Jump to content


Photo

B&W reversal stock lighting questions.


  • Please log in to reply
2 replies to this topic

#1 Lee Young

Lee Young
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 62 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 02 October 2006 - 01:56 AM

I'm working on my first short and know close to nothing about lighting. I'm shooting kodak tri-x reversal. These are the lights I have.

1. 4 different 650 watt lights made for super 8 cameras
2. 2 sets of coupled photo flood lights
3. I would like to test my lighting situations with a still camera. Should I buy ASA 200 35mm film (black and white of course).
I know this is not very many lights, but I also want to keep the lighting very simple. The general visual concepts come close to that of Bergmans "Through a Glass Darkly", the "Silence", or "Lolita" (Kubrick). These are the main questions I have.

1. There will be a silhouetted wide angle shot at magic hour on a lake. Where should I meause light from with my spot meter. My actors will be very far away. Much like the shot in the Godfather II.

2. is it worth it to use these lights

3. Is there a way to use a softbox or umbrella with any of these lights.

If this is all too vague tell me and I'll do my best to help. I'd like to use these lights if at all possible. I am very broke. I will replace them if it is completely naive to even try. I figured it may be possible to use cheaper lights since were shooting in black and white and light can be more exaggerated, but I could be very wrong.
  • 0

#2 Bryan Darling

Bryan Darling
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 227 posts
  • Director
  • Sacramento, CA

Posted 02 October 2006 - 02:28 PM

I've shot a lot of black & white reversal. I think shooting rolls of still b&w film isn't a bad idea if you want to get a general feel for lighting. However if the purpose is to get a feel for what the reversal will do, then shooting negative would net be that helpful. The contrast is different and the film can be printed in many ways, whereas reversal is what it is on the film. My recommendation is to buy at least one 100' roll from Kodak and just shoot it. Use your lighting equipment and do some tests. It will save you so much in the end to put out a little money up front to shoot some film to get a feel for it.

As for silhouettes, you generally measure for the brightest light; that way your subject goes dark. In regards to using umbrellas and soft boxes, the simplest method would be to bounce the light off of reflectors that you can make with foam core and attaching sheets of reflective medias such as those by Roscoe. Another method is to put diffusion over the lights themselves, you could use ND gels if you wanted to cut the amount of light down. It sounds like you'll be using open face lights that put out light in all directions. A product called Black Wrap, a black heavy aluminum foil, is great for creating snoots and flags to control the light some. Essentially you can wrap it around a light get the control you want, albeit in a limited fashion.

Just remember black & white likes contrast and contrast comes from using direct lights. I mean that in the sense of using diffused lighting or bounced lighting, i.e. soft lighting. Depending on the effect, you will probably find it far more visually interesting to "throw" lights places, rather than try to diffuse and bounce everything onto and around your subject. Lighting for black & white is not quite the same as lighting for color.

Hope some of that helps.
  • 0

#3 Lee Young

Lee Young
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 62 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 02 October 2006 - 07:09 PM

Thanks. I really thought people were going to say my lights were useless. My only concern is what about a primary like a 1k. Will one of these be necessary for well balanced light. I thought of shooting 200 speed reversal color film 35mm for test and then converting it to black and white in Photoshop. Is this practial? Thanks a lot for all the info already. I would also like to know if there's a good book that can show me different light set ups with pictoral examples. I would also like to know what the late Sven Nykvist often did in terms of lighting with the faith trilogy. Thanks.
  • 0


rebotnix Technologies

Willys Widgets

Wooden Camera

The Slider

Aerial Filmworks

Visual Products

Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

Rig Wheels Passport

Glidecam

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineTape

Paralinx LLC

Tai Audio

CineLab

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc

FJS International, LLC

Technodolly

Opal

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Willys Widgets

Metropolis Post

Rig Wheels Passport

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

Paralinx LLC

Visual Products

Tai Audio

The Slider

Aerial Filmworks

CineLab

Opal

CineTape

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Wooden Camera

Glidecam

FJS International, LLC

rebotnix Technologies