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Old May 26th, 2008, 10:40 PM   #1
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Shooting Close to Windows, 5600 or 3200?

Hello,

I just wanted to get some opinions about shooting inside material (people, places, objects) with windows nearby and wether or not you prefer to use 5600k or 3200k lighting.

The windows may or may not be in the frame.

Do you balance to the outside or balance to the inside?

Thanks for your opinion.
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Old May 26th, 2008, 10:58 PM   #2
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The quick and easy way is to slap some 3/4 CTB gel on your tungsten lights to bring them to 5600. This also cuts down on output significantly.

Another way is to gel the windows with CTO. Much more expense and trouble, but worth it sometimes.

Another way is to shoot with lights that are natively 5600K, such as fluorescents lamped to daylight, or HMIs.

In some circumstances you can just shoot tungsten and let the windows go blue, especially if they are shaded.

It depends. But I always carry some 1/2, 3/4 and full CTB - quick and easy.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 08:38 AM   #3
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Thanks Seth.

I was looking more for opinions & reasons about why rather than how.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 09:08 AM   #4
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Really depends on the look you want. I don't mind a kiss of daylight in a tungsten lit interview. It can look really nice. Ideally I prefer to balance for daylight if there's a chance I can expose for anything outside of the window just aesthetic sakes.

3rd option is to white balance to the mixed light and then you're set.

cheno
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Old May 27th, 2008, 09:17 AM   #5
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The why is much harder to talk about than the how. It varies on a shoot-to-shoot basis and is a matter of personal creative preference.

If you want the simple scientific why: balancing to daylight makes daylight white but tungsten REALLY really orange. Balancing to tungsten makes tungsten white, but daylight really REALLY blue. Which one do you want?

For the creative why:

Choosing which to balance gives different looks, moods, etc. That flat, daylight-lit look one sees in some commercials out there is the result of a single color temp throughout all sources. It's a seamless blend of multiple lights. More bold looks come from mixing color temp for various reasons.

I did an interview once, before I got any lights, in a living room with large windows. I framed so the windows would not be in view, but their light was still very much there. I balanced halfway between daylight and tungsten. The interior light was pleasantly warm and the daylight that was hitting the subject (which I tried to control as much as possible) had a slight blue cast and it was really quite nice.

But this is one case. That wouldn't work in every situation.

If you want your lighting to be inconspicuous, like the flat, sunlit scene I mentioned, you probably want to have all the lighting balanced together or pretty close. Our eyes don't register as large a difference in color temp as our cameras do. When I'm trying to make things seem naturally lit, I balance to those windows and adjust my fixtures accordingly. If they're daylight and they're meant to represent more sunlight, I leave them. If they're supposed to represent inside fixtures, I gel the daylight with 1/4 or 1/2 cto (or tungsten with 1/2 or 3/4 ctb). But that's just me.

Best advice - play with it. Set up a shot and shoot 30 seconds of each variation and then watch it. See what it does for you.

Good luck.

~~Dave
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Old May 27th, 2008, 10:42 AM   #6
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On overcast days the sunlight can shift to as much as 7000k. In which case you should probably gel your tungstens more harshly.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 02:53 PM   #7
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Thanks for your help.

I have a possible project coming up where some location interviews and inside shots of retail locations would be the subject matter.

I was thinking to go 5600k since there will be windows present but I won't know how much tungsten will be present until I get there. If the tungsten is stronger than the window light, I will take your advice and maybe find a middle ground.

Definately a case where a solid preview monitor is a must have.

For some reason I am favoring 3200k for the interviews as I don't mind a little blue in the windows either.

Thanks again and I welcome any more suggestions.
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Old June 4th, 2008, 09:17 PM   #8
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I run around with a Lowel Caselite with 3 tungesten balanced bulbs and 3 daylight balanced bulbs. 4 of them in the fixture, 2 snuggled nicely in foam and bubble wrap in the case. That way I only have to change at most 2 at any given time. I can also adjust the daylight-tungsten balance by turning for example 1 tungsten balanced bulb on to 3 daylight bulbs. And you're not losing light output with gels.
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Old June 5th, 2008, 03:29 PM   #9
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Similat to what I uses my Kinoflo Diva 400's and 200s for. Sometimes it only takes one light to make all the difference and being able to choose the color Temperature is a great advantage in use of power and heat on the subject
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Old June 5th, 2008, 10:09 PM   #10
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Thanks.

I have one flo with a 3200k set of bulbs.

If the job comes through, I need to pick up some 5600k as well.
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Old June 6th, 2008, 03:40 AM   #11
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The least expensive and most effective solution consists of 3 words.

Close the blinds.
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Old June 6th, 2008, 02:12 PM   #12
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If for whatever reason you can't control the amount of outside light or inside light, my position has always been: what is the predominant light source striking the most important item in the scene (or the item that would be MOST poorly rendered by inappropriate white balance. ie. skin tones or items that are pure white. A blue or orange wedding dress is a fail!)

If I have NO choice, I'll place my white card close to the object that is MOST important and try to angle it to get a mix of ALL light striking the object. Personally, I'd rather have a scene go slightly warm than blue but each one of us has an opinion on that.

And Bill is spot on with removing whatever light sources you can that add to the mix (unless of course that happens to be the primary light for the scene). If the window(s) don't have blinds, can you flag them? Neutral density on them?

Keep in mind that a 3/4 CTB will only allow about 30 - 35% of your light pass thru it so a 1000w instrument becomes a 300 - 350w instrument.

Putting daylights in the Flo may turn out to be your best bet, if lighting the scene is appropriate.
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Old June 6th, 2008, 03:46 PM   #13
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You mentioned retail locations. Lots of offices and retail shops seem to have fluorescents closer to daylight than tungsten. I've measured quite a few at around 4500K, some even cooler.

Generally I shoot daylight in those situations and fill with daylight fluorescents or LEDs or gel the tungsten lights if I need to. In the past I had 3 sets of Lowel Caselights and switched out the bulbs all the time between daylight and tungsten. Now I have 3 500LEDs from http://www.flolight.com and they are daylight. Since they're brighter than the equivalent flos, I gel them with CTO if I need to mix with tungsten. I prefer to shoot everything daylight when possible because my camera looks better at 5600 than 3200. Don't know why, just does.
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Old June 6th, 2008, 11:58 PM   #14
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In general cameras perform better in daylight than tungsten. The CCDs are more sensitive to red than blue hence to WB for tungsten the gain is increased in the blue channel increasing the noise. On the other hand you gain more sensitivity with tungsten lights. I think the last point though is more than offset by the significantly higher light output per watt of sources such as fluro, HMI and LED compared to tungsten lights.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 10:51 AM   #15
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Great stuff everybody.

Thanks
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