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Creating a "Night Ambience"


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#1 David Woolner

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 10:09 PM

Hello. My DP and I are looking for some advice on shooting the final scene of my Thesis film.
The situation is this: Two characters meet at night in a snowy field. They stand before a fire.
While this is the main scene, there are several transitional shots leading up to the fire which we want
to feel like unlit night ambience, probably using 1/4 or 1/2 CTB on tungsten. Thinking about 2ks high through lt grid 4x4s as far back as neccassary.

We are shooting 7218, possibly pushing a stop and naturalism is the key.
We should also have some superspeed primes at our disposal.

Our main questions are when does 7218 "go black?" 3 stops under? 4?
and of course any suggestions for achieving a realistic night ambience, that
perhaps might best be described as what your adjusted eyes would see in a
snowy country field under moonlight.



Thanks

Dave W
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 12:01 AM

Sort of depends on if you are printing and what printer lights and what print stock you choose. And what is being underexposed -- are you asking if caucasian skintone goes to black three or four stops under?

Let's say that you decide that the stock looks best when printed in the low 30's (deep blacks, etc.) and to do that, the stock has to be rated 2/3's of a stop slower, so 7218 has to be rated at 320 ASA, or 640 ASA with a one-stop push.

So based on a 640 ASA rating with a one-stop push, setting your printer lights where you want them, you then test and decide that soft "moonlight" looks best when it is 2-stops under key. But that also depends on the angle of the moonlight. Maybe as a dead backlight, it looks best one-stop under key or at key, and then you need to decide if the face will be completely silhouette (let's say, under 4-stops) or looks good with some soft fill or a soft side key that is 2 1/2 stops under key.

Test, test, test.
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#3 bolshevik

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 04:52 PM

i just shot 7218 outside at night and it had excellent latitude. i used a 9.5, opened all the way up and pushed everything a stop. i only used available light.
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#4 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 04:31 PM

what your adjusted eyes would see in a snowy country field under moonlight.

if there was no fire it would look almost like a darker version of day, but the fire will not let your eyes adjust so i'd say you should be able to see the snowy landscape pretty well, but no faces really. that's how i'd say it really looks and that's probably how i'd light it. i'd probably punch up the light from the fire more than reality though. let's say i'd put that one stop under on the faces and the background two stops under (incident. the snow will reflect brighter highlights than that). perhaps a soft cross moonlight at key? 500 asa stocks are great because with the lens wide open they respond similarly to your eyes in my opinion, so just light by eye. i'm far from as experienced as david though, so his advice to test test test would really be mine too? ;-)

/matt
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