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swimming pool light at night


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#1 john price

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 07:16 PM

working with a director who is looking for a pool of light situation at night in a swimming pool. production company cannot afford much... wondering if anyone has tried something like a 1K elliptical fixture from above... a $20 solution vs whatever an underwater fixture costs. curious how much loss and diffusion we'll see at 4 feet under water... no time to test (as usual)... shooting with an HVX and do not mind 12db of noise for this so light level shouldn't be much of an issue.

john price, toronto.
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#2 Paul Bruening

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 07:56 PM

This is one of those questions that is full of liability (water + electricity). You may not find anyone willing to put themselves at risk with a recommendation. Pool lighting is done by pool installation people using PAR bulbs. In the old days of Hollywood, they'd solder the wires directly to the contacts of the bulb and goop them over with an insulator like tar (they didn't have silicone goo in those days). Of course, they would put the bulbs in the water before turning them on so they wouldn't blow. But, I would never recommend this kind of thing. My recommendation is to not take that kind of risk.
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#3 john price

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 08:22 PM

the intention is to suspend the fixture on a goal post above the water... safety chains... grip pipe... etc... not place it in the water...

that means that ripples on the surface will alter the direction of the beam... i am curious how much...

a note to those who respond... the light is not going in the drink...

thanks,

john.
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#4 J. Lamar King

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 01:15 AM

If you just want to shoot some light into the pool just use some cheap PAR cans. You can usually find an angle that looks as if the light is emanating from the pool. When working around water be sure to have all the fixtures patched into a ShoKBlock and never let any part of the fixture or cable come into contact with water.
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#5 Steve McBride

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 02:41 AM

I don't know how practical it would be for you, but you could do like what they did in "Sunset Boulevard" where they shot at a mirror and made sure the costumes were reverse so that it looked like you were looking up from the water instead of down into it.

Other than that, I can only think of finding a pool like an outdoor hotel one that is well lit already from under the water and just light the outside a few stops lower.
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#6 Andrew Koch

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 04:24 AM

J. Lamar King is absolutely right about using a Shock Block. I don't mean to repeat the same thing from another poster, but it is absolutely critical that you use an effective GFCI (Shockblock) in this situation, even if the light doesn't go in the water. You would definitely need one for the goal post scenario that you described.

What effect are you trying to achieve with your lighting. Lighting from above would look quite different from an underwater light (such as a Sea Par). Are you trying to light the surrounding areas or the pool, or do you want it to look like the light is emanating from the pool. Is the camera underwater?
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#7 Drew Ott

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 12:05 AM

Please elaborate on the kind of shot you are looking for. I recently shot a scene that might be similar to what you are describing.


View on Vimeo

Skip past the first scene to about 1:33 (first scene looks terribly dark on that upload) and let me know if that's anything like what you want.

I wish I had a better key:fill ratio on their faces, but oh well. That was my first film I ever shot.
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#8 Dan Mason

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 06:43 PM

First time post here and my knowledge on lighting is very limited.
But for the lighting you require i would recommend buying the film Garden State and watch the special features on there as they have a great way to light a pool at night, by hanging what looks like a small zeppelin with a light in above the pool.
It worked well for them and was an on the spot decision to make for them also.
Hope this helps in someway
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#9 Walter Graff

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 06:54 PM

An ellipsoidal will work. You probably can't do the whole pool with it, but it will work. TRy different angles and see what works best. THat part you'll have to try to see what works best. As mentioned, you must use a GFCI circuit with any electrical devices within 100 feet of a pool, that includes your camera equipment.
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#10 john price

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 08:46 PM

thanks all who replied... i used a 650 dedo along with the projection attachment and the iris and i had plenty 4 feet below the surface...

it was a person swimming through a beam against a black background.

john.
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