Jump to content


Photo

candles


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 Alberto Díaz

Alberto Díaz
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 37 posts
  • Student
  • Madrid - Spain

Posted 02 June 2006 - 07:33 PM

Hi everybody,
I'm a student from Madrid (Spain) and I have any questions. I have to shoot a sequence with candles ( 16 mm, 500T 7218. There are two characters on the floor and the room is a black box, all black.
I haven't got 3 wick candles and I'm not Kubrick. So I'm going to use 2 or 3 normal candels and I will light with CTStraw. Full or Half? Wich exposition to flames looks pretty?
I'm afraid that lights over the characters seems different from light from the candles. I only want light over the characters and backgrounds must be absolutely black.
I hope you understand my poor English.
Please lend me a hand.
thank you. Thank you. Thank you
Alberto. DP apprentice
  • 0

#2 Chris Pritzlaff

Chris Pritzlaff
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 187 posts
  • Gaffer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 03 June 2006 - 06:02 AM

I think you will find the answers to most of your questions here:

http://www.cinematog...3282&hl=candles
  • 0

#3 Stephen Williams

Stephen Williams
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4708 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Europe

Posted 03 June 2006 - 06:33 AM

Hi everybody,
I'm a student from Madrid (Spain) and I have any questions. I have to shoot a sequence with candles ( 16 mm, 500T 7218. There are two characters on the floor and the room is a black box, all black.
I haven't got 3 wick candles and I'm not Kubrick. So I'm going to use 2 or 3 normal candels and I will light with CTStraw. Full or Half? Wich exposition to flames looks pretty?
I'm afraid that lights over the characters seems different from light from the candles. I only want light over the characters and backgrounds must be absolutely black.
I hope you understand my poor English.
Please lend me a hand.
thank you. Thank you. Thank you
Alberto. DP apprentice


Hi,

Just use candles its not that difficult with T1.4 lenses and 500 asa film.

candleS.JPG
  • 0

#4 Alberto Díaz

Alberto Díaz
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 37 posts
  • Student
  • Madrid - Spain

Posted 03 June 2006 - 07:20 AM

Thank you people. I had read thit post http://www.cinematog...3282&hl=candles before write this, but I have a lot of doubts.
Lens I'm goung to use is T2.2 and Background has to be absolutely black, so I want to put two or three candles next to the characters and light characters with artificial lights with CTStraw, but I don't know if with Half CTStraw is enough or if with CTStraw Full would be too strong.
Thank you ..
Alberto
  • 0

#5 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 03 June 2006 - 04:02 PM

The easiest way to maintain a solid black background is to use a solid black background. ;) Seriously. A black studio curatin, 4x4' floppies, duvetyn, black foamcore, or whatever. Keep the BG far enough back that they're not filled by the real candle light too much, and flag your movie lights off them. Be prepared to move the material around the set for each angle, or cheat by moving the set (table and actors) if the BG can't be moved (like a studio curtain that's only on one wall).

Technically full CTS is close to the color of candlelight, but you'll have to decide for yourself how warm you want it to look. In a real candlelit environment your eyes tend to adjust to the color, and it appears less orange and saturated after awhile. But as your gel density gets lower, the more difference you may see from the practical candlelight in the scene. I don't think you'd be disappointed with 1/2 CTS, but you really have to decide for yourself.
  • 0

#6 Stephen Williams

Stephen Williams
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4708 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Europe

Posted 03 June 2006 - 04:14 PM

T
Lens I'm goung to use is T2.2 and Background has to be absolutely black,


Hi,

FWIW I used a white background!

Stephen
  • 0

#7 Alberto Díaz

Alberto Díaz
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 37 posts
  • Student
  • Madrid - Spain

Posted 03 June 2006 - 04:45 PM

Thank you very much,people.
I'm going to use black courtains and a black carpet on the floor. ( Director wants a black box)
Regarding to the CTStraw, well it's a sequence where a couple has finished fu**ing and they are talkin about sexuality(more or less). MICHAEL NASH, Do you think full CTS is too much for this sequence or not? Please answer me because I have never used this gels ( I'm a student).
Other question: light from a candle is soft, isn't it? Do you think it would be good to use a Tiffen filter Promist on camera? Wich density is enough to get a halo in the candles : 1/4 or 1/2?
Thank you very much sincerely,
Alberto. DP apprentice
  • 0

#8 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 03 June 2006 - 05:33 PM

Thank you very much,people.
I'm going to use black courtains and a black carpet on the floor. ( Director wants a black box)
Regarding to the CTStraw, well it's a sequence where a couple has finished fu**ing and they are talkin about sexuality(more or less). MICHAEL NASH, Do you think full CTS is too much for this sequence or not? Please answer me because I have never used this gels ( I'm a student).
Other question: light from a candle is soft, isn't it? Do you think it would be good to use a Tiffen filter Promist on camera? Wich density is enough to get a halo in the candles : 1/4 or 1/2?
Thank you very much sincerely,
Alberto. DP apprentice


Like I mentioned in your other post about pink and blue, you can preview what these colors look like by using a video camera or digital still camera that's white-balanced to tungsten, and then try out the different gels in front of the lights. The colors won't look exactly the same as they will on film, but it will be close enough for you to get familiar with the general look.

