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Old February 22nd, 2006, 12:43 PM   #1
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Shooting in darkness

I'll be shooting a short with the HD100 and the bulk of the story takes place on the side of a road at night.

the main source of the lighting will probably be the moon, and we'll have some extra lighting within the car as well as the headlights turned on.

What settings do you recommend for shooting in such extreme low light? Tim, is your 'low light' setting a good option to try out?

I'm pretty new to lighting in the dark with no natural or unnatural source of light other than the moon and headlights. so even if any of you had ideas for light diagrams that would be cool.

i really want shadows, but i'm afraid of overlighting and making it look fake and 'lit'.

i'm such an amateur, please don't get angry, haha.
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Old February 22nd, 2006, 01:26 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efrain Gomez
the main source of the lighting will probably be the moon...
Forget it. Moon is not enough. Typically you would use a large HMI at a distance immitating 'moon light'. Headlights are good but they are only a supplement. If there are any trees in the background THEY need to be illuminated to give some perspective and a sense of space. Ideally you'd have at least 3-4 HMIs, one as a 'key' (5-10kW - moon) and the rest (2-5kW) to light the background. You could also use smaller fixtures to fill in for closeups. They should be either 5600k as the 'moon light' or 3200k as a 'spill' from the car headlights.
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Old February 22nd, 2006, 02:51 PM   #3
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thanks

oh right, what i should have said was that the main light source will "imitate" the moon. meaning, I will have a light or two giving off 'moonlight'.

thanks for your help though. there will be trees and shrubbery in the background, and it will definitely be good to light those up a bit for the depth.

now, the only thing is that we don't have money to rent HMI's, and neither will the college lend those to us.


This is what we have so far at our disposal:
Tungsten...
2x 1K lights
1x 2K light (possibly one more if needed)
2x 650W

2x 500w work lights from Home Depot (halogen? don't remember)

and possibly a simple 3 point arri kit. don't know the details.

we have access to some CTB gels and diffusion, a reflector and bouncer. to colour-correct flourescent bulbs, i need some red gel?

a couple small battery-operated flourescent tubes.
a cheesy 40watt tungsten 'chinese' lantern ball light from wal-mart

we also have some parchment paper and a couple of foamcore boards


We're going to do couple long shots of the car with one person inside and the other outside standing next to the car.
Also, one extreme long shot of the car pulling into frame and getting some of the background to establish the setting.
and we'll also do some closeups in the car and at the rear end of the car.

am i in the wrong thread here?
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Old February 22nd, 2006, 02:58 PM   #4
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Wrong thread...

we'll probably get kicked outta here...

To quickly answer, the 2k with CTB will work as long as it's not too far. No diffusion, moon light is hard. The 2x 1k will do the same with CTB for the background - again hard. The rest is good for the actors either as a CU support for the moon (CTB, hard) or with a diffusion and no colour correction gel as a 'spill' from the headlights. For the car interior a small fluorescent tube in the dashboard gives boost to the natural glow of the instrument panel and its greenish light is about right. You could control it by gels as well.

Done, I am outta here....before Chris comes with the hatchet.
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 11:10 AM   #5
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2k Blonde (open face) or fresnel? I would use an open face instrument with a dichroic CTB filter if available (less light loss). If not, gel CTB is fine. Now I too will duck out of here...ask more questions in the "Photon Management" section...

Henry
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Old February 24th, 2006, 02:24 PM   #6
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The other thing you can do if you want to get that "moon light" effect but don't have high powered HMI lights is to use a couple of 650W or 1000K if you can get them and point them at a very reflective surface concentrating the beam of light. Something like a mirror that won't melt. This might take some experimenting but the benefit would be having the light source further away from the subject giving you more coverage but keeping the light level higher and the source of light more consistent.

