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shooting into the sun


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#1 Mat Fleming

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 11:12 AM

I am shooting a scene of a group of people on a beach.
We want to shoot into the sun and whilst I have done a bit of this before I'd be interested in some opinions about what to try or experiencesw. what tools make different changes. We want flare and quite a blown out effect, but also we want to see the peoples' faces.
I was going to try the sun behind someone's head and perhaps a reflector to bounce a little light back onto the faces.
Does a lens hood make a difference if the sun's already in the shot?
Is a polariser a good idea in this kind of shot?
how would you go about taking a reading? - My instinct is reflective off their faces.
I'm shooting 7201. I dont have any lights at my disposal.

Thanks

Mat
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#2 DJ Kast

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 09:01 PM

I am shooting a scene of a group of people on a beach.
We want to shoot into the sun and whilst I have done a bit of this before I'd be interested in some opinions about what to try or experiencesw. what tools make different changes. We want flare and quite a blown out effect, but also we want to see the peoples' faces.
I was going to try the sun behind someone's head and perhaps a reflector to bounce a little light back onto the faces.
Does a lens hood make a difference if the sun's already in the shot?
Is a polariser a good idea in this kind of shot?
how would you go about taking a reading? - My instinct is reflective off their faces.
I'm shooting 7201. I dont have any lights at my disposal.

Thanks

Mat


A lens hood would get rid of lens flare, but help maintain contrast. A polarizer will save you probably a stop or two, but you still need to light your actors to bring them up to a range where you gain detail. I would probably use a muslin or foamcore to bounce light into their faces.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 09:08 PM

I am shooting a scene of a group of people on a beach.
We want to shoot into the sun and whilst I have done a bit of this before I'd be interested in some opinions about what to try or experiencesw. what tools make different changes. We want flare and quite a blown out effect, but also we want to see the peoples' faces.
I was going to try the sun behind someone's head and perhaps a reflector to bounce a little light back onto the faces.
Does a lens hood make a difference if the sun's already in the shot?
Is a polariser a good idea in this kind of shot?
how would you go about taking a reading? - My instinct is reflective off their faces.
I'm shooting 7201. I dont have any lights at my disposal.

Thanks

Mat


The lens shade is useless other than as you pan off of the sun, the flare would be cut off sooner with the lens shade on.

The Pola would be fairly useless too, pointed into the sun.

Exposing depends on what detail you want to hold and how bright or dark you want it to appear. If seeing detail in the face is critical, then I'd measure that and then decide how many stops underexposed do you want it to look. Figure that, for color negative, three-stops under for a caucasian face (incident meter reading) would be fairly dark but have some dim detail, two-stops under would be dark but the face is clearly visible, one-stop under would probably look too bright actually to be realistic.

Focal length also comes into play -- a longer lens would frame more of the washed-out area around the sun in the shot and make the sunball larger, whereas a wide-angle lens would make the hot area of the sky smaller in the frame. This may affect how you want to expose the shot.
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#4 shishir dixit

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 11:45 AM

I am shooting a scene of a group of people on a beach.
We want to shoot into the sun and whilst I have done a bit of this before I'd be interested in some opinions about what to try or experiencesw. what tools make different changes. We want flare and quite a blown out effect, but also we want to see the peoples' faces.
I was going to try the sun behind someone's head and perhaps a reflector to bounce a little light back onto the faces.
Does a lens hood make a difference if the sun's already in the shot?
Is a polariser a good idea in this kind of shot?
how would you go about taking a reading? - My instinct is reflective off their faces.
I'm shooting 7201. I dont have any lights at my disposal.

Thanks

Mat

I don't think so that hood will help you. You use reflector to light up the face,and for reading I think you use the exposure bracketting take exposure of brightest portion of the shot and the reading of the face of the actor and than keep exposure in between both the reading you can say take the mean of both exposures and shoot in that exposure you will get desirable results.

Shishir Dixit.
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#5 JD Burditt

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 06:00 PM

I would follow the advice closer to that of David Mullen.
If you are shooting directly at the sun you do not want to trust a reading that is a half way between the sun and these back lit subjects.
The reading absolutely has to go off of what you are getting from the skin. The bounce will give you some room to play.
The amount of background over exposure has to play secondary to what you want out of the subjects.
This blown out amount can also be increased in post because it lives in the brightness part of the image and the subjects will be in the mid to dark tones. If there is not enough information on the subjects you will loose most or all of your leeway.

-JD
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#6 David Regan

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 06:40 PM

Did a shot very similar to this recently, where we wanted the character to be framed in front of the sun, but then move his head to one side, as if he were blinding the character who is looking at him. We shot on 7205, and I felt it held up quite well. I don't remember what my stop was, but I seem to recall the subjects face facing camera was between 2-3 stops underexposed, and I think the effect works. You can see the example below, where the sun totally blows out the frame, and then when he pulls his head back.

Danny_in_front_of_Sun.jpg

Danny_head_tilted.jpg
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#7 Mat Fleming

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 09:09 PM

Thanks everyone.
I'll bare all this in mind for the shoot.
It's tomorrow (oops, today. Time for bed.
I'll post the results.

cheers

Mat
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