In general I would say if you want to be more expressionistic then there's less danger in going too saturated with the gel. But if you want it to appear more realistic, then you might want to play it safe with the color (don't go too saturated). I understand what you're asking me, but the bottom line is I can't see the image that's in your head so I can't tell you an exact color. This is the "art" of cinematography -- you have to use your own judgement, even if you're taking a leap of faith! You're a student, so take this as an opportunity to learn by making your own experiment.

Technically speaking, a candle flame is a very small source and puts out a "hard" light with sharp shadows, but you eye doesn't focus as well under low light and limited color spectrum, so we tend to perceive it as "soft." Spend some time at home looking at candle light and you'll see what I mean. But if there are multiple candles present, then the combined light of several sources can make the overall light softer.

People do sometimes use diffusion filters on the camera with candle light, partly for the "glow" and partly for the softer focus. I would start with a low density Promist (if that's the kind you like), like 1/8 or 1/4, and go up from there if you want more glow. If you use White Promists, going too strong will start to make the black background look foggy. Also, it doesn't take much lens diffusion for it to become visible under the high coontrast of a hot flame and a black background. You might try a Black Promist if you want more softening with less contamination of the blacks.

I guess since we've already opened this can of worms labeled "candle light," I should follow through with some other details. Film doesn't always resolve as sharply under very warm (reddish) colors. Take a look here:

http://www.cameragui...candlelight.htm

Again; learning opportunity... experiment... leap of faith... try for yourself... ;)
  • 0

#9 Alberto Díaz

Alberto Díaz
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 37 posts
  • Student
  • Madrid - Spain

Posted 03 June 2006 - 05:43 PM

Thank you very much,people.
I'm going to use black courtains and a black carpet on the floor. ( Director wants a black box)
Regarding to the CTStraw, well it's a sequence where a couple has finished fu**ing and they are talkin about sexuality(more or less). MICHAEL NASH, Do you think full CTS is too much for this sequence or not? Please answer me because I have never used this gels ( I'm a student).
Other question: light from a candle is soft, isn't it? Do you think it would be good to use a Tiffen filter Promist on camera? Wich density is enough to get a halo in the candles : 1/4 or 1/2?
Thank you very much sincerely,
Alberto. DP apprentice

I forgot to answer something, Do you think it would be better to use a dimmer to simulate the oscilations of the candles? Or do you think it's too much difficult to simulate this effect and it will seems that light doesn't come from the candles?

Wich is the best way to simulate the oscilations from the candles?
I'm very grateful for your help, Alberto


Thank you very much,people and specially to Michael.
I'm with you brother, I'm a student and I have to try for my self.

Best
  • 0

#10 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 03 June 2006 - 05:47 PM

Wich is the best way to simulate the oscilations from the candles?


Personally I don't like flicker effects for candles, beacuse it's too easy for the effect to look "fake" when there's only one or two candles in the frame.

But if you do want flicker you can use hand dimmers, but that can become tiring for the person operating the dimmer. The best way really is to use a "flicker box" like the ones made by MagicGadget. But you may not have access to this at your school.

http://www.magicgadg...om/mg_ol_04.htm

For larger fire effects there are several tricks you can do by hand, like waving your fingers or hands in front of the light, reflecting the light off a flexible reflector, or dangling strips of colored gel in front of the light. There are discussions about these techniques elsewhere on this site.
  • 0

#11 Alberto Díaz

Alberto Díaz
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 37 posts
  • Student
  • Madrid - Spain

Posted 03 June 2006 - 07:05 PM

Last questions I promise.
I 'm going to work with kodak Vision2 500T 7218. wich exposition will be better to flames look good and to seems that light in the character comes from the candles? Do you think 2.8 -2.8 2/3 works well?
Regarding to gels, there are 3 types of straw: CTStraw, Straw and Straw tint . Wich is the most appropiate for the candles?
Regarding to blue gels. I have choose two : Mist blue and Pale blue. Wich do you think is better and colder?
Than you, Thank you thank you
Alberto
  • 0

#12 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 04 June 2006 - 04:05 AM

I 'm going to work with kodak Vision2 500T 7218. wich exposition will be better to flames look good and to seems that light in the character comes from the candles? Do you think 2.8 -2.8 2/3 works well?


