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Lighting on a Boat


Ryan Sherwood
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Hi everyone.

 

I'm looking for advice on lighting interviews with a tiny crew (2-3 people) out at sea on a small 30-40ft boats. I'm frequently booked on these gigs but I find that 99% of the time I never dig the look of the interviews. It's always a matter of finding what looks the least bad.

 

For most EXTs (on land) I'll backlight and try to shoot into a BG that's in the shadows...but of course on a boat there aren't any shadowed BG's, except maybe a tiny part of the deck. Most times we end up settling for front lighting the subject and holding a foldable silk to diffuse the light a bit, but even then the BG is well over key. At least that way the talent and BG are both reading okay to camera.

 

It also doesn't help that typically the entire boat is painted a hot white and constantly rotating in relation to the sun because of heavy winds.

 

Sometimes I shoot up in the pilothouse but that's proved the most difficult- even after ND'ing the windows I can't get nearly enough level on talent without blinding them.

 

Are there any general best practices for this type of lighting?

 

 

 

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