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Old June 8th, 2008, 05:39 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Creswell Oregon
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Best way to light car interior at night?

I will be shooting a short video featuring a scene with a car driving down the highway at night. I only have a basic three point light kit, still, I am confident in my ability to get the scene lit and looking good and mimic motion of the car using the 'poor mans process'.

My question is this- What is the best way to get a bluish tint to help sell the cold nightime feeling? The reason this is a question for me is that I know this camera, the HD110, has alot of noise in the blue channel. Normally I would use blue gel's on the lights or white balance on something orange, but with the noise this camera produces in deep blues I'm wondering if that is the best rout? I was thinking maybe I should shoot everything in very warm colors, then alter the colors in post to get my blues, or perhaps just white balance correctly for white and ad a blue filter on top of everything in post.

Now I know the obvious advice is to test the different options and see how they come out. Unfortunately my shoot is rapidly approaching and I simply have too many other things to do between now and then to shoot the tests. It just recently dawned on me that maybe using blue gels wouldn't be the best way to get a clean picture with a bluish tint in this camera.

Any thoughts?
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Adam Grunseth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 9th, 2008, 04:30 AM   #2
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You can put full CTB or even a half CTB onto your lights according to taste. However, there are other light souces inside a car at light than moonlight - the dashboard light hitting faces, the car's own headlights reflecting back off outside objects, plus other cars' headlights passing across the occupants. All these help sell the idea that a static car is driving along.

Usually less is more in a car night interior, so don't over light.
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Old June 9th, 2008, 05:15 AM   #3
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Adam, have a look at these. I think they're ideal for lighting car interiors 'cause they're so small:
I will be KING!
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Old June 9th, 2008, 08:53 AM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
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I usually use 15" or 9" Kino car kits. They plug into the cigarette lighter and can be hidden on the dash and dimmed easily.

LitePanels now also have some small inexpensive solutions. I've fallen in love with their little AA powered micro panel.

You can use the daylight balanced LEDs and shoot in tungsten 3200K WB if you want a blue effect from them. Otherwise I would tweak in post.

One last thought: Blue is considered the "old" way of presenting night. Night isn't actually blue. Slight de-saturation is more realistic. As humans the rods in our retinas are more sensitive to light and we therefore almost exclusively use them at night. The thing is that rods don't see colour (the cones do) so when it is really dark we see it as desaturated.
Tim Dashwood
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Old June 9th, 2008, 04:50 PM   #5
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I've used small battery powered lanterns from your local hardware store. Similar to tap lights. I've seen some @ Target that are really slim and velcro to any flat surface. They are intended to light RV interiors. Haskell Wexler mentioned to me that he used these to light intereiors of autos for American Graffiti. If you're on a budget these little guys work pretty decent.
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