Jump to content

Frosted windows in a living room, worried about overblown highlights


Akie Yano
 Share

Recommended Posts

I will be shooting some scenes in a living room with frosted windows. When I checked how the living room looks like with my camera, the frosted windows result in overblown highlights.

IMG_0105sizesiz.jpg.dfba9ef0c0282f0ddae78b78ce591ec8.jpg

1047774203_ScreenShot2021-08-03at12_11.26AMcopysize.jpg.0be9b9a6a158c519231a1766abad5da3.jpg

The director wants the scene to look like this:

8GXN5HOC.thumb.jpg.a0140dd38ef4c2d0ed66919221f7ae06.jpg

I plan to light the room from lights outside through the windows and to lessen the brightness of the frosted windows I'm thinking of putting ND gels over them but I'm not sure if that will help because I will still be lighting through them. Is there a better solution for this?  Should I just lessen the overall exposure of the scene with the camera and compensate with another light inside the room (which I will still be adding anyway). I hope my questions make sense. Thank you in advance 🙂 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not super experienced, but looks to me that in the reference photo the windows with the curtains are blown out - they're just hidden behind the curtains. Maybe getting longer curtains in that location would help cover up the overexposed windows? Otherwise, I would recommend either gelling the window(s) that you need to see through. The nice thing about lights is that they can be scrimmed or dimmed (if LEDs). 

The reference photo also looks like it's slightly underexposed, which will probably help to counteract the light. It also depends what time of day you're shooting and which way the windows are facing, this almost seems like a setup that could be done night for day if you have enough lights. Knowing what time of day you're going to be shooting and planning it as best as you can to shoot the scene when the sun is in your favor will help a lot. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Mateusz Czopek said:

I'm not super experienced, but looks to me that in the reference photo the windows with the curtains are blown out - they're just hidden behind the curtains. Maybe getting longer curtains in that location would help cover up the overexposed windows? Otherwise, I would recommend either gelling the window(s) that you need to see through. The nice thing about lights is that they can be scrimmed or dimmed (if LEDs). 

The reference photo also looks like it's slightly underexposed, which will probably help to counteract the light. It also depends what time of day you're shooting and which way the windows are facing, this almost seems like a setup that could be done night for day if you have enough lights. Knowing what time of day you're going to be shooting and planning it as best as you can to shoot the scene when the sun is in your favor will help a lot. 

Thanks for the response! I'm also thinking of asking the production designer to put longer curtains instead but that decision might still be up to the director to approve. As for the shooting time, we will be shooting two different day scenes on one day, the other scene is actually more high key and has a more cheery dream-like feel to it. So I plan to shoot that in the morning or earlier in the day but I still want to avoid the overblown windows in that scene too. (The photo above was shot around 10am in the morning). I plan to shoot the second day scene (the one referring the reference photo above) after lunch time.

As for shooting night for day, unfortunately, I don't have that option since we won't be bringing a generator that day so all of my lights (preferably LED) will be using the power from the location so I can't plug that many lights. So I guess it's either longer curtains or ND gels, right? Thank you so much for the suggestions and tips!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you going to leave the windows partially open like in your location photos. I think its ok to blow them out as long as you keep a little detail in the open windows. in your reference photo the windows are also "blown out" but they just kept some details in the curtains. Putting ND over the windows will also cut the light coming in through them....so if you are lighting from outside that doesn't really make sense.

If you want a similar look to the ref photo, you will need direct sunlight or HMI's to create a similar look. It might be hard to do that on house power. is your location on the first floor? if your doing a wide shot like the reference photo at minimum you'd need one M18 per window. Ideally you would have larger lights considering the window size

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member

The curtains are partially blown out in the reference photo.

The thing about your windows is you can't get a beam through them exactly like the reference photo. The frosted glass will glow instead of passing the beam unaffected. So it won't ever act like that reference photo.

However, if the glass is lightly frosted, then you can shoot a beam from up high into it and the deflection into camera will be less intense, just like any other frost you'd use for production.

But if it's a fine dense white window, then then above approach won't work. At that point, it's no different than placing diffusion gel on the window.

If all the windows on that wall are the same material, then ND gel is pointless. You'll have more control by scrimming the fixtures until you reach an exposure you're comfortable with. Something I've done in a separate situation with large blown windows was to ensure there was some texture, like coarse net-style sheers with a pattern on them large enough to break up the glowy blob. Or have curtains in some manner. You may not have decision in the set deck, but you can suggest different solutions and request that a sheers solution have a pattern.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member
Posted (edited)

As hinted at before, the reference photo looks like night for day with a large light source, hanging outside, well above the windows and the room is smoked-up to define the light beams.

Follow the angle of the beam from the floor to the top of the window and you'll have a line to the position of the light source outside the windows.  It appears the light source is pointed toward the bottom of the outside wall, under the window, so that only spill is hitting the curtains, not the main beam. 

This, of course, would require quite a powerful Arc, Incandescent or HMI lamp and the rigging.  A "point-source" light (bare arc) would work best, but those frosted window panes are going to cause you problems. 

If at all possible, temporarily remove the windows entirely, hang gauze curtains in front of the opening and make a Gobo of window pane frames behind the curtains.  (Those windows look like they can be removed if they slide back and forth.)

The reference photo does seem to be underexposed a bit for the interior, but shadow detail is enough that it looks like the scene was over lighted and then brought down in post.

 

Edited by Frank Wylie
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

Forum Sponsors

Film Gears

Serious Gear

Metropolis Post

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

DMX-iT

Visual Products

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Broadcast Solutions Inc

FJS International

CineLab

Wooden Camera

Cinematography Books and Gear



×
×
  • Create New...