Go Back   b-roll.net FORUM > ENG / TV News > ENG / TV News

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-27-2014, 11:47 PM
GPS GPS is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 29
GPS is on a distinguished road
Default In need of lighting and reflector advice

Hi all,
Have some questions regarding situations when you are on your own, no assistant, doing interviews.
I did something recently and am trying to correct some of the lighting/equipment issues.

1)Reflector issues.
I have a 42" reflector on a stand that blows over with the slightest breeze. I put rocks some pillowcases, and mild wind blew it over anyway. What's the best way to handle it? It seems that no matter what you do, the wind will grab the reflector disc.
I thought about rigging the stand to somehow use tent stakes to hold the stand it in the ground, but that still does not stabilize the reflector disc. They would also be lighter to carry. Maybe I could rig up the reflector to tent stakes as well?
But then I guess you're stuck if it's concrete... I guess I could anchor it to a couple of bricks but i really don't want to be lugging bricks around if it can be avoided.

2) Outdoor interview lighting
a) Scenario: Two people standing in front of a row of dark green trees with just a little sky above them. Sun was going down, and I wanted it to backlight them,, but over the course of several takes, it got darker and darker until they were both brightly lit by the camera light, against a dark and blackish background that looked awful.
In retrospect, there was a building to my right that I could have repositioned them against, but barring that, what would you do?

b) What do you do when you use the sun as a key light, but the shot is too wide to use a reflector to reflect in a fill?

c) Flat flourescent lighting in a classroom, no light kit (it was spur of the moment). The shot looked really drab.

d)Any type of on-the-spot interview where all you have to work with is your camera light? What do you do? You can throw a little light on, but it's flat. No assistant to hold something else up. I try to look for a key light in the room when I can, but what if there's nothing that will work well for whatever reason?

e) Inside, you don't want to use a stand for a hair light because it will be in the shot, and there's nowhere to clip an overhead light? My thought is, position it over to the side, but are there any other creative solutions you have used?

f) Outside, just on my own without an assistant, what is the best way to rig up some kind of diffuser? I do have one on my reflector kit but it's kind of small for that.

g) What do you think of shooting in shade? It seems flat to me.

43) Audio
I an on a DIY budget and tried to make windscreens with some fake fur, but didn't hear any difference at all. Any advice for making these?

Thanks for your comments in advance.
=)

Last edited by GPS; 11-28-2014 at 12:00 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-28-2014, 12:31 AM
cyndygreen's Avatar
cyndygreen cyndygreen is offline
Member
Cyndy Green
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 730
cyndygreen is on a distinguished road
Default

First off, screen shots would help us visualize it a bit better.


1)Reflector issues - best bet a small reflector placed closer. One of the collapsible ones...then either a sandbag or even a couple of liter bottles filled with water tied to the stand holding it. You can get a holder which will clip onto a light stand - something like this: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...or_Holder.html

2) Outdoor interview lighting - lighting is a learning curve. And you're going to make mistakes and learn from them. You seem to have a sense of what you should have done...knowing the sun was going down either get the interview done quickly or plan for the changing light. Put up a portable light on a stand off the camera to one side...and if you've got it a second for hair light.


b) What do you do when you use the sun as a key light, but the shot is too wide to use a reflector to reflect in a fill?
Go with a darker background and forgo the reflector.


c) Flat flourescent lighting in a classroom, no light kit (it was spur of the moment). The shot looked really drab.
Move the subject so as much light as possible falls on the face. A reflector or even a large sheet of white paper set on a table right under and in front of the subject. If there's a window, move close to it and use it.

d)Any type of on-the-spot interview where all you have to work with is your camera light? What do you do? You can throw a little light on, but it's flat. No assistant to hold something else up. I try to look for a key light in the room when I can, but what if there's nothing that will work well for whatever reason?
If you're using LEDs, find a bookcase or anything to use it - and far enough back for s soft fill. Always carry a light stand to get the light off the camera. ALWAYS. If no lights, move the subject so the background is darker and goose up your gain or open your iris.

e) Inside, you don't want to use a stand for a hair light because it will be in the shot, and there's nowhere to clip an overhead light? My thought is, position it over to the side, but are there any other creative solutions you have used?
The side works. Or get an arm (or make one with a wooden dowel if you have really light LEDs) like this: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Boom_Arm.html

f) Outside, just on my own without an assistant, what is the best way to rig up some kind of diffuser? I do have one on my reflector kit but it's kind of small for that.
Old sheets and gaffers tape????

g) What do you think of shooting in shade? It seems flat to me.

43) Audio
I an on a DIY budget and tried to make windscreens with some fake fur, but didn't hear any difference at all. Any advice for making these?
Don't use fake fur...use foam. Much better. Here's a link to an emergency fix for no windscreen: http://youtu.be/_RlOounlLhg
What you are trying to do is get a dead zone above the head of the mike so the wind doesn't hit it.

Obviously these are quickie answers...but in truth when you are starting out you're on a very steep learning curve. Everything is new and unexpected. Just remember to ALWAYS carry a light stand and your on camera light. When I did interviews sans reporter I'd position the subject, lock down the camera, hold the reflector myself and then ask questions. No worries with wind tipping things over...but at times you (and I) will struggle just to hold the blasted reflector, which is a sail.

You will most likely get much better answers from others on this site.
__________________
"Those who lose dreaming are lost."
Australian Aboriginal saying
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-29-2014, 11:08 PM
GPS GPS is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 29
GPS is on a distinguished road
Default

Thank you so much Cyndy.
I would upload pictures but am not entirely comfortable with that, not having their permission to do so. But I can email them to any of you directly if you are open to that - would love to have the feedback.

