Shooting Portraits with Scrim Jim Cine

by | Feb 6, 2020

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

A “scrim” is typically a screen-like mesh placed in front of a light to reduce intensity but in common usage any device that produces a diffusion effect are called scrims.

When it comes to portraiture, lighting isn’t only about the quantity of the light produced but is more often about the quality of that light. Westcott’s Scrim Jim Cine system builds on that concept with a modular design that allows both reflective and diffusion effects. Formerly called Scrim Jim, which are the devices  that you see in use here, the system went through some pretty big changes and the Cine version is essentially a  new product. Westcott made the connections more secure, beefed the posts up and standardized sizes to match the rest of the industry.

Scrim Jim Cine is a collapsible diffusion and reflector system that’s made up of a series of frames, diffusion and reflector fabric and accessories.To get you started, Westcott offers Scrim Jim Cine kits that includes a frame, different kinds of fabric and a carrying case. The 4×4 Cine kit has a 4×4-foor modular anodized aluminum frame with positive-locking connectors for extra support. Featuring four 46-inch frame tubes, with a 4×4-inch 3/4-stop diffuser that softens available or studio lighting without changing color temperatures, while the double-laminated 4×4-foor reversible silver/white bounce fabric reflects light to add highlights to and illuminate your subject. This portable system knocks down making it for photographers who travel often.

The larger 6×6 Scrim Jim Cine Kit has four 46-inch frame tubes and four 22-inch tubes. A 6×6-foot 3/4-stop diffuser softens available or studio lighting without changing  color temperatures, while the double-laminated 6×6-foot reversible silver/white bounce fabric reflects light to add highlights to and illuminate your subject.

How I made this shot: In the setup that was used for this photograph of Danielle, one LED light is placed near the back formerly white painted wall of my pre-flood 11×15-foot home studio and aimed at the subject’s back. No reflector was used on the light which allowed the light to kick all around the walls and turn it a high key white. At camera left is a 42 x72-inch Scrim Jim with white cover at right is a Westcott 30-inch 5-in-1 Reflector. If I had another Scrim Jim‚ I would have used that instead.

The camera used for this portrait was the redoubtable Canon 60D with EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens (at 42mm.) Exposure was 1/30 sec at f/5 and ISO 800.




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