Sun and angle on vertical windows and how to avoid?

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    • #37025

      Ok, this one is a bit out there. Let me explain my scenario first and maybe that will clarify things and help you to answer.

      I’m shooting a commercial for my father for a hanger door he manufactures and sells. This is not your ordinary hanger door; looks more like the side of a house with actual windows and a flower bed towards the bottom. Anyways, the door faces east and so to use natural light from the sun I’ll shoot in the morning.

      Here’s the question, or actually a few. To avoid glare from the vertical windows on the hanger, at what time in the morning should I NOT shoot? To complicate things, he wants me to shoot the hanger door opening. If I can’t avoid a few frames of glare, is there a way to help minimize a problem like this? Ok last question, inside the hanger will sit a beautiful airplane that he would like to… highlight if you will, what time of the morning do you think I can shoot this shot making the scene of the airplane stick out? I was thinking of shooting during the morning were the light starts from the floor and barely comes over the top of the airplane; shadowing the top half of inside the hanger. Does anyone have experience with a shot like this?

      Any help would be great, or if you need more info don’t hesitate to respond with questions.


    • #164189

      Sounds like a job for a polarizing filter. You’ll need to rotate the filter while looking through the viewfinder, until you find the rotaional position where the glare is least. BTW, if you have a 3CCD camcorder, it would be best to use a circular polarizer, since it will properly condition the light before it goes into your camcorders beam-splitting prisms.

      If you don’t want to invest in a polarizing filter…. well, then just imagine that the hanger door is a giant mirror, and you want to wait until the sun is high enough in the sky that it would not be seen from the camcorder’s position.

      Good luck, 🙂
      Ken Hull

    • #164190

      Hi Ken,

      Thanks for the advice. I was doing some more thinking after posting the topic and I thought I could also avoid the glare by shooting it in different positions, ie just in front, from sides, etc. Plus, it might look so much better taking different positions and placing them back to back in the post-edit instead of one long static position waiting for the door to open. Thanks for the advice again, I’ll look into buying polarized filters.


    • #164191

      plan for three days of shooting.
      day one set your camera up and record with a time stamp. record 3-4 hors of video.
      watch your video and check the time stamps to get the lights best angles and corresponding times.
      day two record. unless the weather doesn’t co-operate, the shoot on day three.

      use reflectors to get light where you want it and gobos to subtract light from where you don’t want it.

    • #164192


      Cool project. I have shot footage of my fathers hanger with the door up (side of a house analogy) and the Florida sun blasting into the hanger probably around a 10 to 11 am timeframe. As with most things film and video you have to try out different approaches and see what works the best for your unique situation/message.

      Heres some whatever thoughts to add to the ideas above.

      The bright sun is not videos best friend. It is close to being the worst enemy. Depending on the colors of the subject, you could end up with impossible to avoid blow out effects, unless large masses of inky black in the background is not a problem.

      An overcast day can avoid the blow out effect and could be ideal.

      I havent seen a serious structured comparison bet HD and movie film, so dont know if there has been a catch up. Pre HD, the rule of thumb was that you got 10 times more range of midtones/shadow AND highlight detail from film vs video. Film is still a major industry choice for filming commercials, something to consider.

      In a series of commercials, you can definitely see differences in visual quality from commercial to commercial, local business vs national campaign being an obvious but not unique example. If a commercial looks great compared to commercials running at the same time, that extra quality could have an impact on how on the audience reacts to it and the product.

      If you shoot with the sun low, the sun may be lighting up the back of the hanger at ceiling level. If you shoot in later morning the top of the opening for the door will block the sun coming into the back of the hanger. In either case, the front of the airplane will be sun blasted.

      If the front of the plane is sun blasted, the back of the plane will be in shadow, from perspective of shooting from back of hanger. These are considerations if you want to shot match. However, there seems to be universal avoidance of shot matching these days.

      Consider shooting inside the hanger, camera towards closed door, then door is opened with the sun dramatically pouring in as the scene unfolds.

      Further drama would be added if a plane were coming up the taxi way to park in the hanger, synched to the door opening. (Even though not realistic. Hanger doors are often left open for duration of a flight operation.)

      Have a great shoot.

      REGARDS TOM 8)

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