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Of Frosted Glass and Dirty Windows

Of Frosted Glass and Dirty Windows

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I JUST SHOWED A ROOM I worked via a really nice, frosted glass window. But, you know, it doesn’t have to be frosted, or nice.

A bed sheet will do. That generally produces a beautiful, softly directional light that will often just fill a room. Move your subject close to the sheet, and the light gets soft. Put them further away, it develops a bit more of an edge. If it’s a big window, or a set of windows, use more bed sheets. They don’t have to be 800-thread-count Egyptian cotton from the tombs of the Pharaohs. Sheets from Walmart do fine.

In Venice, I was able to light the entire Café Florian with a couple of bed sheets and three small flashes. And while throwing a bed sheet into a window with A clamps (or tape) and putting flashes outside on the walkway might sound a touch complicated and over the top, it’s actually easier than working one umbrella on a stick. In this environment, if my light were inside with the ballerina, I’d have all sorts of potential umbrella reflections and hits in the mirrored surfaces of the room. As my subject moved, I’d have to get up from the camera and move the light with her. Frankly, it’d be a pain in the ass. Here, with the windows covered and control of those lights outside, I’m done. She can move anywhere in the room, and she’s lit. I can ....


  

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