Mirrors (7 replies and 16 comments)
I’m in a situation where HMIs aren’t an option and I’m working off of house power. I’m considering using mirrors outside of the house to try and shoot sunlight back through the windows. Does anyone know how to safely rig large mirrors? Is there a lighter, equally reflective material that I just haven’t found out about? I’ve seen roger mention that a large light around 10ft from the window will cast a nice even light into the room. I don’t believe a silver bounce will cut it. Any help is greatly appreciated!
I have used ‘cooking foil’ with great effect. Make sure you use the shiny side not the dull side. Also it will work better if you had no creases in it and was dead flat so glue it onto flat plywood or builders polystyrene. Much easier to mount than a mirror.
Thank you! I’ll give it a go.
Melamime! That is much flatter and more efficient than cooking foil but neither is as good as a glass mirror.
Have you found the the size of the mirror makes much of a difference? I'm worried about transport/rigging anything the size of a 4x4. I'm not really sure the best way to rig anything that delicate/heavy.
Never heard of “Melamine” as a reflector! Surely, it has to be coated with something. For the DIY people, you can buy Silver Nitrate in a bottle also which is handy, you can buy Spray Chrome in a can, I have actually used it on one of my vintage cars on bumpers and door handles. It looks fabulous but after a month it dulls down but still looks good. Ideal for spraying “Oscars”, if you get tired of the Gold colour!
I think silver floor underlayment is a good affordable option for mounting on the melamine (with velcro maybe, to change it for muslin when desired)
If you want some diffusion, a 1" thick board of Celotex or Kingspan PU foam is extremely light and the reverse side is without any markings - and is extremely cheap at about $12 retail.
WOW! $12.00 each! Hey, laddie, that’s a second mortgage job.
1 inch thick Celotex? That is some diffusion!
Don't knock it! I walked into our shed-come-storage-come-studio and found a half-sheet of Celotex and a set of PAR64s so I plugged them in to see if the idea was a goer.
I didn't put a camera on the results, but my eyeballs told me that the effect was good.
You can also use PU foam boards as cucolorises. They are very light, totally ridged and therefore easily rigged.
(BTW, cucoloris is originally a German word meaning a foolish act or way of behaving. That's why the director H.Rosson referred to a badly improvised lighting mask as a "Kookolorus-thing". He'd probably picked up the word when working in NY where many, many people spoke German at the time.)
Cucoloris, never heard of it, I thought it was a medical condition in the region of ‘where the sun doesn’t shine’! Sounds painful. My neighbour is German, I will try it out on her. If I get a black eye, I will blame it on you!
Interesting concept, automatic suntracking mirror system:
Would be worth trying to mimic this at a large scale. Install smaller mirrors on the ground and direct them all to a easy to rig larger silver plane to bounce the light inside.
Quote " I thought it was a medical condition in the region of ‘where the sun doesn’t shine’! Sounds painful. My neighbour is German, I will try it out on her. If I get a black eye, I will blame it on you!"
A definite LOL there!
It comes from the Latin for cock and during carnival parades, the Kukalori are people parading dressed as chicken and doing silly things. As most of them will be drunk, doing this is not exactly a challenge!
American English is full of German words, some came via Yiddish and some were just because so many people spoke German. Not just the obvious ones like Mensch, quetsch and schlepp. Critter is one such word. In German, the word Köter means a street mongrel, i.e. a dog that lives on the street. You can see how Germans would use that word for the thousands of dogs that ran around NY at the turn of the century and before and this was heard by English speakers and they anglicised it. It soon was applied to any unwanted animal.
Hans, That is very interesting. Funny enough, In the winter, I erect a series of round mirrors and fix them in a tree, the purpose of which is to direct sun light into my lounge, it makes all the difference, I am trying to find a way of rotating the mirrors with the sun to maximise the effect. In the summer it is not needed. This is the future alright. We all need sunlight, architects should give it priority when designing buildings.
Andrew, That is also very interesting. The only one I know is an MOS camera. You all know that one, or should do. Perhaps we can come up with other examples that is used in the film industry.
Wiki-Quote - It stands for "motor only sync" or "motor only shot". Additionally, the term has been understood to stand for "mit out sound".
Remember the phrase "Bring on the empty horses!" by Mike Curtiz (bring on the horses without riders). Phrases in your native language get translated word for word into something else.
Anybody who has raised a child (in German) will know that in baby-talk many kids don't say 'ohne' (without) but 'mit-ohne' (with-without). It makes brilliant sense to a child's mind, as the words 'with' and 'without' fulfill different grammatical functions.
Except that the Engish word 'without' is literally 'mit-ohne'. In English, there is no word for 'ohne'. It has been built from 'with' and from 'out'. In Scottish English, we say 'out-with' and that is totally acceptable.
"He got off his horse." in English English - is very often "He got off of his horse." in American English. In many German dialects "Er stieg von seinem Pferd." is "Er stieg ab von seinem Pferd." The words 'ab' and 'von' translate to 'off' and 'of'.
Similarly, the word 'outside' is seldom seen as two words put together - but it is! 'Inside' - the same thing applies! 'Side' = position.
MOS is just 'Mit-Ohne-Sprache'! (With-Out-Voice)
I always called melamime, maybe that was wrong. Either way I used a mirror surfaced material that came in sheets or rolls. You could mount it on a board or tape it to a wall.
I’ve done this with aluminum reflectors and smaller mirrors rigged to plates on C-stands, which you can than bounce or throw through diffusion if you want a larger, softer source.
You pretty much have to assign a crew member full time to tweaking the position of the mirror in between takes as the sun moves.
Roger, maybe you meant Mylar sheets (also known as space blankets)? They are invented by NASA, a highly reflective material to keep heat in our out. They're cheap too.
That’s a very good example of using Mylar sheets, your photo shows Mylar sheets being used to ripen apples, now that’s clever imo. Rogers Melamine sheets does sound confusing but Melamine ‘foam’ is used in film and TV studios for sound proofing. Maybe he used that as a backing for silver foil.
The one thing I forgot to mention is Lee Filters number 271 - 'Mirror Silver - hard reflection'.
For a golden sunrise, you could try 274 'Mirror Gold'.
I will try that on my cucumbers!