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#1 Anthony Caffaro

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 08:18 PM

Whats a good way to deal with double shadows? I know I can light from high up or move the action farther from a wall so the shadows fall on the floor. But in cases where you can't other then changing you lighting set up what are some ways to fix/prevent this problem. I guess flags and diffusion could work.

Thanks
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 08:50 PM

Your lighting is was creates the shadows. Flagging light is changing the lighting!

I assume you mean having shadows from both your key and your fill light falling onto the background. Yes, moving the action away from the wall is the first choice to avoid a cast shadow, or simply changing the direction of the light so that the shadow falls out of frame (moving it to the side works just as well as moving it higher). And you're right that diffusion -- particularly a large, soft source -- helps make shadows softer and therefore less distracting. Flags can help some with cast shadows, but then you're also casting a shadow of the flag onto your subject -- it only works when the shadow that's visible in the background is from part of the subject that's out of frame in the foreground.

Shadows also become more visible as the contrast gets higher. A sharp shadow that's only 1/3 stop darker than the lit portion is less visible and distracting than a shadow that's two or three stops darker. Sometimes you can fill in shadows (with soft light) to reduce contrast, or you can use a source that's less bright to begin with.

"Good" cinematography is about controlling the image. Not only the lighting, but also the blocking and camera angles so that the image looks good and "right" for your production. Many times the solution to a problem is to avoid the problem in the first place: If the action is too close to the wall to accommodate good lighting, move it away from the wall. If a hard fill light casts a second shadow, don't use a hard fill light. Etc., etc...
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#3 Tim Terner

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 10:31 PM

Can't recall who said it but "Another light, another problem"
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#4 Ben Brahem Ziryab

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 02:24 PM

Can't recall who said it but "Another light, another problem"


Oh that MUST be Gordon Willis!
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#5 Skip Roessel

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 02:18 PM

Try fitting one of the two lights with a large diffusion so it becomes a big source. That means adding a Chimera-style softbox or perhaps a studio silk, 18x24 or bigger. Assuming you can spare another gripstand.

If you have a low enough white ceiling, try bouncing one light (usually the biggest) into the ceiling and direct the other at the talent. One shadow always makes sense.

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