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Tungsten key for late day exteriors...acceptable?


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#1 M Joel W

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 01:54 AM

I'm shooting a scene with 6pm or 7pm sun (probably mild cloud cover) in an area in the shade that is meant to be the roof of a building. I can't place lights behind the actors because of space restrictions, but I want to separate foreground and background. So I was thinking maybe I could use a diffused 1k as my key (or a bunch of tungsten fixtures behind a shower curtain diffusion) and balance to tungsten. That way, the background would look blue (but not terrible since it's late day sun which is a bit warmer) and my actors' faces would look more natural, thereby separating the two in the master shot. In close ups, I'd use a small par a couple feet from their faces (90w with CTB1/2) to further delineate space.

Is this done? Is it acceptable? After this, they fall into a shaded area and that whole scene can have a blue tint for sure. But this is a key scene and I can't have it looking sloppy or weird.
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#2 Tony Brown

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 05:59 PM

I currently use Tungsten stocks in daylight with Tungsten units.

I'm sick of HMI's

Looks fantastic, go for it.
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#3 Xavier Plaza

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 07:14 PM

I'm shooting a scene with 6pm or 7pm sun (probably mild cloud cover) in an area in the shade that is meant to be the roof of a building. I can't place lights behind the actors because of space restrictions, but I want to separate foreground and background. So I was thinking maybe I could use a diffused 1k as my key (or a bunch of tungsten fixtures behind a shower curtain diffusion) and balance to tungsten. That way, the background would look blue (but not terrible since it's late day sun which is a bit warmer) and my actors' faces would look more natural, thereby separating the two in the master shot. In close ups, I'd use a small par a couple feet from their faces (90w with CTB1/2) to further delineate space.

Is this done? Is it acceptable? After this, they fall into a shaded area and that whole scene can have a blue tint for sure. But this is a key scene and I can't have it looking sloppy or weird.



Your option sound interesting. Perhaps a 2K backlight (far) with CTO 1/4, help as the ambiance light...
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#4 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 08:34 PM

Sounds like a good idear to me

I'd suggest something like keeping the tungsten light a stop or so under key (perhaps matching or making it a bit higher than your background's exposure) so it's not as "sourcy" and obvious that you're blasting some artificial light in their faces. You'll also preserve the dusk look you're going for if you shoot it a bit under.
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#5 M Joel W

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 10:03 PM

Thanks for all the advice; I think I'm going to try it! Then again, I don't have too many other options save for renting an HMI at this point.

I did some tests at 6:30pm and they look very strange (the background is far too dark and too blue, even with only a 1k as my key) so I'm moving my shoot forward to 5pm to insure direct late-day sun in the background and a bit more daylight in the shade so my surprisingly efficient 1k won't be overpowering. Hopefully the background will look soft, faintly blue and blown out (I'm shooting wide open), and the actors' faces will transition from neutral to blue. It won't look totally naturalistic, but I think the effect will be very cool.
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#6 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 04:08 AM

It's done more and more. DP's Like Paul Cameron, ASC and Mauro Fiore, ASC use big uncorrrected tungstens on exteriors all the time.
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#7 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 04:20 AM

I've done the tungsten stock outside with tungsten key. Looks nice, I stole the idea from Kaminski (I think from the Terminal).

A reference still I took a while ago:
ref1_frm.jpg
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