Dancing with Light

Interview and Windows and C.T. Orange 207

Interviews are always exciting and challenging. Often you show up at a site for the first time and have no idea what to expect. One thing is for certain, we want the subject to look their best.

Windows can always be a pleasing background for your subject. It would be nice to use a 1200HMI or a 575HMI to light your subject. I do not have these lights in my inventory but I've often wished that I did. To make up for it, I do have C.T. Orange 207 in my inventory. C.T. Orange 207 is a Neutral density filter that comes in a roll. Placing this gel on the window behind your subject converts the outside light coming in through the window to 3200K (Lee Filters identifies this as Full C.T O. + .3ND) With this gel and a regular light kit you can compete against the brightness of natural outside light.

It also helps if you can position your talent away from the window so the background portion that appears in your shot will be out of focus. C.T. Orange 207 reduces the outside light 1 stop. If you can position your talent several feet away from the window, you can also use with C.T. Orange 207 another form of diffusion called Lee Scrim. This material will also knock down the brightness of the background along with C.T. Orange 207. Lee Scrim is perforated material that is black on one side and silver on the other.

These diffusion materials will enable you to use a lighting kit and not have to worry about adding color correction gels to your main lights. Remember, as soon as you add a color correction Blue to your light (converting tungsten to daylight.) you are reducing the intensity of your light output.

One final tip about C.T. Orange 207, or any type of gel material. When you place it on the window, please make sure that the natural curve of the material is going toward the window. When you unravel a gel it wants to curl-up. Having the gel curve into the window will make it easier to apply the gel to the window. Now you have at least a fighting chance. Do not forget to pull the shades on the other windows that are not part of your shot.