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Old May 11th, 2013, 02:09 AM   #1
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Daylight shooting in the woods

Do you guys know any tricks to kill the green reflections on fair skin without bringing big lights (any lights) into the woods ? We have WS, MS and ECU. On some we can dial in a correction or use filters, but on the wide shots ? I need 2-3 hours but can choose the time of day.
Is post the only way ?
Thanks a lot .
(Using GY-HD251 as 16mm - and, if I have time, a Canon 1014 S8 just for fun*).


* I have some ageing Ekta tungsten stock I need to finish
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Old May 11th, 2013, 04:17 AM   #2
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Re: Daylight shooting in the woods

Skin isn't really reflective unless it's oily or sweaty.

If you're getting reflections off skin, you just need a bit of makeup. Neutral powder works best.
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Old May 11th, 2013, 11:35 AM   #3
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Re: Daylight shooting in the woods

Thanks, Bill. Reflections wasn't actually the right word, it's the green-ish hue (which we usually blast away with lights).

Playing around with the make-up is a good idea, thanks.
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Old May 14th, 2013, 11:51 PM   #4
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Re: Daylight shooting in the woods

If there's a greenish hue to something that is not reflective and therefore can't be reflecting the color of elements in the surroundings such as foliage, then the issue has to be either your camera white balance being off, some source of improper color generating light (e.g. Inexpensive Flourescent and LED lights being notorious for having spectral deficiencies that show up as greenish light) or some problem in the camera sensor (or perhaps your monitor system) that's messing up the picture.

Really, thats about all that I can think of that can cause results like you describe.

But having to use additional light to solve a problem like this seems to me a little like having to drive with your steering wheel held at 30 degrees right to drive straight. It kinda says you have an alignment problem with your front wheels as the root issue that's not being addressed.

If you're seeing green on the monitor that's not actually there, something's not right.

FWIW.
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Old May 17th, 2013, 01:53 PM   #5
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Re: Daylight shooting in the woods

If I understand the problem, the skin is looking greenish because the light is green. The tree leaves are green and what light is transmitted through the leaves, or maybe reflected off them perhaps, winds up giving a green tint to the subject. I can see how this can happen.

A second source of unwanted color may be because the subject is shaded. The problem becomes one of how to correct for either the green-tainted light and/or the shade.

As an aside, just before I started reading these posts I was looking at white-balance cards and wondering if I should get a set, and if so, which ones. The large ones or the smaller less expensive ones. WarmCards - White Balance Reference System

Perhaps a set of cards like this might help to "white"-balance in this situation?

One more thought. Speaking of light fill, I recently got a Comer 1800 LED light for my point-and-shoot stuff and it has two rows of white LEDs and one row of warm LEDs plus a flip-down warm filter. There is also a "spotlight" filter to concentrate the light in a narrower beam. Could something like this help throw some light on the subject to help kill the green? Got this from LA Color but other places sell it.
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Old May 19th, 2013, 02:06 AM   #6
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Re: Daylight shooting in the woods

This is exactly the problem, John. The light which hits the actress is green, not white or nearly white. Problem is you can't escape it like moving a subject away from a colored wall.

White-balancing or cards or dialing in some correction won't help because it also "corrects" the forest around which slips to magenta.

I'll check out the light you mentioned. My thinking was that on-camera lights are not nearly strong enough, but I'll reconsider.

