I’ve been watching House of Cards on the old Netflix recently, (if you haven’t seen it, check it out – amazing story bolstered by amazing cinematography!) One thing I’ve noticed is that in almost every interior shot, there are practical lamps in frame.
I know from bitter experience how hard it is to expose for lampshades – to get a nice even glow across the shade without the bulb blowing out the centre or underexposing the shot – but these guys are doing it perfectly every time.
So, any ideas how? Are they wrapping the bulbs in ND gel or something? How would you guys do it?
Using a dimmer with practicals is quick, but I still get a hot spot – it’s just less bright. The spill from the top and bottom of the shade is reduced, too.
The trick I use in this situation is to wrap a small piece of black wrap half way around the bulb, on the side facing the camera. The light reflecting from the back side of the lampshade fills it with an even glow – no hot spot.