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Old January 2nd, 2006, 03:13 PM   #1
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How To Shoot Day For Night?

Can someone instruct me on the best technigue for shooting day for night? I'm using the XL2, 24pn at shutter 1/48, -3 Gain. It is a exterior shot of a Bar. And another of a resident's house. Is it something more so achieved better in post as apposed to trying to acheive in camera using the ND filter in camera? any advice would be much appreciated.
Joe
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 10:39 PM   #2
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Joseph,

You will need to shoot with sunlight so that you can have shodows, underexposure the shot by a couple of shots, you may need to shoot with the tungsten setting so as to obtain a "blue feel" . Inside the bar, place tracing paper (frost) on the windows and direct some strong lights towards the paper.

Hope this is some help
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 08:20 AM   #3
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The overall look certainly has to be done in post. For example Magic Bullet for Premiere Pro comes with a day to night effect which does it pretty well.
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 08:35 AM   #4
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wow guys...

thanks for that info... *pulls out note pad and scribbles furiously*
great question.
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 08:35 AM   #5
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Best to shoot at dusk, rather than mid day, so you can still have day light levels to work with, but still have lights and neon signs on. If you shoot mid day, you will have a VERY difficult time getting the lighting to look "correct" in camera OR in post. The best day-for-night conversions are a combination of in-camera technique and post processing.

If the camera is stationary, you can easly do a day-for-night conversion using a digital matte painting to really punch up the lighting in areas where there is no character movement. If you have matchmoving tools, this can even be done with a moving camera.

I would highly recommend shooting actual night-time still images of these locations using a good digital SLR and various shutter speeds to gather reference images of how these places really do look at night.
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 08:26 PM   #6
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thank you all for all this invaluable info to my question :) Much appreciated!!!

Will be trying your suggestions...

Joe
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Old January 5th, 2006, 02:50 AM   #7
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Hi Joseph. I just saw episode 2 of "4400", the one with the park vigilante. That must be the worst day for night shooting in modern times. It looks like it was shot in bright sunlight with clear blue skies, and then had a brutal curves effect applied in post. Whatever you do, please don't copy that one!

Richard
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Old January 5th, 2006, 04:09 PM   #8
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A thought for discussion…
What about waiting for an overcast day? Then shooting day for night.

Bill
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Old January 5th, 2006, 04:19 PM   #9
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I got good results from shooting at dusk, then setting my white balance to "the light bulb" which gives it a bluish tint, then setting my ND filter to 1/32.
It worked great, and although I could have colored it in post, the more you can do in camera I feel the easier it is to work with in post. In post I did lower the black levels and tweaked with the color a little. Worked great for my XL2.
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Old January 5th, 2006, 05:45 PM   #10
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As far as "overcast day"...well I might be in luck since here in WA State, "Overcast" is a way of life during this season :)

Once again, thanks for all responses to my question. Love this forum!!! Great is an understatement to say the least.

Joe
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Old January 7th, 2006, 11:06 AM   #11
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Day for Night in Post

Hello Joseph,
Here's a clip that I produced for a promo that had to occur at night. It was shot in the BLAZING sunshine in early afternoon. (it was hot!). I basically shot it normally, making sure I had enough detail in shadow areas, which will help in post. I then just did the day for night effect using only the color-corrector in Final Cut. Setting up the scene with a true night shot of the city-scape, as well as a full moon, crickets, auto headlights on, etc are important details to remember to assist with the nightime illusion. Hope that helps!
Rick

Here's the clip:

http://carolwoodproductions.com/eventpromo.html
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Old January 20th, 2006, 07:11 PM   #12
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i dont like day for nite.. its allright for shots that dont include the sky but for anything with a background that would include sky the resulting video will look very fake. check out the example above.. the day for night works for most of it except when they were getting out of the car because you can see the well lit sky in the background.. that particular shot would have been better off by throwing alot of light on everything around.. then using the day for nite changes in post.. it would give you the dark nightime look but still have a realistic looking background
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 07:40 PM   #13
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This thread really intrigues me. I notice in some movies "Crash" that they kept the dome lights on. Has anyone experimented with adding different color dome lights?

I feel this thread needs to stick around for a little bit. Any comments on the glow feel in "Collateral" in the taxi?
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 08:22 PM   #14
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A lot of people dont do what looks real, but instead do what looks good. If you really want night time shots, in an urban area, make sure to throw in some red back lighting, as Mecury Vapour lights (street lights) will NEVER colour correct on video. Check out the highway scenes in Collateral. They are tinged red. It slightly suggests night to the audience. Blue is excellent for day for night, a nice dark congo blue.

If you want to see how they did the best day for night I have ever seen, watch the extra features on Castaway with Tom Hanks. All the night time shots were shot day for night.

very cool.

If you look around at night, you will be hard pressed to find any hard shadows (from moonlight). Overcast days with even lighting are good. And if you can not show the sky (too much ambient light) it looks better.
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