Jump to content


Photo

Sodium Vapor look with tungsten sources


  • Please log in to reply
24 replies to this topic

#1 stephen lamb

stephen lamb
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 91 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New York, Connecticut

Posted 18 October 2007 - 12:56 AM

I've got an INT. night scene coming up, and I'll be using tungsten sources to light with. I'd like to have a streelamp effect coming through the window. Do any of you have suggestions from your experiences on good gel(s) to use to get the color? I'll be shooting HD set with a Tungsten white balance. I did a search through the forums for this topic, but didn't have any luck. Also, along the same lines, anyone have any good films with a similar effect in any scene? Thanks,
  • 0

#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 18 October 2007 - 01:38 AM

Chrome Orange #179, have a look see :)

Here's Adam Frisch's use of it:

http://www.cinematog...l=chrome orange

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank, 18 October 2007 - 01:41 AM.

  • 0

#3 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 18 October 2007 - 03:20 AM

I did a search through the forums for this topic, but didn't have any luck.


I'm surprised, since we've discussed it many times. Glad to see you tried though ;)

My favorite recipe on tungsten: double Bastard Amber and 1/4 CTO (2 layers Lee 162 Bastard Amber, 1 layer 1/4 CTO). Blends very well with the real thing.

Most movies I've seen tend to either get the color too saturated or too yellow to appear natural looking (IMO). Sodium is a finicky thing to replicate, since it has an odd spectrum and reproduces differently on different imagers (film/video). Spend some time observing the real thing, then do some tests with your camera system to see what looks A: natural; and B: right for your production.
  • 0

#4 stephen lamb

stephen lamb
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 91 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New York, Connecticut

Posted 18 October 2007 - 11:12 AM

Thanks for the link (great picture reference) and the gel ideas. Much appreciated! I'll try to post stills once we shoot it. (early Nov)
  • 0

#5 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19760 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 18 October 2007 - 11:56 AM

Sodium vapor renders differently on most video cameras compared to film emulsion -- the sodium streetlamps here in Los Angeles have a pinkish-orange look on HD versus the yellow-orange look on film.
  • 0

#6 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 18 October 2007 - 05:36 PM

There's an article about how Darius Khondji did it for The Interpreter here. In this case they chose a yellow-green look for sodium, which isn't exactly realistic but gave a certain "feel."
  • 0

#7 John Sprung

John Sprung
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4635 posts
  • Other

Posted 18 October 2007 - 07:23 PM

Perhaps a radical idea -- use a real sodium light source outside. The spectral spikes of sodium, like the mercury spikes we're all familiar with from flourescents, aren't anything like what you can make by hanging gels on tungsten. You might test real sodium, but the look may be too radically monochromatic. The go-to guy for real sodium and mercury lights is Ricc Bieber. Have a look at the "Park Special" car dealership fixture:

http://www.bieberlighting.com/





-- J.S.
  • 0

#8 timHealy

timHealy
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1252 posts
  • Other
  • New York

Posted 18 October 2007 - 09:14 PM

I was just involved with a lighting test that Fred Murphy was doing and personally I thought Lee's Super White Flame Green provided a really decent sodium vapor look. It use to be used for white flame carbon arc correction.

Best

Tim
  • 0

#9 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 18 October 2007 - 10:14 PM

I was just involved with a lighting test that Fred Murphy was doing and personally I thought Lee's Super White Flame Green provided a really decent sodium vapor look. It use to be used for white flame carbon arc correction.


That would be Lee 232 "Super White Flame," no "green." ;) That's still too yellow in my opinion, and doesn't have that pinkish-magenta spike that streetlights usually do. But of course how you want it to look for your film is up to you.

One thing I like about combining gels is that you can swap out one layer for another color to subtly shift the look if you want. For example with double Bastard Amber and 1/4 CTO you can go 1/2 CTO and one layer Bastard Amber for a warmer look that's better on skin tones but still blends well with practical sodium lights.
  • 0

#10 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 18 October 2007 - 10:17 PM

There's an article about how Darius Khondji did it for The Interpreter here.


I'm sure we all would love to be at that level someday, where if the daylight's fading, we can just break out a string of Dino's and keep shooting!
  • 0

#11 Walter Graff

Walter Graff
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1334 posts
  • Other
  • New York City

Posted 19 October 2007 - 06:25 AM

And if you really want a look try what I did last year, I went to the Home Depot and bought a $30 Sodium Vapor light and used it to act as a sodium vapor light. Nothing like the real thing.
  • 0

#12 stephen lamb

stephen lamb
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 91 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New York, Connecticut

Posted 19 October 2007 - 05:09 PM

Walter,

Do you remember what kind of stop you were getting with your Home Depot Sodium Vapor, and how you were using it? I like the idea of doing the real thing, and am definetly going to look into it. I was not aware they came in smaller units, I always assumed they were only for streetlamps and the such. Thanks,

Steve
  • 0

#13 Walter Graff

Walter Graff
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1334 posts
  • Other
  • New York City

