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Bolex pixellation at night


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#1 Kathleen Lawler

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 07:45 PM

Hello everyone

I am planning an experimental dance movie, in the same vein as Pascal Baes (check out his work at www.laposelongue.org), where he shot dancers in pixellation at night, using available street lights.

However, I am finding that the exposures need to be around 45 seconds per FRAME, for 500T - for a 3 minute film, this is torture.

Some questions:
1. Am I nuts?
2. Any ideas on how to cut exposure time?
3. Does 800T film still exist?

I am using a Bolex Rx 5 with a nifty Tobin animation motor, so I can control exposure time.
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#2 Nick Mulder

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 08:02 PM

Have you taken into account any reciprocity compensation ? - if not you might find your exposures will need to at least double ...

Nuts ? no way ! nothing much interesting comes out projects that are easy.

45 seconds though - depending on what they are doing thats going to be ouchy for your performers as you mention ...

Could you augment the street light with your own lighting ? ie. keep the characteristics of the lighting but doubling it up - if the camera is moving as it was in the one example I looked at from the site you linked you'd have to have two or more setups frog-leaping each other to keep it relatively smooth ...

800T - as far as I know it was replaced by the 500T ... Are you against pushing a stop for any reason ? (or even more ?)
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#3 Patrick Neary

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 08:08 PM

Good God, you need to find a brighter street corner!

(a fast lens would help too)

With 500 asa you should be able to shoot 24fps (1/50) on any "normal" night city street and get a decent exposure. 45 seconds just sounds crazy long.
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#4 Kathleen Lawler

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 08:34 PM

I'm shooting deep in the Australian suburbs, hence the darkness. I suppose I could get a car to beam headlights nearby - that cut exposure time to around 10secs. I could also look for a brighter suburb, no trees getting in the way of streetlights....

What's pushing a stop?

Also, I have been exposing at f8 or f5.6, to get some background detail. Is this necessary, or can a good film be shot at around f2.8?
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#5 Nick Mulder

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 08:43 PM

I'm shooting deep in the Australian suburbs, hence the darkness. I suppose I could get a car to beam headlights nearby - that cut exposure time to around 10secs. I could also look for a brighter suburb, no trees getting in the way of streetlights....

What's pushing a stop?

Also, I have been exposing at f8 or f5.6, to get some background detail. Is this necessary, or can a good film be shot at around f2.8?



Pushing a stop = underexposing the neg a stop (half as much light) - then developing it longer to compensate ... this way your 45secs becomes 22.5 secs and the film effectively becomes 1000ASA - there's more to it and if you really want to learn do a search here.

re. stops - well, simply look through your finder - do you like what you see at 2.8 ? if so then use it - at 2.8 you'll quarter your exposure times compared to 5.6 ...

I'm assuming you didn't factor reciprocity failure ? If not I really do recommend you understand it as if not you'll underexpose your neg - again, do a search ;)
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#6 Kathleen Lawler

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 09:00 PM

I've been shooting still 35mm film, 400 ISO, to get a feel for exposure, have been factoring in 10%, 20%, and 30% Rec. failure rates. When I get the film back, I'll do a test reel with my Bolex setup, and Vision 2 500T. Is there any info on Rec failure rates for the 500T film around?
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#7 Nick Mulder

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 09:10 PM

I've been shooting still 35mm film, 400 ISO, to get a feel for exposure, have been factoring in 10%, 20%, and 30% Rec. failure rates. When I get the film back, I'll do a test reel with my Bolex setup, and Vision 2 500T. Is there any info on Rec failure rates for the 500T film around?


Yip, in fact if you click on the underlined text in my first reply you'll link straight to it - I searched for 'reciprocity 500t kodak' in google
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#8 Patrick Neary

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 09:34 PM

I'm shooting deep in the Australian suburbs, hence the darkness. I suppose I could get a car to beam headlights nearby - that cut exposure time to around 10secs. I could also look for a brighter suburb, no trees getting in the way of streetlights....

What's pushing a stop?

Also, I have been exposing at f8 or f5.6, to get some background detail. Is this necessary, or can a good film be shot at around f2.8?


Hi again-

Pushing is just leaving the film in the developing bath longer to help raise the exposure on your negative.

I'm not sure I understand when you say you're at 5.6 or 8 to get more background detail, it seems to me you'd be losing all of your backgrounds (into blackness) irised down that much in such dark surroundings.

Another thought- since you're essentially working in a stills environment (single framing it) you can use little battery-powered camera strobes to light your subjects and backgrounds pretty effectively, they're very powerful compared to standard continuous lighting.
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#9 Kathleen Lawler

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 10:19 PM

What about a torch? Are there any available that can do 3200K?
Also, I noticed in the reciprocity failure section, that a CC10R filter is necessary. As I'm having difficulty finding one of those, do you think it's strictly necessary?

cheers
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#10 Nick Mulder

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 02:37 AM

What about a torch? Are there any available that can do 3200K?
Also, I noticed in the reciprocity failure section, that a CC10R filter is necessary. As I'm having difficulty finding one of those, do you think it's strictly necessary?

cheers


You're now getting into the area when you have to ask when a proper lamp that would provide enough coverage is powered by a battery instead of mains becomes a torch and vice-versa - I'll leave that for someone else to answer ...

The filter will correct for the color cast change yes, but that is something that is very minor compared to the other issues you still need to figure out - Yep, the filters are expensive and time-consuming to source especially for those starting out in film and most people would simply have the color correction done in transfer or post anyway :)

I'd forget the filter, but still compensate for reciprocity
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#11 Hans Engstrom

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 08:57 AM

Are you sure about the exposure? If so your light levels should be under 0.1fc, canĀ“t you find a brighter location?
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#12 Patrick Neary

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 09:41 AM

That seems like the best solution all around- Pascal Baes' night work (well the few pieces I saw) looked to all be in very well-lit areas.

The other thing about exposure times is considering what you want your talent to do- You could never get that hovering effect (without strobes at least) with 45 second exposure times!
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#13 Kathleen Lawler

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 09:43 PM

Thanks for all the help everyone!

I'm considering shifting the film into the city, where lighting is better. Alternatively, I could use some car lights to get me through the dark suburbs, before hitting the main roads. Actually I'd prefer the latter - I want to capture our more unique streetscapes here.

Do you think the unbalanced - colour of car headlights will make a difference? I heard a rumour that they're daylight balanced - is this correct?
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