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Dark Skin tones in Low Light...


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#1 John Carreon

John Carreon
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Posted 16 June 2006 - 07:09 PM

Hello People,

I am shooting a music video this weekend (Canon HD100) and the main character is Black or African American or not Irish (however you want to put it)

The majority of the scenes take place in a very dark room where lighting will be minimal. I'm worried about shooting a dark skin tone in this situation...I want to make sure that he stands out without adding too much extra light. Is it as simple as a backlight?!?

A lot of the time he will just be lit with just a spot light and other times the background will be revealed which is mostly dark wood paneling and a few scantily clad women. (what's a music video without them, right?)

I would love some tips or any recommendations you might have.

Thanks in advance,

John
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 07:32 PM

Just don't underexpose him as much as you would for a lighter-toned person. You're shooting video so you will see for yourself on the monitor if you're using enough light on him.

Yes, some backlight or a kicker helps separate dark hair from a dark background.
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#3 Michael Nash

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 08:55 PM

Darker skin tones can also have a more visible sheen to them (by virtue of contrast), which you can use to your advantage. A soft, but low-level edge light can give a subtle glow or kick of reflection, without adding much incident light.

David seems to have used that principle a bit in Akeelah and the Bee as you can see here on the girl's left cheek (frame right):

akeelah.jpg
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#4 vikash nowlakha

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 02:25 AM

I agree with Michael - use the sheen - You could also enhancance reflection by using a baby oil on your subject if what your shooting allows. Big hot spots out of frame and single kino tubes that dont spill light onto the set can then be used to create reflections where ever you need to see some seperation.
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