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Shooting lights and glasses


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#1 Eugene Lehnert

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 04:15 PM

I just recently shot a short and the two problems I've been meaning to research came up again. Shooting people with glasses on and practicals.

How does one typically deal with the reflection of the lights found in glasses? Do you take the lenses out or find a material that does not cast a reflection?

Then when lighting with a practical I installed a 60 watt bulb in a practical shooting 500T Vision2 at a 2.8 and the light was definately blow out. I didn't have a spot meter so I couldn't read the actual lamp. Do you use less wattage? Or install a shade that has some sort of ND filter in it? How do you deal with the hot spot of the light, where the center is really bright but the falloff is properly exposed?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 04:24 PM

I kinda like hot practicals -- they look like they are actually doing something. Unless they are way in the background where a dim one is OK just for some visual interest.

You can do things like spray black Streaks & Tips on the side of the bulb facing camera, or put a piece of black tape in the center of the bulb, or ND gel the camera side of the shade, etc. Lots of tricks. Some people will put some Tough Spun over the camera side of the bulb inside the shade.

If you have the budget, you get different sets of glasses in the same frames: anti-reflective coated ones, flat ones, normal ones. Last resort, pop out the lenses. Flat one reflect only at certain angle (good for trick shots where you want to reflect something over the eyes); anti-reflective ones cut down the brightness of a reflection, so they are the most popular solution, but you still have to watch the angle of reflection, and sometimes the dull reflection has a greenish cast.
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#3 Eugene Lehnert

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 12:37 PM

Cool. Thanks for the advice.
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#4 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 03:54 PM

If the light is higher than the actor, if you tilt the glasses downwards a bit sometimes works.
You can't ask the actor tilt his/her head down, I guess it will spoil the acting, unless it's just an insert of second/seconds.
Dimitrios Koukas
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#5 Eugene Lehnert

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 11:49 AM

Well the situation I was shooting recently was a man standing next to a fire place looking down. I had a 650 watt Arri fresnel attached to a flicker box bouncing off of a gold reflector up onto the man's face. He was looking down at the fire but of course I had a reflection in his glasses that did not look like a fire at all. We moved and positioned him to minimize the reflection but it is definately noticeable.
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#6 Dan Goulder

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 01:43 PM

Then when lighting with a practical I installed a 60 watt bulb in a practical shooting 500T Vision2 at a 2.8 and the light was definately blow out. I didn't have a spot meter so I couldn't read the actual lamp. Do you use less wattage? Or install a shade that has some sort of ND filter in it? How do you deal with the hot spot of the light, where the center is really bright but the falloff is properly exposed?

Are you shooting bare bulbs, or are there shades over the fixtures? Also, which specific lenses are you shooting with? Are the practicals providing all the light for the shot, or are they being augmented by out-of-frame lighting? (A T2.8 stop indicates the likely presence of additional lighting.) If you're not counting on the practicals to provide key light, then you may want to drop them to 25-40 watts, and/or use standard primes (not super speeds).
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#7 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 04:01 PM

I normally let bulbs just go - it's the sourroundings they're lighting that matters. If the bulb blows out, no big deal - that's what they do in real life anyway. Don't spotmeter bulbs - it's pointless. Just take readings of the surroundings and the things you want lit and decide your ratio upon that.

That said, I do prefer to put practicals on dimmers because they tend to look a bit better slightly dimmed down to my eyes. At the moment I'm shooting a huge set with plush red velvet a la Moulin Rouge and big chasing fairground lights in frame, and for that set I chose 25W clear bulbs. They're all on dimmers, too, but will probably not be dimmed that much since they're already kind of orange-ish. Here I'm simply going for interesting lights in frame - they're not actually lighting anything except for the very little spill they give on the actors.
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#8 Kristoffer Newsom

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 05:58 PM

I also typically don't worry too much about practicals - if they're drawing focus from the talent, typically, I'll gel them with some ND. Remember: the eye is usually drawn to the hottest part of the frame.

Also keep in mind "point of focus", and try to keep your composition so that the eye is looking at the same part of the frame when your editor cuts things together - that'll make it easier on them, and it'll also ensure that the audience isn't drifting off to look at what you don't want them to look at.

Good luck.

-Kris
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#9 Bob Hayes

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 12:08 AM

With regards to dealing with reflections in glasses I usually light from above or from the side. Sometimes I make a large soft source smaller. There are some other tricks I use however. Put white papers all over a desk or a newspaper. Then when you see the reflection it looks real. Change the shape of your bounce board to something more organically shaped. Add some grey sections to your bounce. Sometimes I will put a 4 x 4 216 reflection right in the glasses and put a grid made of black one in tape across it. Add some curtains and it looks like a window. Use a practical lamp as your source so you see the lamp shade. Reflections aren?t all bad. If you look at the second ?Riddick? they went to so much trouble to keep reflections out of the sunglasses they looked like black holes in his head.
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