I haven't had the pleasure of experimenting with Black Silks
yet, but I can understand the theory of their effectiveness
outside...Nice to be able to diffuse the sun while not creating
a huge white source.
But, I'd like to get your opinions on Bouncing light off of
black. I gaffed a feature a couple of years ago where the
DP asked me to bounce a light off of the black side of a black
/ white foam core for fill. I'm still not sure if I get the
theory or reasoning behind this practice, although I've read
about and heard of many DP's using this method.
L.A., CA and Vilnius, Lithuania
> But, I'd like to get your opinions
on Bouncing light off of black.
We had this discussion a few years ago when the visual efx
DP for "Alien Resurrection" bounced Maxi-Brutes
off of large panels of black wrap to light the spaceship models.
Mostly what you get back onto the subject is HEAT more than
Since the quality of a soft light is mainly determined by
the size of the effective "source" relative to the
subject, and the color that might be picked up by the diffusing
technique, I was of the opinion back then that it was a rather
inefficient way of obtaining that lighting effect. But if
it gets you the look you want, who am I to judge....
Cinematographer / L.A.
I'm trying really hard not to say Emperors clothes.
I'd be interested in looking at a very sheer overhead black
silk - I too have struggled with overhead 1/4 grids, china
silks etc, I'm currently using either a white net or solid
black depending on the shot - but would love to find a 'middle'
Maybe they're trying to get a soft specular source by bouncing
off a black surface with a little bit of shine to it.
Bouncing Maxi brutes off panels of black wrap seems very odd,
though. Sounds like one of those things you do when you order
a ton of lights only to discover that the situation calls
for a single tweenie at full flood.
Maybe this could be a way of increasing ....or is it decreasing
the amount of negative fill...bouncing a couple of big sources
off a black floppy. I once heard of a guy who lit using polystyrene
(styrofoam)sheets as the diffusion, said it gave a wonderful
soft light....and I just bet it did as bounce spill...at least
until the poly melted.
As to black silk on a zip to give the light direction, wouldn't
you just use an 'egg crate' snoot (honeycomb snoot I think
in U.S. speak) you can soften the light even more by putting
the diffusion behind the snoot.
Like the old trick of putting the diffusion behind the barn
doors of the lamp... right next to the lense...diffuses the
light but keeps the direction. As for reflections in the pupil...unless
you are on an E.CU of the eye, is it a problem?
Graham Rutherford writes :
>I once heard of a guy who lit
using polystyrene (styrofoam)sheets as the >diffusion, said
it gave a wonderful soft light.... and I just bet it did as
>bounce spill...at least until the poly melted.
I was recently rummaging through the local plastics shop and
found a sheet of 2-by-four-foot, 1/16"-inch thick
polyethylene (polythene, to the Brits). Thought I'd try using
it as a diffuser (well clear of any hot sources!). Though
it was heavy, and a bit hard to handle because of its floppiness,
It worked fine.
But it also had a peculiar characteristic: As seen from the
subject's POV, the color of the light remained as it should
-- except for the hotspot in the middle, which was decidedly
reddish! Somehow this material was passing the full spectrum
as a diffuser, but where the light rays passed through in
the straightest trajectory it was transmitting a lot more