Daylight Balance for Night Exteriors
Posted 16 February 2009 - 02:01 PM
Two ways to light a night exterior:
1) Using a daylight balance stock like Fuji 8592 500D with daylight balanced lights.
2) Using a Tungsten balanced stock like Fuji 8573 500T with tungsten lights.
I see an advantage to the former in the respect of using higher efficiency Lumens/Watt lights over the latter, and when shooting night exteriors the more light the better. In addition, converting an HMI to tungsten balance would lose 2 stops, whereas converting a tungsten to daylight balance would lose 2/3rds of a stop.
Admittedly there would be more considerations lighting for daylight balance (ballasts, striking, etc.) so my question is whether the pros outweigh the cons? Is this something that has been done already on previous shoots?
Posted 16 February 2009 - 04:57 PM
Other than the rather soft & grainy Fuji Reala 500D stock, 250D is the fastest daylight stock, so it's not used much for night work except when you want tungsten lights to go orangey and you have enough light for 250 ASA. There are scattered examples of this technique -- for example, Robert Richardson used 250D stock of a night exterior scene on a college campus in "Born on the Fourth of July" to make the tungsten windows and streetlamps go very warm. "Backdraft" used 250D stock combined with arcs and HMI's to make the fire look redder in comparison. "Emma" used 250D stock to make candlelight look more orange.
Otherwise, if you choice is between 250D stock and HMI's versus 500T stock and tungstens, there is less speed advantage with the first choice than you'd think because the stock is a stop slower.
Another advantage to 250D stock is that the blue layer is slower and thus finer-grained, which may help when shooting blue skies or bluescreens, etc.
Posted 16 February 2009 - 06:20 PM