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Lighting for a Perfume advert


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#1 Will R D McGregor

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 07:22 PM

Im shooting a perfume advert in the style of the Armani adverts by Fabien Baron- . I would like some advice.

I working with a basic two model and off white backdrop situation-

Basically I want to have two separate elements to my advert, a softly light slow tempo section- For this I should imagine I will have to use a powerful light from a distance to get a nice soft wrap around. And then use a closer harsher light to ad a shine to the models bone structure (Aided by the make up artist using a sheen make up on jaw lines to highlight them). I will also be shooting this section with a long lens as to separate the viewer from the audience and make the models feel isolated.

I will also then have a intimate, darker and moodier section intercut where the lighting level will be much lower. Should I just ditch the Key light, using the same fill to give a very gentle form and then the same close harsh light to define the form of the models?

For this section I will be using a shorter lens to produce a shallower depth of field and make the scene appear more intimate and the viewer closer to the intimate action on screen. Although I have read that longer lenses are used in fashion photography as they flatten the image, so are more flattering to the models. Should I not use a shorter lense if I want to imitate the perfume ad style?

Another thing is that the only lights I have are 2 2kw blondes, 4 800w reds and a couple of 150w dedo?s. I have just invested in loads of filters, diffusion spun and black wrap so I can alter my lights a fare bit. Would the effect I am after be achievable with this selection of lights? Maybe a defused or bounced Blonde as the Key, 2 reds as fill and back and a Dedo as the highlight for the facial features?

I also have another issue, all of the studios at my uni where booked out so I had to make do with a suitable class room (I have checked the load of the circuit and don?t wory I won?t blow any fuses) The problem with the class room is that the ceiling is only about 8ft high! So I cant get a very high key light. Would just bouncing the light of off the ceiling be OK? What affect would bouncing the light of off the ceiling have over having the light further away from the subject but direct? Would it make any difference?

Also I have been advised to shoot using ND filters, what advantage does this have to help me create the style I am after?

Also should I shoot on a different f-stop for the different sections of my advert? I read that I need a lower f-stop as possible to imitate fashion style cinematography?

I am shooting on a Canon XH A1, I have chosen this over the Sony Z1 as it gives a softer image. Im shooting on HD, recording onto a hard drive. Im trying to get my hands on a Redrock lens adapter, but I think I can manage without as I have a wide angle screw on lens for the moody intimate bit and the fixed video lens on the A1 is long enough for my slow tempo, softly light section.

Any advice on any of the points above would be greatly appreciated.

If you would like to see some of my work so you can attain what kind of level of films I produce to help you with your answer to me the please follow this link-

www.icewhole.com/wmcgregor

I am a first year student, so any help would be very appreciated. I want to learn.

Thanks.

Will McGregor
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 07:38 PM

You're asking a lot of questions, so I'll just try to clear up a few points for you and you can take it from there.

Soft, wraparound light comes from a large source, fairly close to the subject. The farther you move the source from the subject, the harder the light becomes and with less "wrap."

Adding a hard light for shine will also add hard shadows.

A shorter focal length lens produces a deeper depth of field, not shallower. Your long-lens shots will have shallower depth of field at the same f-stop.

ND filters are simply tools for controlling what aperture will give you a proper exposure. The stronger the filter, the wider aperture you have to use to maintain proper exposure. Wider apertures produce shallower depth of field.
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#3 Will R D McGregor

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 07:54 PM

Thanks Michael, its a good thing i asked.
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#4 Will R D McGregor

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 08:01 PM

In regards to the harsh highlight creating shadows- if i had the light at an acute angle to the model, with the light facing in the direction of the camera 'brushing' the skin of the edge models face would this create a highlighted edge without harsh shadows? From watching the videos it looks as if that is how it is done. Although im only guessing.
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#5 Michael Nash

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 08:42 PM

would this create a highlighted edge without harsh shadows?


Yes, that's basically what's called an "edgelight." But an edgelight isn't going to add the kind of sheen that highlights bone structure; by definition it only highlights the edge of the subject. Usually to bring out the contours of the human body you need sidelight (or toplight; anything that's 90 degrees to the axis of the lens).

You can use soft light as an edgelight to, if you want to bring it around more "sidey" for more surface reflection without hard shadows.
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