposure. As it is, the window is many times hotter than the rest of the scene. The ND gel on the window will help to bring that ratio down into a more managable range. If you simply use the ND on the camera, you bring down the entire scene but the lighting ratio (window:rest of the scene) remains unchanged.
Also, I would avoid the black sheet on the window unless you are trying to acheive a night-time look. The viewer will see the exterior window there and expect that to be a light source, otherwise it will look strange (unless it's intended as a night scene in which case you are probably fine.). You absolutely want to use the exterior light as a key but you have to be able to control it, otherwise it will dominate the entire set causing ugly shadows. and uneven exposure depending on the distance to the source.
As a general lighting 101 kind of rule, you really only want a backlight to be that overpowering if at all...definitely not your key light.

Consider the tent idea also, it will in affect move the light source a little farther away from the window, making it easier to maintain exposure when your subjects move closer to the window...
If you use the ND gel (which will work fine too) make sure to stretch it as tight as you can, otherwise you can get strange reflections from the uneven surface that will draw your attention to the window area/gel.

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Old February 21st, 2010, 02:01 PM   #22
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My mom donated me some white curtains that are thick enough that they block almost all the light coming from the windows. She uses them to block out the street lights from her bedroom. They should do the trick

I'll take a video of how it works out later on.
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Old February 21st, 2010, 03:48 PM   #23
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Ok, here's a test I did blocking the windows completely.
YouTube - test2.mov

Two things that are bothering me.

1) how do I control the amount of shadows bouncing off my subject

2) My subject's shirt is supposed to be orange, when I captured it to Final Cut Pro it looks crimson red. But on youtube it looks the orange color its supposed to. Anyone know why?
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Old February 21st, 2010, 04:11 PM   #24
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shadows dont exist in real life, so you must get rid of them , shadows are totally unnatural :-)
i always get a kick out of vast needs to kill shadows , then when working in photoshop, text displays, and 3D rendering, we spend an extra 2x the time to put shadows IN to make CG look real :-)

backlight will get rid of shadows, but in that situation using backlight would be hard if not worse, the other way is to have more diffuse light, you cant get harsh shadows if you dont have harsh lighting. also if the shadows looked more normal, instead of from 2 stark lights pounding the subject from the front and side, then they would fit in as normal shadows would.

by the way those drapes worked, but IMO you went way to far the other way, and the way they are hanging looks worse than the state of the kitchen. meaning the kitchen is well kept and right now the drapes look like S---.
with 2 layers of window film from the home store you could have some normal looking bluish (without being to blue) light flowing in there , and it would look like real life would.

so a full solution to your problem without destroying its reality, is to "change the light for the CAMERA to look like it does in Real Life to the eyes", not destroy its normal apperances.

If you have a second person available , stay with the Camera, let the the other person make adjustements, and you keep viewing the EYE that everyone will use to View with. your viewers wont be seeing your set, but only through the camera, so your view should be through that same camera, as often and as much as possible, stick your eye up CLOSE and ignore everything that you cant see through the camera, because it doesnt exist in your new world :-)

i figure the way you got the "drapes" hanging is just a test, but it looks just as bad as hanging up 2 pieces of white cardboard instead.

You need Sheets of "light control" stuff, it adjust light stuff without killing stuff. adjust to the cameras problems and issues , without taking away what we would normally see with our eyes and looks totally natural.
sheets of diffusion hung in front of the lights, far enough away from the lights to not burn anything, close enough to difusse most of the light. you can do that Cheaply with practically anything if your really carefull, bend a coathanger :-) or you can buy some real "pro" diffusion (spun glass for example), and will still will want a frame that kicks it out from the light a bit.
Sheets of simple window film , the dark stuff or the one side reflective stuff, even "privacy" which is listed as reflecting 97% of the light back, put outside in 1 or 2 thicknesses would give you normal Looking light comming in TO THE CAMERA. the reflection doesnt usually mess with anything.
If you creative and cheap you can get all that stuff for less than $100 and if you dont ruin it or permenentally attach it anywhere when your done you roll it up and have it for the next "set"


