Are There Better Alternatives To Medical Masks For Safe On-Location Photography & Cinematography?

I have been using several different types of medical and non-medical face masks for a while now to help protect against coronavirus infection amongst the many locals who have yet to receive the memo about safety in the age of COVID-19. 

Director/cinematographer/producer/writer Emily Skye of Shewolffilms has chosen Hudson Spider shooting masks for her feature film currently in production on location in the United States. Photograph courtesy of Emily Skye and originally published by her at her shewolffilms Instagram account.

So far none of the masks I have tried have done the job well enough, all of them fogging my eyeglasses up to various degrees.

The last straw was this morning when having my eyes tested at an optometrist and neither my own mask nor the one provided by staff there worked entirely fog-free.

Time to look for something better.

Social distancing and wearing masks are not popular where we live

Photographs by Karin Gottschalk.

Given members of my family are highly vulnerable to infections due to genetic variations, it is crucial that we make greater efforts to protect ourselves and others than those who live around us.

As the owner of a local café told us recently, the locals where we live “just do not care” about social distancing.

Good enough for them, perhaps, but not for me and mine.

When Emily Skye shared on Instagram that she had chosen the Hudson Spider Shooting Mask for her cast and crew on a feature film about to start production, after exhaustive tests of many such products, I enquired about availability.

My objective was to purchase one mask to try it out with my usual eyeglasses and in my customary all-day shooting scenarios.

Here is the reply from Sarah Hudson of Hudson Spider:

The biggest issue we have right now is with no passenger planes coming in from the US, shipments times into Australia are impossibly long, usually more than 3 months. We can definitely Fedex quickly but the cost is more than the mask, so we’d need a bulk shipment to make it worth It for the buyer…. The irony is when the jets return to Australia you will no longer likely be required to wear masks, catch 22.

We sometimes have shipments going to Framelight in Sydney (literally last week we sent one) but I can let you know next time we have a shipment heading downunder.

Movie lighting company Hudson Spider now offers two types of face masks

Images courtesy of Hudson Spider.

So, still without a good enough solution to the fogging problem, I have begun looking beyond masks as such and cast my mind back to my days as European Contributing Editor for not only Black+White magazine.

I had often encountered globetrotting photojournalists, documentary photographers and cinematographers sporting the large cotton scarfs known as shemaghs or keffiyehs due to their ability to wick moisture away as well as help protect against dust and other airborne particles.

Now I am off to Amazon and eBay to research this other potential solution, possibly choosing a keffiyeh or shemagh in blue, grey or black to match my usual shooting clothes and aid in blending into the background when needed.


Cinematographer/Director/Producer/Screenwriter Emily Skye of shewolffilms Releases ‘The Erectors’ on Amazon Prime, Fun Fictionalization of How She Broke Into Hollywood

Cinematographer/director/producer/writer Emily Skye of shewolffilms.

Emily Skye of shewolffilms recently released her dramady series ‘The Erectors’ via Amazon Prime and she has a full slate of in-development and about-to-be released productions, an inspirational success story for this British-born former model. 

Those upcoming projects include a documentary series, other television series, feature films and no doubt more of the music videos with which she established her reputation.

According to her IMDB biography, “Emily Skye is an American screenwriter, director and producer. She began her career at an early age after being scouted by Wilhelmina Models. While working on multiple film and television shows, Emily discovered her passion for directing was greater than modeling. With multiple music video directing awards, Emily ventured into narrative supernatural, sci-fi fantasy feature films and TV series dramas.”

‘The Erectors’ is, according to Amazon Prime, about “two single mom’s trying to make it in Hollywood as filmmakers” while the next production soon to be out of the shewolffilms gate will be ‘Binders Stash’, where Ms Skye helps us “explore the world with Host Bill Binder, as he searches for the best whisk(e)y!  Meet legends that share new releases, unheard stories  and go off the beaten path to discover distilleries that are making incredible  juice!”.

Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Super 16/Micro Four Thirds mirrorless stills/video 4K hybrid camera, Emily Skye’s favourite small mirrorless camera for video production.

The Erectors trailer

Binders Stash trailer

The Devil She Knows trailer


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SHAPE Panasonic GH5 Cage Kit with Matte Box & Follow Focus, used by Emily Skye.

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