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How's my lighting?


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#1 Nathan Donnelly

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 08:55 PM

Hey guys, I'm about to start my first short film (dialogue! acting! O.O) and I'm still a little self-conscious about my light decisions. I've provided stills of my most recent project so you guys can say what worked and wht didn't, to help me fix those next time around. These were lit using the location's flourescents and through manipulations of sections of lights, came to the look you see here. Let me know what you think.

Engine Room
Steam Gagues
Chart Room
The Freezer
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#2 Terrence L Daniels

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 03:44 PM

my 2 cents well 4...keep the change...

engine room...i'd say give a little more light to the front and add some detail to that black jacket/coat. other than that in my own opinion it's a little blue/green for me.
steam gauges...light the back wall or doorway and separate your subject from it or back light your subject.
chart room...this one is okay. i'd put a small light on the floor aimed at the wall again for separation. that's just me.
the freezer...my fave out of the four. this one has the detail i'm talking about. you can see the room and the subject doesn't blend in to the background. thumbs up on this one.
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#3 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 06:38 PM

Did you build the set, or was it a location?
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#4 Thom Stitt

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 03:10 AM

They have a pretty interesting look to them, I like it.

I'd pretty much second what Terrence said. The major problem here would be separation. The contrast is so incredibly high here that you've run the risk of losing your character's black clothing into the dark backgrounds, which is exactly what's happened. Work on separating. Just put dress lights on the walls/objects behind him, or try to light and backlight the character a little more.

My favorite frame is the first one - Full shot of a character completely surrounded by gauges. It's a great looking set, and I'd say as a DP you've definitely achieved a "look". Unfortunately your lighting has also come close to creating a floating head. In this frame, you do have some light in the back, but his wardrobe is so dark you've lost all detail. Just bring up the ambient on him from the front to get some detail... But this is also a prime example of when a DP's job intersects with wardrobe and art. If the production's going to have such a high-contrast look achieved through the photography, the wardrobe shouldn't be pitch black, or it's going to cause problems for the DP.

Anyway, cool looking short though.
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#5 Nathan Donnelly

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 03:06 PM

Thanks guys for your honest replies. It means a lot. Adam, your comment actually made me chuckle, so I'll answer you first. No this was not a set. We shot on location onboard the USS Turner Joy, an inactive destroyer over in Bremerton. If we would've had the money to replicate a warship on set, I for damn sure wouldnt have shot the project with an XL2. :lol: Terrence and Thom, your comments ring true, and I should smack myself for not noticing the washout between the character's wardrobe and the dark parts of the ship. Live and learn, I guess.

My copy of Lighting for Digital Video & Television just arrived today, so I'm excited. Got a lot to learn.

Edited by Nathan Donnelly, 05 September 2006 - 03:08 PM.

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