Jump to content




Photo

Diffusing sunlight

sunlight diffuse natural lighting

  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 Jan Tore Soerensen

Jan Tore Soerensen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 158 posts
  • Director
  • Norway

Posted 26 May 2016 - 07:24 AM

I ran into a problem on a shoot I did today. On the outside shots, I wanted to diffuse the sunlight, of course. I had a 2x2 meter diffuser, but I couldn't get it high enough for it do diffuse the whole scene. The sun was pretty much in the middle of the sky, and we were going for quite a high-key look. 

 

We are definitely shooting on a very tight budget. Is there any sensible way of doing this, or will I need a lift and a bigger frame in the future? I guess another alternative is shooting later in the day. 

 

The scene was set in the outside area of the restaurant with tables and chairs. We had 12 models on the shoot on three different tables.

 

Any input appreciated!


  • 0




#2 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11234 posts
  • Other

Posted 26 May 2016 - 07:32 AM

Wait for overcast?


  • 0

#3 Stefano Stroppa

Stefano Stroppa
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 35 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London

Posted 26 May 2016 - 08:00 AM

Personally I don’t see many solutions, being on a vey tight budget.

 

Try to be creative and find a way to rig some sort of overheads/butterflies frames you built yourself with old blankets/sheets ot whatever and in case you block too much of the sunligh you can light a bit the ‘inside’ to fill.

 

If you go for wide shots, as I guess it’s the case, even more if you see the sky, I don’t see any solution but to wait for overcast, or you could shoot your close ups first, where you can easily use your small diffusor, and go for wider shots when it’s overcast, and viceversa first wides shots, then close ups when it’s not overcast anymore.

 

hope this can help you out at finding a solution and give you some creative input :)


  • 1

#4 JD Hartman

JD Hartman
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1491 posts
  • Gaffer
  • Edison, N.J. U.S.A.

Posted 26 May 2016 - 09:44 AM

You could move up to an 8x8 frame (approx. 50% more coverage), but beyond that size (12x12) you'd need larger stands, more sandbags, tie-lines and grips to keep it stable and safe.


  • 0

#5 Satsuki Murashige

Satsuki Murashige
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3081 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 26 May 2016 - 10:58 AM

On a tight budget, you just let the background go and diffuse the foreground actors to make them look good. That's about all you can do with a 6x6 frame. Back up and shoot with a long lens to hide as much background as possible. If you can shoot into backlight, that will keep too much of the frame from blowing out.
  • 1

#6 Jan Tore Soerensen

Jan Tore Soerensen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 158 posts
  • Director
  • Norway

Posted 26 May 2016 - 02:13 PM

Thanks guys! 


  • 0

#7 Guy Holt

Guy Holt
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 511 posts
  • Gaffer
  • Boston

Posted 05 June 2016 - 07:40 PM

 Is there any sensible way of doing this, or will I need a lift and a bigger frame in the future? I guess another alternative is shooting later in the day. 

 

This is one of those situations where scouting, choosing the right location, and planning your production day is worth more than all the grip trucks, tow generators, and large HMIs in the world.

 

In these situations, the approach that I find works best is to choose a location that puts the sun in the backlight position for the establishing master shot and then wait until the optimum time to shoot that shot. Up to and after that point in time, shoot the close coverage under a full silk. Shooting the coverage under a silk offers a number of advantages. If the sun is in the wrong place for scene continuity with the master shot, the silk takes the directionality out of the sun and knocks down its’ level by two and half stops. Now a smaller HMI light will have more of a modeling effect. Shooting into talents' down side under a silk, I find that a 4k Par through a diffusion frame is a sufficient key source for a medium two shot and it can easily be positioned where it needs to be to match the establishing wide shot when you eventually shoot it.

 

A good example of this approach is a scene I lit for a low budget feature that took place around a campfire in a small clearing surrounded by woods. Surrounded on all sides by woods, we knew that we would lose direct sunlight in the clearing early in the day and would need lights. We also knew that the scene was going to take all day to shoot because of its’ extensive dialogue, so we figured out where the sun was going to be throughout the day and where it would look best for our establishing wide shot.  Where it was a two shot, mostly over the shoulder of one character talking to the second character that was standing with his back to the campfire with the woods behind him, we decided to wait until the sun had moved into a near back light position to shoot the establishing shot.  So we shot our close coverage first with nothing more than a 4k Par and 1.2k Par under a 20x light soft frost on top of which we threw leaves. The 4k was heavily diffused and positioned so that it gave the talent the reverse key modeling that would be consistent with the wide shot but still attractive. The 1.2kw was used bare and was positioned as a backlight where the sun would be when we would eventually shoot the wide - this way there was always an edge in every shot for continuity.