This was doen in a HUGE way for the Appollo 13 walking on the moon shots.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 10:35 PM   #7
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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.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 10:40 PM   #8
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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.
Nonsense! Lighting a night scene doesn't mean low light. It could be lit as a high contrast scene where highlights are almost overexposed while blacks are really deep. No need to get another camera or reworking the script. Just hire a good DP or do some tests first and all will be fine.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 10:48 PM   #9
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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?
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Old February 24th, 2006, 10:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Holtermann
Another Flame posted by Albert.
Did I fall for it?
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Old February 28th, 2006, 01:12 PM   #11
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Cine Wide Lattitude setting and 7.5 setup

So shooting at night with a lighting setup imitating moonlight and headlights only, Mr. Dashwood's Cine Wide Lattitude setting would probably give me the best dynamic range in the scene and then I could colour correct in editing, right?

It's going to be a shadowy scene, so is the Cine Wide Lattitude a good setting to use if there aren't going to be any hot spots or highlights that will come close to 100%?

I like having a wide lattitude in the image, but a good colour representation is also important to the director(and me) because a character will be distinctly wearing a red coat.

I might have to edit the short as well, so I say it'd be best to colour correct in post.

What do you think?

-------------------------------

Also, for the 7.5 setup you guys have been talking about: the movie won't be going to film and neither is it for broadcast; should I have it at 0 on the shoot during recording?

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Old February 28th, 2006, 01:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efrain Gomez
Also, for the 7.5 setup you guys have been talking about: the movie won't be going to film and neither is it for broadcast; should I have it at 0 on the shoot during recording?
If 7.5 setup is only added to the analog NTSC out (unlike the DVX100 which seems to add it to the digital signal) so it is of no concern.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Efrain Gomez
So shooting at night with a lighting setup imitating moonlight and headlights only, Mr. Dashwood's Cine Wide Lattitude setting would probably give me the best dynamic range in the scene and then I could colour correct in editing, right?

It's going to be a shadowy scene, so is the Cine Wide Lattitude a good setting to use if there aren't going to be any hot spots or highlights that will come close to 100%?
It should work well, but you may also want to try increasing the gamma response if you are only using headlights to light your scene. Avoid gain if you can and you should be able to control the highlights very well.
If the red coat is a concern, then you may want to increase color gain as well. If you don't have time to test a few things again of time, then the most important thing is to have a HD monitor on set.

I've done alot of night shooting with my Ciné Wide setting and it has worked out well.
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Old February 28th, 2006, 02:07 PM   #13
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gamma

To be more specific: the scene will be lit "as if" the moon and the headlights are the only source.

I was planning on not using gain, so that should be fine. now with the gamma response...can i leave it as is in your Cine Wide Lattitude settings with this at our disposal:
a couple 2Ks, a couple 1Ks, a couple 650w, some 1K and 500w worklights, and possibly a couple mini-moles and a few small battery operated flourescent lights, reflectors, etc.

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Old February 28th, 2006, 03:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efrain Gomez
To be more specific: the scene will be lit "as if" the moon and the headlights are the only source.

I was planning on not using gain, so that should be fine. now with the gamma response...can i leave it as is in your Cine Wide Lattitude settings with this at our disposal:
a couple 2Ks, a couple 1Ks, a couple 650w, some 1K and 500w worklights, and possibly a couple mini-moles and a few small battery operated flourescent lights, reflectors, etc.
If you have controlled lighting, then the CineWide setting should suit you well. Treat it as a 250ASA film stock and light the way you would for film.

Will the scene be contained in one small area, or will there be lots of movement? I can give you some "moon emulation" pointers if you like.
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Old February 28th, 2006, 03:37 PM   #15
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cine wide

there will be movement and it will all be centered around a parked car on the side of a dark road.

guy gets a flat tire, gets out of the car, checks trunk, gets back in the car, is startled by a tapping on the window, a boy shows up, he gets out of the car again. and there will be a couple dolly and tracking shots. even one small crane shot with a small jib arm.

the camera won't be continually moving, of course; there are shots where the camera is on the tripod.

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