Posted 20 October 2007 - 08:18 PM
Posted 20 October 2007 - 08:50 PM
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...
Posted 20 October 2007 - 10:31 PM
Posted 10 November 2011 - 02:24 PM
Can't recall who said it but "Another light, another problem"
Oh that MUST be Gordon Willis!
Posted 12 November 2011 - 02:18 PM
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.