 

When the time came to shoot the establishing shot, the shadow of the overhead frame and stands were thrown forward and did not interfere with the wider framing. Since we were still shooting under the silk, we were wider open on the iris and so our exposure dug into the dark woods and brought out more detail. The smoke from the campfire drifted into the woods, creating shafts of light where the sun broke through the tree canopy. What would have been a high contrast scene without lights, turned into a beautifully lit scene, and was accomplished without a lot of amps.  The whole scene was lit with nothing more than a 4k and 1.2k Par and powered by nothing more than a 60A/120 circuit from a modified 7500W Honda EU6500is with a 60A Transformer/Distro.

 

Guy Holt, Gaffer, Screenlight and Grip, Lighting rental and sales in Boston.


  • 0

#8 Jan Tore Soerensen

Jan Tore Soerensen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 158 posts
  • Director
  • Norway

Posted 06 June 2016 - 07:09 PM

 

This is one of those situations where scouting, choosing the right location, and planning your production day is worth more than all the grip trucks, tow generators, and large HMIs in the world.

 

In these situations, the approach that I find works best is to choose a location that puts the sun in the backlight position for the establishing master shot and then wait until the optimum time to shoot that shot. Up to and after that point in time, shoot the close coverage under a full silk. Shooting the coverage under a silk offers a number of advantages. If the sun is in the wrong place for scene continuity with the master shot, the silk takes the directionality out of the sun and knocks down its’ level by two and half stops. Now a smaller HMI light will have more of a modeling effect. Shooting into talents' down side under a silk, I find that a 4k Par through a diffusion frame is a sufficient key source for a medium two shot and it can easily be positioned where it needs to be to match the establishing wide shot when you eventually shoot it.

 

A good example of this approach is a scene I lit for a low budget feature that took place around a campfire in a small clearing surrounded by woods. Surrounded on all sides by woods, we knew that we would lose direct sunlight in the clearing early in the day and would need lights. We also knew that the scene was going to take all day to shoot because of its’ extensive dialogue, so we figured out where the sun was going to be throughout the day and where it would look best for our establishing wide shot.  Where it was a two shot, mostly over the shoulder of one character talking to the second character that was standing with his back to the campfire with the woods behind him, we decided to wait until the sun had moved into a near back light position to shoot the establishing shot.  So we shot our close coverage first with nothing more than a 4k Par and 1.2k Par under a 20x light soft frost on top of which we threw leaves. The 4k was heavily diffused and positioned so that it gave the talent the reverse key modeling that would be consistent with the wide shot but still attractive. The 1.2kw was used bare and was positioned as a backlight where the sun would be when we would eventually shoot the wide - this way there was always an edge in every shot for continuity.

 

When the time came to shoot the establishing shot, the shadow of the overhead frame and stands were thrown forward and did not interfere with the wider framing. Since we were still shooting under the silk, we were wider open on the iris and so our exposure dug into the dark woods and brought out more detail. The smoke from the campfire drifted into the woods, creating shafts of light where the sun broke through the tree canopy. What would have been a high contrast scene without lights, turned into a beautifully lit scene, and was accomplished without a lot of amps.  The whole scene was lit with nothing more than a 4k and 1.2k Par and powered by nothing more than a 60A/120 circuit from a modified 7500W Honda EU6500is with a 60A Transformer/Distro.

 

Guy Holt, Gaffer, Screenlight and Grip, Lighting rental and sales in Boston.

Thank you for your elaborate answer. But as you can see in my original post under here, we had a fixed location. Now, for future referance, I will just have to set these kind of shoots for another time of the day. Unfortunately, that wasn't possible this time. Oh well.

 

I ran into a problem on a shoot I did today. On the outside shots, I wanted to diffuse the sunlight, of course. I had a 2x2 meter diffuser, but I couldn't get it high enough for it do diffuse the whole scene. The sun was pretty much in the middle of the sky, and we were going for quite a high-key look. 

 

We are definitely shooting on a very tight budget. Is there any sensible way of doing this, or will I need a lift and a bigger frame in the future? I guess another alternative is shooting later in the day. 

 

The scene was set in the outside area of the restaurant with tables and chairs. We had 12 models on the shoot on three different tables.

 

Any input appreciated!


  • 0



Glidecam

CineTape

Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

Pro 8mm

Abel Cine

Willys Widgets

The Slider

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

CineLab

Technodolly

Tai Audio

rebotnix Technologies

Zylight

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

Willys Widgets

Technodolly

Glidecam

Rig Wheels Passport

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

Aerial Filmworks

CineTape

Pro 8mm

Visual Products

Tai Audio

Paralinx LLC

Zylight

Broadcast Solutions Inc