Best hour to shoot outside at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Open DV Discussion
For topics which don't fit into any of the other categories.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 18th, 2009, 06:40 AM   #1
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: spain
Posts: 1,169
Best hour to shoot outside

Hi guys, i wanted to know what's the best hour that you prefere to shoot outside.Just wanna know your point of view about the light during the day.
What abot the seasons?I guess spring and autumn right?
Marcus Martell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 18th, 2009, 06:59 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Bergen, Norway
Posts: 2,863
The magic hours for film/video and photo are often referred to as the hour right after sunrise and last hour before sunset.
Trond Saetre is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 18th, 2009, 07:48 AM   #3
Obstreperous Rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
Posts: 26,900
Images: 513
Since the times will change on a daily basis for any given day's Magic Hours, I propose an iPhone App that calculates it for you. It would be based on several variables including your current timezone, local sunup / sundown times, and whatever kind of buffer you want to input for set-up time (fifteen minutes, an hour, or whatever). Add a couple of alarms and timers and you've got a handy app.

There may actually be an app for this already, but I wouldn't know because I don't have an iPhone, but it would be fairly easy to build one... after all it's just almanac information, GPS data and a few other basics.
__________________
CH

Search DV Info Net | DV Info Net Sponsors | A Decade (+5) of DVi | ...Tuesday is Soylent Green Day!
Chris Hurd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 18th, 2009, 07:54 AM   #4
Obstreperous Rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
Posts: 26,900
Images: 513
Well, at first glance I found a couple of iPhone apps that are similar to this idea:

MagicHour™ (formerly named VelaClock™) -- MagicHour iPhone app

Focalware -- Focalware : Spiral Development
__________________
CH

Search DV Info Net | DV Info Net Sponsors | A Decade (+5) of DVi | ...Tuesday is Soylent Green Day!
Chris Hurd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 18th, 2009, 07:57 AM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Bergen, Norway
Posts: 2,863
That iPhone app sounds interesting.
I'll have to try it out.
Trond Saetre is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 18th, 2009, 09:21 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: A Canadian in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Posts: 262
A quick search turned this up:
Location Selection for Sunrise Sunset Calendar

This does not lake into account local conditions such as mountains which might block the sun earlier.

Shooting for the best light usually means "golden hour" but the "best" light is not always what you want. One problem with trying to shoot during the golden hour is that light level and colour changes very quickly. This makes it difficult to maintain continuity from one take to another and if your shoot takes longer than an hour you have to wait till the next similarly clear day to shoot again. Plan on many 1 hour shoots over a week or two to get anything ambitious done if you try to get that special light.

If you wish to get reasonable light and easier to manage conditions then aim for more like starting 3 hours before sunset (or ending 3 hours after sunrise) and ending 1/2 hour 1 hour before sunset (or again the opposite for sunrise). These times are only very rough and vary considerably with latitude and season. In the Arctic in the summer, golden hour is all day. At the equator, golden hour might actually be less than an hour.

Some problems with a higher sun angle such as harsh shadows can be lessened using reflectors, and even with lights, but then you are getting into even bigger scheduling and cost considerations.
Les Nagy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 18th, 2009, 04:30 PM   #7
Warden
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Clearwater, FL
Posts: 8,267
If you want to take into account mountains and other local physical features, take a look at this program, the Photographers Ephemeris.

stephentrainor.com: tools

You'll need Adobe AIR installed, but it works with both Mac and PC. There is talk he may make an iPhone version. I use Focalware, that Chris mentioned earlier and find it very useful when I'm scouting locations etc.
__________________
Jeff Donald
Carpe Diem




Search DVinfo.net for quick answers | Where to Buy? From the best in the business: DVinfo.net sponsors
Jeff Donald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 19th, 2009, 10:01 AM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: New York City
Posts: 47
The answer to this question really depends on what you are looking for. There are the "Magic Hours" right after sunrise and before sundown, referred to by other posters above, where sunlight is coming at you at a very low angle and therefore tends to light subjects ina pleasing fashion...depending on other factors such as obstructions like buildings and mountains.

But that is a 'sunlit' look. Is that what you are looking for?

I find that for nice, even lighting it is not as much the "time of day" as the "type of day". A sunny day is not as good to shoot in as one may think. In NYC at least, outside of the magic hours the sun tends to come down at to sharp an angle and create shadows that are not appealing, not to mention all of the shadows that are created from tall buildings etc. The sunlight can be too intense as well and make exposure a problem.

I find that overcast days are great for shooting. You get all the light you need and it is totally even. Set your camera to your desired exposure, and then it is up to your expertise to manipulate that light to your purpose. A couple of reflectors and you are in business!

Ken
Kenneth Fisher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 19th, 2009, 09:06 PM   #9
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
The classic wisdom is to shoot your wide shots in the morning and late afternoon hours when you can take advantage of the directional light. Save the closeups for mid-day, when you can more easily control the light falling on the subject via overhead diffusion, bounces etc.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 19th, 2009, 11:39 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tucson AZ
Posts: 2,207
Uhhh - Sunlight too intense? In NYC?

Want to try Tucson?

Seriously, just kidding!

One thing I have noticed though since coming to live in the desert is how much less of the "sun in your face" problem we have here. I was in Chicago a couple of months back and it was really hard to see in the morning because the sun was so low and in my face so the morning shadows were terribly noticeable and the contrast between light and dark areas was really strong.

Here, on the other hand, the sun is much much much more intense, but it usually seems to be coming more from above than low on the horizon. Being a lot further south certainly seems to be part of it, but I'm not sure it's the whole story.

Anyhow, I do know what you mean about the lighting, just not sure it's as much an intensity issue as a directionality issue.

(FWIW I'm originally from Boston and worked in NYC for several years so I really do understand. Light is so different and so dependent on location. Fascinating, really!)
Jim Andrada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 20th, 2009, 07:56 AM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 344
yep, morning and late afternoon is perfect. Hmmm, never thought of it before but i guess Charles is right, close-ups do turn out a little too saturated.

Sun up has been around 5:30 in these neck of the woods. I also find late morning (9:00 here) has been perfect. I've been doing talking heads for about two weeks in the late morning and am getting good results. the air here is heavy and dense, but it makes for nicer softer shadows, not so hard!

I'll say this, here, skin tones tends to be towards red, so for golden hour setups, i turn down my in-camera colour even more than usual or else it's killer in post when colour correcting - the reds are too saturated otherwise.
__________________
boxoutsidemedia.com
Mike Calla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 25th, 2009, 01:45 PM   #12
Tourist
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 2
Very useful info all around! Thanks everyone!


-Charley
CLAi: The Red Digital Cinema Production Company
www.redontheroad.com
Charley Weston 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 > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:21 PM.


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