Thank you for the creative suggestions like the water bottles and the white paper. Never would have thought of those.

I need to find some kind of adapter to fit my LED on-camera light to a stand then. And on the same subject, how exactly would one go about fitting/attaching it to a dowel arm?

I do have a reflector arm, but the wind still grabs it. You're right, it's definitely a sail. I'm thinking it might be necessary to rig up something to anchor the reflector itself to the ground to keep it stable in wind so that it doesn't sway.

As for the diffuser, I could maybe rig up some type of a pvc frame to collapse down and use the gaff tape/old sheet? Except keeping the stand sturdy in a wind would be a challenge, just like the reflector.

I do have regular foam windscreens that go with the mics, just thought there might be a way to DIY a super-windscreen for, say, windy beach work and the like? Neat fix by the way that you posted. And the Toonces video? Love it. =)
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-30-2014, 10:20 AM
cyndygreen's Avatar
cyndygreen cyndygreen is offline
Member
Cyndy Green
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 730
cyndygreen is on a distinguished road
Default

Once the wind gets going you really can't do much with it other than find some open shade or backlight with a darker background. Holding it yourself is the only other option other than some kind of Rube Goldberg device that would be so solid and heavy it wouldn't be worth the effort to haul it out.

And I've saved and used the foam from the lamp boxes and other types of foam to cut up and make emergency wind socks for lavs.
__________________
"Those who lose dreaming are lost."
Australian Aboriginal saying
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-30-2014, 03:30 PM
GPS GPS is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 29
GPS is on a distinguished road
Default

Ok...
I have some of that foam as well.
Found some sandbags at a yard sale today. (What're the odds?)
Let me ask you a question. What's the best way to handle shooting in shade as far as lighting is concerned? I've shot some things and they just turned out very flat.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-30-2014, 03:35 PM
cyndygreen's Avatar
cyndygreen cyndygreen is offline
Member
Cyndy Green
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 730
cyndygreen is on a distinguished road
Default

You know the best thing for you to do might be to just take a friend out and try different lighting setups with natural light, enhanced (reflector, fill) natural light, etc. While advice is nice, actually doing it and seeing for yourself what you've done and giving yourself feedback or showing actual examples is best.
__________________
"Those who lose dreaming are lost."
Australian Aboriginal saying
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-01-2014, 12:44 PM
satpimp satpimp is offline
Member
A. Omar Sobrino
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 323
satpimp is on a distinguished road
Default

There are open ended scrims, silks, screens, flags and reflectors from Advanced Gripware.

At 40 to 60 bucks per, They are always a great addition to a kit. For outdoors, if you can keep them up you can overcome a lot, without expensive fixtures. You shouldn't skimp on stands and basic grip support anyway. Let the sun work for you.

Cyndy is right, experiment. Here in South FL it can be challenging. Always different sometimes fun.
__________________
Omar Sobrino

"History is mostly guessing, the rest is prejudice."
Will (1885-1981) and Ariel Durant (1898-1981), American historians.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-01-2014, 02:41 PM
The Thing on The Sticks's Avatar
The Thing on The Sticks The Thing on The Sticks is offline
PRO user
Geoff Tirrell
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,212
The Thing on The Sticks is on a distinguished road
Default

personally I try to avoid reflectors when outdoors unless it is a dead calm day or I am working with an assistant who can manage the potential for it to become a sail or shift during whatever I am doing.

Note. that I am making the assumption based on your comments, that you are talking about soft reflectors not the large hard shinny board reflectors used by gaffers.

I would recommend that if you do find yourself having to use a foldable reflector outside than consider making it a hard one by holding it with a piece of foam core behind it or using some spring clamps to do the same if you are using a holder. Should significantly help with shifting light on a breezy day.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-01-2014, 03:23 PM
MidwestPhotog MidwestPhotog is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 32
MidwestPhotog is on a distinguished road
Default

To get your LED off-camera, I have 2 of these, and completely recommend them.
Tiltable, with an umbrella holder, fit a standard light stand, and has a stud to accept a 1/4 or 3/8 bolt if you have an extra tripod lying around. And the body is really robust.

@moderators, I don't recall the policy on outside links to products. Feel free to delete if needed. i'm not selling anything, just recommending a solution.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-02-2014, 12:26 PM
The Thing on The Sticks's Avatar
The Thing on The Sticks The Thing on The Sticks is offline
PRO user
Geoff Tirrell
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,212
The Thing on The Sticks is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MidwestPhotog View Post
To get your LED off-camera, I have 2 of these, and completely recommend them.
Tiltable, with an umbrella holder, fit a standard light stand, and has a stud to accept a 1/4 or 3/8 bolt if you have an extra tripod lying around. And the body is really robust.

@moderators, I don't recall the policy on outside links to products. Feel free to delete if needed. i'm not selling anything, just recommending a solution.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Myself and a lot of guys around here use an israli arm or magic arm if you prefer on our eng cameras for our stoplights it allows you to quickly offset the light by about 14 inches which actually helps a lot especially if it is a run and gun scenario.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-03-2014, 03:42 PM
Necktie Boy's Avatar
Necktie Boy Necktie Boy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,665
Necktie Boy is on a distinguished road
Default

Placement...Placement....Placement

All the lights in the world won't help if you pick a crapy spot to shoot. Pick a spot where the light(sun) hits just right. Then use a light to help out.
__________________
"Fire up a colortini, sit back, relax, and watch the pictures, now, as they fly through the air."
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-02-2015, 01:31 PM
GPS GPS is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 29
GPS is on a distinguished road
Default

I just wanted to post back and thank everyone for your posts and helpful advice. I've taken steps to analyze and correct each of the issues as a result. Thanks again!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 1996-2009 b-roll.net

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:51 AM.