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Available light plus one


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#1 Mat Fleming

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Posted 16 December 2005 - 01:17 PM

Just wanted some thoughts on what different people thought essential in basic 'naturalistic' lighting.
I shoot alot of film but lighting is still a mystery to me in many ways becasue I am an amateur and don't have a lot of kit or crew or time on my shoots. I always shoot in available light - maybe a stronger bulb here, a lamp pointed for fill there but basically available light. I wonder which single extra magic secret ingredient different pros out there would always carry to try to achieve a more purposeful look.

I hope you don't think it's a daft question. I know every scene is different but I'm interested in general principles and thougts - imagine the scene is naturalistic and there are people in it.

cheers

mat
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 December 2005 - 02:04 PM

Sometimes it can take quite a large lighting package or some seriously big lights to create an "available light" look, especially when faking daylight on a soundstage, but even for ordinary day interiors if not shot in real day.

The problem with real available light is that it changes throughout the day (if we're talking about available daylight) or it can become non-existant, or be at such low-levels as to be impractical.

As far as available night interior or exterior light, the problem is often that either it is too low, or it simply doesn't look attractive.

Which brings up the biggest point is that the look of the scene should be story-driven. Now hopefully you'll make life easier on yourself by finding locations and shooting them at the right times so that the available light is supporting that vision, but often you have to make modifications if not outright start from scratch and create all the light artificially (still using practical sources if possible though.)

Your script may specifically say a scene is moonlit, or has the sun setting, or is lit by just a flashlight or candle, or there may be bigger aesthetic issues like the scene needing to feel cold and clinical, or warm and romantic, etc.

What a bigger lighting package really gets you is flexibility -- you don't always have to use everything on the truck, but when you're faced with recreating daylight after the sun is gone, or hard sunlight after it clouds over, either for continuity's sake or for artistic reasons, then it helps to have the big lights. But every big lighting package also has a lot of tiny lights too.
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#3 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 16 December 2005 - 02:52 PM

I would say a 2.5kw HMI - bright enough to light something inside and outside and small enough to run from house power. Big enough to brute force light into dark corners and small enough to flag and ND to darkness

But you need the more expensive square wave ballast if you are not shooting standard frame rates.

I had one and hey are pretty cheap to buy - if you live in the UK I can give the address of some places that have them

thanks

Rolfe
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 December 2005 - 03:42 PM

I would say a 2.5kw HMI - bright enough to light something inside and outside and small enough to run from house power.


Not in the U.S. -- a 2.5K HMI needs too much power for striking for a typical 20 amp circuit here (I believe... I've never been able to run a 2.5K HMI using a household circuit.)

Generally the brightest lamps for under 20 amps are: 2K tungsten, 1.2K HMI PAR, 1K PAR64 tungsten (spot or VSNP), or a 1K Xenon.

Has anyone ever run into a 2K tungsten PAR?
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#5 Mike Williamson

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Posted 16 December 2005 - 04:20 PM

I've never seen a 2K tungsten PAR, I personally like Mighty Moles as far as big lamps on house power. Not sure if it would give you more output than a 1.2K HMI, but it beats on a Baby Junior hands down in terms of output.
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#6 Chris Keth

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Posted 16 December 2005 - 05:12 PM

I've never seen a 2K tungsten PAR, I personally like Mighty Moles as far as big lamps on house power. Not sure if it would give you more output than a 1.2K HMI, but it beats on a Baby Junior hands down in terms of output.



I think a mighty mole edges out a 1.2 HMI by a tiny bit, but it probably depends on the lens in the HMI so it's close. I vaguely remember doing a quick test to question that very thing.
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#7 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 17 December 2005 - 08:31 AM

K5600 makes HMI PAR's that are tungsten balanced now. And I believe you can get tungsten bulbs for all HMI's if you want to.
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#8 Kim Sargenius

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Posted 18 December 2005 - 05:42 PM

Has anyone ever run into a 2K tungsten PAR?



Never actually seen it in the flesh but apparently De Sisti makes one, the Caravaggio:

http://www.cdaust.co...Caravaggio.html



cheers,

Kim Sargenius
cinematographer
sydney
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