Extreme Low-Light shooting? - Page 2 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 February 28th, 2006, 03:52 PM   #16
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Posts: 3,637
OK. Good, so the whole scene is basically contained around the car.

Here's my suggestion.
Use 3200K WB preset with the Ciné Wide scene file. Turn the detail down to around -6 (your choice.) Go buy some 2x3 foam core boards at Office Depot.
I would rent a 6x6 frame with a silk. Then rig it high above the car on two sky-high stands pointing down at a 45° angle. Bring lots of sand bags if its slightly windy. Position both 2K Blondes underneath the silk and pointing at the silk. Put 1/4 CTB on the blondes. Position the whole rig as a back light for the majority of your setups, and check the reflections in the car windows. You don't want to see a big white square in the windows.

Now place the rest of your redheads (I assume your 1K and 650W are redheads) as fill lights. Point them straight up in the air, and then place the foam core boards in the barndoors and you have instant softboxes. Flood the lights and add 1/4 or 1/8th blue if you want.

Now take two foam core boards and prop them up on apple boxes about 10 feet from the headlights and bounce some of the headlights back at the car.

That should give you a great moonlit natural look.
__________________
Tim Dashwood
Tim Dashwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28th, 2006, 04:10 PM   #17
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: salinas, california
Posts: 41
lighting

oh man, Tim, you are beyond awesome. Thanks for your input! I might not have time between now and friday to rent a frame and silk though.

We were thinking of just using the 2Ks and diffuse/ctb them.

oh great, i think i went off topic...
:: efrain
Efrain Gomez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28th, 2006, 04:25 PM   #18
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Posts: 3,637
Quote:
Originally Posted by Efrain Gomez
I might not have time between now and friday to rent a frame and silk though.
We were thinking of just using the 2Ks and diffuse/ctb them.
Just keep in mind that the moon itself is a diffused reflected source, so direct light passing through diffusion doesn't always sell as the moon, especially if you can't get it high enough.

There is one trick I have up my sleeve that I used once:

A couple years ago I went to a local party store and rented a helium tank and bought loads of white balloons and string. I then had them blown up, tied together (30+ of them) and we tethered them to sand bags and let them float as one big reflector/diffuser about 30 feet high and then pointed a bunch of lights at them. It was an awesome soft "moon light" until a stong wind came up and the balloons started moving back and forth.
If you are in calm conditions, it might work for you.

Alternatively, you could bring a white sheet and rig it high in place of a silk.
__________________
Tim Dashwood
Tim Dashwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28th, 2006, 06:03 PM   #19
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: salinas, california
Posts: 41
That's a pretty neat idea. I was thinking of using a sheet.

Now, i was checking the forecast with our weather guys (i work at a tv station) and they said there'll be a 30% chance of rain the night of our shoot.

Do you or anyone here ever shoot while it's drizzling, sprinkling, or lightly raining?

I was in a small 35mm production where it was raining a bit and they were still using lights outside.

can lights get wet at all? what about some sort of covering?
:: efrain
Efrain Gomez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28th, 2006, 06:48 PM   #20
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Posts: 3,637
Rain with tungsten lights is usually not a big deal. HMI ballasts should be protected though.
There are rain covers available for most lights, but most gaffers/grips I know just use tar paper in the rain. You can buy a roll at Home depot pretty cheap (it will be in the aisle with the roofing shingles.) It won't burn, but it soaks up the water.

I shot a short film with a DVX100 over 4 days, outside in the rain in Vancouver during December. The grips put a quarter apple on the ground where cables were connected, then layed the cable connections on the apple box, then put tar paper on top. They also put tar paper on the light heads. I was told this was normal for Vancouver shooting, where it rains a hell of alot.

If you are really paranoid of electrocution, just rent a GFI Box (Ground Fault Interrupter.) What kind of generator are you using? It will probably have its own protection.

