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West Wing look


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They use nets, not glass diffusion filters. That's why they get that semi "star filter" look around points of light.

 

Closest effect in glass diffusion would be Tiffen Soft-FX or Schneider Classic Softs, not the foggier ProMist-types of diffusion. But Soft-FX or Classic Softs won't get you that star filter effect that nets create.

 

Most common source for nets are Fogal or Christian Dior black "ultra sheer" pantyhose.

 

The real key though is the use of intense areas of extreme overexposure -- this allows you to use lighter grades of diffusion while still getting halation around the bright areas. If you are having to use too-heavy diffusion to see the effect, it's because you don't have enough intensely bright areas or hot backlights to react to the diffusion.

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