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Day for Night on MiniDV?


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#1 Nicholas Jenkins

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 07:35 PM

Anyone ever shot (or tried to shoot) Day for Night on MiniDV. I have NEVER tried to shoot day for night, ever so I don't have any experience with it. But I'm coming up on a shoot and (being in montana) we've got LLLLLLOOOOOOOOONNNNNNGGGGGG days. I'd like to shoot our one night scene as Day for Night on the DVX100b.

Has anyone done this and, if you have, what do you recomend?

Tried a search and didn't come up with much.

Many thanks :)
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#2 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 03:19 AM

Anyone ever shot (or tried to shoot) Day for Night on MiniDV. I have NEVER tried to shoot day for night, ever so I don't have any experience with it. But I'm coming up on a shoot and (being in montana) we've got LLLLLLOOOOOOOOONNNNNNGGGGGG days. I'd like to shoot our one night scene as Day for Night on the DVX100b.

Hi Nicholas,

I shot some day for night about a year ago on the HVX200 and used a Day for Night filter. I thought it was pretty successful. Here are some frame grabs for comparison.

1A. no correction - day for night filter, camera white-balanced @ 5500K
DfN_01.jpg

1B. color corrected in Adobe Premiere (brightness down, saturation down, green added)
DfN_corrected_01.jpg

Unfortunately, I don't remember which specific Day for Night filter it was! I'm pretty sure it was a Tiffen Cool Day for Night, but it might also have been a Harrison and Harrison. My gaffer on the shoot works at a camera rental house and had brought a pack of filters to play around with, so I can ask him to find out for sure if you want.

I think the filter really helped the effect by removing certain parts of the color spectrum, lowering the saturation, and also lowering the contrast a bit. It's not a pure blue color but more of a lavender. Especially when shooting DV or some compressed form of HD, I think it's better to get as much of the look in camera as possible. The color correction I did was basically just throwing away information (increasing contrast, desaturating color) and a slight color shift.

Some other tips: avoid shooting the sky, since it will be much brighter than the landscape. If this isn't possible in wide shots, use grad filters to take down the sky. Try to shoot in overcast light, or use the sun as backlight. Open up the lens aperture and use NDs for a shallower depth of field.

Here are a few links to the Tiffen and Harrison filters.
http://www.tiffen.co...;itemnum=S9CDFN
http://www.filterfind.net/hnh-03.htm
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#3 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 03:24 AM

A few more frames.

2A. no correction - day for night filter, Fog 1 filter, camera white-balanced @ 5500K
DfN_02.jpg

2B. color corrected in Adobe Premiere (brightness down, saturation down, green added)
DfN_corrected_02.jpg

Hope this was helpful.:)
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#4 Nicholas Jenkins

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 08:38 AM

VERY helpful. Many many thanks. I wonder if there are any good post filters out there that work as well.

Was it overcast the day you shot this? Or was the sun just behind those cliffs?

Thanks again :)
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#5 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 07:43 PM

Hey no problem, it's nice to see someone going old school and trying Day for Night!

Was it overcast the day you shot this? Or was the sun just behind those cliffs?

It was overcast, with some high atmosphere fog (we were in Pacifica, CA which is right off the Pacific Ocean several miles south of San Francisco). I believe this was shot around 10am. The ocean is to the west, so the sun would be to frame left (behind the clouds, of course!). I think Day for Night is more successful under overcast conditions - if you wanted to go in that direction, you could try to shoot all your wide shots under overcast, and then shoot the tighter shots under a 12x or 20x silk if the sun comes out.

Good luck with your shoot, and let us know how it turns out!
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#6 Daniel Carruthers

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 09:48 PM

Hey no problem, it's nice to see someone going old school and trying Day for Night!

It was overcast, with some high atmosphere fog (we were in Pacifica, CA which is right off the Pacific Ocean several miles south of San Francisco). I believe this was shot around 10am. The ocean is to the west, so the sun would be to frame left (behind the clouds, of course!). I think Day for Night is more successful under overcast conditions - if you wanted to go in that direction, you could try to shoot all your wide shots under overcast, and then shoot the tighter shots under a 12x or 20x silk if the sun comes out.

Good luck with your shoot, and let us know how it turns out!


I find late evening or early morning to work best for day for night, cause you want the long shadows. But those shots looked great by the way, so you obviosly know what you where doing.
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#7 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 03:04 PM

I find late evening or early morning to work best for day for night, cause you want the long shadows. But those shots looked great by the way, so you obviosly know what you where doing.

Hey thanks! This was actually my first attempt at day for night. My reasoning for overcast light being more realistic was that I see moonlit landscapes as being evenly lit by a large source very far away. The moon is basically an evenly lit bounce source. To emulate this, you'd need a quality of light that produced hard shadows (because of the relative size and distance of the source to the subject) while also wrapping around the subject (because of the spread of the source). So you have to choose which is more important to you, hard shadows or even, wrapping light -- to me, it was more important that the light be even and wrapping, as well as consistent through the scene, which is why I thought it better to shoot under overcast.

But day for night has been done well with direct sun too. Check out "Cast Away" and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" for long day for night sequences in direct sun. And my personal favorite, "My Darling Clementine" (1946), shot with infrared film and a red filter (B&W neg, of course!).
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#8 Chris Keth

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 12:10 AM

Hey thanks! This was actually my first attempt at day for night. My reasoning for overcast light being more realistic was that I see moonlit landscapes as being evenly lit by a large source very far away. The moon is basically an evenly lit bounce source. To emulate this, you'd need a quality of light that produced hard shadows (because of the relative size and distance of the source to the subject) while also wrapping around the subject (because of the spread of the source). So you have to choose which is more important to you, hard shadows or even, wrapping light -- to me, it was more important that the light be even and wrapping, as well as consistent through the scene, which is why I thought it better to shoot under overcast.

But day for night has been done well with direct sun too. Check out "Cast Away" and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" for long day for night sequences in direct sun. And my personal favorite, "My Darling Clementine" (1946), shot with infrared film and a red filter (B&W neg, of course!).


I think direct sun would be more "correct." The moon is roughly the same angular size from our POV as the sun so it's just as hard a source. Just check out your shadow on a really bright full moon.

On the other hand, I prefer the look of a softer moonlight. :P Those framegrabs look nice, if a bit low-con for my taste.
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#9 Daniel Carruthers

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 12:07 PM

Hey thanks! This was actually my first attempt at day for night. My reasoning for overcast light being more realistic was that I see moonlit landscapes as being evenly lit by a large source very far away. The moon is basically an evenly lit bounce source. To emulate this, you'd need a quality of light that produced hard shadows (because of the relative size and distance of the source to the subject) while also wrapping around the subject (because of the spread of the source). So you have to choose which is more important to you, hard shadows or even, wrapping light -- to me, it was more important that the light be even and wrapping, as well as consistent through the scene, which is why I thought it better to shoot under overcast.

But day for night has been done well with direct sun too. Check out "Cast Away" and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" for long day for night sequences in direct sun. And my personal favorite, "My Darling Clementine" (1946), shot with infrared film and a red filter (B&W neg, of course!).


I guess it come down to what looks the best . I mean hard long shadows is more realistic, but soft light looks better on actors, especially if you are shooting on video.
Though hard shadows look great to, especially if your going for a noir look
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