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Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring


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#1 Mariano Nante

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 04:42 PM

Hi,

I would like to reproduce Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring with a still Reflex camera. Piece of cake, huh? :P
I don't have access to various types of lighting sources... I think I'll only be using 5k, 2k, 1k, 650 and 300 fresnels.

any suggestions?

Max Jacoby, I would like to hear from you, as I know you worked in Peter Webber's movie. Eduardo Sierra's cinematography is outsanding, btw.


well, thanks a lot
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#2 G McMahon

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 06:50 AM

Check the back posts. I am sure this has been discussed.
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#3 Mariano Nante

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 08:18 AM

I made a search and couldn't find it. I'll try the archives.
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#4 Alex Haspel

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 09:41 AM

well, lighting wise one big soft source should do it, shouldn't it?
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#5 John Holland

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 10:24 AM

Yes you are correct . a large soft source soft as possible . Look at some of Vermeers paintings , you will then see his style . John Holland. London .
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#6 Mariano Nante

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 05:22 PM

Ok, I know I should use a soft souce... but what about the fill? Do you think I should use a tiny light or bounce the main light? To your eyes, what is the ratio between the two sides of her face?
Oh, and don't you think that there should be another source to light the fabric that's hanging from her head? It seems to me that the key light wouldn't hit the cloth that way...
And what about the pearl? Doesn't it seem too bright for the place where it is?
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#7 Alex Wuijts

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Posted 18 September 2006 - 01:10 AM

It will be hard to fill the right place of her face without seeing the source in the models eye right? She'll look pretty much straight into the camera. Remember that painters like Vermeer and Rembrandt where masters making it look like one source lighting.
I think her white collar should bounce some light into her right cheek and earring.

But i don't really understand why you want to talk about this instead of just trying it out. You have all the lights you'll ever need for this, just set something up and compare it with the picture. You can talk for ages about it, but it all changes when you turn one light on.

Edited by Alex Wuijts, 18 September 2006 - 01:11 AM.

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#8 Bob Hayes

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Posted 18 September 2006 - 11:02 AM

girl_with_a_pearl_earring_detail_f.jpg http://girl-with-a-pearl-earring.20m.com/

How about this for a GREAT site. There a many close shots of the painting. Look at "images". With regards to the eye light there is a small subtle highlight in her left eye. There is a soft shadow under her turban and her chin which would indicate a soft source over the camera high enough to not be seen in the eye. A look at #8 the close up on the earring shows the hot key from the left but also the soft key directly above the painter.
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#9 John Holland

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Posted 18 September 2006 - 11:18 AM

Sorry have to disagree , she is lit from one source a north facing window hence very soft light ,how would the painter have managed a "hot" source from above him in 1700 what ever ? John Holland , London .
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#10 Mariano Nante

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Posted 18 September 2006 - 02:31 PM

Bob, that site is fantastic. Thanks!

"Sorry have to disagree , she is lit from one source a north facing window hence very soft light ,how would the painter have managed a "hot" source from above him in 1700 what ever ? John Holland , London ."

Well, I am no expert, but I suppose that painters like Vermeer did not actually paint what they saw... I thought the created the lighting conditions in the canvas. That is why some paintings from the same period have "impossible lights"... when you start looking into them you wonder "where does that light come from!?" But, I repeat, it is just a supposition.

"But i don't really understand why you want to talk about this instead of just trying it out. You have all the lights you'll ever need for this, just set something up and compare it with the picture. You can talk for ages about it, but it all changes when you turn one light on."

You're definately right. But unfortunately, I will have the equipment for just one day... and I want to get it right in little time. And as I won't be using digital, I will have to picture it in my head, which I am not good at.

Thanks for the feedback!


No thoughts about the ratio?
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#11 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 02:57 PM

vermeer_the_music_lesson.jpg

Sorry have to disagree , she is lit from one source a north facing window hence very soft light ,how would the painter have managed a "hot" source from above him in 1700 what ever ? John Holland , London .


We get a good view of Vermeer's studio and lighting set up in 'The Music Lesson'.

The window goes to the top of the ceiling and other windows allow for a bit of bounce light.
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#12 Max Jacoby

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 06:12 PM

Eduardo had parcans outside the window, which he shot through a layer and a half of gridcloth. I don't remember this specific setup, but sometimes he did add some more diffusion on the windows for a super soft light. The only fill he used was bounce back from the key light. He also put black cloth in the background, because on the painting the background is black also. I remember him lighting this scene, he had a copy of the painting and literally molded every shadow until it matched. Probably the most impressive artistic achievement I've ever witnessed.
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#13 Sharra Jenkins

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 09:47 PM

I agree with the "Natural" light theory. If you want Scarlett Johannsen...well that is one thing. I would try a good old fashioned dirty window. With only daylight and candles...that would be the real thing.
As for fill on the fabric...if you research how he moves across the canvas when he works, you may find the the scarf was the last bit done, and may have been during a time when the sun had changed postion, as in season, or time of day. The waiting period for this type of paint to dry was as long as a year.
In other words, this lighting situation would have never really occured in one sitting, but in the months it could have taken him to finish it.
SharraJ
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#14 Frank Barrera

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 10:26 PM

try the 5 K bounced into at least a 6' X 6' white bounce (gryflon) that is up pretty high as in the highest window in the "studio image" coming down on her and just spin her until you get the angle correct. as for fill i think it's reasonable to assume that if there wasn't enough "natural" fill for him then he would just add it to taste. so you do the same with a 4X4 bead board with NO separate unit into it several feet away just to your taste. if you do get a reflection of that bead board then just do a pass thru photo shop and axe it. i'll never tell...

good luck
f
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#15 Valeriu Campan

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 11:34 PM

Here is a photo with lighting inspired by Vermeer:
http://www.ikontact....php?image_id=38
I used a very large diffuser outside the window and fill is provided by flexifill and some white bedsheets.
Valeriu
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#16 Igor Trajkovski

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 07:55 PM

Here is a photo with lighting inspired by Vermeer:
http://www.ikontact....php?image_id=38
I used a very large diffuser outside the window and fill is provided by flexifill and some white bedsheets.
Valeriu


Just saw them.
VERY nice!

Very Painterly. The pix are small and for the quick glancer may pass as paintings.
:)


Regards

Igor
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#17 Sing Lo

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 05:08 PM

Just a suggestion from still photography point of view( I am no expert on cinematography):

The window light is diffused and directional. Fresnel is directional but more like undiffused, direct sun beam. How about a softbox as key at 10-11 o'clock. (Watch the nose shadow position in the painting) Maybe you can mount your fresnel on a Chimera hotlight softbox with a speedring? It doesn't have to be big softbox, a medium source close to the subject face has the same effect as a big source further away. Use white reflector mounted low at 4 o'clock to open up the shadow area. You can adjust the reflector to the head distance (or size) to vary the fill intensity, and you judge the degree of fill visually. Alternatively you can use a small fresnel as a very weak fill, placing it close to the camera axis below the head level.

Edited by Sing Lo, 05 October 2006 - 05:09 PM.

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