Mixed lighting situation
Posted 08 March 2008 - 11:37 PM
I am shooting on the top floor of a library. The main area is a large square room with a very high ceiling (30ft maybe) and large windows and is set up for reading. It baths the area in natural sunlight although it is not direct until late afternoon. I should be done before i get any direct light. I have checked the light through out the day and am reading consistantly at 4.0. in the main area.
The high ceiling in the main area transitions to a low ceiling on all four sides that stretches outward. The low ceiling areas are filled with rows and rows of book shelves and are lit using florescent light fixtures.
Some of the action will be in the main area and the rest in the low ceiling areas with the fluorescent lights. Naturally there is a mixture of both light so i am trying to figure out how to shoot in this mixed environment. its my understanding that if i correct for the daylight (85 filter) i will get green off the lights. If I don't correct for daylight I will get a blew hue from the daylight.
So i would like some assistance or thoughts from anyone with a similar experience. feel free to add anything it will only help me learn.
Posted 09 March 2008 - 12:29 AM
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Cool White fluorescents are a little warmer than daylight (4100 to 4800K instead of 5500K) and greener. If you don't correct for them, you get a sickly greenish cast from them depending on how dominant the effect is. If you do correct for them, your daylight goes the opposite of green, which is pink (magenta).
Your best bet is to turn them off and use the window light plus any daylight lighting you can add if necessary (HMI's or daylight fluorescent like Kino 55 tubes in Kinoflos) or replace the tubes in the ceiling with something close to daylight with as much green in them (Kino 55 tubes or Chroma 50's, for example.)
Other option is to add green gel (Plus Green) to all the windows and other sources to match the Cool Whites, then time the green out in post, or add magenta gel (Minus Green) to all the Cool White fixtures.
Or live with a little greenishness...
Posted 09 March 2008 - 01:46 AM
Posted 09 March 2008 - 03:03 AM
Posted 09 March 2008 - 10:00 AM
ok thx! unfortunately they will not allow me to shut off the lights in the library. nor will they allow me to plug any lights into the building outlets. apparently someone blew fuses in the place previously and the dean put a stop to it. I am looking into using battery powered HMI's. I may have to live with the greenish lights. im not sure the status of the film stock. It was given to me free to use by the department. I might be able to shoot on a lower floor that is not bathed in daylight so that may be an option as well.
I think your situation is preety intresting!
Can your film be an advert for anything or do you have a set brief?
Perhaps it could be an advert for daylight balanced flo tubes, and how they can help you cope with S.A.D. etc.
Or perhaps it could be an advert for some kind of security system. Metal detectors for instance. That way you could make the most of the green hue and with a bit of smoke and someone in a tenchcoat with a fake gun, you could go for a matrix kind of thing and warn everyone on the dangers of terrorists (who are hiding everywhere these days) and students with shot guns who wear too much black and listen to loud music.
Depends how green the green is I guess.
It seems to me that if you had a really huge piece of cardboard you might be able to flag off the light from the tubes. This would probably mean unfeasable large pieces of cardboard tho.
You might want to take a video camera with you or a digital still camera and set it on tungsten to see what the colours might look like.
I don't think your film is worth getting clip tested as I'm preety certain it will fail. However they might be able to sort it a bit in telecine. It seems like this is a bit of a learning shoot anyway so maybe old film is not so bad. The EXR series was nice when they made it too, so it should be fun to try. I'd try and expose it at 250ASA to overcome the base fog or at least to rate it at 320ASA. It might help compensate if the films gone a bit more grainy too.
Could you maybe get to turn off some of the lights nearer the window where things are lit with sunlight anyway? If you get in early enough before other students, they may not even notice those lights are off!
Posted 09 March 2008 - 11:03 AM
i know you said it is a student project you're doing, but if there is any chance at all of using a little more current film stock, there are a few that are very good in mixed lighting situations.
fuji reala 500D is the best in mixed lighting, you won't have to gel lights or windows or change flourescent tubes. it is daylight balanced, and very forgiving in the shadows, so it would kind of solve all of your problems. you could then concentrate on the storytelling.
oh, and its a bit cheaper than kodak.
good luck, and have fun!
Posted 09 March 2008 - 11:12 AM
you could just turn the flouro tube a bit, if you can reach it, just until it shuts off. as freya said, probably no one will even notice. then, if you are forced to use the '98, you will avoid that nasty green in fill side of faces. even if you are using a newr stock, you might want to do that if the window light is better on people than the overhead flourescents. (it usually is.)
what school are you in, anyway?
Posted 09 March 2008 - 12:07 PM
thx for the great info. I will check on the film stock and see if it is available. I am in the film program at UNLV in Las Vegas. We have some great instructors and a small class size (around 600 students i think). If you have any questions about the program based on my experience please feel to ask. I am an older student (39) who went back to school for a degree in computer science, then history, and finally film. I love it!
anyway thx for the great help. Any suggestions are appreciated!
Posted 09 March 2008 - 12:21 PM
Or get a new location, one that will let you turn off the overheads and let you plug into the wall. Unless this is a documentary, these are silly restrictions to have to put up with. A Kinoflo is not going to trip a household circuit.
Posted 10 March 2008 - 08:28 PM
david makes, not surprisingly, a good point - a reality check from the voice of experience! can you move to a more friendly location? that will make your life a lot easier...
Posted 10 March 2008 - 09:36 PM
Today I scouted out a new location with the help of my professor. The staff at the new location were way more accommodating. I am just waiting on a confirmation from the head of the facility. I got the impression that it would not be a problem as other student had used it before. It is a mixed lighting situation as well however the windows are no where near as large and they have blinds so i can control the light better. I should be able to use HMI's as well. I also have access a fisher dolly (10) for it so I am hoping to do some cool moving shots.
thx for the input!