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Old December 28th, 2011, 09:40 PM   #1
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Varying light levels

My question to you good people is if you have two subjects equally valuable to a shot; where you start is much brighter than where you finish, how do you accomplish that?
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Old December 28th, 2011, 11:55 PM   #2
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Re: Varying light levels

Can you rephrase that and be more specific? The more so, the better.
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Old January 9th, 2012, 07:51 PM   #3
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Re: Varying light levels

Lee,
I'm assuming you mean that you're doing a pan shot, starting on subject A, and ending on subject B. If subject A is lit much brighter than subject B, then you might want to adjust the iris opening as you pan. Kind of like having a camera assistant pull focus, although this would be "pulling iris", if there is such a term. ;-)

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P.S. -- Also, you might want to investigate graduated neutral density filters. With a little ingenuity, you might be able to make use of those.
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Old January 9th, 2012, 10:39 PM   #4
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Re: Varying light levels

Yes, pulling iris is indeed a term. If done carefully, it can be done invisibly. I recently shot a scene that brought some characters from broad sunlight into a large interior in one long take, and even though I lit the interior as much as possible, I still had to perform an 8 stop iris pull (the entire range of the lens) over a five second interval, and it's pretty well hidden.

However, under controlled circumstances, it's better to adjust the lighting to avoid having to pull iris if possible.
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Old January 9th, 2012, 11:17 PM   #5
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Re: Varying light levels

Funny, I was just having a conversation with a friend who shot one of the earlier space shuttles launches on 16mm film for our national Canadian broadcaster. He had to 'pull iris' as the rockets fired at lift-off. He said he had to guess but nailed it. Not much chance of a re-shoot or yelling 'cut' on that one.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 10:13 AM   #6
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Re: Varying light levels

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
Yes, pulling iris is indeed a term. If done carefully, it can be done invisibly. I recently shot a scene that brought some characters from broad sunlight into a large interior in one long take, and even though I lit the interior as much as possible, I still had to perform an 8 stop iris pull (the entire range of the lens) over a five second interval, and it's pretty well hidden.

However, under controlled circumstances, it's better to adjust the lighting to avoid having to pull iris if possible.
i'd like to see that. you have clips? I've always wondered how "invisible" it can really be, love to see a good example.
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Old January 31st, 2012, 12:16 AM   #7
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Re: Varying light levels

Hi Alex:

That example will air within the next four or five weeks--it was one of the sketches on "Key & Peele". I'll try to remember to post about it if I know which episode it will be on.

That one is more visible (if you look for it) because most of the pull occurred while the camera was backing through a doorway, so you can see the exterior "heat up" outside. A much more invisible type of pull can be done while the camera is panning with actors around a corner, for instance.
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Old March 31st, 2012, 01:58 PM   #8
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Re: Varying light levels

OK! Finally this clip showed up online.

https://vimeo.com/channels/311011/39112696

Iris pull is around :29 to :34, from T16 to T1.4.
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Old March 31st, 2012, 06:31 PM   #9
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Re: Varying light levels

Lee:

Depending on your camera, you could always set it to Tv, pick your shutter speed, and let the camera take care of the aperture. I don't --LIKE-- doing that, but there are some times you have to pick the lesser of the assorted evils.

Using Tv assumes you're using a lens that interfaces with the camera's electronics. As you know, I shoot on the 5DM2 using a lot of Nikon primes, so I'm pretty much locked to doing things manually, which I'm more comfortable with anyhow. However, I have no qualms about mounting one of my EF "L" lenses, picking the focal length, and letting the exposure automation handle things --IF-- that's the only or best way to get the shot.

In the end, the audience REALLY doesn't care how you did it, as long as it looks good.

Martin
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Old March 31st, 2012, 11:02 PM   #10
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Re: Varying light levels

Charles,
I got a "page not found" when I tried your link.
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Old March 31st, 2012, 11:34 PM   #11
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Re: Varying light levels

Huh. It works for me, even when I log out of Vimeo. Anyone else try it, successfully or not?
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Old April 1st, 2012, 12:59 AM   #12
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Re: Varying light levels

Charles, I also got a "page not found." on your video. I'm logged in.
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Old April 1st, 2012, 02:22 AM   #13
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Re: Varying light levels

Not logged in, 'page not found'. I'd like to see it too thanks Charles.

Cheers.
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Old April 1st, 2012, 12:58 PM   #14
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Re: Varying light levels

OK, try this.

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Old April 1st, 2012, 11:59 PM   #15
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Re: Varying light levels

Thanks Charles .. whoooa! another masterclass. I watched it 1/2 dozen times to pick up all the bits, gets better each time .... just the framing, man!

Can I ask, if you pulled iris then a close buddy pulled focus?

Cheers.
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