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custom podium light


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#1 michael rand

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 07:52 PM

i have a scene in a cathedral that I need to light someone speaking at a podium. it will be a wide shot from the floor of someone at the podium. the space is well lit from the sun punching thru stainglass but the podium area is quite dark.

the podium has a 4-5 inch lip all the way around it and I'm trying to figure out how I can plant a source on the podium.

here are some of my thoughts, but curious for other ideas

1. rent mini kino flo kit
2. construct something low profile using rope light
3. construct something with few low profile Compact flo bulbs
4. have a podium light that with a higher wattage bulb shooting down and let the bounce from that light the subject (maybe add some foamcore flat on the podium to bounce light off of)

any thoughts or criticisms would be greatly appreciated!!!
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 08:36 PM

It's partly a question of balance/intensity, how bright is the surrounding area in the frame and thus how bright does the podium light have to be to compete, and it's also a question of whether you want the podium light to be on the only source on the face, or will it be mixed with some room lighting. And it's a question of color temperature, do you want, for example, a warm tungsten podium light in a daylight-balance situation.

I'm not sure MiniFlos would be bright enough except in a really low-light interior. I've sometimes hidden 2' Kino tubes on a podium table top. I've also gone for an overhead downspot like from a Source-4 or Par and put some white on the podium table to let it bounce up. I've also mounted a practical fixture.
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#3 Daniel Sheehy

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 08:42 PM

If it's at all possible, David's suggestion of bouncing an overhead source off the podium top is a good one. I've had to try the bounced podium light scenario before (news / doco situation where I couldn't light anything extra) and the podium light just isn't enough.
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#4 michael rand

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 09:05 PM

thanks for the replies. to answer your question David, the room is filled with much daylight, but the natural light is filtered thru colorful stainglass. also there is tungsten down lighting. so there is tons of mixed lighting. I most likely will balance for daylight or somewhere in the 4200K range and let the background go warm. So the light on the subject (podium) needs to be somewhere in the daylight or "warm daylight" range. I will be mixing the wide shot with closeups of the speaker at the podium for this. its a documentary and i want to to look natural...so I'm looking for some natural fill on the subjects face. the podium is a dark spot in the room.

would it be easier to simply hide a light behind a pillar and simulate sunlight hitting the subject from the "sun" side of the room

or
do you like the hidden podium light idea. how woudl you do it?

see attached

IMG_0685.jpg
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 09:56 PM

It's hard to tell where the podium is in this photo. If it's the fuzzy brown shape in the middle of the room in front of the altar, I'd probably go for both a hidden 2' Kino tube (or two) in the podium, plus some sort of light from a distance if possible.

Truth is that I'd probably opt for a lighting balloon in a space like that.
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#6 Kiarash Sadigh

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 12:21 PM

I like the Source-Four idea, rent one with a 19 degree lens ...put it on a stand and hide it behind the columns...you can gell it blue or throw a piece of opal for diffusion...
I have to say though that I've shot docs in many many churches with a few readheads and a 200w HMI...I've mostly used the readheads for situations like this and balanced for tungsten...
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#7 Mitch Gross

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 12:46 PM

The podium top might be big enough for a Litepanel 1x1 and if not than certainly a Rosco Litepad. This can make for an interesting uplight although it is not exactly the most natural lighting effect.
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#8 Chris Keth

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 09:17 PM

In the shot are you seeing all of the walls like we are in the photograph? If not I would try not to uplight the speaker but instead do something from off camera a little more flattering to a face. Perhaps you could punch an HMI through a frame and through a window at the podium area.
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