Trying to be constructive in critisism that i probably have no business making, but i hope it helps.
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Last edited by Marty Welk; February 21st, 2010 at 04:45 PM.
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Old February 21st, 2010, 04:21 PM   #25
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I would try aiming your lights against the wall to bounce them to soften the shadows. Dress the blanket so it doesn't look so bad like stated above and you may be good to go.
Really no mood or style represented here but it will be well exposed. Looks like you may have doubled up on the blanket. Try single strength on the blanket and bouncing both lights from the same location or just use one so you have a nice fill on the opposite side of the window. Shadows are definitely your friend, but multiple, hard shadows will give you a "lit" look that you want to avoid for sure...
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Old February 21st, 2010, 05:15 PM   #26
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Backlight won't get rid of the shadows, soft light will. It also has to do with how close your subject is from the wall behind. If you're going to be that close you will need a much larger light source. It also looks like your lights are pretty far away.

My recommendation is to use white foam core (tri-board material) and bounce your lights off of that. it will create a much physically larger source, thus a softer light, and reduce those shadows.

Your window blocking works, but you could also put up a cheap white bedsheet on the outside of the window. it will still allow a soft white light to enter removing those hard glares on everything (although it will be blue because you're balanced to tungsten).

With the ND discussion earlier, ND (neutral density) lowers the overall amount of light passing through it. So ND gel over the window would lower the amount of light going through it from outside, but the ND filter on your camera will lower the overall amount of light entering the lens, so it will darken your entire image.

And lastly, your lighting is a bit flat. I'm not sure what you are going for, but you have an equal amount of light coming from both sides of the camera at the same angle. Try removing one of your two lights and see what happens. You're in a small enough space where you'll probably get enough fill from light bouncing around the kitchen. Or if it isn't enough, use another large piece of foam core just off-screen to add some fill to the face.

Hopefully this helps a bit
-Jeff
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Last edited by Jeff Kolada; February 21st, 2010 at 05:18 PM. Reason: added a piece
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Old February 21st, 2010, 06:13 PM   #27
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Thanks guys for all the help,

@Marty: yes the white drapes will be arranged to fit in better when i film the sequence. I just hung them in that position to get an idea.

@Jeff : I have 3 lights, one on the fridge that is visible, one next to the pantry, and one at the exact opposite side of that light. Would I be better using 2 instead of 3?

What I'm worried about the most is now that i blocked the window over the sink, what am I going to use for a back light?

@Jeff I also saw it looked a little flat, and I have no idea how to fix it, I was thinking of maybe switching the positions of the lights
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Old February 21st, 2010, 07:04 PM   #28
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Lee,
I'm not necesarily saying completely block the window. Putting a cheap white bedsheet over the window will still allow light to seep through, and it being white will create a nice white (still blown-out) source. Unless you need to see out the window it isn't uncommon to blow out windows.

I think what is happening is that you have light coming from everywhere. Start with only one light. Position it how you want, then add a second, probably from a bit further away to fill in the shadows that the first one is creating. Your lights are also not motivated, but for now that's not too big of a deal. If I were to light your scene, I would use the window as the main source of light, and then accent and fill where necessary.
3-point lighting (key, fill back) is good to know, but it's not always all necessary. Play with your lights one by one (leaving the others off) and see what happens. You may find you like something with less lights.

I'd also still recommend using a piece of foam core or a posterboard to bounce your light off of. Soft light feels more natural for an interior key/fill. So you would turn your lights away from the subject and shoot them straight into a piece of white material (but not too close as to burn).
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Old February 21st, 2010, 09:12 PM   #29
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"3-point lighting (key, fill back) is good to know, but it's not always all necessary. Play with your lights one by one (leaving the others off) and see what happens. You may find you like something with less lights."

@Jeff

What I originally had planed was using as the windows as the back light, but I couldn't properly expose it because there was so much light coming in. I couldn't use any other lights without over exposing everything.

Would it be better to cover the window only partially with the white drapes, and use one additional light?

It's also difficult to get 3 point lighting because its such a small space.
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 07:51 PM   #30
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I'd ditch those curtains. They don't look right.

The cheapest way is go to a fabric store and get some black netting, like what a widow wears on a veil. I keep a couple of sections of it in my bag of junk. Get some of that blue painters tape to stick it on there. It'll know down the light and no one will ever know it's there unless you're shooting with a RED EPIC with a million K sensor.
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