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Old October 28th, 2017, 05:06 PM   #31
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Re: How do I get around terrible theatre/theater lighting?

Thank you Paul for your example.

Here are two screen shots of the same moment when the stage lights went primarily blue. One is even more extreme than the one you shared. This is what I was trying to avoid.

John
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Old October 29th, 2017, 04:51 AM   #32
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Re: How do I get around terrible theatre/theater lighting?

Ah - you discovered the other problem/benefit. The LED blue makes things fluoresce - the blue content extends into the UV area, so unexpected things happen with fabrics and paint. We have a scenic painter who comes at the last stages of rehearsal and touches up the scenery and large props that frequently suffer from the trucking process, and one lovely old fella is very old school, and amazingly talented - unfortunately, they paint in white light, and one of his colours in his touch up kit fluoresced - so as soon as the lights went blue, all his splodges and twists lit up like this!

That's not a camera issue at all, it's one of the hazards of the Blue - and they've even done it on purpose now they know, they've added an extra LED emitter that deliberately adds the UV-A end of the spectrum, making this 'feature' worse. I do lots of dance school shows and when parents source their own material because it's cheaper, their kids often stand out, as the selected fabric that might be expensive does or doesn't fluoresce, but the cheaper alternative is different, but often exactly the same colour in white light.
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Old October 29th, 2017, 06:53 AM   #33
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Re: How do I get around terrible theatre/theater lighting?

This has been a sometimes heated but interesting thread. Thank you to all the contributors, I have learned a lot.
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Old October 29th, 2017, 08:00 AM   #34
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Re: How do I get around terrible theatre/theater lighting?

I agree with all Paul R has said as I mainly do lighting and I have also just started doing video work as well.

I have come across what Paul has said as in people who do videoing coming up to me asking why do I use so much blue light as is mess up there video at the end of a show. They also say that they will be back tomorrow night to video again and can I use less blue on the blue scens. They get an answer of "Are you willing to pay me for 4 hours of work to change the ques which will cost you 400" or "Lean how to use their camera better" and the look on their face is great.

Doing lighting or videoing shows there is one person who I hate is photographers and when its stated at the start of the night in the safety announcement "no camera flash to be used" We have also tryed putting it on the doors.
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Old October 29th, 2017, 08:19 AM   #35
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Re: How do I get around terrible theatre/theater lighting?

Thank you again Paul for your insight. I'm going to share what you wrote with the director and manager along with my last two example pictures. It is too much to ask for them to change their lighting just for the video. However, I do want them to know of the issues the blue light causes. More so if they get questions from parents as to why certain scenes from the video turned out the way they did.

Thanks again.

John
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Old October 29th, 2017, 09:37 AM   #36
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Re: How do I get around terrible theatre/theater lighting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Kofonow View Post
Here are two screen shots of the same moment when the stage lights went primarily blue. One is even more extreme than the one you shared. This is what I was trying to avoid.
But you can't avoid it. The camera can only record the light that's there. If there's no green or red light reflecting off the faces (or anything else), there's nothing for the green and red photoreceptors to record. You can tell the camera to show you more green and red, but twice nothing is still nothing.

That's just the laws of physics talking to ya.

Under less extreme lighting, the human eye/brain visual system can make things up, see what's not there, fill in some of the blanks. It knows that's a human face, it knows what skin tone looks like, and it can see skin tone when there's no skin tone present.

But a camera is not a human visual system. Not even close.
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Old October 29th, 2017, 12:31 PM   #37
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Re: How do I get around terrible theatre/theater lighting?

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Originally Posted by Tony McGuire View Post
I have come across what Paul has said as in people who do videoing coming up to me asking why do I use so much blue light as is mess up there video at the end of a show. They also say that they will be back tomorrow night to video again and can I use less blue on the blue scens.
The problem is if you as a videographer have to ask a light technician to change the light to a more video friendly color just before a performance it's already too late because, like you said, everything has been dialed in per request of the client. The client only thinks about the mood the light creates and they are not aware about the problems it creates for film.

That's why as videographer you should be involved during the earlier stages of preparation and it's up to the client to determine if the film is important enough to make the necessary changes in the light set up.
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Old October 29th, 2017, 03:43 PM   #38
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Re: How do I get around terrible theatre/theater lighting?

Hi Noa,

I know where you are coming from. I find that a lot of videographers do not have respect for the Lighing technicians at all as we sometime have to spend more hour in school halls, local halls and theatres plotting the scenes and we generally in before any one else to make sure all is working and if not go up in to the rig and replace any thing thats not. I do my best to think ahead when doing the lighting for plays and take in to account that it may be videoed.

Alot of the time I am give the script at the first rehersal which is also the day that we setup on and do not have much time to go thought the script then and then. When this happens I tend to wash the stage with colour from over head onstage and keep white light from the front. I do use a lot of led lights now as RGB as they make it easy to get colours on stage than having to try and gel lights.

I also see it from the video side as I have a good friend who does a lot of the school plays I light and now that I do videoing as well I can see the problem with the camera sees light.

I do have sony cameras the main one is a Z5. If I am videoing a play and always there about an hour before the doors open and I have the camera setup and I would ask the Lighting tech to show me a scene that he uses alot of blue so I know what the camera is going to do. If its very blue, I would get him to light the stage before the play with the blue at 50% and the main white light at 30 to 50% as well and put a white A4 pice of paper on stage where is got both lights shining on it and then set a use defind white balance on that. which then is set to one of my assined buttons so I can go to it in that scene and switch back to my main wite balance.
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Old October 30th, 2017, 05:36 AM   #39
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Re: How do I get around terrible theatre/theater lighting?

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Originally Posted by Steven Digges View Post
That is LED lighting. Even worse it might be a mix of old tungsten Lecos above but the color issue is coming from the LED pars lining the front of the stage. This is more about the blue LED lights reacting to the cameras sensors than is the human brains ability to compensate for bad color shifts.

Those light heads are programmable. If the lighting director will work with you there is a fix. Ask him if he will add some green to the blue to get them off of the pure blue setting. It does not have to be a lot of green, they can still look blue.
In my experience that is indeed an issue primarily with the very popular LED lights everyone is using. I was just recording a major award show in NYC (no amateur lighting folks) and we have the same problem there every year. I looked on the vector scope on my camera, and you can see the saturation/chroma go way past the limit in the respective colors. Which is why it looks so awful afterwards.

With some experimentation you could probably modify the camera profiles / matrix to pull chroma back into legal range during recording, but it would require more time to dial in than we are typically afforded during setup in a fast paced environment.

The other option you have in post on an advanced video editor, is to pull in saturation. You could use a chroma clamp effect, or in Resolve use the Sat/Sat curve to tame the most saturated elements of the shot. I generally do the latter to make it usable.

But as Steven said, if they mixed in some other color channels ever so slightly it wouldn't change the look, but would eliminate the saturation and driving your camera past the limit. Saturation mathematically is the distance between the most dominant chroma signal and the next signal after that. By adding in the other channels, that distances gets reduced, without eliminating the overall look in perceptual ways for most folks.

I think the reason the LED lights are so bad, is because other than old stage lighting that started full spectrum and then filtered for a specific color, LEDs start out with pure RGB and thus make it too easy to drive a single color channel, vs. the subtractive filter which always left a range. Thus LED lights usually being maxed out on saturation compared to what we're used to.
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