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Old May 14th, 2003, 07:52 AM   #16
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You should have put a softlight somewhere out of view in one of the lower stair wells, but next time.. lower your grain, open the iris, and the AE shift to 2+

Post it and mess with the levels, making blacks real black.. but avoid the grain.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 10:50 AM   #17
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Hard to tell because of the completely different tones. But I like the 'look' of the second one better.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 11:32 AM   #18
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Note the window that is visible in the first stairwell. That becomes your visual clue how to light the shot. Set your exposure for this part of the shot. If it is still too low, then add a light to the first stairwell, imitating the light coming through the window. Then, work your way down the each stairwell, adding a light to each one imitating the look of the first, even if there are no more windows. By establishing a window in one stairwell, will assume there are additional windows on each level, even though because of the angle we cannot see them. Directors of Photography are always looking for visual clues to "justify" their lighting choices.

Also, the foreground pillars need additional light. Basically the whole picture is underexposed, and way too grainy, unless you are after that look as a choice, but I doubt you were.

If you want to keep the "black hole" look, I would suggest even more powerful lights which would allow you to stop down and make the "hole" more intense, while cleaning up the blacks. Remember, when you increase grain, it will show up in shadow areas more quickly, showing everyone your "dirty laundry," so to speak.

Here is a question for the class: Why is the light in the stairwell more intense directly below the twelve o'clock position than near the window?

BTW, this is a great exercise and it would be wonderful to see more of this type of discussion on these boards, because sooner or later, you are going to realize its all about the light. I am impressed that there are so many replying to the post. Give yourselves a star.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 12:07 PM   #19
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I think the light is coming in at an angle (notice one spot on the
little window seat on the left that is stronger suggesting an
angular light source) and bouncing of off the stair railing (metal?)

Am I far off?
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Old May 14th, 2003, 02:32 PM   #20
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It was all natural lighting -
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Old May 14th, 2003, 02:59 PM   #21
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"All natural light."
OK. So, if we like the look, but we just need to bring up the levels; we could add a light under the stairs, about two o'clock. This is probably where the sun is outside, somewhat overhead giving us soft sunlight through the window moving across the frame, the hottest spot being about twelve o'clock on the stairs. So adding a pretty good source, like a 650 HMI punched through a Chimera, would give us similar daylight with enough power to raise the overall level on this floor. The trick would be to hang the light under the stairway at the two o'clock position so it is completely hidden.

You could do the same set up upstairs and below, only in these locations you could set the light on a stand, as it wouldn't show.

If you want to figure a cost for this shoot, three HMIs plus some grip equipment would cost you at least $200.00 to do this shot, more like $300.00. All part of doing business.

I am a bit surprised the camera didn't handle the scene a little better. What was your f/stop, shutter speed? Are you certain there were no ND's in the camera? Pola filter?
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Old May 14th, 2003, 03:40 PM   #22
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I like the second one. Mind you this is coming a purely amatuer eyes, I think the look of the second has the that film look.

I think the tone or shading will be be determined by the preference of the director.

The reason I like the look of the second one is it gives more detail in the banisters versus the first one which is blurred.

In my amatuer opinion, I thing there is difference in what appears sightly blurred (picture one) versus a softer "film look."

Just my 2 cents..

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Old May 14th, 2003, 05:21 PM   #23
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What was the answer to the question, Wayne?

p.s. I was not suggesting there was artificial light. Merely that
the light outside was at an angle bouncing of the railing....
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Old May 14th, 2003, 07:19 PM   #24
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You got it right, Rob. Very perceptive, and a great way to study film lighting. See where you think they have postioned the key light, and figure out why. Some of the older black and white films are excellent for this, as they also used harder sources and you can really get a good idea of their plan. Its harder to tell with some of the contemporary masters, like viewing Conrad Hall's work in "Road to Perdition." Of course I am betting Hall used a lot of the work by the painter, Edward Hooper, such as "The Diner" and "Night Hawks" as a reference point for his work in "Perdition," along with the illustrated novel upon which the movie is based.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 07:35 PM   #25
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I recently saw "Road to Perdition" (only on disc though) and it is indeed a superb, highly crafted work of visual art.
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Old May 15th, 2003, 03:49 AM   #26
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Hah! Glad I had it good... Was fun examing the picture like that
indeed. Never did that before. Thanks for that, Wayne!

Road to Perdition was an awesome movie. I can understand that
some (if not most) people think it is too long/too slow, but I
really liked it. Great atmosphere!
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Old May 16th, 2003, 08:58 AM   #27
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That shot was done on an XL1s, standard lens, no ND's with the gain cranked (obviously). Shutter speed, I think, was 1/30, fstop varied from room to room, between 3.8 - 5.6, so the picture was brighter. It's important to note, we weren't shooting for effect. We were shooting for reference. Scouting, if you will, the building both inside and out, for inspiration and planning later.

It was VERY dark in there, and the pola that was on didn't help. The pola was on as we were shooting in and out as we went around the building - Again, it was experimental footage. All your comments are welcome, but it's no where close to the quality, commitment, and dedication the real shoot will have :)

Lighting will be the most time consuming part of this project, no doubt about that. Almsot every shot will require beefed up artificial light. Much of my experience in lighting has been in the studio environment, which is much, much easier than this sort of location!
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Old May 16th, 2003, 11:08 AM   #28
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Interesting comment, except that Road to Perdition, the graphic novel, is largely monochrome. I guess you could get some lighting cues from it. At least in terms of contrast.

The movie had story problems and wasn't as violent as the graphic novel. I didn't understand why they had to have the photographer assassin. They should have used Jude Law as the son.
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