Lighting Big Open Spaces at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders

Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 24th, 2008, 04:09 PM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 17
Lighting Big Open Spaces

Hi All,

I'm shooting a Music Video on the beach in a couple of weeks. There are a couple tricky lighting issues. The space will be big and there is a chance it will be really cold out. Maybe 10 degrees in a worst case scenario. We'll be filming a bunch of people around a campfire. The other issue is that the subjects will also be wearing all white. It will be a one Day/Night Shoot.

I also plan on using a Letus Adapter.

Focus: What do you guys recommend as far as equipment is concerned? I'm thinking about getting an LED flood light for wide shots and fluorescence for the close ups. because I believe they do well in the cold. There is not much of a temperature change and less of a chance of the bulb popping. The budget is under $1,000 so any recommendations will be appreciated.

Also, I'll need a generator. Any recommendations on that as well?
Michael Malagon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 25th, 2008, 10:49 AM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 656
Que Mission Impossible music.
__________________
Panasonic HMC150/Canon A1/JVC HD1/Sony Vegas 8.0c
Jeff Kellam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 25th, 2008, 11:31 AM   #3
Contributor
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 4,449
Bulbs aren't going to pop because of the cold. What do you have for power? A generator or long cords or batteries? If you're running fluorescents and LEDs off batteries, they will go down pretty quickly in cold weather.

A nice way to light people in a circle is to use a pancake lantern, like this:
Chimera | Pancake Lantern Softbox - Large | 1874 | B&H Photo Maybe with a 1K open light inside. Then use your other lights to fill a bit from the outside so they don't go totally dark. You'd have to hang a pancake lantern (or a large Chinese lantern) from some sort of boom or crane. Whatever you use you'd want to gel them to get the color temp. down to something close to the fire, unless you're trying to simulate moonlight.

You don't want to override the campfire but supplement it.
Bill Pryor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 25th, 2008, 11:51 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Lielvārde, Latvia
Posts: 326
I don't know the script, but you could also try to shoot from angles and distance that are enough to light it only from camp fire. Maybe compliment it with light from wood torches and burning branches. Sometimes even one match is enough to light a scene.
It's what I'd do anyway, because I don't have access to a generator. :))
Andris Krastins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 25th, 2008, 12:57 PM   #5
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andris Krastins View Post
It's what I'd do anyway, because I don't have access to a generator. :))
Don't be afraid of the generator concept guys--a 6500 watt Honda (aka putt-putt) should cost you well under $100 day to rent and are available just about anywhere. A little tough to manage for dialogue scenes, make sure to include enough extension cords to send it far away from set (Michael's project being a music video, no problem!)

A good size bonfire will likely provide enough illumination when shooting people facing it from close proximity. The china ball idea is good except you wouldn't need to bring it in from above unless you need to shoot many angles continuously; ideally your additional source would be relatively low to match the firelight so you could simply have it on a stand as needed.

When shooting from outside the bonfire, obviously you will need to provide base illumination. As with all night lighting, keep frontal lighting at a low intensity (several stops under key) and try to work more from a side or backlighting scenario. It always helps to be able to pick out some background details like trees to give depth, but at the beach there usually isn't much of that.

We usually use a large helium light balloon for this type of scenario these days to provide a base illumination; obviously these aren't cheap to rent but there may be an "indie" way to go about this by renting a large white or mylar inflatable balloon and bouncing a few pars into the underside of it. You'd need a number of tie-down points and if it's a really windy night, forget it.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 27th, 2008, 01:32 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sussex, UK
Posts: 317
Some very small cheap Ballon Lamps.

http://www.kyouei-ltd.co.jp/balloon.html

designboom shop: 'balloon lamp' by kyouei co ltd., japan

Mind you you would need a lot. You could make a giant one all you need is massive latex white ballon, a cool light source and a bottle of Helium.
James Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 29th, 2008, 09:20 AM   #7
New Boot
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 17
Thanks for the advice guys. I'm trying to do two things:

Simulate moonlight for the wide shots
Simulate firelight for the close-ups. I'm going to try to bounce a fluorescent off a warm reflector and move it around for that effect.

I'm also wondering if I'm going to run into a problem with the subjects wearing all white. I've always strayed away from having people wear white. I wonder if it will be a problem at night.
Michael Malagon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 29th, 2008, 11:30 AM   #8
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Bounced flo--think you might be hurting for enough stop out of it, depending on how big your flo unit is (a Deva would give you a good chance). I would also recommend having a few different bounce surfaces, including one with well-krinkled aluminum foil to see which delivers the most believable look and required punch.

At least having people in white you will not suffer from separation issues (would be worse if they were in black) for this setup; you should be fine.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 29th, 2008, 01:20 PM   #9
Contributor
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 4,449
A fluorescent is so soft to begin with I don't think you'd need to bounce it. Something like a Caselight 4 or equivalent would be nice for that kind of thing.

I've done some night shooting before with 3 Caselights. One was the 4, the other two were Caselight 2s, ie., 2 bulb units. All three ran off a car battery. However, the shoot was only a couple of hours, and we ran the car in between takes. Unless you have another vehicle with jump cables, it might be a good idea to buy a car battery, or marine deep cycle battery, and a cheap 2-wheeler. You'd need a cheapie inverter too with enough outlets for whatever lights you use.

I also needed a little light on a building in the background, so I used a car's headlights, gelled down, so I had just enough light to avoid a black hole in the background.
Bill Pryor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 29th, 2008, 01:56 PM   #10
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
What I had guessed about Michael's intentions for bouncing the flo (correct me if I am wrong Michael) is that you can more easily create variations in the intensity to duplicate the waxing and waning of the firelight. By panning the unit around on the board, the output level from the bounce will increase and decrease without an apparent side-to-side shift (which you would get if you simply panned the bounce, or had the unit pointing directly at the subject and panning it).

That all said, I'd still use a tungsten unit rather than a flo to increase the punch.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:35 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network