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Shooting a riot at night


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#1 Samuel Berger

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 06:16 PM

During the Democratic convention of '68, news cameramen filmed the riots outside with their 16mm cameras, often getting good exposure because most of the rioting and protests were during the day.

 

 

 

With the change in the way riots and protests happen these days, I'm wondering if 500T would be usable for shooting during night time protests, riots and looting and people burning down their own neighbourhoods. Only available light could be used, especially if trying to keep a low profile during the going-ons.

 

Tempted to go with Tri-X to make things less muddy but that only goes at ASA 400. Although, only 32 footcandles are required at f/2.

 

During the Watts riots of 65, the only usable night shots were those where the cameramen were able to use Sun Guns attached to the camera.

 

 

Here 12 minutes in, you see night footage after the usual looting and gunfire:

 

 

Filming at night back then left a lot to the imagination.

 

 


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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 06:49 PM

It depends on the local lighting conditions and what you're trying to capture. I suspect you'd need to push it a stop and print it up another stop.


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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 09:30 PM

The other issue is lenses -- most documentarians today are used to using a zoom lens but they'd get more usable exposures at night with faster prime lenses.


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#4 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 09:41 PM

Sam are you saying your actually planning to shoot a riot/demo.. ?  if so please don't go alone.. you need a "spotter".. basically someone to always check whats going on around you.. read the mood.. as all you will be seeing is a little square box..  I would advise you to shoot on video too  :)


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#5 Samuel Berger

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 11:22 PM

I'd have to push it for certain.

 

I have to see what faster primes I can get that don't cost an arm and a leg.

 

Robin, I understand. Five cameramen have been killed.One guy in Germany, he was beaten to death by a mob. Just literally, stone-beaten to death, for UPI. You know what the excuse was? The crowd thought he was taking pictures for the police.

 

They had a couple of fellas down at the civil rights protest that were, you know, chained together, and I was shooting film and the cops came and said "Don't you think you have to load the camera?" and I said "I'm not out of film". And they say "well load it anyway cuz we wanna move these guys". And he starts pushing the lens. And I tell him "the next time you push me I'll fall down and start crying" and he walked away ;-)

 

But yeah I hate that, some guy grabs my 12-120 and starts yanking it back and forth yelling "Black lives matter" at me and I'm just...you know, shaking to death with a $1200 lens in the front of the camera...

 

So here I am in the middle, and I've got no place to hide. Because I'm carrying a big 40 pound camera, and I'm trying to get film of it, and so the rioters want to beat me up, they think I'm trying to identify them for the police, the police wants to elbow me out of the way not being very gentle about it because he doesn't want the sergeant to see that he picked up some guy by the scruff of the neck and threw him in the backseat of a car...and the editor who says, "hey I want the pictures, cuz my audience doesn't care about what brought this on."

 

 

I would advise you to shoot on video too

 

Man, I love to shoot film.

 

 

Oh and then there's stuff like this: https://petapixel.co...era-tripod-gun/


Edited by Samuel Berger, 19 November 2017 - 11:23 PM.

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#6 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 06:54 AM

There are trigger happy police in some places. Also, you need to work out the rules for a particular riot/demo and best place to be.  

 

Film isn't much use if shooting purely for news these days, the iPhones will beat you to the screen.


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