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Lighting / Shooting Trophies


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#1 Ricardo Maria

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 05:07 PM

Hello,

I'm currently shooting a documentary regarding trophies. Since some of them are very reflective surfaces do you have any tips on lighting / shooting them?

Thank you.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 07:14 PM

Hello,

I'm currently shooting a documentary regarding trophies. Since some of them are very reflective surfaces do you have any tips on lighting / shooting them?

Thank you.


Just depends on whether you want some hard pings of light from multiple hard sources or a soft glow by reflecting a white surface over the trophy. Shiny metal surfaces are basically mirrors, so you have to decide what you want to see in the mirror -- a white square, a hard point, etc. Usually a mix of techniques.

Sometimes you surround the trophy with soft lights to get an even sheen, then use pieces of black cards to create some darker stripes and variation. There is also an optimal raking angle for soft light to create a good silhouette and drop shadow around etched lettering. You have to eyeball that by moving the soft light around the trophy. Be prepared to use a number of white bounce cards on c-stands surrounding the trophy. But sometimes you want a hot kick from a pin-spot, a small spotted lamp like a Dedolight, especially if you have a bit of diffusion on the lens and are rotating the trophy to get an occasional glint.
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#3 Tony Brown

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 09:16 AM

A great English Gaffer called Roy Rodhouse once said of the F.A. Cup "be easier to win the ******* thing than light it."

Its all down to taste really, but never under estimate the real estate of white bounce you'll need if you go the 'white' route. A white tent can be useful and light through the fabric. They are usually quite shoddy when you get close up as people are usually drunk with either euphoria alcohol or both when they handle it, so the white route tends to smooth the imperfections out and give it a bit of star status

When I shot the F.A.Cup it came with a security guard who was paranoid about us going too close to it (there are actually 3 copies of the cup so not sure why they get so precious. Good job he didn't see the dulling spray we loaded it up with. Dulling spray really spreads the highlights nicely by the way if you cant go the white route, probably your best bet......
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#4 John Holland

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 12:28 PM

What Tony has said is just so correct .
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#5 Ricardo Maria

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 05:42 PM

Thanks for all your kind replies.

Unfortunately, I don't have one security guard, but several. Applying a spray is out of the question.

I have made a kind of styrofoam hut to surround the cups. One of the walls is covered with some black flannel, to create some light/shadow effect on the piece.

I attach two screencaps for your appreciation. In one of them it's quite clear the "hut" that I talk about, although in this one there was no black cloth on one of the walls.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated since I'm very new at this, and have a great desire to learn.

Thank you in advance!

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