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Old October 21st, 2009, 09:56 PM   #1
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Tips for Shooting Sunset Scene

I have a music video shoot coming up where the couple are sitting on a bench looking at each other, with the sun setting over the sea behind them. Using EX1

The challenge is to expose to get a good sunset, but still see their faces.
I am hoping to avoid using lights, but rather a reflector to bounce some setting sunlight onto them.

I'd appreciate any tips or experiences others have on exposure, filters or any other strategies.

Thanks
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Old October 21st, 2009, 10:24 PM   #2
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The silverish side of refector should work well (gold would be too warm), but if the sun sets in a nice red sky, why not just silhouette them, that would look pretty too.

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Old October 22nd, 2009, 12:20 AM   #3
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I would go out and practice this shot before doing it. The specific sky at sundown will have a lot to do with what you can get. If its clean I expect it will be very hard to hold the sun while getting any exposure on the faces. In any case it may be very hard until after the sun has set unless there is nice clouds that still allow you to see the sun. its very tricky and changes second to second.
It may be a good idea to use a long lens and throw the sun out of focus, that makes it dimmer and bigger in the shot.
Consider the silhouette alternative.
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 12:53 AM   #4
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Yes, thanks Thierry and Leonard,

I have done a sort of mock up which wasn't too bad, but every sunset is slightly different depending on how much and what sort of clouds are around.

Yes, I did suggest the silhouette - the client would prefer visible faces, but he does know it may be silhouettes if it doesn't work out.

The problem is it's so hard to persuade the sun to go back up for another take.
I'll probably do an early take, 5 mins or so before actual set, then another with that magical lighting change.
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 10:44 AM   #5
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Just a thought. In addition to using a reflector to bounce light in, you could set your angle a little above them, and slip in a soft edge ND9 to back off the sun's exposure. Throw in an ND6 as well if necessary. You might need it.

If the sun is low enough, you won't have to be positioned too high. The sun will only occupy 15-20% of the top of frame, so it won't look contrived.

It will work best with a cloudless sky, of course. If too many clouds, the ND's will be more visible.

Actually, if there are too many clouds, you'll be back the next day, anyway :-)

Last edited by Mark Savage; October 22nd, 2009 at 11:56 AM.
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 01:04 AM   #6
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This one of the toughest shots since you have a very short time window to get it and as you said, just about every day has different atmospheric conditions.
I'd be tempted to put that battery powered spot light out there to illuminate the faces since otherwise it may be days and days before you get the right atmospherics again.
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