One of my shots from my trek into Utah.
Been working with Lou Diamond Phillips this past week so I felt the need to finally watch La Bamba. I have to say I didn’t particularly like how they shot this movie, mostly the hard light on all the interiors, but there are some pretty great moments in the film. The last two stills in particular.
Dir: Luis Valdez
If you don’t already follow it, I’m not quite sure what you’re waiting for. A great look into the life of a dolly grip.
Watched the film Romeo + Juliet the other day, and it was quite the experience. This is a movie where they weren’t afraid of the close up, but it’s really the first I’ve seen that uses it often and quite well. Also some pretty bold choices here in terms of color, although I think thats pretty obvious from the few stills here. All in all though, some pretty great work.
Dir: Baz Luhrmann
DP: Donald McAlpine
This has got to be one of my favorite music videos. They’ve taken the simple idea of just shooting cool shots and taken it to a whole new level. The stills really don’t do it justice.
Here’s the video for those of you who missed it.
Dir: Romain Garvis
DP: André Chemetoff
I’ve been watching the new Netflix series House of Cards recently with Kevin Spacey and I have to say it’s pretty fantastic. For a TV show they do some pretty interesting things with lighting and composition.
Dir: David Fincher
DP: Eigil Bryld
Just watched Clue. For being based off a board game, it’s a surprisingly good film.
Dir: Jonathan Lynn
DP: Victor J. Kemper
This is another portion of the diffusion test that I did. We just placed this bottle in the frame and I then took every image with the diffusion frame placed at 4’. The key here is having diffusion that doesn’t leave a bright hot spot in the middle, but instead gives you an even reflection of light across the bottle. I do think that using a bounced source would probably be better for this, but this is all still valuable information.
What I found
-Nothing really too surprising, this just confirms all my initial thoughts.
-For how much light you lose with 1/2 soft frost, the specular reflections from that are pretty good. Very even for being so translucent.
-1000H is again a great way to go. If you’re doing anything bigger than product shots though I could imagine it being a little unruly.
-Surprised that bleached muslin has a little hot spot in the middle, but I guess this goes back to the original diffusion test how it had that little bit of a hard edge. Not as good of a diffuser as originally thought…
-Other diffusions that seem to work well in my opinion: 1/4 Grid, 1/2 Grid, Full Grid, 250, 216, 129
How we did it.
1 10k Full Flood, 25 feet away from the subject. We then put tape marks down for each distance of the 4x4 diffusion frame and proceeded to place every frame we had at each distance. The light was never moved, however a 4x4 floppy was brought in occasionally to help with a little negative fill.
Conclusions and interesting findings.
-First of all I’d like to retest a lot of this. Just need to make sure my findings are correct. It’d be great to do an inanimate object and see the lines that are created. Maybe have some sort of grid so you can see how much the light wraps around the object and quantify it. I think it is important to still see the light on the face though, so this test doesn’t become moot.
-252 and Opal are very similar. 252 however has a little bit better light transmission and the physical gel itself is much more durable. I can’t tell you how many opal 4x frames I’ve accidentally ripped through or how many scraps of opal I’ve thrown away because it never goes nicely into our gel crates. 252 would be a nice solution to these problems.
-Muslin is not as soft as I thought it would be and still has a pretty hard edge to it…Again, I’d like to retest this, but it makes me think a lot differently about using it as a diffusion.
-1000H as I thought it quite nice when you have the light. If you’re shooting a close up and you want it to be soft. 1000H is the way to go.
-Black silk? Still don’t quite understand the use for it. Would love a little enlightenment on this one. It doesn’t kill specular reflections, as you still see the light through the silk. It doesn’t have very good softening affects and it just really cuts the light output. I could maybe see if you really wanted to cut something down and also soften it up. Don’t run into that situation very often, but I guess it is a specialty soft good for a reason.
-As you walk a frame in, you lose light. I was constantly having to shift exposure as we walked the frame closer. Makes sense now that I think about it, but never thought that would be the case before…
-It’s interesting knowing how little a diffusion frame will help you from 20’ away. 14’ and you’re starting to get somewhere.
-Tough spun, while not very soft, has a bit of a breakup pattern that I never knew it had. Can definitely be used as a very soft cookie in a pinch.
-Couldn’t have done this without Matt Stouppe and Julien deBenedictis. I’ve found that they are the best a friend could ask for.
In each of these shots there was a bottle as well. In the next post I’ll show you all the different specular reflections created by each diffusion. Exciting!
Hope you enjoyed it! Let me know what you’ve taken away from this.