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Filming Reflections of Actors on Water (2 replies and 3 comments)

MichaelBachinger
3 months ago
MichaelBachinger 3 months ago

Dear Forum Members,

for a music-video I have a shot in mind that requires me to shoot the reflection of an actor`s face on the surface of a small pond. I have not found the location yet, but on a location scout i found a few puddles, where i tried filming the actors face, with mediocre success. I find that the actors face is way too hard to see, too dark. I thought about adding a light to his face, but I want to keep it as natural as possible, meaning i would love a different solution.

I am not quite sure how to achieve a clearer reflection...should the water be in shadow, while the subject is brightly lit? Or should both the pond and the subject be lit.

Any tips or ideas are welcome. Thanks for your help. 🙂

I attached two screengrabs from music videos to this post. I would love the "strength"/"clearness" of the reflection to be somewhere in the middle of those examples.

https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Greener-FKJ-scaled.jpg
https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Matt-Maltese-Rom-Com-Gone-Wrong-2-scaled.jpg
Mike
3 months ago
Mike 3 months ago

Can you not fake it.  Use an old mirror and spray it with water or build a two inch boundary using plastersine or even gaffer ( Gorilla is better) tape to hold a one inch depth of water. No need to find a pond. Easy to transport if need be. Obviously, you will need to practice with framing to get it right but worth a try.  Faking it will save you a lot grief running about looking for that special pond. Everybody has an old mirror in their garage somewhere. Certainly worth a try. I have used this method on a number of occasions with great success. Agitate the water and position lighting for desired effect.

MichaelBachinger
3 months ago

Thanks a lot for the tip, i will definitely try that out!

dmullenasc
3 months ago
dmullenasc 3 months ago

Quick iPhone snap just now to illustrate - you lose about a stop in the reflection so you need to open up or spot meter the reflection. The other issue is that reflections in water tend to be a very low angle on the subject so they will look dark if the sky is behind them or they will look normal but the sky very hot, so you may need to add some light to the subject to balance better against the sky.

https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/483CD4C6-3677-47F5-B218-2A52EEB402EE-scaled.jpeg
MichaelBachinger
3 months ago

Thank you, i will also test bouncing some light in from the side.

Mike
3 months ago

What an interesting photo, seems to be Manhattan. Intrigued by the raised walkway and the lady holding a bottle of booze and taking a phone call too.

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