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Eye Reflection Shot


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#1 Ken Maskrey

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 12:28 AM

What setup would I use to do one of those shots (35mm) where you see someone's reflection in the eye of the primary subject? I've got two guys, face to face more or less, and I want to see the fear on one's face reflected in the eye of another...seems like it would be just a simple close focus, or am I missing something?

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 02:17 AM

This would most likely be done as a digital composite for a number of reasons.

First of all, the eyeball is like a mirrorball and the camera lens would be reflected in the dead center of the surface, so you'd have to position the camera behind the shoulder of the actor being reflected and drape the camera and background in black to hide it. The lens may have to be super telephoto to get that tight from that far back.

Second, the curvature of the eye makes the reflection very wide-angle so even a very close person would be small in size.

Third, the focus either has to be on the eye or on the reflection (which is the distance from the camera to the eye PLUS the distance from the eye to the subject being reflected, so it may not be close focus.)

Fourth, any movement of the person whose eye is being photographed will be exaggerated, so they have to be rock-steady.

Here's a photo from "Blue" of a doctor leaning over the patient (Juliette Binoche) reflected in her eye, done in-camera (not an effect). You see how the focus is on the reflection, not the eye.

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#3 Max Jacoby

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 04:00 AM

Also the person who is reflected needs to be lit brighter than the eye itself, to compensate for the light lost in the reflection on the eye.
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#4 Ken Maskrey

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 10:52 AM

Here's a photo from "Blue" of a doctor leaning over the patient (Juliette Binoche) reflected in her eye, done in-camera (not an effect). You see how the focus is on the reflection, not the eye.


Exactly, Blue is the movie where I fell in love with the idea of this shot.

Edited by Ken Maskrey, 12 February 2006 - 10:52 AM.

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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 11:02 AM

Stand up close to a mirror and see how small the reflection of your own face is reflected in your own eyeball. You'll see the problem of registering fear in the face of the person being reflected.

Even just four inches from the mirror, my own reflection is chest-up in my eyeball, which means your other actor would have to be that close to the actor's eye. You may even have to light the person being reflected REALLY brightly and expose the eyeball lit only by with the bounce off of the person.
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#6 Thomas Cousin

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 01:43 PM

hi,

do you think different eyes colors have an influence of the apparent brightness of the person in reflection ?
i mean when you have a dark eye vs a very light blue eye ?

thomas
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#7 Robert Hughes

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 03:35 PM

There was a scene in some Bond flick - "Goldfinger", IIRC - where Bond, making love to a Bad Bond Girl, sees the approach of a Bad Guy with a knife, reflected in her eyes. He flips her over just in time to get her skewered on the falling blade. What a gentleman!
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 05:16 PM

hi,

do you think different eyes colors have an influence of the apparent brightness of the person in reflection ?
i mean when you have a dark eye vs a very light blue eye ?

thomas


Obviously you'll see a reflection better the darker the eye is, just like a reflection in a black car versus a white car.
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The Slider

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Tai Audio

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Aerial Filmworks