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Double Shadows


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#1 Nick Keller

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 06:32 PM

How do you deal with them on wide shots that need multiple sources of light? I shot this weekend on the HVX with 35 adaptor, and we had a bar scene. Since I had to light multiple people and accent certain objects etc. I ran into a problem of multiple shadows.

I tried my best to soften or compose them out and most of the time it worked. But, for instance we had a dolly wide of a bartender walking to our two main characters to serve them a drink. I had two keys, one on each of the actors and set up sources to light the bartenders path. The problem was I had two shadows created by those two keys.

No one else noticed until I pointed them out but I just want to know some tips on how to avoid such problems. Naturally there are multiple shadows all the time if your in a club/restaurant/bar atmosphere so I guess its not killer.
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#2 Paul Bruening

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 07:37 PM

I caught Grand Prix on TV a couple of days ago. There were lots of shots with two hard shadows falling on the wall behind the characters. I had never noticed them before. There was a time when it wasn't a big deal. Now, big soft light sources are almost standard. I recall some scenes in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes with incredibly harsh, dual shadows on walls.
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#3 Drew Hoffman

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 07:58 AM

There's nothing inherently wrong with double shadows. In a situation where there are multiple practical sources, it would make sense that there would be multiple shadows. If it's aesthetically bothersome, you might try flagging the light off of the subjects you're not specifically trying to light with that particular unit. That might make things darker than you wanted, so it depends on what's most important.

Of course, the flip side is that if the audience is paying so much attention to the lighting, they're probably not very involved in the story...
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#4 David Regan

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 09:42 AM

It sounds like from your description of the bartender shot, if you had your keys on the patrons set up higher, you could then put a topper on those lights, so it hits them but not the back of the bar where the bartender walks. Then the bartender could be lit by his own sources.

I feel your pain though, I've had and still have plenty of agonizing times spent on set as well, trying to deal with unpleasing shadows.

Good Luck.
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