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Balancing Tungsten and Fluorescent


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#1 Lucita Jones

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 06:06 PM

Hi,


The location I am lighting for a video is a neighborhood mini -market originally lit with fluorecent tubes. I need to raise the light level to it even it with the exterior. I am thinking of bouncing two 800w Tota lights to the ceiling just to raise the level. The light for the sceen will be justified with the fluorescents. I will probably gel the Totas with 1/8 CTB to match them with the fluorescents. My question is, how will both temperatures balance together? Should I white balance with both lights on? Are there other ways of raising the light level when dealing with fluorescent lights?


Thanks

LJ
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#2 timHealy

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 06:47 PM

Do you know what kind of fluorescent bulbs they are? Are they warm white? Cool white? Do you have a color temp meter to read color in Kelvin and how much green they contain? Also are there windows in your shot where daylight or sunlight is spilling in?

You can use lights bounced into the ceiling to over ride the florescents, but you don't sound like you have a lot of supplimental lighting to over power all of them.

Best

Tim
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#3 Xavier Plaza

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 12:41 PM


" The location I am lighting for a video is a neighborhood mini -market originally lit with fluorecent tubes. I need to raise the light level to it even it with the exterior" .



hi the exterior is day or night???


xavier plaza
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#4 Kristy Tully

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 02:39 PM

Hi Lucita,

I assume you are trying to balance the fluorescents to daylight outside. So you are dealing with 3 different color temperatures, daylight, florescents, and your tota lights. Most Fluorescents used commercially are cool whites, but some are warm deluxe, or some variation there of. Both kinds will have a lot of green in them and they will vary in warmth. The cool whites will match with daylite, spare the extra green I mentioned. The warm deluxes (and variations) will be slightly warmer, maybe in the 1/2 CTO range form daylight. As mentioned, if you or a friend owns a color temperature meter you could match your colors exactly. If you were going to use tungsten light and match to outside and your florecnts, I'd probably add 1/2- full CTB, although full blue will take a lot of light away. That still doesn't handle the green. Adding minus green would probably take away too much light from the already dim commercial fluors. If there is not a lot of daylite in coming in you could add 1/2 green to your tota light to bring the green levels into balnce so your tota light doesn't seem too pink, or the fluors too green. If you were to read your meter it would tell you to add full green or full minus green, but I've always found that even though the metes says it, it just is too much. I always use 1/2 of either when the meter calls for full.
There are a couple of other ways to handle this also. The simplist way,( although it sounds more time consuming, it's not after you figure in not having to move around lights all day) is to replace the existing bulbs with Kino Flo55 tubes. They are brighter than household and commercial fluorescents and have no unwanted green to deal with. Sometimes while I'm swaping them out I'll remove the diffuser as well, allowing more light to hit the scene. They will also match the daylight color temp without the need for light-robbing gel.
But, to be realistic, you won't be able to match the sun level outside with either 2 totas or kino flo tubes. (Unless, the building you see outside are in shade when you see out the window). If you are looking to just bring it up a little, but have the outside still a little blown, this may work.
But, to match it perfectly, you really have to either gel the windows will heavy ND, or use bigger HMIs.

If I were just going to use the tota light described, I'd probably end up using 1/2 CTB. The green is another issue. If enough daylite was coming in to mix, I might not add green to the tota to match the flors and hope that enough daylite in mixing in. When I white balanced, I'd try to get a little bit of all three light sources on the white card. Then I watch the monitor closely. If you shot further away from the windows you would start to notice more green because of the amount of green in fluorescents. I guess the nice thing about video is you can just re-white balance and hope you don't have a shot that goes from deep in the store to closer to the windows where you'd get a color shift.

Edited by Kristy Tully, 01 September 2006 - 02:40 PM.

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#5 Lucita Jones

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 02:24 PM

What a useful answer, thanks a lot Kristy and all who helped.
Lucita
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#6 Olivier Egli

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 06:04 AM

well one last thing that you shoudl keep in mind with white balancing is which area in your shot you want to white balance to.
if you get too close to the green spike fluos and white balance to them the rest of the scene that is not illuminated by much fluos will tend to go on the magenta side. if on the other hand you white balance under the other light the green spike might get too apparent. so if you cant balance the lights properly as mentioned before you should look out for a spot where you get evenly the same amount of all the three light colors. you might still have to add a keyframed color correction in post using a gradient matte, but chances are that you get away with it.
good luck
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