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What would you put in front of the lens to create various different blurry foreground images?


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#1 Morgan Peline

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 07:47 AM

Hi,




I'm shooting a music video fro MTV next month and the director likes this video because of the blurry images in the foreground. We want to emulate this effect in some shots. I haven't tested it yet but as far as I can tell it seems these are just different pieces of broken glass put in front of the lens when they are shooting.

Any ideas?
Any suggestions?

For the moment I am think of using different pieces of broken glass, broken coloured vases and thin solid objects etc.

Thanks!
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#2 Chris Sharman

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 01:42 PM

I go to my local 'Poundland' store and buy a few pairs of el cheapo reading glasses of varying strengths. Stick them on a clear filter in front of the lens...works great for the split diopter type of look where just part of the image is blurred. Some of the foreground stuff in that video is much more opaque though. Try sticking anything in front of the lens, so long as you can't tell what it is, you can experiment with edge shapes and colours.

I've also in the past brought the top flag of the matte-box down just into shot on a really long lens - giving the impression of a heavy grad filter. Just to illustrate the type of effect.

Hope that helps
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#3 Chris Millar

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 03:40 PM

Sounds like you've got it sorted ...

Only thing left to do is learn to control it somewhat ;)
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#4 Marcus Joseph

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 09:10 AM

You can use test tubes, tape them to a mattebox and shoot wide open.
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#5 Shelly Johnson ASC

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 02:57 AM

Hi,




I'm shooting a music video fro MTV next month and the director likes this video because of the blurry images in the foreground. We want to emulate this effect in some shots. I haven't tested it yet but as far as I can tell it seems these are just different pieces of broken glass put in front of the lens when they are shooting.

Any ideas?
Any suggestions?

For the moment I am think of using different pieces of broken glass, broken coloured vases and thin solid objects etc.

Thanks!


Hi Morgan,

I completely agree with Johann. Broken lenses from glasses or an even thicker magnifying glass or old broken pieces of surplus lens elements, etc. Some of the effects in the video included refractive components as well as reflective, which might suggest the they were placed at an angle to the front lens element... in other words, not parallel to the lens element group. Some were handheld close to the front of the lens and manipulated during the shot to vary the effect. There was also some prismatic edge refraction which would suggest thicker pieces of glass or even cut pieces of glass as part of the tools that cinematographer used to create that look.

There was reflective movement to some of the effects as well, which could suggest there may have been pieces of gel or clear wrap (anything affected by moving air such as wind or fan... or even Dust-off) to create that movement. To get the more opaque effects, you can use translucent glass, or scratch some of your pieces. You can even spray things like Streaks & Tips onto certain glass pieces and control the degree of opacity. Another trick is to spray some of the pieces with water... or a combination of antiperspirant and water (and possibly wave a Maglite near the lens) to make the pieces opaque, clear and/or refractive/reflective at the same time

Sounds like some testing could be fun!

Depending on your format and your focal length, you will get differing results... so experiment with distances, focal lengths and T-stops until you get the degree of abstraction you are looking for.

Good luck!

Shelly
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#6 Marcus Joseph

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 07:16 AM

(and possibly wave a Maglite near the lens) to make the pieces opaque, clear and/or refractive/reflective at the same time

We were doing just this on a shoot I assisted for, it gave the shot a great lens flare reflecting off the glass.
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#7 Chris Keth

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 12:43 PM

Sounds like some testing could be fun!

Depending on your format and your focal length, you will get differing results... so experiment with distances, focal lengths and T-stops until you get the degree of abstraction you are looking for.

Good luck!

Shelly



Definitely recommend some testing so you can get the hang of what some different things look like at different distances and stops. It's not always what you would expect and can really eat up time. One really neat one I found is sections of solid glass rod and drinking straws. You can fill the drinking straws with liquid, too, and they're cheap/free.

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#8 Gabriela Castanon

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 07:24 AM

All of the above suggestions are really good.Take the filter and breathe on it a little until as foggy as you want it in the areas where you want it to be soft. Everything is worth a shot (pardon the pun!:))
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#9 Freya Black

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 07:55 AM

I could easily be wrong but one of the shots in that video looked like the bottom of a plastic fizzy drinks bottle. Like a big two litre one with four feet on the bottom so to speak.

Not sure if that helps any! ;)

love

Freya
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#10 Tom Guiney

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 11:09 PM

The longer your lens/the more open your stop, the more murky and indistinct the foreground stuff will be. If you're going to be shooting outside, be sure to have your NDs along so you have the full range of t-stops available to you and dont get stuck at a deep stop where your foreground things will be more clear than you want them. Lit sterno cans burning in front of the lens can make neat heat ripples. maybe think about having some fun-tak or silly putty with you for quick and easy positional tweaking of really small lightweight objects right in front of your lens. A c-stand and cardellini are a little burly for handling drinking straws and little pieces of frosted plastic. really all kinds of stuff can be cool on a long lens. garbage! gauze! twigs!

my .02

yours

Tom Guiney
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