You'll have to decide for yourself what exposure best balances the glow of the candle flame and the light on the face. If you expose for the real light the candle gives (the incident light at the face), the candle flame will burn out white. If you expose darker to keep some color in the flame, the face may go too dark.

If you have a spot meter you can attepmt to meter the candle flame, making sure it's no more than about 4 stops overexposed if you want some color in it. Or, you could simply light your faces to a 2.2 with your movie lights and let the candle flames add to the faces naturally. I can't tell you what would look "better" -- that's your opinion.

Regarding to gels, there are 3 types of straw: CTStraw, Straw and Straw tint . Wich is the most appropiate for the candles?

"CTStraw" is the closest to the color of candle flames. But take a look at the gels -- what do you think?

Regarding to blue gels. I have choose two : Mist blue and Pale blue. Wich do you think is better and colder?

Hold the gels up against a white background and look at them by eye -- what do you think?
  • 0

#13 Alberto Díaz

Alberto Díaz
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 37 posts
  • Student
  • Madrid - Spain

Posted 04 June 2006 - 07:30 AM

Thank youy for your help Michael, If you come to Madrid or Alicante, contact me and I will help you if you needed.
I have done proofs you say, and I have a lee filters book with filters samples. But It's really difficult to determinate wich is the most suitable( suitablest?). And I have done proofs with my digital camera.
It's true that you can't tell me waht would look better, It's matter of personal taste.
I have a Sekonic, but I think If I use spotmeter ,flames always says more than 4 points overexposed?.
My principal fear is that movie lights looks different from the candle and most important :
How many stops could I underexpose flames with regard to the faces (spotmeter) to looks real?

Regarding to blue gels, I have from 300W to 1000W fresnel tungsten and it has to be on the ceiling
. And blue gels eat a lot of light, so Do you know how many transmision have full CTB.?
Do you think I will have problems with light intensity if I use fullCTB or an strong blue gel? There are travellings and I don't want to difficult too much the work's assistant camera
Much appreciated
Alberto
  • 0

#14 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 04 June 2006 - 04:15 PM

I have a Sekonic, but I think If I use spotmeter ,flames always says more than 4 points overexposed?.

Yes, the flames will probably always be more than 4 stops overexposed if you want to expose for any of the light it throws on the faces. But the more movie light you put on the faces, the higher the f-stop you can shoot at.

My principal fear is that movie lights looks different from the candle and most important :
How many stops could I underexpose flames with regard to the faces (spotmeter) to looks real?


You don't want to underxpose the flames, but you may want to underexpose the faces. Candlelight is pretty dim, so you would never really expect to see a face at "normal" exposure when lit by a single candle. I would expose the face maybe 1/2 stop under when it's near the candle, and go even darker when the face is farther away.

But it is difficult to shoot dark scenes like this to look both realistic and look good on the screen. Sometimes what's "real" ends up just looking muddy and dark on the screen. So you have to use some judgement to find the balance.

Regarding to blue gels, I have from 300W to 1000W fresnel tungsten and it has to be on the ceiling
. And blue gels eat a lot of light, so Do you know how many transmision have full CTB.?

Full CTB loses about 1-1/2 stops.

Why don't you do some test setups with your digital camera and light meter? It's true that film will hold much more detail in the bright highlights and deep shadows, but you can still get an idea of what kind of lighting setup looks "real" and what just looks fake.
  • 0

#15 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19765 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 04 June 2006 - 05:32 PM

At some point, asking exactly how blue moonlight should be or how orange firelight should be is like asking how much salt is good for seasoning food -- it's a matter of taste. We can't tell you whether Full CTS is "too" warm or not.

When in doubt, shoot a test. In fact, that's one of the basic tests I shoot, something under Full Blue and Full Orange light, at different exposures. If that looks too strong, I know I can back off to Half.
  • 0

#16 Alberto Díaz

Alberto Díaz
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 37 posts
  • Student
  • Madrid - Spain

Posted 04 June 2006 - 05:48 PM

Thank you 1000 times
Unfortunately I haven't got the lighmeter, it's at school and they don't let me to take it out of school
Finally I have decided to use Mist Blue gel and Half CTStraw.
Much appreciated,
Alberto
  • 0


CineTape

Aerial Filmworks

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Glidecam

CineLab

Willys Widgets

Metropolis Post

Visual Products

Ritter Battery

Wooden Camera

Tai Audio

Paralinx LLC

Abel Cine

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

FJS International, LLC

The Slider

rebotnix Technologies

Opal

Glidecam

Opal

Wooden Camera

Abel Cine

Paralinx LLC

Ritter Battery

Aerial Filmworks

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineTape

Willys Widgets

The Slider

CineLab

FJS International, LLC

Metropolis Post

Visual Products

Technodolly

rebotnix Technologies

Rig Wheels Passport

Tai Audio