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Filming under stadium lights at night


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#1 Brian Rose

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Posted 24 September 2006 - 07:09 PM

All,
I'm going to be filming a football game this Saturday. It takes place at 6:00, so essentially, it will be at night under the stadium lights. I'll be shooting 500T and I have a milliframe controller for high speed photography. This is a first time for me, so I was wondering if any of you have filmed in a similar situation? What's been your experience? Any tips, or suggestions?
Best,
Brian Rose
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#2 Rob van Gelder

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Posted 24 September 2006 - 10:32 PM

1) The lights in the stadium ar NOT flickerfree, so be carefull with the high speeds you use or you will have flicker.

2) The lights are very likely NOT HMI but another gas mixture, giving much higher blue output (7000/8000 K)

3) Be very careful with lights that are in shot or just out of shot. While their flares might not be visible in your viewfinder/video-assist, their higher Blue output can make some very distracting pin-sharp flares in frame: I had once a reshoot with an Aaton S-16 + 5.5 Optex wide angle. While you could not see distracting flares through the viewfinder or on video, we found out in the telecine that all shots were unusable due to the strong blue flares that were-of course- exactly on the heads and eyes of the people we were making shots of.
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#3 Tim J Durham

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 06:50 AM

All,
I'm going to be filming a football game this Saturday. It takes place at 6:00, so essentially, it will be at night under the stadium lights. I'll be shooting 500T and I have a milliframe controller for high speed photography. This is a first time for me, so I was wondering if any of you have filmed in a similar situation? What's been your experience? Any tips, or suggestions?
Best,
Brian Rose

From 6:00pm until the sun has set and it's completely dark, you are going to get a wide spectrum of color temp and intensity changes as the stadium lights begin to overpower the setting sunlight.
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#4 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 11:29 AM

Hello Brian,

I've shot 500T at night in Anaheim Stadium a few times. I used 81EF and CC10 Magenta filters and the film needed only a slight color correction in telecine. I opened up one stop to compensate for this combination of filters. (Edit: just remembered--the EF and CC10 were on top of an 85 filter to correct tungsten to daylight! Give two stops add'l exposure with all three filters in place. You can also use 250D without the 85 filter, just the warming and CC.)

A color meter would help. Any chance you can rent one? If so, I'd recommend having a few warming filters (81C, D, EF) and some greens and magentas CC05 and CC10. With negative film, you will have a good bit of room to manipulate the color balance in telecine, so don't miss a shot while you're trying to get a filter into the slot.

Since the game starts at 6PM, check to see what time the sun will set. If you are shooting while the sun is still up you'll need to keep checking the color temp as it sets and until it gets dark. Be aware of any late warm sunlight and filter accordingly. If you have a lot of sunlight down on the field you might try an 82 or 82B blue filter to cool it down a little (or remove the 85 and instead use an 81C or 81EF).

Also, keep in mind the color temp of the stadium lights will change for the first 15 or 20 minutes as they warm up. If it's too dark to use the filtration, you could always try shooting without. Maybe better to have less-than-perfect color than no film at all.
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