For those about to light... (thoughts of a newbie) at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Photon Management

Photon Management
Shine an ever-loving light on you.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 4th, 2003, 08:14 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 936
For those about to light... (thoughts of a newbie)

Hey gang... I definitely consider myself to be NEW to the "art" of lighting. From that perspective I thought I could offer some insight to those of you who read these posts because you know you WANT to take this all important step into the professional realm of video by doing what ALL pros do... LIGHT YOUR SHOOTS!

Obviously you won't need a light ALL the time, but in my experience a light or reflector can improve 90% of the video I've shot.

After much deliberation I decided that at the least I would want two fresnels which could later be augmented by one or two softlights (probably fluorescents)... since there aren't many "low power" fresnels I figured I should get some that could take at least a 300w tungsten bulb and higher... Well if you've ever seen a 500w work light and thought, "Damn! That thing's BRIGHT!" I can tell ya'... a 300w fresnel isn't much off from that. I have a trv900 and a couple 300w's look like the sun went supernova. As far as indoor lighting it's boarderline unusable. The nice thing is you can aim one at the ceiling and you have instant softbox (not REALLY softbox... just diffuse light)... then the other one can be gelled to death and it still has plenty of output... pop on a diffusion gel and a color balance gel... then wrap it in ten layers of aluminum foil... Ok I'm kidding about the aluminum foil...

My point is that I always hear people saying how gel use cuts the light down a lot if the gel is dark. If you go with a 300w or higher fresnel this won't be a problem.

A point that shouldn't be underestimated is HEAT. I can't imagine a 4 light fresnel kit in a tight location... 1500w of fresnels or open lights will be just like a 1500w space heater... CRANKED UP. Even with a 300w fresnel you can feel the heat of the light once you get within 3 feet of it...

Recently I also bought a 42" Photoflex and it's AMAZING how much light it can produce in an outdoor area... I used to use one of those rectangular car-dash-thingies and you'd think they would be basically the same... ?... they aren't. The cool thing about this reflector aside from portability and shear size, is that you can focus and shape the reflected light to suit the shot (when somebody is handholding it)... Concave it slightly and it makes a hotspot... open it up and it gives a really wide blast of light. I laid it under a flowering bush in my yard and it made the foliage and blooms look like a CG effect played out in real life! Through the cam it was amazing...

The point of this post is to get you new guys to buy a light and a reflector... you'll be surprised at what it'll do for your videos. The other point is that you WON'T NEED a high power light most of the time... I wanted a really versatile kit for indoor/outdoor lighting and I can tell ya' that even just ONE 300w light is amazingly powerful...

When I was browsing online catalogs I thought of 300w lights as "baby lights"... They aren't.
Matt Gettemeier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 5th, 2003, 04:20 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Camarillo, CA
Posts: 340
Hmmm, you're making me reconsider if I really need to spend the money on an Arri D1 or D2 kit for interview work and a short fiction piece that will be shot in close quarters. Thing is, what you say really rings true. When I was at the Expo at the LA convention cntr last weekend, I wandered into a talk that was nearly over (unfotunately) on location lighting. The guy lit up a young woman from the audience BEAUTIFULLY with one light, shot at an angle through a big white scrim which was on one side of her, while a white foamcore board was on her other side (close enought that she could've reached out and touched it. The Arri that went through the scrim (also close enough to touch) gave off just enough light to wrap around her dramatically while softly lighting the background as well. The foamcore provided perfect fill.

In some interview situations, the person might feel a bit claustrophobic hemmed in so close, but it was a beautiful light, and the young woman was able to stay cool.
Marcia Janine Galles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 16th, 2003, 06:13 AM   #3
RED Code Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Holland
Posts: 12,514
Thanks very much on your input for this. What kind of reflectors
(bounce boards) have you used? What worked well for you?
__________________

Rob Lohman, visuar@iname.com
DV Info Wrangler & RED Code Chef

Join the DV Challenge | Lady X

Search DVinfo.net for quick answers | Buy from the best: DVinfo.net sponsors
Rob Lohman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 16th, 2003, 09:16 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Camarillo, CA
Posts: 340
Hi Rob,
I have the same Photoflex 5 in 1 disk (large) that Matt mentions. I love it. I can use it to bounce light/fill (you have the choice of white, silver, gold, or mixed silver and gold) or you can take the reversible cover off and use it as a silk. The only draw back is using it outdoors sometimes. When trying to knock down sunlight, the disk will wobble if wind comes up. I have a large Westcott Scrim Jim on my "to buy" list (has a solid frame that I'll mount between two C-stands) for future outdoor work, as it's more stable, and larger (42x72). I'll use that for diffusion indoors as well, when there's room, like the demo I mentioned I saw at the Convention Cntr. I also use two sizes of good ol' foamcore.

Marcia
Marcia Janine Galles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 16th, 2003, 03:57 PM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 1,327
Re: For those about to light... (thoughts of a newbie)

<<<-- Originally posted by Matt Gettemeier : Hey gang... (snip) LIGHT YOUR SHOOTS!>>>>

I agree completely.

<<<After much deliberation I decided that at the least I would want two fresnels which could later be augmented by one or two softlights (probably fluorescents)... since there aren't many "low power" fresnels I figured I should get some that could take at least a 300w tungsten bulb and higher... Well if you've ever seen a 500w work light and thought, "Damn! That thing's BRIGHT!" I can tell ya'... a 300w fresnel isn't much off from that. I have a trv900 and a couple 300w's look like the sun went supernova.>>>>

Hmmm. I know the Sony camcorders do a good job in low light,
but I never thought 300W lights as bright. What type of stuff
are you shooting, how are you shooting and where? Are you shooting
@ 0db or boosting gain all the way up (which adds NOISE)?

Try to set up an dance performance where you are covering
half a basketball court? You'll find a couple of 300W won't cover it.

How about outside in full daylight using the sun as your back light?
Try full color correct gel in that 300W and see if you can get the face
as bright as the background. (In other words, no zebra/hot spots
on the background and still have the face beautifully lighted) NO WAY.

There is a reason that film makers use 1K, 2K, 4K & 12K fresnels.
So, what really matters is to use the right size light for the job at hand.
A 300W will work for many things, but *not for a lot of circumstances*.
__________________
Jacques Mersereau
University of Michigan-Video Studio Manager
Jacques Mersereau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 16th, 2003, 10:41 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 936
I got the Mole Tweenies so I can lamp 'em at 650w if I like... I honestly didn't get them expecting to light distances longer then 50'... If I need to go longer perhaps I'll experiment with the 650w bulbs... for my purposes which include sub 50' distances the two 300w fresnels have been plenty... in a great room with a high ceiling I've found that two 300w fill it up... you can even gel one or both lights or simply gel one and use a reflector off the other for extra fill... in any kind of small room the two lights used at once will make you feel like you're standing in the lobby for Heaven...

I guess I need to remind you guys that I'm pretty new to lighting as well so I'm speaking as a "newbie" myself... I'm just voicing what I'm experiencing from where "I am" right now...

I do want to restate that I love the Photoflex reflector... I'll have two more of them within a couple weeks... probably the largest ones... one with silver/gold and one translucent... the translucent silk is EXCELLENT for converting hard sun into perfect softlight...
Matt Gettemeier 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 > Photon Management

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:52 AM.


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