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lighting gold surfaces


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#1 E Roy

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 04:11 PM

I'm on my way to Italy to shoot a doc about a mosaic artist. Will be shooting on the Sony F900 HDCam. One current concern is the issue of rendering vivid colors of the mosaic glass pieces, many of which are gold leafed - actual gold.

In my past experiences gold surfaces are not easy to light and shoot in a way as to truly capture the luster and color of the gold.

The mosaics we are shooting are large (up to 40 meters in length).

Any advice on how to shoot these. The artist has insisted we use no gels or lighting techniques that change the colors in the mosaic. My current thought is to use 4k HMI's reflected from 4x4 bounce cards for indirect lighting.

I'm curious to hear from anyone who's had any experience with this kind of surface and or can recommend alternate considerations that might bring better results.

The mosaics can be viewed at www.centroaletti.com


Ed
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 05:13 PM

There are two basic tricks to lighting reflective surfaces:

1, Break up the reflection (or light source) so that it's not just one big flat reflection.

2, Create a little movement so that the camera sees the reflection move. Without movement the reflection can end up looking like a white surface instead of a white reflection.

Either way, it's the reflection that makes the object look shiny, not the incident light hitting it.
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#3 timHealy

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 07:59 PM

Either way, it's the reflection that makes the object look shiny, not the incident light hitting it.


I completely agree with Michael.

Think about lighting a black glossy car or piano.

I was going to suggest using something bigger than a 4x4, but if they are 40 meters in length maybe you need lighting balloons or multiple 12x or 20x bounces. One looked really high and tall.

Best

Tim
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#4 David Auner aac

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 01:53 AM

Any advice on how to shoot these. The artist has insisted we use no gels or lighting techniques that change the colors in the mosaic. My current thought is to use 4k HMI's reflected from 4x4 bounce cards for indirect lighting.


Hi Ed,

what does the room you're shooting in look like? Is there a white wall opposite the mosaic? If so, you could light that and have that reflect in the gold surface...

Cheers, Dave
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#5 E Roy

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 05:58 AM

Add movement, larger reflectors, bouncing off the back wall. Great suggestions and creative thinking. Thanks.

I have not yet seen the location, but I will next week the day before shooting.

So I'll keep these ideas present and hopefully be able to get the right gear in time.

Ed
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#6 John Sprung

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 02:00 PM

Also consider some "negative fill" -- large areas of black. The difference between your white bounce and the black increases the effect as you move the camera around. It's the change that shows us that we're looking at a reflection, especially if the reflecting surfaces are small and random.



-- J.S.
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