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#1 Vincenzo Condorelli AIC

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 06:45 PM

i'm going to shoot a music video starring a famous italian pop singer and im finalising my lighting strategy for her beauty shots. the look of the shoot is supposed to be glamourous, the lady is in her late 30s and we'd try to make her look as good as possible.

here are a few recent pics of her:


http://www.unitedrad...s/images/34.jpg

http://www.musicroom.../alexia-ale.jpg

http://media.panoram...f54c_normal.jpg

http://www.la7.it/im...0X240/19233.jpg

http://www.riccardod...9/02/alexia.jpg

she has a rather oval shaped faced with regular traits (not a small nose though) therefore i'm considering lighting her frontal, with a kino plus a silk (i like the effect of the silk on the kino very much) rightly above the camera (having the camera slighly below her eyeline).

regarding the filters, i was considering a combination of ultra cons and bpm or white mists.

plus some hairlight (with 1/2 ctb) and backlight (again 1/2 ctb) with dedo or another kino.

i'd be very happy to read the suggestions and approach of more experienced cinematographers on this.

thx a lot
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#2 Tony Brown

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 03:41 AM

Depends on the script. How much can you control the direction of her face?

Two things you've mentioned leap out though

Kino's for beauty? I'd avoid them like the plague. Tungsten stock & tungsten light - avoid Kino / HMI / LED for beauty

Camera below her eyeline. I'd go the other way. If you're below her eyeline you'll both exagerate her chin if she has an already oval face and you'll lower her eyelids. She'll look stoned

Dont use anything by Zeiss, I'd recommend Cooke Speed Panchros or a Mk1 Cooke 10-1, great on skin (but T4)

If you think she has an oval shaped face (dont judge that from stills, lenses do wierd things) then use the hardest source you can but keep the fresnel as large as possible, a 5k or 2k bulb mounted in a 10k housing (dont try and do this on the day, the bulb wont be centred) most rental houses will have these ready to go. If you go though the silk it will be very difficult to shape the light. Keep it hardish and you can charlie bar her forehead and chin, bring out her lips or her eyes. You can scrim the unit back if its too much and walk a light 4x4 diff between the light and subject to get the right amount of softness IF she needs it. She doesn't look like she does to me. Make her key plus one stop and dump the diffusion on camera, drop the background at least a stop for her close ups to make her pop a little.

She may have quite a high forehead so dont be afraid to get involved in hair discussions up to a point. Have your say

If they want her to look amazing then they have to limit her movement. She cant look amazing everywhere, she can llok great, but not amazing. Its physics, not magic.

Finally the most important tool. A very good make up artist.....THATS magic.

Good luck
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#3 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 04:23 AM

Depends on the script. How much can you control the direction of her face?

Two things you've mentioned leap out though

Kino's for beauty? I'd avoid them like the plague. Tungsten stock & tungsten light - avoid Kino / HMI / LED for beauty

Camera below her eyeline. I'd go the other way. If you're below her eyeline you'll both exagerate her chin if she has an already oval face and you'll lower her eyelids. She'll look stoned

Dont use anything by Zeiss, I'd recommend Cooke Speed Panchros or a Mk1 Cooke 10-1, great on skin (but T4)

If you think she has an oval shaped face (dont judge that from stills, lenses do wierd things) then use the hardest source you can but keep the fresnel as large as possible, a 5k or 2k bulb mounted in a 10k housing (dont try and do this on the day, the bulb wont be centred) most rental houses will have these ready to go. If you go though the silk it will be very difficult to shape the light. Keep it hardish and you can charlie bar her forehead and chin, bring out her lips or her eyes. You can scrim the unit back if its too much and walk a light 4x4 diff between the light and subject to get the right amount of softness IF she needs it. She doesn't look like she does to me. Make her key plus one stop and dump the diffusion on camera, drop the background at least a stop for her close ups to make her pop a little.

She may have quite a high forehead so dont be afraid to get involved in hair discussions up to a point. Have your say

If they want her to look amazing then they have to limit her movement. She cant look amazing everywhere, she can llok great, but not amazing. Its physics, not magic.

Finally the most important tool. A very good make up artist.....THATS magic.

Good luck

Hi Tony,
By "charlie bar" do you mean a small scrim?
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#4 Tony Brown

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 04:38 AM

Hi Tony,
By "charlie bar" do you mean a small scrim?


Well more like a small flag (heard them called fingers?) small solid about 2 or 3 feet long and can vary in length from an inch to 4 inches..... bigger than that I'd call it a flag.

You can also use small nets/scims for this, depends on how hard the light source is and how close you can get the scrim to the subject without it coming into shot.

Most people like to let the eyes come through but I like to flag the eyes slightly and draw attention to the mouth.....depends on subject and what you want to imply obviously

I used to assist a director called Lester Bookbinder @ RSA London. Best beauty man I ever worked with. genius.

Vincenzo - INSIST on a good stand in, not some spotty production assistant who looks nothing like your subject- will make a world of difference
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#5 Vincenzo Condorelli AIC

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 05:38 AM

tony thanks a lot for the reply.

indeed my first option was tungsten (we're not shooting film stock though...) to light her frontal and i wanted to use a chimera but the producer is very concerned that she might feel annoyed by the heat (!!)...how annoying...considering that she'not very tall (1,52 mt) it's been very tough to find a good stand-in for her...i got someone but nothing close to an ideal stand-in.

anyhow, i'm not a great fan of kinos for close ups but lately i used it with silk (and also double silm) and i was pleased by the results (shooting 7219 stock).

this is a music video the director lately gave me for reference (regarding the CUs of the talent):



on the make up side we're working with the hair and make stylist of armani (she's a relative of him) and i'll meet him tomorrow to discuss the detail...that'd be alright.

for the filters, what do you think about a combination of pro mist and ultra cons?
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#6 Tony Brown

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 08:24 AM

for the filters, what do you think about a combination of pro mist and ultra cons?


What camera are you using?

I sometimes use a 1/8th white pro mist, but I'm never happy with them. Filters for beauty work are a very interesting and frustrating area. Everyone has an opinion but without seeing the girl and her skin in detail its an impossible question to answer. The way I light I rarely need to soften the image. You could try to buy some 7 denier Dior Superfine (discontinued sadly) or a 7 denier Fogal is good but you should go look at them in a store, some have a sheen which is not good (they flare)
c
My favourite diffusion for woman is either the net or the old style Panchro diffs. VERY rare. The filters they made since the 70's have not been as nice (also made under the Mitchell name for a while).

I tend to avoid the filters and use sympathetic lenses, far more important. the 75mm on the Cooke 10-1 is a nice place to shoot.

Your producer clearly has no idea what he's talking about.
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#7 Chris Keth

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 05:42 PM

Dont use anything by Zeiss, I'd recommend Cooke Speed Panchros or a Mk1 Cooke 10-1, great on skin (but T4)


YES! The 75mm and 100mm cooke panchro are my favorite lenses for shooting women's closeups. I also second the suggestion to raise your camera positions above her eyeline a bit rather than have it below the eyeline. If she's nearing 40, she's likely to have a little bit of that loose skin under the chin. A low camera will accentuate it. The higher camera will also accentuate her eyes a little.
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#8 zhuo chun bei

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