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Photography Camera Flashes On Film


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#1 Michael Sarrow

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 01:18 AM

I have a question regarding photography flashes on film.

First, suppose there is a motivated light source of the flash of a still camera off frame. This is supposed to illuminate the two characters in the frame and some of the set. Essentially, someone is off frame with a disposable camera in a dim room and flashing a picture of the two characters that the film camera is framing. What is the best way to achieve this effect?

Do I use a flashbulb or other photography light (and possibly umbrella?) to simulate the flash? Will this be overbearing for the effect of a disposable camera? Is it easier to do it in post? Obviously, overexposure for a few frames wouldn't create the same shadows as a motivated source, but would anyone notice? What are my other options?

Also, if I use a real flashing device made for photography, do I need to adjust shutter speed to register the flash? I remember reading that camera flashes will not always register on film due to speed. I also have the same question of a still camera with flash facing the film camera. Will the flash always register?

Thanks for any help. I really appreciate it!
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 02:10 AM

Electronic camera flashes can be too fast for a movie camera shutter, so often they use off-camera an old cube-type flashbulb and something to trigger it. Or you can use a strobe synced to the camera.

Worst case would be to turn on and off a bright light and later cut out a few frames (or speed it up) to keep it as short as possible.
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#3 Michael Sarrow

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 03:12 AM

Electronic camera flashes can be too fast for a movie camera shutter, so often they use off-camera an old cube-type flashbulb and something to trigger it. Or you can use a strobe synced to the camera.

Worst case would be to turn on and off a bright light and later cut out a few frames (or speed it up) to keep it as short as possible.



Thanks so much for your help. I really appreciate it.

Do you know where I can order (preferably overnight, so I can begin testing immediately) the flashbulbs? Also, what do I need to trigger the bulbs, and where can I order one? or are they expensive enough to need to rent?
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 12:05 PM

Usually the flash bulb trigger is supplied by the prop man on my shoots, and many of them own one or rent one. A few efx people build a simple device that holds three or four cubes for a bigger flash. I don't know the mechanism for triggering the flashcube, but it must be pretty simple.

A junk store or old camera shop probably has an old flashbulb holder/trigger unit.

The flashcubes are pretty expensive these days.

You can read a discussion here:
http://www.photo.net...g?msg_id=00HgWG
http://www.graflex.o...lash/nancy.html
http://www.ozcamera....lash-bulbs.html

Here is a website that sells all times of flashbulbs:
http://www.flashbulb.../bulb_price.htm

Here is an example of the multi-flash holder I've seen on film shoots (you see that they have a lot of feature film credits):
http://www.flashbulbs.com/Effects.html

Flashguns:
http://www.flashbulbs.com/flashgun.htm

Is "IS" really your last name? If not, please update/correct your User Name.
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#5 Michael Sarrow

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 07:58 PM

Usually the flash bulb trigger is supplied by the prop man on my shoots, and many of them own one or rent one. A few efx people build a simple device that holds three or four cubes for a bigger flash. I don't know the mechanism for triggering the flashcube, but it must be pretty simple.

A junk store or old camera shop probably has an old flashbulb holder/trigger unit.

The flashcubes are pretty expensive these days.

You can read a discussion here:
http://www.photo.net...g?msg_id=00HgWG
http://www.graflex.o...lash/nancy.html
http://www.ozcamera....lash-bulbs.html

Here is a website that sells all times of flashbulbs:
http://www.flashbulb.../bulb_price.htm

Here is an example of the multi-flash holder I've seen on film shoots (you see that they have a lot of feature film credits):
http://www.flashbulbs.com/Effects.html

Flashguns:
http://www.flashbulbs.com/flashgun.htm

Is "IS" really your last name? If not, please update/correct your User Name.


Thanks for the info, and sorry about the user name.

I have picked up a Brownie Hawkeye camera with flash, and emailed flashbulbs about the correct bulbs. Hopefully this works. Thanks again for the help.
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Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Ritter Battery

Paralinx LLC

Visual Products

Tai Audio

Technodolly

FJS International, LLC

Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Abel Cine

CineTape

CineLab