As for the camera, I have used it in the rain with great success. I kept it covered with a plastic bag. Kata makes some rain covers for cameras, but I'm not sure if they have one for the HD100 yet.
The key is to keep the camera climatized to the shooting environment. Don't take the camera into a heated car with you during breaks. This will create condensation when there is moisture in the air. It will affect the lens, and it may affect the tape transport.
__________________
Tim Dashwood
Tim Dashwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28th, 2006, 07:03 PM   #21
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: salinas, california
Posts: 41
Alright, that's great news. I now have a second opinion to confirm my advice to the director. I told him that I'd ben on a shoot where they used lights outside at night, and it was cold and raining.

Man, thanks Mr. Dashwood! I'll be back to bug you all some more pretty soon.
:: efrain
Efrain Gomez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28th, 2006, 07:06 PM   #22
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: salinas, california
Posts: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Dashwood
Now place the rest of your redheads...as fill lights. Point them straight up in the air, and then place the foam core boards in the barndoors and you have instant softboxes. Flood the lights and add 1/4 or 1/8th blue if you want.
Okay, so you're saying it'd be cool to put pieces of foam core on the barndoors? by simply cutting the foam core in small pieces and attaching?

:: efrain
Efrain Gomez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28th, 2006, 07:10 PM   #23
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Posts: 3,637
Quote:
Originally Posted by Efrain Gomez
Okay, so you're saying it'd be cool to put pieces of foam core on the barndoors? by simply cutting the foam core in small pieces and attaching?

:: efrain
No, don't cut them, just put the whole 2'x3' foam core in. The bigger the better. I don't have a photo, but it is a technique I have used for years.
Here's a pack of 10 at Office Depot for $56. http://www.officedepot.com/ddSKU.do?level=SK&id=394471

I'll try to explain it better. Tilt the head of the light up so it is pointing straight up. Open the barndoors and rotate so that the square barndoors are at the top and bottom. Then slip the foam core in the top so that it leans on the two angled barndoors, and then close the top square barndoor down to "clamp" the foam core in place.
Now you have a soft light.

I think I should move these last few posts into the "Photon Management" forum.
__________________
Tim Dashwood
Tim Dashwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28th, 2006, 07:33 PM   #24
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Posts: 3,637
Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert Henson
It's not only the low light that will be your problem, the sse will likely become a problem as well.

Forget about it, get another camera or rework your script.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Holterman
Another Flame posted by Albert. It doesn't matter how many of us inform good ol' Albert that the SSE does not appear on later model cameras. Perhaps Albert would like to post a photo of all his woes?

Now I'm going to ask the moderators of this forum - when will someone address this?
Yeah Albert. I think your comment is a little unfair since you don't own the camera yourself. I have two early model cameras (August/September 2005) and SSE does not affect my nighttime shooting - and I've done alot of it.
__________________
Tim Dashwood
Tim Dashwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 1st, 2006, 03:00 PM   #25
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: salinas, california
Posts: 41
Rigging the WHITE SHEET on C-Stands

Okay, so i talked to my gaffer today about possibly riggin a WHITE BED SHEET on some C-Stands or if we're desperate, attaching it to some trees that are near the car.

He was baffled (he's a junior at the local university) and told me that it wouldn't work because of the wind would make the reflection inconsistent.

and i told him that yes, that might happen, but we can still try it. What do you think, Mr. Dashwood?

:: efrain
Efrain Gomez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 1st, 2006, 09:43 PM   #26
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 1,961
Don't forget that you can and should take advantage of the fact that cars also have red and yellow lights. For instance, you could light the trees behind and to the sides of the car with red and yellow light. This would give sufficient motivation for lighting those areas of the location. Perhaps the sides could be yellow and the rear areas red. Check your car because many have yellow lights at the corners.

