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Shooting reflections on water


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#1 Tom Banks

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 11:37 PM

Hi,
I have a shoot which requires an OTS shot of a guy kneeling at the edge of a pond looking at his reflection. The pond is relatively small so there will be minimal to no ripples on the surface of the water (depending on wind). Originally I was thinking I can just shoot it straight, but I am considering more shooting the OTS angle and then a reverse of looking up at the character's face and then matting the two shots together.

I am unexperienced in shooting with the reflective properties of water, so I am not sure which way is best to go.

Here isan example of what I am talking about from the film Hook:
Posted Image

You can see some stills from previous weekends on this shoot @ www.banksfilm.com/valdemar

Thanks Guys!
Tom Banks
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 12:40 AM

It's like shooting a reflection of someone in the surface of a shiny car, for example.

First, you have to be at the correct angle to see the reflection, which may be rather overhead. Second, the face has to be brighter than the background being reflected or else all you'll get is a silhouette face against a sky reflected in the water. The most strong reflection therefore would be a pond at night with a black sky and a brightly lit face. So if this is a day shot, at least try and get a dark tree or something framed beind the head in the reflection so that it's against a darker background, then add some light or a low reflector on the face (the light has to be very low because the face is looking downwards.)
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#3 C.L. Washington Jr.

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 02:18 AM

It's like shooting a reflection of someone in the surface of a shiny car, for example.

First, you have to be at the correct angle to see the reflection, which may be rather overhead. Second, the face has to be brighter than the background being reflected or else all you'll get is a silhouette face against a sky reflected in the water. The most strong reflection therefore would be a pond at night with a black sky and a brightly lit face. So if this is a day shot, at least try and get a dark tree or something framed beind the head in the reflection so that it's against a darker background, then add some light or a low reflector on the face (the light has to be very low because the face is looking downwards.)


Dave, you're an absolute genius. Thank you for all of your advice. God bless. God Speed.

C.L. Washington Jr.
aka Godzilla
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#4 Matt Irwin

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 03:18 AM

You could try putting a mirror under the water and covering the edges with sediment from the river/pond floor. This should help to boost the reflections, but you will still have to take David's advice and make sure the actor's face is brighter than the background. I've seen this trick work well (so long as the mirror is hidden properly) several times before.
Hope this helps,
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#5 Tom Banks

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 11:30 PM

Thanks guys!
David and Matt, your advice will definitely help us and elemite much trial and error.
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