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Scene: conversation in sunlight


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#1 Artyom Zakharenko

Artyom Zakharenko
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Posted 24 January 2012 - 05:11 AM

Hey guys,

Imagine this situation...

Two people are facing each other and having a conversation. You need to cover the conversation from over the shoulder in both directions. Now, when you film from person A to person B, you have a nice rimlight on person B, which is the sunlight. You bounce a little soft light back on B and voila - you have a nice picture.
But here comes the problem.. when you cover the other person, from person B to person A, the sunlight goes straight into A's face and gives you a flat ugly image. When you cut the shots together, it feels something is wrong, the contrast ratio is suddenly different...

How do you guys deal with this? (If at all.. i call it a problem because i don't like it)

Thanks in advance
Artyom


PS i had a similar situation a week ago, but the shoot was inside, so i just put a flag right under the ceiling to cut off the light from the top and give it a sense that there's a window behind the camera
see stills

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398086_10150510551762763_567817762_9014142_1599401948_n.jpeg
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#2 Alexander Disenhof

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:44 AM

There's a few things you could do - of course it all depends on the position of the sun. If the sun is a little lower in the sky, you could position the actors perpendicular to it and then shoot the over their shoulders on the far side, creating a nice far side key for both. You should be able to diffuse the light as well if needed, as you aren't looking towards the sun and thus wont see any stands or flags. If the sun is further overhead and you can't reschedule the scene, you could use a large diffusion and fly it directly overhead, diffusing the light on both actors. Then you could use mirrors, bounce, or lights to get light onto their faces in whatever direction you like.

All of this said, the feel of your photography should fit the scene that you are shooting. There are plenty of great looking scenes out there with a frontally lit actor conversing with a backlit one. Phedon Papamichael, ASC actually said recently that "you'll never see me do two people opposite each other, both backlit" (AC 1/2012). There is a certain naturalism to it that can work well.


Alex
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#3 Guy Holt

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 03:02 PM

If the sun is further overhead and you can't reschedule the scene, you could use a large diffusion and fly it directly overhead, diffusing the light on both actors. Then you could use mirrors, bounce, or lights to get light onto their faces in whatever direction you like.


There was a good example of this approach recently on these boards. Use this link - http://www.cinematog...showtopic=50698 - for a production still showing such a set up.

- Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip, Lighting and Grip Rental & Sales in Boston
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