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Shooting Night Time Scene with no Key lighting


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#1 Nick JB

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 12:33 AM

Hi everyone,

I'm about to commense photography on a music video in which members of the band are seen wondering around a fairground at night. Due to restrictions in budget and by the mobile nature of the project, I am being forced to shoot cinema verite (hand-held, documentary style) with no lighting equipment able to be plugged in to light my subjects. I am shooting on a reasonable HD camera and will be able to set some shots up on legs.

I am basically a little afraid though about the obvious lack of key light and what that might do to the quality of the picture and the detail in the actors' faces. The background for the location is reasonably well-lit in places for a night-time shoot (bright fairground lights in contrast to night time sky) and I want to be able to be able to see some of the background detail, without totally losing my actors in foreground. Unfortaunately the site itself is fairly dimly lit when it comes to the action I need to shoot in focus and I am scared the whole thing will look really flat if I just expose for them. I am wondering what might happen in terms of noise, etc. if I push the gain in order to properly light the actors in foreground and is there anyway to avoid or minimise a really noisy image?

I am also considering exposing for background and coming up with some sort of hand-held lighting equipment to light up the actors that won't look ridiculously unnatural. Does anyone have any techniques or unusual pieces of lighting equipment that will enable for me to seperate my actors from the background and get some detail in their faces? At a budget....?

Any advice would be really well-appreciated.

Nick.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 12:40 AM

Don't cross-post.

Anyone else who wants to answer, please post to the same question in the Lighting Forum.
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#3 Nick JB

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 01:26 AM

Sorry. Yes, please see the same question in "Lighting"
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