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Techniques for Independent Production
The challenges of creating Digital Cinema and other narrative forms.

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Old June 11th, 2007, 08:28 AM   #1
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Location: Central, FL
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Lighting Set-up

Shooting a youth oriented dv video project in the daytime, about 3 in the afternoon in FL with jvc gy hd100u. It's a setup where we place the camera and interview people that come to where we are set-up. Using the sun as key I should be ok using a reflector as fill. Let me know your thoughts, suggestions...

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Old June 12th, 2007, 04:06 AM   #2
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You might want to get another 5-in-1 reflector and the corresponding stand and holder so you can put a diffuser over the talent. If you have intense sun overhead and put a bright reflector in someone's face, they aren't going to like you. If you can soften the overhead light, it won't be as hard to fill in their face with a simple white reflector (instead of silver). The diffuser overhead and a large white surface in front will give you a more pleasing soft light. You could even try a small silver/gold reflector coming in from behind and to the side to add a little glow to the hair and shoulder area on one side. You can fake a sort of sunset "golden hour" look by softening the light and adding a gold accent. It's a little cheesy, but the soft light will be nice for keeping your talent happy.

If it becomes overcast, you can skip the overhead diffuser and just add a silver or gold accent to spice things up. Another thing I have wanted to do but haven't had the opportunity is to shoot under a white folding shade tent. These tents are popular and are usually 10'x10'. I figure the softening of the light on the talent would be a nice key and a shiny reflector would add a nice accent.

Go to and click on "free photo lessons" in the upper right-hand corner and check out their tutorials. They have lots of ideas that should be easy to implement as long as it isn't really windy.
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Old June 12th, 2007, 08:50 AM   #3
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Hi Marcus,

Thanks for the great advice.

I've been plotting out how we are thinking of doing the setup....the time of shooting is a bit up in the air right now. I was thinking of a morning shoot before the sun is too intense. The time will depend on there being public at the location at that time to interview. The other slot open would be maybe about 3 in the afternoon.

For the morning shot based on the location layout, we would be shooting at the beach on the boardwalk. The sun coming up on the left of the camera as key and place the white reflector and diffuser you suggested on the opposite side of the camera. If we do shoot in the morning, it's not as the sun is coming up but lets say we would shoot at 9am. The gold reflector...I think it would warm up the video. I like this idea. Is there a way to make a gold reflector?

I will go to Thank you for telling me about the site.

Thanks again for your help.
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