Using atmosphere in a museum

Guy Mastrion

Wise words needed: I’m planning for a shoot in a museum dedicated to dance. The proposed scene is a small troupe of aspiring young ballerina viewing the museum exhibits in their costume with shafts of light pooling around them as if on stage. It’s one scene among many others of different art and artist exhibits and performances.

I’m concerned about the use of atmosphere potentially harming costume that in some cases are 50+ years old, they are out in the open air on display, very few are contained in glass boxes.

Any thoughts or experience with this sort of situation. Suggested atmosphere agent to use, if at all.

Thank you in advance

Guy Mastrion, DP, Creative Director, Professor

Adam Brian Dada

Are there many exhibits open to the air?  If it isn’t too many, can the museum remove them from one room and you replace them with something that you won’t feel as concerned about?

Adam Brian Dada
Chicago, IL

Art Adams

Filtration might be an answer. I recently saw some lens tests with some very funky lenses whose veiling flare looked just like hanging smoke.


This might be a bit difficult to manage practically as you’d need a source in the frame and that might be distracting, so maybe look at Double Fog filters. I remember working with a DP who used those quite a lot to exaggerate depth without smoke. Distant objects appear lower in contrast, and feel farther away.


Art Adams

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Guy Mastrion

Adam and Art, thanks for the suggestions.

Removing the costumes may be an option. I'll have to ask. This did not occur to me. 

And the double fog filters; ok, this is interesting. Looks like it will take some playing around with in advance but it may do the trick.

I'm meeting with the museum folks for a walk through later this week; lots of questions and concern for the exhibits is of course on the top of the list,

Thank you fellas
Guy Mastrion, DP, Creative Director, Professor