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#1 stevewitt

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 11:55 AM

Ive heard that just aiming your lights at the ceiling (in 8' or less ceiling hieght) to get an even, and soft light is the way to go. I've been trying this with my home depot work lights and have been getting fair (at best) results and this is with the "regular household lights" on too. It's a white ceiling but the reflection could be better. Should I put tin foil on the cieling. Does anyone have any experience or suggestions for this type of lighting. The main reason I want this lighting technique is to hide the lights and just "aim up" and be able to shoot in all directions of the room without revealing lighting efforts on the footage and get decent lighting results. Am I asking for too much?
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#2 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 12:22 PM

Ive heard that just aiming your lights at the ceiling (in 8' or less ceiling hieght) to get an even, and soft light is the way to go. I've been trying this with my home depot work lights and have been getting fair (at best) results and this is with the "regular household lights" on too. It's a white ceiling but the reflection could be better. Should I put tin foil on the cieling. Does anyone have any experience or suggestions for this type of lighting. The main reason I want this lighting technique is to hide the lights and just "aim up" and be able to shoot in all directions of the room without revealing lighting efforts on the footage and get decent lighting results. Am I asking for too much?


"Bounce" lighting is a common technique in flash photography. Putting shiny foil up there will make the ceiling reflect more light, but it will be very directional, much like a mirror. "Bounce" is a good (but relatively inefficient) way to get uniform lighting from above. You may want to supplement it with other lights, or it may be fairly flat and uninteresting
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#3 Dan Goulder

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 12:26 PM

Ive heard that just aiming your lights at the ceiling (in 8' or less ceiling hieght) to get an even, and soft light is the way to go. I've been trying this with my home depot work lights and have been getting fair (at best) results and this is with the "regular household lights" on too. It's a white ceiling but the reflection could be better.

What's most important is how the light falls on your subject. If all of the light is falling straight down, all you'll have is toplighting. If you want decent definition on faces, you'll need for at lease some of the light to fall on those faces. If your only light source is coming from the ceiling, you can try a simple white-board reflector, or you should attempt to position the actors not directly below the lighting, but rather at an angle to it, which would allow for the possibility of some direct illumination.
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#4 Robert Hughes

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 01:12 PM

Also consider the safety issues. I once set a drop ceiling on fire with a 1000w Lowell light. It's quite frightening and embarrassing.

Edited by Robert Hughes, 20 January 2006 - 01:12 PM.

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#5 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 03:18 PM

direct the light - wrap it in foil so you get a "fresnel" effect - then shine it into foamcore or a piece of white wood from Home Depot - it is much more controllable

thanks

Rolfe
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#6 Paul Bruening

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 04:30 PM

It can be useful for bringing up the stops on the whole room. However, the effect on the subjects is VERY unflattering. Painted sheetrock can take a lot of heat. But, you still have to keep the light far enough away to keep the paper sheathing from seperating from the plaster as well as heat spotting the paint.

Ceiling bounce in conjunction with smaller heads for subject sculpting is more useful. Keep in mind that the tops of your frame will be lighted higher because of the ceiling bounce. This is contrary to the more common practice of underlighting the tops of the frame. It may be little more than an asthetic choice. However, if you must follow subjects around much of the room, ceiling bounce will cover more area from a smaller point of lamp placement. Maybe, use this for master shots and add sculptural lighting for the medium and close-ups.
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 06:26 PM

Ceiling bounced light has been popular since the 1960's when people like Raoul Coutard started doing it. The problem is keeping the top of the walls from looking brighter than the rest of the room. One solution is to put a skirt of black cloth around the ceiling edges a few feet from the walls. I've clipped, taped, etc. white cards to ceilings to bounce off of.
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