White-balancing with color cards is an old trick. The card set you linked has the advantage of being consistent, but using them is risky if you don't have a calibrated monitor at hand. We've used a cheaper method from time to time: those children's drawing pads with color leaves which cost 1 EUR. Better solution is to shoot as wide latitude as possible and grade in post.
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Old May 28th, 2013, 05:38 PM   #7
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Re: Daylight shooting in the woods

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post
If there's a greenish hue to something that is not reflective and therefore can't be reflecting the color of elements in the surroundings such as foliage, then the issue has to be either your camera white balance being off, some source of improper color generating light (e.g. Inexpensive Flourescent and LED lights being notorious for having spectral deficiencies that show up as greenish light) or some problem in the camera sensor (or perhaps your monitor system) that's messing up the picture.
But everything is reflective. If something is not reflective, we would not be able to see it. Perhaps you are thinking of specular reflectiveness. Skin is usually not all that specularly reflective except when wet or oily, or in the case of darker skin the diffuse reflectiveness is lower and the relative specular reflectiveness will be a greater factor. But that does not seem to have a bearing on the issue at hand here since low specular reflectiveness only means the skin will not be as likely to reflect high contrast in the environment back directionally. The way skin reflects light is very interesting due to the translucency and subsurface scattering of skin, and it is quite diffuse since it is mostly diffusely reflective, but also allows light through it which is futher diffused and bounced back by lower layers. But it most definitely is reflective to visible light, just like just about everything besides black holes...

It is common for sunlight scattered through the atmosphere during the day to be very blue (and red at sunset) and for light reflecting off of grass to be green. Sometimes if you have a window that faces a grassy hill that is hit with direct sunlight you can get bright green light reflected through the window, making the whole room look green. Just like how in the shade the biggest light is the blue sky so everything looks very blue/cold.

When outside, to some degree the green-ness of reflected grass light and the blue of the sky look natural and not necessarily bad especially if they are clearly in the shot or not overpowering. Otherwise you can reduce the effect somewhat by placing white sheets on the ground or using large white flags/frames. You can stand where the actor is and close one eye and see exactly what he/she is being lit by. Maybe there is a big green hill with sunlight hitting it directly that you can try to block. Otherwise usually the most effect you will have is by covering the ground closest to actor, in front of him/her. Of course if its bright green trees, you may need some kind of standing frame of material to block them from reflecting so much green light.

Is that framegrab showing a frame where you see green on the actress? If anything the skin tones look far too red to me. Perhaps it is a bit green, but its hard to tell with all that red.
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Old May 28th, 2013, 08:19 PM   #8
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Re: Daylight shooting in the woods

So the question comes down to what do you WANT it to look like.

If the reality is that the forrest canopy is coloring the light. Is your goal to defeat the reality and have the people appear as if they're NOT in a forest?

I gave advice while under the impression that you were seeing something that was NOT natural. Some skewing of reality that you didn't want. Is that the case?

If so, there's a solution.

If not, there's is also a solution. But a different one.

But we have to know what you want in order to help you get it.
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Old May 29th, 2013, 09:19 AM   #9
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Re: Daylight shooting in the woods

Would a very powerful LED daylight 5500K light be the answer. I am talking about a 1K HMI equivalent battery operated one ?
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Old May 29th, 2013, 03:07 PM   #10
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Re: Daylight shooting in the woods

LEDs could help control the color of light reaching the subject if used properly, but so could a reflector etc. The only LEDs that powerful I'm aware of are Creamsource, Nila, and Mactech, and they are all very expensive. Also such a bright hard light would likely have to be diffused or bounced to look natural in a daylight situation. You don't want the old unnatural multiple-suns look unless you like the look of old films where exteriors were clearly shot on a stage and lit with many hard lights, of course that assumes any LED could compete with the sun which it most likely will not... even a really bright one. Why LED over HMI? LED is not all that much brighter per watt or cheaper per lumen and tend to be less controllable and really big bright ones are harder to come by.
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Old May 30th, 2013, 02:29 AM   #11
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Re: Daylight shooting in the woods

It shouldn't be too much of a problem in wide shots. For closeups, you can position white bounces around the subject. White is much more reflective than green, so it should erase the color cast neatly. And being passive (vs a powered light), it will feel more natural.
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Old May 30th, 2013, 07:15 AM   #12
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Re: Daylight shooting in the woods

That frame grab definitely looks red, and not green, to me. Certainly the actress's skin looks reddish-orange. Also, the skin tone looks rather dark, although of course I don't know this actress's complexion. Other than that, the frame seems to have rather high contrast, compared to what I'm used to seeing.

