How do I get a lot of light on the subject and still preserve the look of practicals? 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 January 26th, 2007, 10:58 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Overland Park, KS
Posts: 228
How do I get a lot of light on the subject and still preserve the look of practicals?

Hi all. . .

I'm doing some experiments with my lighting and really seem to figure out how I can get enough light on a subject without completely killing the natural brightness on the walls of the lamps in my room.

I'm using an HVX-200 with a Redrock M2, and that crazy thing needs loads of light. I've got 12 Arri lights to work with (4 1000 watt open faces, 2 1000 watt fresnels, 2 650 fresnels, 2 300 watt fresnels, and 2 150 fresnels, and a softbox for a 650). What would you do to really light up a room and yet still make table lamps look realistic?

Are there any truly great books I can read that would help me learn lighting?

Thanks much.

Stephen
Stephen Pruitt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 27th, 2007, 05:56 AM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Posts: 1,538
First off, you have enough light in your overall kit to light up a blimp hanger, dude!

Leave most of it packed up.

Put away everything but maybe 1 650, 1-300, and 1-150.

Use the 650 with the bag for your key. If you don't have a fabric grid for it, either buy one or get some foamcore and use it to flag the light from the softbox so it hits your subject but stays OFF the background walls.

Next, set the 150 as a back/rim light.

Use the 300 for fill on the non-key side of the face of your subject, and once again, SEVERELY barn door it off so that it JUST softly fills the non key side. If it's too bright - scrim it, or use some toughspun, or simply MOVE IT FARTHER AWAY until it isn't too bright. If you're unhappy with the amount of rim or fill, switch the instruments - this is all judgment depending on your subject and the reflectivity of the room.

If you keep the VAST majority of the light off the back wall, then the light from the practicals - when you turn them on - will be APPARENT in the scene.

The reality is that today's modern CCD cameras are HUGELY more sensitive to light than the cameras of yesterday. Even with your lens adaptor, you shouldn't have ANY problem getting a proper exposure with more than 1000w of tungsten hitting your subject. If you do, just move your insturments closer to the subject. That's a LOT of light in a typical single subject setup.

You light up even a single 1k in a typical size room with light walls and you'll get so much spill EVERYWHERE that you'll be lucky to see even a hint of a shadow anywhere.

In lighting - less is nearly always more. Controlling the light you have is nearly always more important than simply adding more.

YMMV.
Bill Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 27th, 2007, 07:11 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Mystic Ct.
Posts: 477
Stephen,

Another way is to use a china ball to bring up the overall level of the room.
In this scene I left the practicals on (maybe a bit hot) and filled the room with a china ball. It maintained the over all look and allowed the talent to move anywhere within the room.
Another advantage of the china ball is that you could hang it on a pole and have it follow the camera if you are in a larger room and have bigger camera movements than I did here.
As with any light source you will need to flag it to remove unwanted spill.

Bill
Attached Thumbnails
How do I get a lot of light on the subject and still preserve the look of practicals?-give-away.jpg  
__________________
Cinematographers Bring Shadow To Light
Bill Hamell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 27th, 2007, 08:21 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,259
Great posts above, good techniques.

Also bring some 200w standard base bulbs, and screw those into your practicals, see what it's like. Maybe the fixture has a 40w in it - try a 100w, etc. Be aware that some fixtures (especially closed wall/ceiling fixtures) are only rated for 60w, read the labels.

People who do a lot of this work (I'm not one of them) seem to also like the 250w photofloods available in camera stores. My understanding is that they will be a closer color temp to your arris, but I'm not sure how much this matters, I've always seen standard incandescent household lamps as fairly close color to pro tungsten lighting. Maybe this is one of those things that made a bigger difference with film.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 29th, 2007, 11:40 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Overland Park, KS
Posts: 228
Well, Bill, I hope you're right about having extra lights. I sure as heck don't want to buy any more of 'em!

But I'm going to have to light up a rather large area with them. . . entire art galleries of space.

I can't emphasize how insensitive the HVX is with the Redrock M2. It really eats the light. And, if I don't get enough light on the subjects, I get a lot of noise.

I'll try some of those techniques you all have suggested.

Thanks much!

Stephen
Stephen Pruitt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 30th, 2007, 12:26 AM   #6
Hawaiian Shirt Mogul
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: northern cailfornia
Posts: 1,261
we had a Art Gallery scene that we had to build a set because there was 5 min dialogue and Art Galleries just had too much noise ( coming from exterior) ...
shot it at local community center ... just used a wall of flats ( rented from theater)... added a little smoke, lighting, & sound blankets on floor ...
shot on 16mm ..ASA 100 film .. zeiss 10-100 T2 lens ..shot at T2.5
Attached Images
  
Don Donatello is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 30th, 2007, 03:24 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Mystic Ct.
Posts: 477
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Pruitt
But I'm going to have to light up a rather large area with them. . . entire art galleries of space.
Stephen
Stephen,

Do you need to light the entire area all the time? Or can you shoot it a section at a time?

Bill
__________________
Cinematographers Bring Shadow To Light
Bill Hamell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 30th, 2007, 03:30 AM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Posts: 1,538
Steven,

OK, now that I understand that you're essentially doing architectural lighting rather than character lighting, the rules are a bit different.

It sounds like you want an overall "high key" look to this. If so, than some of your larger insturments will be useful.

Pointed at an off camera ceiling or wall (NEVER at the subjects unless you want to spend your shoot fighting shadows!) they can effectively raise the overall level of the room.

Once you do that, you'll need more light on the items or people that you want the viewer to focus on.

Just remember, adding more overall light, then using stronger lights to "pick items out" generally results in irising down to maintain a decent range of contrast in your scene. And it's really easy to discover that in doing that, you're in exactly the same place you would have been if you'd just maintained a lower overall level of light and allowed your iris to go wider.

Lighting is always a balancing act. But turn on any really bright light and EVERYTHING comes up and the scene flattens out. Just the nature of bright light in a reflective space.

Hope you have a great shoot!
Bill Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 30th, 2007, 03:39 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Kansas City KS
Posts: 60
Goodness, Stephen, do you need all those lights for a rat?
Jim Schweer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 30th, 2007, 05:42 PM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Little Rock
Posts: 1,383
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Pruitt
I can't emphasize how insensitive the HVX is with the Redrock M2. It really eats the light. And, if I don't get enough light on the subjects, I get a lot of noise.
Stephen
What lenses are you using?
I have used a couple of converters including the M2 with fast prime lenes,
and with the light loss it was just about perfect DOF.
David W. Jones 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 05:55 AM.


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