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External Lighting- Streets at night


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#1 Richard Turner

Richard Turner

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 12:21 PM

Hi all,

I beleive this is my first post on CF so hello to everyone!

I'm having a few issues working out whats the best way to light on the streets. Im looking for high constrast imagery, but im shooting on JVC HD 110's (mini DV, not HDV) and if I crush or stretch the black, shadows and highlights become extremely noisy. Furthermore, im not sure what to balance the camera to. Ill have slight moonlight, flourescents, and the tungstons that ill be using (a set of red heads). Im trying to mix with the aberrant glow of streetlights with the cold greys of the landscape, attempting to convey a sort of metropolitan, a concrete jungle if you may. Heres some stills I took whilst scouting locations, so you can have an idea of what im going for:

street_at_night.jpg
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Additionally, the actors are dark skinned and when test shooting I found that the camera picked the skin tones up as shadows, forcing noise accordingly. And if i expose facial features to the correct level, it seems to look greasy and quite flat. Has anyone had any experience dealing with this? Any help would be much obliged.


Regards,

Richard Turner

Edited by Richard Turner, 14 November 2008 - 12:24 PM.

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#2 Joshua Jackson

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 01:48 AM

In my paltry experience thus far, I've found that the make-up dept. can really step in here to help with the issue of picking up your darker-skinned actors in a high-contrast, low-key setting. I've found that a glossy lotion/facial oil will help create a nice sheen on the harder edges of the face and, when it catches one of those point sources, the definition of the face can really pop. On close-ups, I'd keep it pretty much the same but maybe cheat a very low eye-light in.

As far as balancing, depends more on what type of flourescents you're working with.

I really like the third image down by the way. Definitely is conveying urban jungle to me. You balanced to the tungstens in that pic?
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Wooden Camera

Technodolly

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Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

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Tai Audio

CineLab

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Paralinx LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Willys Widgets

Opal

FJS International, LLC