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Old February 11th, 2012, 12:14 AM   #1
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Mixing daylight an tungsten on a subject for effect.

Im having a bit of trouble figuring out how to make this scene work.

A person in a bed sleeping, with moonlight coming in from the window. But then someone opens the door, and "warm" light enters the room, from the other side.

This is not only a lighting setup issue, but also a grading issue. Its very hard to maintain a nice look of the blue and the orange on each side of the persons face, who's lying in in the bed, the skin turns very ugly looking.

Does anyone have any idea or even better videos/images, that show how you could achieve that look.
Or would you even go as far and recommend against lighting a person with warm and cold light at the same time?

Thanks

Last edited by Dominik Krol; February 11th, 2012 at 02:02 AM.
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Old February 11th, 2012, 01:15 AM   #2
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Re: Mixing daylight an tungsten on a subject for effect.

I recall something like that in the movie Sound of Music, where Julie Andrews was standing in a patio, and being lit by light from nearby windows and doors. A blue hairlight was used to suggest moonlight. I thought the hairlight was so extremely blue that it did not look realistic, but the cinematographer was going for a romantic mood, so realism wasn't too important.

I think the trick is to have only one color temperature of light hitting the face, while the other color just catches the back of the shoulder and hair. The difficult part comes when you switch from having your subject lit entirely by cool moonlight, to being lit mostly by incandescent light. If opening the door causes warm light to overpower a very faint cool light on the face, but leaving a stronger cool light on the back of the head, that might work.
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Old February 11th, 2012, 01:55 AM   #3
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Re: Mixing daylight an tungsten on a subject for effect.

Yes that is what Ive been experimenting with also.. Unfortunatelly Im unable to put a light behind the person when hes lying down, and the camera shoots from above.
When angled horisontally, I have no trouble making that shot, but all bets are off when I start moving up to reveal the face frontally.

Realism is not an issue. Im fine by it being stylistic. Actually I think that daylight to tungsten, may not even be separation enough, and I need to gel the moonlight even more blue?

Im also not quite settled on how to grade this scene.. I want a moody cold look when the moonlight shines, but I also want the skin to glow warmly orange when the door opens. I don't seem to being able to get both. Either I make it cold, and turn down red, or I make it warm and turn down blue.

Im puzzled about what my soft fill light is suppose to be when shooting wide. Tungsten or the blue moonlight?
The open door is supposed to take over the shots main interest, but not the entire room. It is supposed to be a very hard light with a shadow frame from the door edges, hitting the bed and the subject.
But obviously the other side of the talent wont be illuminated by the doorway.
So the fill light is my biggest problem, since it would interfere with both the moonlight and the light from the doorway.

Last edited by Dominik Krol; February 11th, 2012 at 02:43 AM.
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Old February 11th, 2012, 10:24 AM   #4
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Re: Mixing daylight an tungsten on a subject for effect.

Generally I will present the moonlit room with an ambient fill (often a ceiling bounce) plus a dappled harder light (source 4 with gobo, or fresnel through a cuke or if possible, the actual window with sheers). I might go more or less blue depending on how stylized I want it to look, but if not a "party gel", then full CTB plus another layer of 1/2 CTB. I might make the fill only the full CTB so that it mixes a little better with the tungsten side (it will show up in the shadows). I wouldn't go overly "orange' against this look for the incandescent side--the color contrast is already well set up by having the blue there in the first place, so at most I'd use a tungsten source with 1/4 CTO which is an accurate rendition of an incandescent bulb and will deliver normal to slightly warm skin tones.

So to answer your question--it's better to take the moonlight bluer if you want more color contrast than take the key warmer.
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Old February 11th, 2012, 03:14 PM   #5
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Re: Mixing daylight an tungsten on a subject for effect.

Thank you Charles. That was very detailed.

And I set my white balance to 3200k then? or to the 1/4 CTO tungsten?
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Old February 11th, 2012, 04:14 PM   #6
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Re: Mixing daylight an tungsten on a subject for effect.

3200, so the interior light will play a little warm and the night light maintains it's blue-ness. If you were to white balance to the 2900 (i.e. tungsten plus 1/4 CTO), you could always warm it back up in post.

I used to "bake in" my white balances but with the advent of log/raw, where at best you have either 3200 or 5600 settings, the nuance of balance takes place in post for most of my work.
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