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Lighting Casino Table


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#1 Mehran Haq

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 07:24 PM

Hey all,

Whats the best way to light a vegas card table and actors face. Basically all I want lit is the table and the actors face and everything else is black behind them. There will be 4 card players playing poker. Thanks guys.



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Edited by goldencam, 18 May 2006 - 07:25 PM.

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#2 Mehran Haq

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 07:37 PM

Im sorry I forgot to state what I will be shooting with. Most likely either a Canon Xl2 or a Panasonic DVX100b with a 35mm adapter. Most likely would be using a Nikon prime 50mm or 75mm lense. Thanks again.



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Edited by goldencam, 18 May 2006 - 07:39 PM.

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#3 Michael Nash

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 07:40 PM

It depends what you want it to look like!

The basic approach would be to light the table from above only, making sure that light doesn't spill onto the background. But there are a million variations of this depending on the size of the table, the contrast you want, the amount of fill you want on their faces, any edge light you may need, etc.

Some kind of soft box large enough to cover all the actors, and skirted on the sides would give you a relatively soft illumination of the whole table, but still give contrast on the underside of their faces and hands. Another approach might be more like the typical "interrogation room" setup with a small, strong source pounded down into the center of the table, and let the actor's faces be lit by bounce from the table and whatever soft spill comes off the edge of the beam from above. This approach is a little more dramatic as there's a bright hotspot in the center of the table, and the actors move in and out of light as they move around. There are also some dynamic bounces and shadows as they move the cards around.

But if this is less "drama" and more "reality TV" where capturing the action is more important, then you may want to use separate key lights for each of the players, a little farther away and more frontal to get the light more into their faces. You could use something like 4 4x4 Kino's, one opposite each player and far enough back to do double-duty as a backlight for the opposite player.
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#4 Mehran Haq

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 10:15 AM

Awsome! Thanks Michael. What kind of light should I use to hang over the table to get the table and actors illuminated slightly? Thanks.



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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 10:31 AM

I think Michael laid out some options for you -- at this point, it depends on what YOU want it to look like. Do you want a soft overhead key with a gradual fall-off, or a hard overhead key with a sharp-edged fall-off? And can you rig a overhead softbox on your location, or overhead Kinos, or is a Chinese Lantern with a skirt the heaviest thing you can rig? Or do you want to rig a practical "China hat" fixture over the table that can even be in the shot if necessary? That may be better if you have wide shots. Then you could replace it with a Chinese Lantern and some flags for tighter close-ups where you want a softer key.
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#6 Robert Aldrich

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 12:37 PM

Hey all,

Whats the best way to light a vegas card table and actors face. Basically all I want lit is the table and the actors face and everything else is black behind them. There will be 4 card players playing poker. Thanks guys.
Your Friend,

GoldenCam


Check this out from Kodak. It's right on this subject: http://tinyurl.com/nabj7
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#7 Luke Prendergast

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 04:31 PM

Filmtools have 'Official World Poker Series' softlights.
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#8 Chris Keth

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 04:48 PM

Filmtools have 'Official World Poker Series' softlights.



To the OP: Could you use your real name in your signature and change your title, please? Around this forum, we like names and honest job titles. Since you're asking this question, I really doubt you're a working DP. :blink:
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#9 Luke Prendergast

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 05:07 PM

Is that for me? You quoted my reply. Signature's intact.
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#10 Chris Keth

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 06:03 PM

Is that for me? You quoted my reply. Signature's intact.



Oh...no. I completely ignored that I quoted you. You're just fine, Mr. Videomatographer
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Aerial Filmworks

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Gamma Ray Digital Inc

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