The Mirror and the Lamp
I often use mirrors for my work.
Smaller mirrors for flares and pings and larger 4x4s for focusing the brightest source there is... The Sun.
No HMI can compete with the power of a 4x4 mirror on a bright day. Mirrors are also great for making the light 'travel' further. Increasing the lamp to subject distance by 'bouncing' the lamp into a mirror can offer the most naturalistic fall-off as the light approaches parallel beams over distance. This is a lighting strategy mastered by DP Christian Berger with his advanced system of mirrors and reflectors. One big lamp with multiple reflective relays.
In California I have been shooting at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, an extraordinary mirrored location.
Its a vast valley of mirrors, a staggering 347 000 of them. These mirrors are focused on black towers, the black absorbing the enormous amount of light and heat. These glow like supernatural monoliths, generating 370 megawatts of power.
Visually it is remarkable. The glowing towers take on an almost religious appearance in the sea of large focused mirrors.
We employed the rock-steady Cineflex aerial system to do justice to this surreal luminous landscape.
The 'mirror' and the 'lamp' were once seen as the two oppositional movements in the arts.
In the first approach the artist holds a mirror to the world, in the second the work burns lamp-like from 'within' the artist.