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Problems with getting this right


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#1 G McMahon

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 12:40 PM

Attached is a still from a short earlier this year. Sorry for the compressed image.

I am not happy with the look, the shadow of the talent down the hall for example.

I was after a natural approach and I believe I shot it with a Sony 590? The character walks in from around the right corner and the camera slowly dollies toward him

From memory, outside the window I had a 1.2K hmi through 250. Inside, Left (camera left) around the corner there was a four bank Kino, and on the right, another 1.2K through another 250 frame. There was also a 650 spotted onto the TV cabinet.

I wanted the highlights down the hallway, however I found the HMI inside ?too sourcey?. I also found it spilling on the roof too much. When I tried to top flag it the flags encroached on shot as we dollied closer. If I was to bounce it in to the roof it then again would spill over the ceiling.

Any suggestions how to tackle this? In situations like this do you look at setting your exposure based on the uncontrollable factor first, the rear window, them trim interior lights to that?

All suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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#2 Cody Jacobs

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 01:25 PM

I think what you have coming in through the window is pretty nice on its own. I would have considered losing the other HMI and kino all together. Or perhaps not to go quite as contrasty bounce the HMI into what looks like wood floors in that apartment for some warmer room tone and then placing the kino on camera to give the subject a little detail with frontal fill. Then again I don't know the mood of the story at this specific moment and so forth.
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#3 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 02:03 PM

Does the background window not create a reflective highlight down the hallway alone without the par?
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#4 Michael Collier

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 04:33 PM

If I understand you correctly, your concerned with the lighting in the room behind him, and nameley on the ceiling? I would have considered pushing the light higher (so only bounce off the desk and floor reaches the roof) and pull the light back and increase the power (that way the falloff would be more gradual by the time the light enters the room, making less contrast between forground and background.)
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#5 G McMahon

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 11:00 PM

If I understand you correctly, your concerned with the lighting in the room behind him,

I actually mean the shadow he casts down the hall towards camera.

I would have considered pushing the light higher (so only bounce off the desk and floor reaches the roof) and pull the light back and increase the power (that way the falloff would be more gradual by the time the light enters the room, making less contrast between forground and background.)

Are you suggesting I place the second Hmi outside aswell? As they don't throw that much light, especially once it goes through a frame.
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#6 Michael Collier

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 03:18 AM

No, I suppose I was looking at the wrong HMI.

If its the shadow you don't like, then I ask you what else was that light doing other than provide key on his face (its really hard to tell whats going on without a light diagram) the best suggesion would be to soften the faces key light with a bigger frame. I don't know how big the frame is, but obviously by the shadow it couldn't have been very large. maybe you could have reversed the kino and the HMI (making for hard backlight, and soft frontal light when he reaches his ending position. If the HMI seemed too sourcy, then yes you can pull it back, sourcey light to me says that incidence increases more than natural given a set subject travel (light from the sky in almost all forms has a very gradual falloff, light from almost all film sources have a very sharp falloff initially, save the kino)

But like I said, its hard to reverse engeneer by discription without pics of the setup, or at least a diagram.

One thing that may have helped with the lights placed as they are, you could have turned the HMI to hit the unseen wall at a raking angle. No shadow would be cast on the door, however if your actor ever crossed the doors threshold, a very sharp shadow on him would result. Its hard to say if that would have worked, given the charecters movement in scene that we can't see.

Edited by Michael Collier, 20 September 2006 - 03:21 AM.

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#7 Mario C. Jackson

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 09:51 AM

I probally would have kept that par outside going through a frame of 250. In the inside of the house I probally would have just used bounce card for the guys face and a 1k with full CTB with a croney to hit certain things in the frame. I would have exposed 2 stops under the highlights.
Hope this helps
Mario C. Jackson

Edited by Mario C. Jackson, 20 September 2006 - 09:52 AM.

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#8 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 10:18 AM

In situations like this do you look at setting your exposure based on the uncontrollable factor first, the rear window, them trim interior lights to that?


That's where I usually start. What other choice is there beyond blowing out the "uncontrolled" factor or underexposing it?

Because I get "stuck" in small rooms all the time with a video camera, my mission is less about how to light talent and things and more about controlling the spill after I light them. Obviously there is some crossover. For instance, I prefer using Chimeras on the talent, but in dire situations, I just throw 216 or Opal over the barndoors to help keep the spill to a minimum.

Without having been on your set and not knowing what tools were available, it's hard to say precisely what I would have done, but I'm sure you did the best you could given the circumstances. If it was a constructed set on stage, I'm sure it could have looked more to your liking, but practical situations hardly ever turn out perfectly.
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#9 G McMahon

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 10:51 AM

....and a 1k with full CTB with a croney . I would have exposed 2 stops under the highlights.


What's a croney? Would have you considered your window the highlight (excuse me if this sounds ignorant, I just don't want to assume) ?

Thanks all again.
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