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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 21 Feb 2007 (Wednesday) 22:39
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Help Lighting Model With Projected Handwriting

 
nitekatt2006
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Feb 21, 2007 22:39 |  #1

Hello shooters. Another photography student and I have a somewhat difficult challenge and school assignment to photograph a nude model that wants handwriting from a pro calligrapher to appear on her body in all the images. This is similar to the concept from the movie poster, the Number 23

The first option is for the writer to spend hours writing each word on the model's body. The second option is the most sensible we think and that would be the writer put all the handwriting in advance on transparent film, slide or gel and project the writing on the model and then take the photos. This is known I think as spot focus. A slide projector could possibly be used, I don't know though how the exposures would work out or how to meter correctly with 2-4 strobes. Can this even be done this way.

We remember from the late 60s-70s at rock concerts where psychedelic slide images were projected to the stage, sometimes on back screens behind the bands. Sometimes the images would be reflected on members of the band. Wasn't that a concept in the film This Is Spinal Tap?

This is the same concept to project handwriting from the model's diary to the model. How in the world do we design the lighting or even pull this off correctly? Has anyone ever done a concept like this and gotten results? We need help fast as we only have 2 days before the shoot and we cannot fail, at least we will try our best and with any of your help please. Thanks katt:cool:


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FlashZebra
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Feb 21, 2007 22:58 |  #2

If you are using projected images, you cannot use any other lights (like flash or continuous lights). So forget the strobes. The illumination from other lights will obliterate the projected image.

You will also need a very dark room.

A fast lens, a tripod, cable release, higher ISOs, and a very steady model will also likely be necessary, you may want to provide some sort of support to aid the model from moving (any antique photographers still have their head clamp gear?).

You may also need to focus manually since the light will be very low (or use the focus only function of an hotshoe mounted Canon flash, with the exposure flash tube turned off).

Buy the way, if the film you are trying to think of was from the 60's or 70's, it was not "This is Spinal Tap".

Enjoy! Lon


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MrScott
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Feb 21, 2007 23:24 |  #3

Much easier....
Take your studio shots however you want with as many lights as you want. Have the "pro calligrapher" draw up some samples using black ink on bright white matte unruled paper and then photograph it under some lights.
In Photoshop, add ink picture one layer above studio shot w/ Multiply blending.
Select the move tool and then play around with the Edit:Transform menu options. You should be able to "bend" the text to the models curves.

This also works great for the fake tatoo.




  
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MrScott
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Feb 21, 2007 23:27 |  #4

What the heck, if you've got a "nice" projector, say 2000 lumens or so, you can also do some sweet stuff with color and shape. make sure to prep with a custom white balance thought!




  
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nitekatt2006
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Feb 21, 2007 23:45 |  #5

londuck, good ideas, any solutions about lighting, we only have and use strobes. We do have 3 Canon DSLR's several f1.4=2.8 lenses, cable releases

Is the only way you think to have the writing put physically on the model, it would take forever, estimate is 2-3 hours, way too long.

What about Fresnel lighting with a lens somehow, is that feasible? You can certainly control the intensity of the light, but how could you magnify the writing? katt


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Curtis ­ N
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Feb 22, 2007 08:27 |  #6

Lon is on the money in terms of lighting and exposure.

How about having the caligrapher write on transparency and use an overhead projector? Those things are (or at least were) fairly common around educational institutions.

One approach: put the projector relatively close to the model so the image projected image only covers her body from waist to shoulder or thereabouts, this will make the image brighter. Then use a snooted or gridded flash to light the face. You'll probably need to gel the flash to match the tungsten color of the projector. The advantage to this is that slight lateral movements of her body during exposure won't move the projected image so it will remain sharp, and the flash will freeze any motion on her face.

Sounds like a great challenge!


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MikeMcL
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Feb 22, 2007 10:23 |  #7

Here in japan, they like to take a strobe with a very high power compared to the metering in the shot and place a thin piece of aluminum with a laser-cut template over it... They then fire the +5 stop strobe with the others, and the bright light burns the template picture into your shot.
They use this to put logos and stuff onto backgrounds, or put a "picture" onto the plain canvas backdrop.

Sooo... Maybe have the calligrapher write it, then invert it to white on black, reduce it to very small, and print the negative onto a small transparency. Place that in front of an extra strobe, and fire away. This will make bright writing on a slightly darker model, but no other adjustments will have to be made (or so I think)

Good luck, sounds tough


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nitekatt2006
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Feb 22, 2007 15:54 |  #8

Hi again shooters. After thinking about, reading all your advice and talking to another wise soul who understands difficult subject lighting, we have made the decision to have the calligrapher physically do the handwriting directly "live" on the model. Our ideas included Photoshoping the writing in, projecting, and the only organic way to get the exposures correct is to "do it in real time."

If you all have seen the new movie starring Jim Carrey, The Number 23 poster, this is the effect we are going for, but in a much more controlled elegant fashion. We were wondering ourselves if Jim was photographed with the face writing live. or was it Photoshopped. Anyone have an idea how they pulled the effect off>

Thanks for everyone's help katt


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Marshall
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Feb 23, 2007 12:16 |  #9

Have done this numerous times by either drawing on acetate, or writing in photoshop & then printing onto inkjet acetate, then use a OHP. Also can be acheived by drawing or writing on plastic film the size of a transparency & then use a projector.If the model is far enough away from the background it will only show-up on the model. Try also using coloured sweet wrappers with lettering on, put in a transparency holder & project, to make a true cadbury girl !




  
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Reefbone
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Feb 23, 2007 15:05 as a reply to  @ Marshall's post |  #10

Please don't take offense to my comments and remember that my opinion is only that.. one guys opinion.

IMO it seems that writing directly on the model (possibly) defeats the point of the exercise. Lon's idea concentrates on learning lighting and Mr Scotts idea would hone some PS skills. Writing on the model seems like the easiest/least imaginative way out.

Not sure from the orignal post.. maybe the excercise doesn't outline the need for the writing on the model. (You state the model wants the writing) BUT.. if the excersise dictated the writing then my comments stand.


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Help Lighting Model With Projected Handwriting
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