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Old November 15th, 2004, 10:48 PM   #1
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
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Simulating Dawn

Hi everyone,

I'm very new to the production side of things but eager to learn. I shot some scenes low lit (meaning it was early morning using natural light) in an attempt to replicate dawn inside a bedroom on my TRV22. Well, I guess not surprisingly they've come out with a lot of grain/noise.

Does anyone have suggestions as to how to replicate dawn whilst retaining the clarity of picture? I was thinking about filming with good light but taking the exposure down? Or what about some sort of filter? I have no experience with this so really have no idea.

Any help much appreciated, it's the opening scenes of my short film and right from the outset the noise makes it look like the no budget venture that it is, whereas in good light my daylight scenes are looking good.

Jeff Bilman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 16th, 2004, 11:18 AM   #2
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Location: Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, USA
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You really need a camer that can expose well in a low-light environment to get a dim shot without noise. With the little consumer cams a dark shot, is a noisy shot.

You could try to flood a lot of light through some blinds and create a high contrast lighting scenario, that way your subject would look good, and the noise surrounding him/her wouldn't look so bad. Although, the dynamic range of the TRV22 might not be enough to make a shot like work.

Another way to do it would be to expose the shot properly (using a lot of light), and selectively darken things to your liking in post. Then you'd have a good shot (no noise), and could make it as dark as you want.
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Old November 17th, 2004, 03:06 PM   #3
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Location: Sacramento CA
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Hey Jeff

I had a similar shot that I needed for a short film.
I used a 1k theatrical par can and an orange gel
positioned outide the window at midnight.

The effect was great. The orange light coming through
the shades looked perfect. The crew (all of us new
to this) were amazed at how it felt like 6am when
it was actually midnight.

I was, however, shooting with canon Xl1S which has
geat tolerance for low light situations.

Hope this gives you some insight.
Wayne Maxwell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 18th, 2004, 05:40 PM   #4
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I'm thinking more of a rosy pink as a direct source for the sun. Sunrises always seem pinker to me than the orange of sunset. You might also try a soft light source in a light blue, the way the early morning casts a blue haze over everything, That way, you've got this light blue ambience all around, with pink direct rays streaming into the scene from a hard source simulating the sun peaking over the horizon.

It's not so much a matter of having a low level of light, just the right quality of light.
Scott Anderson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 20th, 2004, 09:39 AM   #5
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Location: Columbus, OH
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Try overlighting with a warm gel on your key light and add some fill with a bouced softlight. Then close down the camera's aperature to give a dim look with a hot shaft of sunlight.

Scott Spears
Emmy Winner Cinematographer
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