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Using practicals in a daylight scene


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#1 Tami Galvin

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 09:16 PM

Hello everyone!
This is my very first post here. Yes, I'm a little nervous... I've looked around and used the search button so please excuse me if someone has already asked/answered this.
I'm wondering if anyone ever uses daylight balanced bulbs in practical lights successfully when shooting an interior during the day. Usually I end up putting CTB on the bulbs when possible, but I was wondering if anyone ever uses a 5600K Photoflood bulb. Not in a lamp that is rated for 100W max, but in something like a hardwired fixture or can light.
These are lo/no budget shoots with either the DVX or the HVX and the biggest lights I ever have are a 1K and a Kinoflo Diva Light 400. Word.
Thanks for any info!
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 09:37 PM

Sure. I've done it. Why wouldn't it work? :blink:
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#3 Mike Williamson

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 09:38 PM

I've used daylight-balanced compact fluorescents and some kind of lower wattage blue dipped tungsten bulbs for day interiors. It's not quite as realistic as mixed light look, but it works really well for a movie that needs a cleaner look. There's also some kind of half-blue dipped bulb that you can get from Home Depot, maybe Reveal is the name of the product line, they're nice because they're a little warm and realistic without getting incredibly orange.
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#4 Mike Williamson

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 09:40 PM

It's also worth mentioning that Photofloods come out somewhere closer to 4800K, not quite 5500K.
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#5 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 09:41 PM

Yeah, they usually work pretty well. Consider the BCA 250W Bulb, it has a color temp of 4800K, so it's naturally a little warmer than daylight, so no dimmer required to keep the practicals "practical looking".

Careful if you plan to go with the EBW 500W bulb. In my experience, it can sometimes emit a greenish spike, it's mostly a result of the tinted glass reacting with the yellow filament.
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#6 Tami Galvin

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 01:11 PM

That's the problem I have - the Reveal Bulbs are still too orange. I want a pure daylight color temp so that it doesn't compete or distract from the sunlight, but add fill in a too dark room. I guess what I'm thinking of is not so much practicals, but fixtures that are already in the room, such as can lights or hardwired ceiling fixtures. I"m just wondering if the Photoflood bulbs might be too much for those fixtures (as well as being expensive).
Maybe just throwing CTB over them is the best way?
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#7 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 01:30 PM

Reveals are basically household bulbs with a slight blue tint. Which means it's a very yellow filament with only a slight color correction. BCA's are tungsten lights with blue tinted bulbs, so they're a lot closer to daylight than the Reveals.

I haven't checked which is more efficient, a CTB gelled PH213 or just a BCA.
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#8 Mike Williamson

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 02:22 PM

So if I understand this correctly, you're not looking for a practical that you'll be seeing in the shot (like a table lamp), but something that's daylight balanced to create fill that looks like ambient skylight.

If that's the case, my first recommendation would be to ceiling bounce a small HMI or throw up a daylight balanced Kino with some diffusion on the front. It sounds like you don't have that.

My next recommendation would be to use daylight balanced compact fluorescents in clamp lights, or on a bat strip (thin strip of wood with several socket screwed onto it). If possible, I would diffuse or bounce them, for example you could try aim multiple clamp lights through a 4'x4' frame. You may need some very light Minus Green to totally balance them, either 1/8 or 1/4, but it will still work reasonably well without it. Make sure the compact flo bulbs are daylight balanced (around 5500K) and have as high a CRI as you can find (90-100 good, 80-90 ok).
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#9 Tami Galvin

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 01:38 PM

I think what I'm after is simplicity. There are existing light sockets in a location and I just want to get some use out of them. Often times they are in the center of the ceiling which is a good place to have a light without having to set up an autopole or worry about cords and lights that shouldn't be in the shot being in the shot. Being a student and only having access to small lights (1K and under) I'm always trying to find cheap and easy ways to add light to the set since DV and HDV have little latitude. I have clamp lights and china balls, but that's more stuff to plug in and more stands to find or places to clamp. I just want to maximize what's already there.
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#10 Mike Williamson

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 01:56 PM

What might work best for you is to get some high wattage, daylight balanced compact fluorescents and screw them into the ceiling. Then take a decent size piece of diffusion and tape it to the ceiling around the bulb, so it's like a diaper. That way you can use what's available without it looking harsh.

I think you should ask yourself if you're using these ceiling fixtures because you want a light coming from above the actors (or because it's the only way to light some 360 degree camera move), or because it happens to be there. Think about how you actually want it to look, not the limitations of the camera or the existing wall sockets. There's a big difference between simplicity and convenience.
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#11 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 02:13 PM

If you plan to use Photofloods over 100W in those practicals, check to see if they're any plastic around those fixtures, as they will melt. There are ceramic screw-in fixtures that you can get if you need to protect that plastic.
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