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Old March 14th, 2006, 02:07 PM   #1
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Daylight + Lighting Kit = Frustration?

I shot a commercial this past weekend at a location that had flourescent ceiling lighting and also a big wall of windows in the front. I also had my own lighting kit.

If you want to view the spot, here's the link:

http://www.dreambigproductions.com/c.../downloads.htm

If you want to make comments on the spot itself, there is a thread in the DV For The Masses area here.


My questions are these:

#1
Are all three light sources different color temperatures (daylight, flourescent, and my Britek lighting kit)?

#2
How do you handle a situation with 3 different lighting sources that are all different temperatures?


Specifically, I have some shots where the subject is light on one side by the large bay of windows, lit from above and all around by the flourescent ceiling lights, and then from the other side by lights from my lighting kit to compensate for the large amount of light coming from the windows.

Any thoughts?
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Old March 14th, 2006, 02:30 PM   #2
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gels

You could turn off the flourescents. Add CTB (www.rosco.com) to your lights to balance to daylight. Add minus green to the flourescents, lots of options.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 02:31 PM   #3
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You could put a color temperature gel on the outside of the windows, to match the color temp inside, maybe eliminate one of the powered light sources, and bounce the existing light.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 02:44 PM   #4
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I thought about stringing sheets over the windows to diffuse the light, but that wouldn't change it's color temperature would it?

I guess gels on my lights with the flourescents off might have been the best option since this was a low-budget shoot. Thanks for the ideas!
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Old March 14th, 2006, 02:54 PM   #5
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Here's a quick read http://www.exposure.co.uk/eejit/light/.

Be sure to check out the links at the bottom of the article as they list some great books that would certainly help you in learning lighting.

Tim
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Old March 14th, 2006, 03:36 PM   #6
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Tim,

Thanks. That was a good read. Once I figured out that my 3 lightings sources were all different color temperatures I felt a little less frustrated in my color correction efforts.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 03:55 PM   #7
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Yeah, normal flourescents are the worst source in the world to deal with. That slightly greenish cast in some of your shots will be due to the green spike in the florescent tube's color spectrum. Most of the time, I try to go with them turned off.

Another option to stuff into your bag-o-tricks is to replace the flourescent tubes with properly balanced tubes from someone like KinoFlo. You can get them in both daylight and tungsten color temperatures so you can match the color of either the window light or the light from your kit. You can usually rent them from a Grip and Electric for a few bucks a day each. It's something of a chore, of course, but I find it looks better than gelling the florescents if the fixture will be in frame.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 03:59 PM   #8
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That's a good tip that wouldn't have worked for me in this case. I was on a pretty tight budget, so buying a bunch of new bulbs wouldn't have worked. Also, in Boise we don't have a Grip and Electric or similar rental house, so I couldn't rent them either. Because of the initial wide shots, I also couldn't go without the fluorescents, because the window light source by itself wouldn't have produce appealing lighting.

Still, good ideas for future consideration with larger budgets. I also now realize that for my tighter shots I could have gone with the fluorescents off, and just used reflectors from the window light and maybe the effect would have been better. It sure is hard to catch this stuff while you're shooting and looking into a little viewfinder. d:-)
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Old March 14th, 2006, 04:11 PM   #9
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Travis,

You might check on local production companies too. Especially in smaller markets, many of them rent equipment even if they don't advertise as "grip and electric" houses. A few phone calls might give you info for the next time you face this problem. Oh, and if the state has a film commission, you could check with them to see if they have a services directory. Sometimes you will find companies that will service an area as if it were local even if they aren't located there.

I sure do understand the difficulty in trying to catch things while peering through a veiwfinder. It's always easier to sort these things out when you aren't in the midst of production where you have to worry about a zillion other things.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 05:39 PM   #10
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Good advice. And yeah, once you've done the writing, scouting, setup, directing, filming AND editing on a project, you realize why larger productions have such specialize roles. I can only imagine how nice it would be to have someone running the camera and someone running the lights and someone directing the "actors" while I just watched the monitor to make sure I was getting what I wanted. d:-)
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Old March 14th, 2006, 05:53 PM   #11
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Travis, your biggest problems with this spot can be fixed with some color correction. The clip "Increase your energy" (guy in red shirt) is too green and "Improve your cholesterol" is too blue. They don't mix with the clips that preceed and follow. "Cholesterol" with the older gentleman lit by a low color temperature light could be difficult since it will make him look more orange if you lower the blue.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 06:04 PM   #12
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Marcus,

You couldn't be more right. Those two clips are the two that stand out from the rest the most, and you diagnosed the color problems perfectly. The problem is that both clips present issues when I correct them any more than they are now. It's been bugging me enough that I'm going back in as I type this to try again.

Both of those clips had pretty harsh lighting from the bay of windows, as they were both shot closer to where the windows were. I compensated by splashing a lot more light from my lighting kit on the opposite side. The result is the problem you now see. Two completely different color temperatures hitting the same subject from opposite sides. Adjusting for one tends to exaggerate the other. It's like a catch-22.

I have an idea to split the clip and adjust it separately but I doubt that will actually look good. We'll see.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 06:34 PM   #13
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There's always the option of converting it to black and white...
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Old March 14th, 2006, 06:50 PM   #14
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Black and white: Not for this client and this spot.

However, I started playing with correction filters again and got the idea to isolate the reds in each clip via the 3-Way-Color-Corrector (3WCC) options in FCP. So, with that in place, I dropped the green in the first problem clip and the blue in the 2nd problem clip. This left my magenta and red way to hot in both clips, but since I had the problem red/magenta areas isolated in a 2nd 3WCC, I was able to dial back the saturation independently of the color in the rest of the image. The result was worth the extra trial and error.

Both clips now have 2 different 3WCC filters applied. The first for overall white balance and levels and saturation. The second for adjusting just the reds and magentas. Each clip also has several additional levels filters applied to adjust for the extra green from the fluorescent lights and the extra blue from the daylight source.

I'll repost the clip within the next hour for anyone who wants to see the results.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 06:54 PM   #15
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There's a company in Boise called Barbizon Lighting that was highly recommended to my by a rental co. here in Portland. They're a pro retailer, as far as I know. Don't know if they do rentals, but they might be able to refer you to someone in B. who does.
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