Diffusion and Bounce Placement in Day Ext.

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  • #181196

      Hey Roger,

      I am curious what your overall philosophy is on placement and size of a bounce for daylight exteriors is. I feel that the tendency of key grips is typically to place a bounce on one side of camera, usually the opposite side of the 3/4 backlight, but at times I feel this ends up with me “feeling” the bounce too much. Usually I am am more interested in lifting the shadow area evenly so as not to feel the directionality of the bounce.


      Also, a follow up. Do you tend to use diffusion material to soften the sun on a subject when they are more front lit?



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    • #181643

        Not Roger but in my opinion if You feel the bounce too much is because it’s too small for your subject/s. Being small relatively to your subject it feels very sourcy and doesn’t wrap around much. But sometimes you want that hardness. Neither way is better or worst. Depends the situation.

        Same thing as the position of the bounce, light side or shadow side or even frontal. Depends the situation. But personally the first thing I’ll try to do it’s to bounce from light side. And it stays there most of the time. But sometimes I use bounce on shadow side too.


          Larger and/or closer is softer, though too close and the rapid fall-off is noticeable, so just larger for softer is better. If the bounce amount is too much, you can either dim it by stretching a single net scrim over it (so you don’t have to back it up), or you can use a less white material such as Day Blue Muslin (or Day Grey), even a dirty unbleached muslin would be less bright if you also want some warmth.

          I find that large Day Blue Muslins add subtle cool fill without looking obvious.

          Roger Deakins

            I rarely soften the sun with diffusion. The problem with doing that, unless you have a large crane and lots of time and money, is the source then becomes close to the subject and ‘wraps’ around too much. I will very occasionally use a net to take down the strength of the sun for a close shot.
            As for bounce sources, I would rarely put something in direct opposition to the backlight. Here I might use a small bounce card, maybe a silver reflector, to light from below a subject. But I also might use an array of large unbleached muslin. So many variations and so many different situations. There is no one way to do anything when it comes to lighting.

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