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Summer on a beach in November?


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#1 gregory mandry

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 05:24 AM

I've got a client who wants to film a summer on a beach in the UK in November.

I was initially thinking of a big HMI. But i am worried that this may light the subjects well but the rest of the beach background will look dull.

So I was thinking of a smaller lamp just to raise the actors a bit so this will blend better with the background.

Thinking of avoiding large reflectors in case of wind.

Any thoughts that could help?

Shooting on Digibeta
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#2 Bob Hayes

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 01:26 PM

Are you trying to get eye lights and modeling on the faces or are you trying to create the feeling of sunlight burning through the clouds? If it is the former I?d go with smaller HMI?s 1.2 or 2.5 Pars through heavy diffusion and bring in some negative fill. You can also use a small HMI to give you an gentle edge light. If you want the feeling of sunlight breaking through an 18k HMI ¾ back light would help a great deal.
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#3 Michael Nash

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 05:21 PM

If the sky is overcast and you have wide shots that show a lot of background, you're going to have a hard time "faking" sunlight even with an 18K. No matter how well-modeled your subjects are, if there's a gray, murky BG the illusion will be destroyed. If you can stick to tight frames and soft BG's you can light up the frame convincingly, but it's usually not practical to cover an entire scene that way.

The next best thing is to try to get good exposure on the background, and then model your subjects the way Bob suggests. A little boost in color saturation and warm tones can help overcome wintery light.
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#4 gregory mandry

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 08:20 AM

Thanks Guys

the brief as is is that it is supposed to be summer (november in the UK). I may be lucky the sky may be blue but somehow i doubt it.

It is likely to be a grey overcast day. the bigest lamp i'll have is a 2.5 k hmi. but what i don't want is a warm bright character and a dull grey back ground.

So yes i'll have to expose for background and light the subject to balence this. but i do like the idea of a stong 3/4 back light. then maybe a soft key light to lift and warm the face a little?
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#5 gregory mandry

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 08:21 AM

and maybe a polarizing filter never used one before but what do you think?
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#6 Ram Shani

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 11:35 AM

i would add HMI as side light to create more contrast but burn the sky so the will be white and not gray

and maybe neg fill
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#7 John Holland

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 12:01 PM

i think i would use 3200 lamps , you will have to keep shots close but a six light or more depending on your power supply , maybe a 1/4 correction on lamps depends on your luck with the weather .
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#8 Michael Nash

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 05:04 PM

So yes i'll have to expose for background and light the subject to balence this. but i do like the idea of a stong 3/4 back light. then maybe a soft key light to lift and warm the face a little?


If you want to give a little extra exposure to the BG then you'll actually want to use a bit of negative fill on the faces. If you build up your subjects' level too much then you're right back to having a dark BG. You might actually want to fly a large silk overhead to keep the skylight in check, so that you can light and fill (or take away fill) your subjects to a level that matches the BG.

I would try to keep the color temperatures consistent between ambient and artificial light, and warm the entire image in camera or post if desired.
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#9 Matthew Buick

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 06:07 PM

With my level of expirience I'd just wait until summer. :P

Seriously, I'm enjoying findind out how this one will play out.
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#10 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 09:25 PM

You're buggered.

I shot a load of stuff for some holiday parks once; it was shot in October (05 I think) but luck of luck it happened to be a bright day, and the place had very cleverly scheduled us to shoot on a day when the facilities had been hired for a families day for some big company, so it was full of happy people. Even more sensibly they'd turned the (outdoor) pool up to hot tub level and it was full of people enjoying a Swedish sauna experience and it worked very well - because and only because it was a bright, clear, sunny (though freezing) day.

If it is not blue sky you are knackered, there is absolutely nothing you can do except only shoot a tiny area, in which case you may as well truck some sand into a studio and avoid shivering, goosebump-clad cast.

I think you owe it to your employers to let them know they're just not going to get what they want out of this. With a very large budget you can start putting in blue screens behind the horizon and screwing around with huge lights, shoot at night, etc, but to do it on any scale will almost immediately start costing more than just flying the key people to somewhere sunny - so it's almost irrelevant anyway. Dropping in a sunlit background as a post effect - same consideration.

Basically you're stuffed and I wouldn't want to look like an idiot trying.

Phil
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