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Old October 13th, 2007, 01:12 PM   #1
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Color Lighting

I am really new to the whole lighting thing I want to use some blue lights on a background while keeping a spot on the subject ...kinda mysterious looking I tried here ..I don't like the look can anyone help me out on this,I do not have the set up for gels ...BTW I have to 5oo watt Lights umbrella set up 4 of those paper china balls with 200 watt fluorescent bulbs and an array of red blue and green 100 watt bulbs

here is what I have done so far

www.shadoahstudio.com/movie/test/lighttest.mov


thanks for any of your help

Miguel
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Old October 13th, 2007, 05:32 PM   #2
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My first thought was that your background light was gelled a very unnatural color; too cyan, saturated, and bring to pass for "night" light. If you want the classic yellow lamp color you will have to use stronger gels. Other than that I see nothing wrong.
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Old October 14th, 2007, 08:25 AM   #3
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The big problem I see with this scene is that the woman's eyes are invisible. You might want to put a light near and slightly above the camera. To keep that light from spilling onto the background you will need to use barn doors or a snoot (cylindrical black shade) to only light the woman. It doesn't need to be bright, but just a little something to light her eyes and put a little fill on her face. You also might want to put a blue light on her right shoulder (camera left) to reinforce the blue reflection from the background. Aim the light so it just catches her shoulder and the side of her cheekbones.
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Old October 14th, 2007, 09:22 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault View Post
The big problem I see with this scene is that the woman's eyes are invisible.
Gordon Willis made his name by disregarding that rule.
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Old October 15th, 2007, 02:10 PM   #5
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Thanks

thanks for your replies I will try the blue light over the shoulder and a small light on her face...her eyes are actually supposed to be invisible I wanted a mysterious look about the scene....Miguel
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Old October 16th, 2007, 08:16 PM   #6
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If you want to go with the dark lighting scheme that hides the eyes, reduce the exposure a bit. Let it go dark. As it is now, there seems to be too much light for that style. I still think that a bit of blue on her shoulder will make the background have an expected blue glow, but if you want to keep the eyes mysterious just reduce exposure. The blacks are too milky in those shots for that style, IMHO. Also, your bright key (off to camera right) is too close and the inverse square law is revealing it's location. The light on her left shoulder (camera right) is noticeably brighter than on her right arm. This shows that the light is very close. You might want to move it back and tighten the barn doors to cast a more subtle swath across her body without making her left shoulder stand out. That harsh light also made a fold in her skin on her left bicep look odd. It gives the impression that she is chubby but nothing else about her looks that way. It only happened when she was holding the cigarette up and it probably wouldn't stand out if the light wasn't so strong on that shoulder.

Look at the shot in the very middle of your test video. It is the medium shot with all of her hat showing. I think the look you are going for is shown on her right arm. There is a blue glow on one side and the white key light is even and smooth. Try moving the key farther away and back then add a bit of blue to hit her right shoulder and maybe a tiny bit of her cheek. Reduce exposure slightly or do color correction to make the blacks completely dark.

This scene looks like a bar or restaurant. If you did want to see her eyes, a candle might be something to emulate. You could put a candle on the table and a small light very near the camera (gelled orange) to create a highlight in her eyes.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 11:08 PM   #7
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Could you post some pictures of your light array? That color is just intense, very other-worldly.
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Old October 19th, 2007, 10:02 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Emre Safak View Post
Gordon Willis made his name by disregarding that rule.
Well, for Brando maybe.

I'd have to rewatch the Godfather, but I'm sure you can see Al Pacino's eyes in any scene he's in.
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Old October 19th, 2007, 10:53 AM   #9
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The technique has to be married to the shot. The point is that you can't make rash generalizations about what is right and wrong.
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Old October 19th, 2007, 11:24 AM   #10
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The opening shot when you first meet Don Vito (Marlon Brando) the lighting was specifically set up to give it an...edge? Or something situational. Brando would continually look up (to read his cue cards) so they incorporated it into the shot, and thus the lighting. Similar to when you first see El Mariachi (Antonio Banderas) in Desperado.
I'm pretty sure you can always see Pachino's eyes though. Unless you count the shadows made by his black eyes after the cop hits him? Again, it was because of the way he acted, that deathly cold stare had to be seen.
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