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Problems with natural light from windows


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#1 Lee Tamer

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 03:26 PM

Hi, I posted a question about lighting a kitchen a while back and I'm coming close to a solution.

My major problem is the huge amount of natural light coming from a window above the sink

Seen here via my shitty camera phone
http://img64.imagesh...01002131602.jpg

I know about using the ND filter on the camera but it can only do so much. What would be a cheap solution to diffuse the daylight coming from the windows?
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#2 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 03:38 PM

Hi, I posted a question about lighting a kitchen a while back and I'm coming close to a solution.

My major problem is the huge amount of natural light coming from a window above the sink

Seen here via my shitty camera phone
http://img64.imagesh...01002131602.jpg

I know about using the ND filter on the camera but it can only do so much. What would be a cheap solution to diffuse the daylight coming from the windows?



You need to cut the amount of light coming in from the window. Use ND Gel on the window itself (if you'll be looking at the window in any of your shots) or some kind of "grip" doubles to reduce the footcandles coming through without changing the color temperature.

Depending on how you want the shot to look, you'll cut the daylight spilling in to a footcandle level that is much closer to the amount of light you have on the interior. That reduces the contrast ratio to a level that your camera/film of choice can handle. All of that controlling of light is "to taste" of course. :)
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#3 Mike Lary

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 10:25 PM

I know about using the ND filter on the camera but it can only do so much. What would be a cheap solution to diffuse the daylight coming from the windows?


The ND filter on the camera is going to lower the exposure level of everything in the room, not just the window light. You need to choose your desired exposure levels for all lights, then modify the light coming through the window accordingly. As Brian said, ND can be affixed to the outside of the window, and that works great if you can keep it flush and if your outside light level is consistent throughout the shoot day. ND will only cut the light, however. It won't diffuse it. One of the cheapest ways to diffuse light coming through a window is to affix tracing paper to the outside.
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#4 Mathew Rudenberg

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 11:05 PM

Hi, I posted a question about lighting a kitchen a while back and I'm coming close to a solution.

My major problem is the huge amount of natural light coming from a window above the sink

Seen here via my shitty camera phone
http://img64.imagesh...01002131602.jpg

I know about using the ND filter on the camera but it can only do so much. What would be a cheap solution to diffuse the daylight coming from the windows?


Depending on the coverage and the scene there could be dozens of ways of dealing with the lighting in the kitchen and hotness of the window.

The primary question you have to ask is whether you want to match the view out the window to the light level inside the kitchen, or if you want to use the window as a light source to light the action in the kitchen.

It is generally difficult to achieve both without a fair number of lights.

In the case of the former you'll need to put ND on the window (use a lightmeter to determine how much)

In the case of the latter, the cheapest solution is to simply put tracing paper (1000H) over the window. This will create a soft source out of any sunlight hitting the window. However, the window itself will blow out, and this will only work if a substantial amount of light is hitting the window (eg sunlight or an HMI) If the window is in shade it will probably just look like there's paper on the window.
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