Posted 19 October 2007 - 05:27 PM

Walter,

Do you remember what kind of stop you were getting with your Home Depot Sodium Vapor, and how you were using it? I like the idea of doing the real thing, and am definetly going to look into it. I was not aware they came in smaller units, I always assumed they were only for streetlamps and the such. Thanks,

Steve


It was a many a project back so don't remember the particulars other than it made a really perfect light for our needs which was a bedroom window at night where we wanted a 'box' of light on a bed where a kid spent a lot of time. My rigging guys played with it and had to move it pretty far away to get a reasonable stop. It was a very efficient lamp. But outside of the real thing, nothing looks like it and this had that organic, almost annoying quality that these lights do. That is not bad, it's what we wanted. And it destroys face tones just as it should. Gelled lights don't do that. Rather they look more theatrical. I suggest a stop down at a local home depot. Make sure its one of the larger stores at the 100k sq ft stores and smaller do not carry everything. They have a wall of fixtures that you can try and see the quality of. Ours was a backyard hand on the garage type and was circular and had a serrated plastic ring that diffused the light. It physically looked a bit like a street light. And when you are done you can hang it on your garage and use it for real. One of my guys did that after we were done.
  • 0

#14 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 19 October 2007 - 05:33 PM

Walter, did you have to run the line through a ballast to strike the lamp? If so, do you recall what was used?
  • 0

#15 Walter Graff

Walter Graff
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1334 posts
  • Other
  • New York City

Posted 19 October 2007 - 05:39 PM

Walter, did you have to run the line through a ballast to strike the lamp? If so, do you recall what was used?


It's a self contained unit just like a street lamp. No cable to a ballast. The Home Depot sells a variety of models. You have to go to your local store to see which ones they have. Different regions of Depots sell different manufactures. Ther are low pressure and high pressure fixtures. One gives a yellow glow and the other a more yellow/pink glow.
  • 0

#16 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19760 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 19 October 2007 - 05:54 PM

It's a self contained unit just like a street lamp. No cable to a ballast. The Home Depot sells a variety of models.


Here's a 50-watt one for $35:
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores...tegoryID=501161

I had the art department buy a small mercury-vapor one for "The Sophomore" that we dressed into three night exterior scenes. You can see one here:

Posted Image
  • 0

#17 stephen lamb

stephen lamb
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 91 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New York, Connecticut

Posted 19 October 2007 - 07:04 PM

Thanks for all the extra info. David, thanks for the picture reference, very helpful.
  • 0

#18 timHealy

timHealy
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1252 posts
  • Other
  • New York

Posted 19 October 2007 - 07:20 PM

That would be Lee 232 "Super White Flame," no "green."


Your right about the number 232 Michael, but incorrect about the name. It is clearly labeled "Super White Flame Green" on the roll and Lee's website does in fact say 232. I was surprised with the color as I only used arcs a few times in my career and have never used this type of correction.

Check yourself

http://www.leefilters.com/lighting/product...C46DD3C34A72DA/

The swatch color on my computer screen doesn't seem to be exactly the same as what I rememebr from using it last week.

Best

Tim

Edited by timHealy, 19 October 2007 - 07:21 PM.

  • 0

#19 Walter Graff

Walter Graff
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1334 posts
  • Other
  • New York City

Posted 19 October 2007 - 07:29 PM

Your right about the number 232 Michael, but incorrect about the name. It is clearly labeled "Super White Flame Green" on the roll and Lee's website does in fact say 232. I was surprised with the color as I only used arcs a few times in my career and have never used this type of correction.

Check yourself

http://www.leefilters.com/lighting/product...C46DD3C34A72DA/

The swatch color on my computer screen doesn't seem to be exactly the same as what I rememebr from using it last week.

Best

Tim



Actually you are not correct if I'm reading what you wrote correctly. 213 is "white flame green" which corrects arcs by removing UV and 232 is "Super White Flame" which makes arcs 3200k.
  • 0

#20 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 20 October 2007 - 03:23 AM

Your right about the number 232 Michael, but incorrect about the name. It is clearly labeled "Super White Flame Green" on the roll and Lee's website does in fact say 232...

Check yourself

<a href="http://www.leefilters.com/lighting/product...C46DD3C34A72DA/" target="_blank">http://www.leefilters.com/lighting/product...C46DD3C34A72DA/</a>


I was just going off my (multiple) Lee swatchbooks that call it "Super White Flame." I can't account for the name disparity. I'm quite familiar with 213 "WFG" and of course it's something very different.

The Lee website swatch matches my swatchbook pretty well, at least on my screen. I'm sure it takes on different nuances on film, though.
  • 0


Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Abel Cine

CineLab

Metropolis Post

The Slider

Wooden Camera

Visual Products

Ritter Battery

Tai Audio

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Willys Widgets

FJS International, LLC

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineTape

rebotnix Technologies

Glidecam

Opal

Rig Wheels Passport

Aerial Filmworks

Paralinx LLC

Wooden Camera

Ritter Battery

CineTape

Aerial Filmworks

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Metropolis Post

Visual Products

rebotnix Technologies

Glidecam

CineLab

Technodolly

Rig Wheels Passport

Paralinx LLC

Opal

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Tai Audio

Willys Widgets

Abel Cine

FJS International, LLC

The Slider