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Shoot with sun behind or in front


I got some helpful advice here on lighting before I shot my last short (which was also my first). This time I'm going to be shooting mostly outside on a park bench in the morning and I'm wondering whether to have the morning sun lighting their faces or shoot toward the sun and let it light their shoulders and hair and then maybe bounce some light back at their faces.

A few months ago I would have thought the answer was easy--let the sun light their faces--but I've done a few videography jobs lately in the evening and I like the highlights (if that's the right word) you get on shoulders and hair when the setting sun (which is much like a rising sun) is behind the subject.

What would you do?

By the way, electrical lighting is not an option. I'll be in the middle of a big park.

LastSunset, that looks cool, and yeah, very similar to my scene. I'm no expert, but my thinking was to avoid the shadows--or to either stay in complete shadow or complete sun. If you're on the edge of a shadow you will see it move across the face of the actors.

Also, just to make shooting go more quickly, rehearse. We rehearsed 3 or 4 times and it paid off. We even rehearsed on location in the days leading up to the shoot. My limited experience has always made me a fan of rehearsal. The acting gets better (IMHO) and the shoot goes much more smoothly.

Good luck!
This is basically a 1-light 3-point lighting system... you can emulate the same thing by blasting a light as a rim light on your subject, then bounce to key and fill at different distances to vary the ratio. Well done!

Knightly, good point. I've never tried it with lights, but I will. I like the effect.
thx swink. this thread has helped a bit. it's just a 1min intro, was supposed to be a little side project, but now i have a hollywood movie music composer on the intro i think i better put in a bit of extra effort :/ more rehearsal 2mro...
So weeks and weeks ago, I said I'd share some footage. Life got very busy right after we finished shooting. I never put up a clip, but I've finally pieced it all together. I have a few little things to work on, but I think it's mostly done: http://www.vimeo.com/15580168

The password is "price".

The majority of it takes place on a park bench. It was the lighting set up for that scene that I originally asked about. By the way it seems a wee bit brighter on Vimeo than it does uncompressed on my computer.

Enjoy (i hope)!

Wow, it’s really good Swink!

Tight acting, compelling set up, nice pace,
and the sinking claustrophobic almost panic inducing feel when they return to the office is great.

The only thing I don’t like is the title font. :lol:

Thanks. I'll check it out some time. Yeah, I'm pretty happy with the actors. I mean, I couldn't pay them, but they were willing to rehearse 3 or 4 times and they responded to direction pretty well.

A long shot, but did you happen to go to a little Festival in (near?) Chicago a couple of weeks ago ... The Naperville Festival? My first short screened there.
Hi, Dreadylocks.

Yeah, the shot I fretted over in the park I'm happy with. The office was a bit dark, though. We needed some more lights, I think.

I rented a Sennheiser ME66 or 67, I think it was, from a local film collective for $30 for the weekend, including boom, zeppelin-thingy and windsock-thingy. Then I just plugged it into the camera, a Sony EX1. It was windy in the park and so when editing, the wind noise was up and down, which made it tricky and is probably still noticeable.

Thanks for checking it out.