For the moon lights, try daylight-balanced fluorescents. You can get up to 65W compact fluorescents that will fit in a chinese lantern. Try naturallighting.com, but don't get bulbs bigger than 65W or they won't fit. Measure your fixtures and compare them to the sizes listed in the bulb specs. on the site. Don't forget that compact (65W aren't so compact) fluorescents have a large base, so they work best with fixtures that have clearance around the socket. The good news is that a 65W fluorescent is about as powerful as a 300W tungsten before it is gelled down. I compared a 650W gelled and a 65w daylight fluorescent and they looked similar. The only BIG differences are that you can put 20 big fluorescents on one circuit and handle them with bare hands. You will probably end your shoot with an explanation to the fire department how you caught a chinese lantern on fire if you put 300W of tungsten in it.

Get a pack of regular compact fluorescents, a bunch of clamp-lamps, and some gels and you have your tree light covered for about $50 and won't trip circuit breakers. Put 3200K, yellow, and red lights down low. It is common to see architectural lights shining up on trees and won't disturb the audience. I've run an outdoor beach location with fluorescents on batteries (deep-cycle 12V). Don't forget that if you don't light it, it doesn't exist in your shot.

I forgot to add that you can make a really tall stand for your "moon" light using a super-long (I have a 24' model) paint pole and two 8' 2x2 boards to make a tripod. Cross the two boards at the top to make a crotch for the paint pole to fit in. This makes a sturdy tripod and the paint pole projects out over the base so it won't show up in the shot. You must weight the paint pole leg or it will tip over when the light is sent up. It is a good idea to weight and stabilize all of the legs. I bungeed the junction of the legs at the top down to the big battery.
Marcus Marchesseault is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 1st, 2006, 11:36 PM   #27
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Las Vegas, NV., Los Angeles, CA,
Posts: 220
if you can add another night to the schedule you can shoot for about 30min after sunset and for about 45min before sunrise when there's enough ambient light bouncing off the atmosphere that you can vaguely make out details in the back ground but the sky is dark enough for a night looking super deep blue. with that little tiny bit of background light you should be able to supplement your subject's faces with minimal lighting and pull off a nice looking, if gainy, night.

-Jon
__________________
Jon Bickford, Trepany Films
San Pedro, CA
Trephine001@aol.com
Jon Bickford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 2nd, 2006, 01:11 AM   #28
New Boot
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Posts: 11
I think I can help with the issue of the bed sheet.

I was DPing a shoot where renting silks was not in the budget. We shot the first two days with overcast sky's (perfect for lighting because all the work is done for you.) However, on the last day of the shoot we had sun out all day. Imagine the continuity issues with that.

Solution? I got one of the P.A.'s to go to the motel we were staying at and 'scrounge' up some bedsheets. The gaff and I then started building a frame out of grip arms. To me, grip arms are like Lego. This allowed us to mount the frame on a couple of sandbagged stands so we could raise it up to diffuse the sunlight on the scene. The P.A. came back with, what I believe was, a queen size bed sheet.

While a grip was holding the bed sheet to one side of the frame, the gaff and I stretched out the sheet and secured it to the frame using zip-ties. We did this by overlapping the sheet around the frame and then cutting holes on the inside of the fabric. The zip-ties went through the overlapped sections, through the holes and around the frame.

It is very important that the fabric is stretched tight onto the frame. Otherwise, the consistancy of the light will be an issue. However, don't pull it too tight since you may rip the fabric.

The setup got us out of a tight situation. Took us about 15min to build. It diffused the scene perfectly to match. Hope this helps.
Kris Belchevski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 2nd, 2006, 03:27 PM   #29
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico USA
Posts: 287
While bounced "moonlight" may be your best choice, I've always struggled with the amount of light you lose by the time you gel with CTB (or even 1/2) and then bounce. It means you either need to light with a lot of instruments, or use really high watt sources. If you can stage your moonlight as more of a backlight, you can use it direct with some diffusion. Faces can then be lit with soft tungsten sources motivated by the headlights. It sounds backwards, of course, but works well on screen.
Ralph Keyser 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 01:59 AM.


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