In fact, the sky (seen through the opening in the upper right corner), where it is not blown out, looks pink; it measures roughly R=240, G=210, B=200, definitely reddish, not greenish. In the middle of the frame, it is slightly yellow; I find some spots R=250, G=220, B=180. Definitely nothing green about this sky. Unless it's shot near sunset, it should tend toward blue, and not toward red as it is here.

I wonder if your camera's exposure, and maybe also white balance, are being thrown off by the two very bright areas of sky. How did you get your white balance for this frame? Was the white card positioned where the actress's face is located, and zoomed so it fills the entire frame? I would think doing so would give you a drastically different balance from what I see in this frame capture.

Caveat: My monitor was adjusted by eye using bars, but is not truly calibrated. But I do watch a lot of video on this system, and I don't think I've ever seen skin tones like these. The above measurements of sky are taken directly from your frame grab. I am especially surprised that anyone would see this frame as being predominantly green!
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Old May 30th, 2013, 03:18 PM   #13
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Re: Daylight shooting in the woods

Many thanks for all your replies. I'm out location scouting and couldn't reply to each message.

The picture I uploaded is the wrong one - my total apologies. I'll learn how to use the site's tools correctly and upload pertinent material - screenshots which illustrate my point - in a few days, and also give some lighting specs.
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Old June 3rd, 2013, 12:04 PM   #14
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Re: Daylight shooting in the woods

I had a green problem in this scene exercise quite a few years back. When I tried to sweeten the skin colours I ended up with beetroot hues on the shadow side of faces.


May be shooting another project in a jarrah/marri forest in about 12 - 18 months on SI2K which may cause an issue such as you describe. My thinking was to use small clear areas with forest as backdrop use overhead shade/diffuser ( we have f16-f22 light much of the time here ) and use bounce of natural sunlight onto the actors.

We have a 12K HMI and generator but getting it into the preferred location will be a bit of a mission.

Any hints Charles will be muchly appreciated.

Last edited by Bob Hart; June 3rd, 2013 at 12:08 PM. Reason: error
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Old June 4th, 2013, 08:31 AM   #15
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Re: Daylight shooting in the woods

I'm not entirely sure I understand what I'm seeing there Bob--did you attempt to minimize contrast on the girl's side of coverage by lifting the footage? If so that explains the lack of saturation.

The main issue there is that the two sides mismatch jarringly in contrast. Yes, theoretically if the girl is in the shade, that light will be somewhat colored by whatever surface the sunlight is lighting in front of her, which may give her a little color cast. It's rarely been my experience that this is an overwhelming cast but then again, I would take a different tack to the scene overall where this wouldn't be an issue. Given a small crew, I probably would have opted to put the lad into a 4x4 frame of at least opal to help with the squinting, and then pushed a little bounce fill from the right side of frame to bring him back up to level (a 4x4 foamcore bounce would be the smallest acceptable, much better with a 6x6 or 8x8 ultrabounce, or bigger if you have the crew for it). For the girl's side, the same package could work. For a stylized, super-pretty look I'd cheat the guy's side into backlight also with a different background than her side.

There are many ways to go about it and a lot depends on the material, the desired look/aesthetic and even the scope of the project--at the moment I have a full grip/electric crew and trucks at my disposal. Yesterday's adventure had two characters sitting at the edge of a lake near sundown; I had a 12x12 of half soft frost taking a little edge off the direct sun and wrapped that around the faces with an 18K into a 4x4 frame of 129 very close to the subject on each side. Without the benefit of a "big gun", I would have still done the sun diffusion but perhaps used a mirror board into the 129 to achieve the same effect (one may ask, then why do you need an 18K? We actually lost the sun right before shooting the reverse coverage: the 18K continued to do what it was doing, and I just pushed a 4K into the soft frost to replicate the sun edge, and it matched perfectly).
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