Green Cast When Lighting Through Windows

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  • #214506

      Hi Roger!

      Hope you are well. Recently I’ve been coming across issues when lighting through windows and I was curious to get your take on two different situations I’ve come across:

      1. I was recently shooting in a hospital location that had big windows in each of the patient rooms. It was a daytime scene and required the windows to be in the shot, however the windows were made of lower quality glass that had a green tint which was very unflattering. Obviously, replacing the glass was not an option. Have you come across this issue before and how did you handle it?

      2. I have an upcoming shoot at a one floor house location which has a lot of big windows around the home that get a lot of natural light. We’re shooting multiple daytime scenes in this house. My issue is that the home is surrounded by green grass and foliage that bounces a ton of undesired green light into the home. How have you dealt with this in the past?

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    • #214507

        Like in most situations where you have issues with balancing light sources, it often depends on what is the simplest solution.  If the windows are large and provide the majority of light in the space, then the simplest thing is probably to add some green to all your other lights inside and then pull the overall green out of the image by either using a CC Magenta correction filter on the lens or shifting the color on the camera towards magenta.

        If the windows are small and in the background, it might be easier to put some Minus Green gel on them. If it is a night scene, then you can add some Minus Green gel to the lighting outside the window to counteract the green that the glass will add.

        Any grass that is off-camera and below the frame could be covered with something to reduce the green bounce coming off of the grass, like some sheets of muslin, bedsheets, etc. Any on-camera grass and bushes reflecting some green light into the room is at least a motivated effect.

        Roger Deakins

          I totally agree with David’s advice there. If you have no need for additional light sources you should have no problem timing out the excessive green tint – or you might just like it! As David says, if you see green outside you might expect the inside to reflect the same source rather than something that is purely ‘white’.

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