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Lighting A Gym with lots of Mirrors and Windows


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#1 Jonathan Bryant

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 08:20 PM

I have a upcoming project shooting exercises in a gym full of mirrors. What are some creative ways I can light it with tungsten lights and corrective gels? Also without getting the lights or the three cameras in the shot. If it turns out to have a ceiling tiles it have clamps to clamp some lights to the ceiling.
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#2 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 08:32 PM

I have a upcoming project shooting exercises in a gym full of mirrors. What are some creative ways I can light it with tungsten lights and corrective gels? Also without getting the lights or the three cameras in the shot. If it turns out to have a ceiling tiles it have clamps to clamp some lights to the ceiling.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I haven't tried this myself, but if the room is literally "full" of mirrors: Put the cameras behind two-way mirrors. The cameras will see the talent, but the other mirrors will only "see" the reflective side of the two-way mirrors.

I don't know if the above is a silly idea or how expensive it would be, but it might work if the angles are otherwise impossible.

All the best,

- Peter DeCrescenzo
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#3 Lars.Erik

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 01:19 AM

Hi there.

I've shoot through two-way mirrors a lot. And it's difficult. But it might be a good idea for this project.

The biggest problem is reflections. You can't have ANY lights coming towards the two-way mirror, or you'll see the cam and the operator.

I'd advise you to get a big two-way mirror, or you'll be limitied to a very small shooting place. The operator should have black clothes on him, including gloves. Tape up all those shiny items in front of the camera, like brand name etc.

Regarding the lights...do a search. This kind of lighting have been discussed before, if I remember correctly.

If you ca't use two-way mirrors. How about just screwing down one wall of mirrors? And if the wall is dirty or have marks on it, but up some posters of gym tournaments, people etc.

A ceiling rig as you said, would be pleasable, as this would be the easiest way to avoid those light rigs. You asked about gels. Do you have to use tungsten? When you put a 1/1 CTB on one lamp, you'll lose about 64 % of light from the gel. And in addition, a room full of tungsten lights and people exercising means a very hot and uncomfortable room in just an hour.

You can use Kino or HMI. But then again, this will be a bigger budget.

About the light rig, when you say creative, do you mean according to not having them in the shots or creative according to your story?
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#4 timHealy

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 02:03 AM

If the mirrirs become too complicated, is there money for set dressing to cover up ther mirrors? Drapes? Set pieces, etc?

Also if lights inevitable get in the shot perhaps they can be built into the set pieces so that they may look architectural. I'm thinking large 8' tall 4' wide types sources or larger as say a key or fill.

Also lighting decisions may depend on if it is live three camera no chance of stopping or filmed in pieces. Perhaps a dimmer system to dim lights up or down depending which camera you may favor.

Just some thoughts

Tim
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#5 Bob Hayes

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 10:41 AM

The easiest solution is to cover the mirror. Clothes or posters are an easy quick fix. Usually I?ll have the art department cover some of the mirrors with a sticky paper so not all the walls are mirrored. I have been very lucky using a diffusion material called Hampshire frost. It barely diffuses but its just enough is hide reflections. When my gaffer showed me the material I hated it. Then I found all these bizarre uses for it. You could also take a 4? x 8? sheet of foam core and cut a small slit in it. Hide the camera crew behind. Also hand some clothes on it the further make it look like set walls.

Also you may want the camera crew to dress in tight disco exercise out fits and short shorts like Richard Simmons. This would have no effect on the photography but would be really funny.
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#6 Tim J Durham

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 11:09 AM

Also you may want the camera crew to dress in tight disco exercise out fits and short shorts like Richard Simmons.  This would have no effect on the photography but would be really funny.

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Whoa! Funny? In the summer, I often work in a Speedo...So they were laughing at ME?
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#7 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 11:58 AM

I bleed with you - gym's are horrible to light and shoot in. I have yet to come across a single gym that has even remotely good design in it. They're an art director's and a DP's nightmare.

All smoke-coloured mirrors that stink of the 80's, tacky flooring, white walls and spiky, horrible flourescent lighting. Just to really stick it to you, there's often an assortment of hideous plants in huge "Hi, welcome to IBM"-white pots (with Leca-balls in them) ruinously hugging every corner with their green fig-ish leaves. White walls, smoked mirrors, green leaves, yellow linoleum floor - if that's not hell, I don't know what is.

Good thing film can't record smell, either. Or that'd be the apocalypse.
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#8 Alvin Pingol

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 05:52 PM

Good thing film can't record smell, either. Or that'd be the apocalypse.

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Smell-o-vision? :P
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#9 Matt Pacini

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 06:49 PM

Even worse for the sound guys...
Giant echo chamber

MP
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