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When to use which lights etc


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#1 Andrea altgayer

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 05:23 PM

Hi guys,

It has been ages since the last time I posted, but unfortunately someone unsubscribed me from this forum without my permission. Oh, the joys of sharing a computer! :)

I am a total newbie when it comes to lighting, and would really like to know when to use which lights, eg blondes, redheads, kino flows, HMI lights and fresnels.

Your advice would be GREATLY appreciated.

Regards,

Andrea
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 05:46 PM

There's enough to know you'd be best served by checking out one of the books in the library ( http://cinematograph.../shop/books.asp ). "Film Lighting" is a good place to start.
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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 07:31 PM

Lighting has in general as much to do with the realities of the shooting situation as it does with the look you want. You just have to match up what you have with what you need and what you want to do. IMHO and all
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 07:46 PM

There are the practical matters of what lighting effects do you need to achieve and how the lights need to be rigged into a location or set, whether you need to work in daylight or tungsten balance, or match to something odd like ordinary flourescents or gas discharge lighting, and what f-stop you want to achieve for the film stock you are planning on using.

Then there is the whole other matter of budget -- can you afford the lights and can you afford a generator to power them.

The best thing is to learn to light small rooms and close-ups and then extropolate mentally from there for how to light bigger spaces.
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#5 Alex Wuijts

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 01:33 PM

If you want to know about the basic techniques, tools and philosophy behind film lighting than i think Lowell's Matters of Light and Depth is an excellent read to begin with. It's really written with the layman in mind and doesn't get technical at all, but it's very comprehensive at the same time. It also contains some good exercises to improve lighting skills and train your eye.
Ofcourse there are a lot of other good works out there.
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#6 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 02:45 PM

The Kodak website has some "Virtual Lighting" diagrams showing the lighting used for some Kodak film demos by Kodak cinematographer Chris Hart:

http://www.kodak.com...360/index.jhtml

http://www.kodak.com...ineUpdate.jhtml

Let us know what you think of the concept, and whether it's worth expanding to other lighting situations.
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#7 G . Stephen Bruno

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 07:23 PM

Dear John,

yes, please continue with those set-up examples, very imformative for students like myself.
A big "thanks alot" to kodak for doing that.
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#8 Jaimie Blake

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 12:28 AM

Those were great!
Thanks and please add more to the website.
:D
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#9 not valid

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 05:56 PM

The Kodak website has some "Virtual Lighting" diagrams showing the lighting used for some Kodak film demos by Kodak cinematographer Chris Hart:

http://www.kodak.com...360/index.jhtml

http://www.kodak.com...ineUpdate.jhtml

Let us know what you think of the concept, and whether it's worth expanding to other lighting situations.



What A fantastic idea! i can't Believe no one has thought of this earlier.

I dont think a hell of alot of the pool table lighting i think it is a little over done. But the designers i like alot. No offence to the Cinematography. Just personal opinion. 10 points for the Concept though its fantastic.


In regards to this topic i dont think there is ever a "RIGHT" or "WRONG" time to use a certain light. Well obviously if your lighting a golf course on wide in the middle of the night a Kino is not a wise idea. Basically what im trying to say is every lighting situation is different and the mise en scene or look of the scene is always different. Reading some books like the ones mentioned above is a great way to learn.

Each of those lights has a specific purpose and each has different qualities. Some softer some harder some brighter. I imagine if you gave 10 cinematographers only the lights you mentioned and the same scene and sent them away you would get 10 different lighting set ups. It all depends on the way you light yourself.

But you should most definetly do some reading..Very good way to get a grasp on lighting.. Lighting is a very hard thing to learn and in my oppinion impossible to master.

Hope this shed some Light on the subject.

Edited by Jake I, 15 May 2006 - 05:59 PM.

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#10 Bob Hayes

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 10:05 AM

HMIs are very powerful, daylight balanced, and are usually used in situations where you need to balance to daylight or need lots of power.

Kino Flos are fluorescent units which use tubes that have colors that work well with film. They are very light weight, small, and efficient. They are often used in smaller lighting situations like room interiors.

Red's and Blonds are open faced, bare bulb, tungsten lights. They are lightweight, inexpensive, and supply a lot of punch. On the downside they aren't very controllable. Because of their affordability they are used on lower budget projects or to supplement lighting packages on larger budget. They are often used as bounced lights or through diffusion material where they excel.

Fresnel units like baby's and pups have glass lenses which allow focusing of the units. The quality of the light is very smooth and allows you to focus the unit from a spot to a wide flood. You can also use the doors to create slashes of lights. This is a technique you can't effectively do with open faced units.

Other units you will run across are xenons, Broads, Ellipsoidal, Pars, Arcs, LEDs, China Balls, Soft lights, and bean projectors. As mentioned before there are many fine books on the subject.
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#11 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 04:21 PM

I personally am in a Tungsten phase right now. I shun HMI's and I try to avoid Kino Flo's as much as I can, since I kind of feel they're a bit clinical or 90's (if I'm permitted to be so full of myself...).

My favorite light these days are the wonderful Rifa-lights. They're just brilliant.

That said, many times you have to tailor your lights to the practical location you're about to shoot in. For instance tomorrow I'm shooting a music video in a gorgeous old Georgian house here in London. Since we're limited to house power AND we need daylight, tungsten didn't make much sense. To my great sadness. I tried, but it just wasn't feasible. So I brought in some Flathead 80's, a couple of HMI's and some 4x4 Kinos - all the things I tried to avoid :D It just makes sense here were it's all so cramped and with limited power. I did manage to sneak a couple of Rifa's in, though :P
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#12 Rupe Whiteman

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 05:20 PM

QUOTE - My favorite light these days are the wonderful Rifa-lights. They're just brilliant.

... Adam,

What's a Rifa-light?

Rupe Whiteman...

Edited by rupe w, 16 May 2006 - 05:21 PM.

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#13 Igor Trajkovski

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 06:49 PM

Check: http://www.lowel.com/rifa/
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#14 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 03:20 AM

i love rifas too.

/matt
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#15 janusz sikora

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 10:35 AM

Andrea...
There is no such thing as "this lighting instrument for this look"...
It is about Light Control.... Light is like clay... you work it untill you get it at the consistency you want it to be... You work it using Light Accessories: Bounce, Nets, Silks, Diffusions, Reflections etc.... You start with an image in your Heart and Mind that should tell you what Light Quality suits your particular Mood... and than you "work it".
Look in nature.... there is One Light Source, and look at infinite qualities resulting from it...?
janusz :o
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