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Morning Coffee


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#1 Ckulakov

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 08:09 PM

Dear Filmmakers,

Here is something I did trying to capture steam using a digital camera. Since the rule for a good appearance of steam is backlighting I used a 500w photoflood 3,200 with black reflector to take the light off from where the steam would be seen. I also set WB at 5,200 to make the image look warm like a early morning cup of coffee.

CHECK IT OUT:

http://i42.photobuck...ov/IMG_0836.jpg

PLEASE COMMENT. THANK YOU.
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#2 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 08:38 PM

looks good. A little hot on the right side of the cup, but still looks like what you wanted/planned.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 09:02 PM

I like the hot edge, although I'm not sure about the little shadow in the middle of it.

The steam is great, so is the warmth. The arrangement of objects and the background isn't so great. The bookshelf is a little too close, and I don't get why the plant is there.
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#4 Jesse Bekas

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 10:24 PM

I don't have much experience lighting steam and smoke, but I was under the impression that, like rain and snow, it was best lit from the side, and not from in front or behind.
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#5 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 11:47 PM

I don't have much experience lighting steam and smoke, but I was under the impression that, like rain and snow, it was best lit from the side, and not from in front or behind.


generally, if you want it to show up as clearly as possible, you backlight and shoot against a dark background. this is the general rule of thumb for popping out any transluscent materials.

hope this helps,
jaan
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#6 Josh Bass

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 12:11 AM

How does the angle from which the light hits the steam/snow/etc. affect how it looks? I mean, if you light it from below, does it look different than from above (obviously, can't be at "eye level", 'cause then it would show up in your shot)
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#7 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 12:21 AM

Dear Filmmakers,

Here is something I did trying to capture steam using a digital camera. Since the rule for a good appearance of steam is backlighting I used a 500w photoflood 3,200 with black reflector to take the light off from where the steam would be seen. I also set WB at 5,200 to make the image look warm like a early morning cup of coffee.

CHECK IT OUT:

http://i42.photobuck...ov/IMG_0836.jpg

PLEASE COMMENT. THANK YOU.


looks nice. but the kicker feels a little too hard and consistent, especially on the chair. maybe if it was selectively flagged with practical shadows or a scrim to soften it up in some areas where it falls (but not the typical corporate video "cookie wall shadpw"). the key/fill/frontal light also feels like it could be a little more organic and less artificial. a quick technique i use sometimes is to grab a practical element and set it at the edge of frame or right off camera and let the kicker bounce some color & light back into the shot. this tends to look a lot more natrualistic than setting up a bounce card off camera. also, though i understand this is somewhat out of your control if it's digital, i feel the shot could have benefitted from a shollower depth of field. the geometric pattern of the books in combination with the vertical bands of the chair are successfully battling with the coffee cup for visual dominance.

i like the specular highlight on the cup.

hope this helps,
jaan

How does the angle from which the light hits the steam/snow/etc. affect how it looks? I mean, if you light it from below, does it look different than from above (obviously, can't be at "eye level", 'cause then it would show up in your shot)


it's because of the angle of the lens relative to the particles in the air. having the light positioned as a kicker or backlight maximizes the intensity of light reflecting off the particles and into the lens. you can really see this concept by looking at black asphalt. at midday, asphalt looks relatively matte. but in the late afternoon or morning, when the sun is acting as a kicker/backlight, you will see a lot of specular highlights in the asphalt. i guess that's the long answer. the short answer is to just try it out, with various light positions. i didn't make this "rule" up, i read when i was starting out, and it has only proven itself true numerous times.

hope this helps,
jaan
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#8 Richard Vialet

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 12:21 AM

nice shot! I like it...but i agree with david mullen. it would improve the frame if you lost the plant...it crowds the image just a tad and is placed awkwardly...the person sitting in that chair for a nice cup of morning coffee seems like he wouldn't have a very good time with the plant all up on him like that...but other than that i like it :)...nice warmth and i also love the hot rim!

Did you diffuse on camera in any way...if so what'd you use?
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#9 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 12:22 AM

whoa, that's weird. it just combined my last two posts.

i didn't know it did that.
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#10 Tim Tyler

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 12:51 AM

The bookshelf is a little too close


How close was the book shelf to the table? Those books look huge. If I didn't see shelf reflections in the table top I'd think they were keyed in.

Nice shot though. Warmness looks good. I don't mind the plant as the picture would be very brown without it. What stop did you shoot at?
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#11 Jonathan Spear

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 06:30 AM

Nice one, Chulakov! The steam looks awesome.
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#12 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 06:47 AM

Hi,

Like the plant, needs the colour. As with other people, less sure about the books. I'd rather see a much deeper shot with the rest of the kitchen - I suppose on a normal shoot you'd have an actor back there frying eggs or something.

That hot highlight is nice, but it's the sort of thing that video people get yelled at about...

Phil
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#13 Patrick Casey

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 07:49 AM

I'm not sure if it counts as hi-jacking the thread, but is this how you would light smoke and mist as well?
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#14 Ckulakov

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 04:00 PM

SO SOME OF YOU SAY THE PLANT IS GOOD BUT SOME SAY ITS BAD... HM.....
I DO THINK I CAN POSITION BETTER AMONG THE FRAME.
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#15 David S.

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 04:56 PM

A lot of good advice here. If I may add my own comment, I try and make my shots have contrasting color. Your shot is a little "monochromatic" orange or warm. It's a nice warm feeling but not the whole frame. Just my .02
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#16 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 06:41 PM

SO SOME OF YOU SAY THE PLANT IS GOOD BUT SOME SAY ITS BAD... HM.....
I DO THINK I CAN POSITION BETTER AMONG THE FRAME.


It just looks weird pushed to the edge of the table right in front of a chair, which is then also pushed in front of the bookshelf. Who puts a plant in front of a seat? Either move the plant or the chair.
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#17 Mario C. Jackson

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 01:35 PM

I think the picture is pretty good. I would just have pushed the book shelf back, the picture has to much depth of field. I don't see anything wrong with the chair. Perhaps you could move the plant, but I don't think that the plants position is that bad.
Thanks
Mario Concepcion Jackson
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#18 Dan Goulder

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 03:16 PM

For superior results, you might want to try switching to decaf. That way, you won't lose sleep over the quality of the shot.
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#19 Greg Gross

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 05:21 PM

I'm not just going to hand it to you,but have you thought about shutter speed?
Have you thought about creative use of your white balance? Then again if you
are using Photoshop you have quite a few options. Can you explain more about
the look,effect you want. I mean do you want it overpowering or just slightly,mildly
noticeable?

Greg Gross
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#20 david west

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 11:12 PM

Constantine,

nice shot....

i would have liked to have seen what was in the cup...

part of the magic of steam is how it is forming right above the surface...

as far as the plant goes, i would try a bowling bag with numchucks hanging off of
the handles instead,,,, or an open briefcase to explain the legal pad and pencils,,,
either one...


2 cents worth,

but free,

so not even worth 2 cents.....
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