8ft ceiling lighting tips???? 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.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 20th, 2006, 09:54 AM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: kentucky, USA
Posts: 429
8ft ceiling lighting tips????

Ive heard that just aiming your lights at the ceiling (in 8' or less ceiling hieght) to get an even, and soft light is the way to go. I've been trying this with my home depot work lights and have been getting fair (at best) results and this is with the "regular household lights" on too. It's a white ceiling but the reflection could be better. Should I put tin foil on the cieling. Does anyone have any experience or suggestions for this type of lighting. The main reason I want this lighting technique is to hide the lights and just "aim up" and be able to shoot in all directions of the room without revealing lighting efforts on the footage and get decent lighting results. Am I asking for too much?
Steve Witt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 20th, 2006, 01:26 PM   #2
Regular Crew
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 108
Bouncing light off a low ceiling (I'd call 8 feet "low" for lighting, though it's a common residential height) can be difficult for anything other than still photos.

For a natural, soft look, you need to illuminate as large an area of ceiling as possible, so a fairly broad chunk of light will be needed on the ceiling; this usually means positioning light low enough to spread. Which makes it hard to (a) not shoot the actual lamp, and (b) deal with spill from the sides of the lamp. Often you'll get better results from several smaller lights, aimed to flood more of the ceiling. Of course, with an 8' height, it's hard to avoid the actual ceiling in a shot (which would generally be blown-out on tape or film, or at the least look pretty unnatural).

Often a combination of judicious ceiling bounce, re-lamping existing fixtures with the highest wattage they'll safely take, and scrims are called for.

To add more light, you can also try lights outside windows, with sheer fabric over the exterior window opening... only good if the "view" isn't needed (and you usually need sheer curtains to sell this).

One of the best soft lights you can use is making a 4-5 foot boom out of pipe, conduit, etc. and mounting it to a c-stand, and clamping a sheer fabric to it so you get something like a 4' wide x 8' high scrim, and light this from behind. If you cheat the light more to the top, the light will fall fairly naturally.

Natural interior lighting can be really tough; if you're mixing techniques as above (with existing light as well) I recommend bringing a pocket digital camera, set for the same color balance as your video cam. It's a quick way to see how a CCD will handle lighting levels and color temps. It won't be spot-on, but will get you very close. Good luck... it can be frustrating, but getting a pretty, natural-look is dang satisfying (and will impress your peers to no end!)
Michael Carter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 20th, 2006, 03:53 PM   #3
Major Player
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: NE of London, England
Posts: 788
Polecats are handy to get lights above your subject. Hanging Kinoflos from them can give a reasonably soft light despite the tight headroom. It should still leave a foot or so above your actors.

Bouncing lights off the roof gives you little control but raises the overall light level.
Mike Marriage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 20th, 2006, 05:26 PM   #4
Major Player
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: kentucky, USA
Posts: 429
Im not sure what a polecat is.(well actually it's a skunk in Kentucky, LOL) and I'm also not sure what a Kinoflos is either. Could you please elaborate Mike. Thanks so much.
Steve Witt is offline   Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

(800) 223-2500
New York, NY

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Texas Media Systems
(512) 440-1400
Austin, TX

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

(800) 323-2325
Mineola, NY

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



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:14 AM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2019 The Digital Video Information Network