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Lighting large reflective objects


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#1 Joe Sexton

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 11:46 AM

I have a shot that involves two actors sitting at a table with a large chrome finished oxygen tank. Does anybody have a ideas as to how I could light this shot without seeing the reflection of the lights and the camera in the tank?
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#2 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 12:16 PM

It depends on how it curves. But normally with shiny objects, treat them as you would if you lit a car commercial - work with the reflections rather than against them. Bild softboxes that you can reflcet into the surfaces as well as light the object.
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#3 Richard Andrewski

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 08:29 PM

Softlight, that's the key for shiny and dark objects both. Fluorescent works well for this type of stuff. Basically lighting from a large surface area like a standard softbox or fluorescent softbox.

Edited by Richard Andrewski, 01 March 2007 - 08:30 PM.

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#4 chris kempinski

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 12:08 AM

It's all about reflection, and lighting for that. Usually, if I have a budget, I would bring in large (12X12) silks, 2 or so, seperate them with a 12X12 black to cover the entire reflection. if you bounce and fill the frame it would be better than pushing the light straight through as you will see the source.
basically big and soft is your answer, if you can make it look like it's all coming from one natural source.
The other answer is find something interesting to light in the reflection and use that to it's atvantage rather than as a hinderance.
To hide the camera..... a couple of 4X4 flops with the lens pointing through the black usually works.

good luck.
Chris
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#5 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 12:51 AM

The cylindrical shape of the tanks will distort the image of your lights and camera so much, you may not even notice it. Do some tests and see what you can actually see in the reflection.

The tanks are "chrome", or really just a brushed aluminum type of metal? If so, there's really nothing to worry about.

A current similar example, is the giant rocketship from David Mullen's latest "Astronaut Farmer". In the "Cinematographer" forum there's a thread where he talks about lighting it.
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#6 Joe Sexton

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 05:57 PM

Thanks for the Ideas. I have a week of so before I have to shoot this shot so I will probably set this thing up in my kitchen and do some tests before hand. I will have a bit of a budget to work with so I can probably get some silks and or a few flos.
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#7 Walter Graff

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 07:38 AM

I used to light the NBA championship trophy every year (a big shinny globe on a four sided shinny base) and the Stanley cup (a shiny cup on a shiny cylinder) when I worked for both leagues and specular light is great for highlights with a star filter but overall you need refraction more than anything else and that means lots of bounce card or large frames of diffusion. Here's a commercial I directed for the NHL with the cup in LA. The cup is lit with one 4x8 sheet of foam core represented by flatter streak of light that appears on it's front. The right brighter streak is a bare fixture aimed at the floor giving a more specular reflection than flatter.

http://media-nf.blue...web.com/NHL.mov


Simple is better with reflection as I see it. I remember how I discovered this. I was lighting a trophy and realized I had created a Rube Goldberg setup of lights and it looked terrible. Turned most all off and said wow, look at what one light does.
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