A forum on Polanski's 'Tess' from the Cinematography.com website
Ignacio Aguilar [Jan 20 2005]: "Yesterday I saw Roman Polanski's 'Tess'. As we all know, British cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth died during the shooting and was replaced by Ghislain Cloquet. Anyone knows if Unsworth was using his traditional Harrison Fog Filter #2 or was it a lighter one? Most exterior scenes during the first half of the movie were clearly shot with heavy diffusion, probably by Unsworth. But almost none of the interior scenes [I only remember one or two] show it. That's why I would like to know if Unsworth was varying his approach or if those scenes were shot by Cloquet. From what I saw, Cloquet did most of the interiors and the cloudy exteriors of the second half of the film with no diffusion at all."
David Mullen [Jan 20 2005]: "I've been thinking about this too because there are scenes shot by Unsworth that are definitely not as heavily diffused as his past work. I suspect either Polanski [not a fan of diffusion] got him to back off a little on the level of fog filtering, or Unsworth was in the process of a stylistic change towards using less diffusion at the time he died.
There is definitely some fog filters being used in some exterior scenes [Angel carrying the girls across the stream for example] but nothing seems too heavily diffused other than that odd cutaway to the wide shot of the minister on horseback, which is shot earlier in the day and is more filtered than the surrounding sunset footage.
From what I can guess by looking at the behind the scenes doc on the DVD, Unsworth shot the foggy day-for-night seduction scene in the woods, the tent and strawberries scene when Tess arrives at the d'Urberville mansion, the large barn of cows being milked. I suspect, from the fog filters, that he also shot the girls seeing Angel at sunrise [and now I suspect the rising sun itself is a trick shot, reflecting a light in the glass pane of the window] and the scene where Angel carries the girls over the stream. But Unsworth died, I think, during the third week of production, so most of the movie must have been shot by Cloquet."
"[Here are] some shots from 'Tess' that I believe Unsworth shot, guessing partly by the use of fog filters. The first one was one that I had read was shot with Kinski in front of a big mirror to reflect the sunset but somehow darken it so it was easier to balance the lighting on her face - but it does not look like such a bright sunset that you'd need much light even if you shot her directly against it.
This is the one where I think the 'sun' is actually a light inside the room reflected in the glass:
What I find interesting about Unsworth are his contradictions to some degree. Here was a guy trained in classic studio lighting [which is sort of obvious by the old-fashioned use of a diffused arc lamp for fill outdoors, creating the shadow of hat brims] but who had a strong desire to 'degrade' the image with smoke and fog filters so that it didn't look too glossy and slick, but softer in colors, contrast, and detail, sort of like an impressionist painter. In some ways, it worked well because combining diffusion with stronger studio lighting helps maintain some dimensionality, whereas if he was completely modern in the use of soft practical lighting, the fog filters would have been even heavier-looking and mushed-up the image too much.
For example, in the daytime shot of her up against the hedge branches, there is more frontal fill than would be used in modern cinematography, which is overpowering what was probably a dimmer overhead soft blue-ish ambient skylight fill. But a modern cinematographer probably would have used faster film, less fill, and exposed more for the shadows, causing the pieces of sky peaking through to blow-out even more, which in turn would have made the diffusion look even heavier."
Ignacio Aguilar [Jan 21 2005]: "It's a pity that Unsworth couldn't complete this film. While his approach was very different from what Kubrick and Alcott did on 'Barry Lyndon', it would have been interesting to see how he would have done the interiors. Probably he would have used less fill light and more contrast than Cloquet, whose scenes look more high-key than Unsworth's in his previous films, and he probably would have relied more on the natural light sources of the sets. Anyway, the way Cloquet shot his exterior scenes for the second half of the film fit the story as well as Unsworth and his fog filters did for the earlier, 'happier' scenes."
David Mullen [Jan 23 2005]: "You can see here some frontal fill from a light, although it's not something you still don't do today:
Here's a rather frontal hardish key light. On the other hand, it's also the most flattering way to light most women:
Here's something just lit with bounce fill [necessary also because it's a moving boat on a river]:
Ignacio Aguilar [Jan 23 2005]: "More shots by Unsworth:
And some shots by Ghislain Cloquet: