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flagging softlight


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#1 David Calson

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 03:59 PM

I really want to get better at controlling softlight, you know, if it's lighting a wall when it shouldn't, and the best I can come up with is putting the flag as close as possible to the thing you want to darken. My question is, what if by putting the flag so close that the flag shows up in frame, then what do you do?
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#2 Alfeo Dixon

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 04:12 PM

I really want to get better at controlling softlight, you know, if it's lighting a wall when it shouldn't, and the best I can come up with is putting the flag as close as possible to the thing you want to darken. My question is, what if by putting the flag so close that the flag shows up in frame, then what do you do?



Hi Blade,

A couple of options would be reframe if the lighting is important and can not work otherwise, as an operator, yes we get our perfect frame set up and everyone works around it. But helping out the grips, electrics, set dressers and even actors with slight framing changes could save a few minutes and help make the day. Yes, we all want to make art, but making the day will bring you back.

Use a larger flag, closer to the source, this will also make you edges a bit softer if they are being seen, it may also start to work light in places you didn't want it too.

Try moving the source, if your trying to cut light off the wall about midway up the wall for example and the flag is not working until it drops into frame. Try to raise the source higher to keep the flag out of frame.

You may also try putting a grid on the source, this will help direct it to the place you want it.

Good luck, and hope these suggestions help.

-Alfeo
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#3 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 06:43 PM

use eggcrate, blackwrap, snoots.
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#4 J. Lamar King

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 07:01 PM

If you can't move things around to solve the problem. You can also try putting several blade flags right up on the source. An example would be if you had a 4x frame that you flagged on both sides plus put a blade or two up the middle. It also works in a horizontal arrangement. It does the same thing as an egg crate only better. Drawbacks are it's time consuming and does cut down on light output a bit. I'll even draw it for you...

Posted Image
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#5 David Calson

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 07:23 PM

wonderful responses guys, I especially like the diagram, thank you!
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#6 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 11:42 PM

I typically use 2x6 blade flags and stack them about 2-5 feet in front of the diffusion and tilt them, works like a charm. Depending on the size of the source tho you may need as many as 4-12 flags. I think it works better then any egg crate because thats just counter productive because its so close to the source. As you step away from the middle the light is narrowed and becomes harder.
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#7 Alfeo Dixon

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 09:44 AM

You may also try putting a grid on the source, this will help direct it to the place you want it.


Oops... The boys are correct, make that a 'eggcrate' not a grid. That's too many years of using honeycomb grids in still photo studio world slipping out.
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Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

Wooden Camera