Jump to content

Light reflections in glasses


MICHAEL TAPP
 Share

Recommended Posts


Michael,

 

I had the exact same problem in a recent doc shoot. There's a thread from December that I started on this subject. One concept I've been mulling since then is using a clam shell type setup in reasonably close to the talent. If you need talking head/torso type shots this may work for you as well. You see this setup all the time in modeling - an overhead key and a lower bounce/fill card or soft fill light. Usually the ratio is about 2:1 or 3:1 depending on the look you're going for. As long as the lights are boomed somewhat close to the talent and the talent doesn't wear big bug eye glasses you should be free of the reflections. Of course this is somewhat impractical for narrative shoots, so it really depends on what you're trying to do.

 

Now I just need to keep the camera and operator out of the reflection!

 

S.

-------------------------------

illuma.blogspot.com

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member

It's a conundrum -- if the light is hitting the eyes, it's hitting the glass of the eyeglasses. So if you want to use soft light, it has to be high enough or to the side enough that you only get a sliver reflected that could be motivated, as if the glasses were reflecting a window or a practical. Or you actually reflect a practical in the eyeglasses and use that as a source.

 

The other option is a bit more old-fashioned, but you use a very tiny but bright eyelight that creates a small reflection, a white dot, in the glasses.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member

Sadly, this usually means the lamp is no longer where you need it.

 

That's the rub. And that's why it's a "conundrum."

 

In these interview-type situations, you have to ask what's more important, light in their eyes, no reflection in the glasses, or what the person is saying?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've encountered this in stills - I opted for the reflection...

 

Important however is that the pupils, or perhaps more to the point the two iris (plural?) that define the pupils are rendered visible. All about the eyes and lips...

 

Faceprocessing.jpg

 

Red areas are where westerners concentrate their attention over time (interesting that 'east asians' prefer the nose in blue - full article here: http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2008/08/19/westerners-focus-on-the-eyes-east-asians-on-the-nose/)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know it may seem strange but on a few occasions I've found that by getting the interviewee to tilt their glasses every so slightly forward - so lifting them slightly off their ears a touch - helps a great deal, as it just alters the angle of the light bouncing off the glass. If you find the glasses slipping back again wrapping the area where they meet the ear in something like tape can help make them tilt forward and keep them in place.

 

Obviously that all depends on the light source/direction too though, but in some select situations a simple quick fix like that can work wonders. If not, the clam shell suggestion is a good one too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just make sure it doesn't throw their comfort in front of the camera off ...

 

I used to use a tripod to gently touch the back of someones head to keep eyes in focus with large format photography - as it takes an amount of time from your last focus check to get the film loaded (the larger the format the longer it takes in general) the person would have to hold position for this time - for various reasons the case with larger formats was a very small DOF (choices that no amount of tilt or swing can accomodate like eye lashes or iris in focus aren't uncommon). Anyway, this 'solution' turned out to really affect people in terms of their awareness and it reflected in the imagery.

Edited by Chris Millar
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Michael,

 

One concept I've been mulling since then is using a clam shell type setup in reasonably close to the talent. If you need talking head/torso type shots this may work for you as well. You see this setup all the time in modeling - an overhead key and a lower bounce/fill card or soft fill light. Usually the ratio is about 2:1 or 3:1 depending on the look you're going for. As long as the lights are boomed somewhat close to the talent and the talent doesn't wear big bug eye glasses you should be free of the reflections. Of course this is somewhat impractical for narrative shoots, so it really depends on what you're trying to do.

 

Now I just need to keep the camera and operator out of the reflection!

 

 

---------------

I like that strategy. That setup would be flattering for the wrinkly folks and women too. Now I need to do my research before interviews to find out if that person wears glasses.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a conundrum -- if the light is hitting the eyes, it's hitting the glass of the eyeglasses. So if you want to use soft light, it has to be high enough or to the side enough that you only get a sliver reflected that could be motivated, as if the glasses were reflecting a window or a practical. Or you actually reflect a practical in the eyeglasses and use that as a source.

 

The other option is a bit more old-fashioned, but you use a very tiny but bright eyelight that creates a small reflection, a white dot, in the glasses.

Thank you for the tips! I've heard that some people will use 2 inch gaff tape on a 4x4 to mimic the shadow of a window frame.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've encountered this in stills - I opted for the reflection...

 

Important however is that the pupils, or perhaps more to the point the two iris (plural?) that define the pupils are rendered visible. All about the eyes and lips...

 

Faceprocessing.jpg

 

Red areas are where westerners concentrate their attention over time (interesting that 'east asians' prefer the nose in blue - full article here: http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2008/08/19/westerners-focus-on-the-eyes-east-asians-on-the-nose/)

Yea, a lot of portrait photographers WANT catch lights in the eyes. I guess catch lights help show the shape of the eyes and bring your attention to the eyes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know it may seem strange but on a few occasions I've found that by getting the interviewee to tilt their glasses every so slightly forward - so lifting them slightly off their ears a touch - helps a great deal, as it just alters the angle of the light bouncing off the glass. If you find the glasses slipping back again wrapping the area where they meet the ear in something like tape can help make them tilt forward and keep them in place.

 

Obviously that all depends on the light source/direction too though, but in some select situations a simple quick fix like that can work wonders. If not, the clam shell suggestion is a good one too.

I know that some portrait photogs will actually pop the lenses out of the frames. I haven't tried it in video. I think it might read in video.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I shouldn't have used the term 'talent' - sure, if you've got an actor then they should be able to deal with props as you suggest. I hope not to belabour the point but just for clarity I mean more in an interview situation with someone as is. Sometimes people will put up with whatever just to get in front of the camera, other times they're barely hanging on to whatever notion the documentarian threw at them (or they invented for themselves to muster the courage/fortitude) - having their glasses manhandled might break the back ...

 

;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...