creating fireworks flicker? 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 September 27th, 2013, 10:27 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 562
creating fireworks flicker?

I just had a producer ask about creating a light flicker effect on faces of people watching fireworks.

My first thought is that one could just use something like a 5Dmk3 DSLR, boost the ISO a bunch and use the actual lights from the fireworks. If that is not available, and we have to use our main cameras (Sony F3s, which do not have the ability to ramp up the ISO), how might I create some "firework burst" effects?

I'm pondering some colored LED lights, and flagging them on and off..but not sure how you would get the ramp up and decay lighting effects.

Any thoughts? Paging Mr. Papert and his shotgun flash acumen....
Bill Ward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 27th, 2013, 10:49 AM   #2
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Re: creating fireworks flicker?

Real fireworks wouldn't be ideal if dialogue was involved, for obvious reasons.

Depending on how many people you need to see in the shot, I'd probably do it with a series of tungsten instruments gelled in various colors fed into a dimmer board, but that of course is an expensive solution for many (for a crowd shot I'd go with 10Ks on a condor, so there's the cost of all that plus generator).

For a ghetto version you'd wnat units you can plug into household current and no dimmer board, you could fly a silver bounce on a tall stand and aim a series of heads into the bounce, then pan each on and off the bounce as required. Still would require punchy lights to blast through the color gel which can suck out a lot of level. With a particularly sensitive camera, which many are these days, you can likely get away with PARs. For the heaviest gel colors like a deep red, you could mount two instruments on a double header and pan from the mount so that you are doubling up the punch, if required. It would take a few people and a certain amount of coordination to operate the heads with this approach. Another way to do it is to have an inline dimmer for each head (on a budget the Harbor Freight ones generally work--generally).

A different way to go might be a couple or three Atomic 3000 strobe units with the color module. Via DMX and a simple dimmer board you can control the attack, decay and duration to replicate various fireworks effects. Plugs into household AC.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 27th, 2013, 12:11 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 562
Re: creating fireworks flicker?

Charles....this will be during an actual fireworks show...I think they are wanting a little more ooomph on the faces.

Not a huge budget here, so I will look into the Atomics...which sound pretty much like the ticket. thanks!
Bill Ward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 27th, 2013, 12:17 PM   #4
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Re: creating fireworks flicker?

FYI Bill and others, I do have two Atomics for rent in the LA area, with two Detonators. As noted you will want to use a board to simulate the proper look of fireworks in this instance--four channels per head will do it.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 29th, 2013, 10:59 AM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 562
Re: creating fireworks flicker?

Well, after further review, the people putting on the fireworks display have nixed any supplemental lighting. So we're going with an f1.4 prime on an F3 (and some significant gain) and a Canon 5DmkIII with some significant ISO boost.

And hoping for the best.
Bill Ward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 29th, 2013, 11:32 AM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 1,241
Re: creating fireworks flicker?

How about a real simple silver reflector? I got pretty a decent effect on a recent fireworks shoot with just C100, so just a little bit of boost from a reflector would be perfect I think as long as you're doing it for close ups.
__________________
Nate Haustein PXW-FS5 / iMac i7 / FCPX
www.flightcreativemedia.com
Nate Haustein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 29th, 2013, 11:38 AM   #7
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Re: creating fireworks flicker?

Thinking it through, big fireworks actually put out a good amount of light assuming they are reasonably close to the crowd. Where you may have issues is BETWEEN the fireworks--if they are not firing up at a good pace, your frame may drop to black a fair amount. This may be fine but something to think about.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 29th, 2013, 03:27 PM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Posts: 161
Re: creating fireworks flicker?

Fireworks are pretty bright when they explode. I've shot spectators with good results with an F1.4 Canon lens, 1/50 sec, at I think ISO 800. You don't have to boost the ISO too much. Of course, the distance and size of the bombs makes a difference, but this should put you in the ballpark.

Shooting the fireworks themselves is pretty much daylight exposure settings.

As said above, in between booms, you will have blackness, so some fill light might be useful for the spectators' faces.
Bill Engeler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 29th, 2013, 08:47 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 562
Re: creating fireworks flicker?

I like the reflector idea. We'll have to try it.

We will have at least a couple of cameras, so in theory we've got some cutaways and can bounce back and forth to cut out most of the longer black spots. But yeah, a little modeling light in between airbursts would surely help. We just can't do it.
Bill Ward 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 04:36 AM.


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