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Lighting someone at sunset


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#1 Mike Sorel

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 10:02 PM

I will be shooting (HDCAM) a PSA in the next week, in it an actor will be delivering the tag line "The sky's the limit...". I noticed this video of Chris Isaak and was hoping to do something similar. The strongest light I can afford to get for this shoot is a 1200w HMI, and I am unsure if it will be strong enough to acheive the same dramatic effect?

Thanks,

Sunset_shot.jpg
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#2 J. Lamar King

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 10:34 PM

Yes, it will be plenty strong at sunset. Keep in mind that uncorrected it will be blue compared to any orange-y light from the actual sun at that time so bring some CTO/S along.
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#3 Mike Sorel

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 11:29 PM

Yes, it will be plenty strong at sunset. Keep in mind that uncorrected it will be blue compared to any orange-y light from the actual sun at that time so bring some CTO/S along.


Thanks J,

Good to hear 1200w will be enough for my needs, good call on the CTO also. I was thinking balancing the camera to the blue light of the HMI to excentuate the orangey light from the sun. Having the CTO will give me the option to dial the orange in the sky down if its too much.
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#4 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 12:30 AM

If the sun's still peaking over those hills and coming in strong through the clouds, don't you guys think a reflector or mirrorboard would still suffice?

I could see how the HMI would be necessary if you plan to shoot once the sun has completely set and the sky is still orange, but if the sun remains visible as a source, I would think you could still get some good punch out of it with a simple reflector.
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#5 Tom Jensen

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 12:59 AM

What is the name of this video? I haven't seen it but I think it might be a composite shot. The back ground looks too dramatic to have been just right on the day of the shoot. I don't know, I haven't seen the video. A shiny board might work. You might be able to achieve the look you want by bouncing some fill but the light on the face is pretty hard. A composite shot probably isn't in your budget so I'd say an HMI would be the most controllable. But if you want to save some money do like Jonathan said.
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#6 J. Lamar King

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 06:12 PM

Sure, a shiny board would work. The light however, will get you more control for longer and you should bring it if you have the budget. Personally I would just use a light in that situation.

Edited by J. Lamar King, 06 May 2009 - 06:15 PM.

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#7 Mike Sorel

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 11:08 PM

Thanks everyone for your the suggestions , an HMI is in the budget so I think it will be my best choice to have the light control during the sunset. Tom, I took the screen capture from the latest reel from RED, it's a dolly shot so I'm inclined to believe he is actually there. but then again you never know?
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#8 Albert Smith

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 12:02 AM

youll deff want a par as well. in that tight of a frame you shouldnt have a problem.


I would say shinny board could work but it is alot less controllable and if you wont be able to shoot after the sun gets too low.
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#9 John Allen

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 03:18 PM

Maybe someone already suggested this, but it almost looks as though a net was used to cut some of the light off of the bottom half of the guy.

Also, I might suggest that instead of going with the 1.2 HMI w/ CTO, maybe you could use a tweenie(650w tungsten fresnel). That way it's already 3,200k, and you don't lose any light from the CTO. You could even bounce the light off of a showcard to make it a tad softer(though remember, this will be less directional and will make it hard to control it).

If the sun's still peaking over those hills and coming in strong through the clouds, don't you guys think a reflector or mirrorboard would still suffice?


I agree, I think that could work as long as the sun has not yet dipped fully behind the hills, but it would be much less controllable and as the sun goes down(which will be fast depending on your latitude) and you'll have to continually move it. So going with a light is going to be much more controllable and will allow cutting to be much easier.

Anyway, there's my two bits. :)
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#10 Tom Jensen

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 03:54 PM

What's the name of this video?
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#11 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 01:28 AM

A dimable balast for your 1200 HMI (cinepar I guess?) is a must and also have some extra span glass or light diffusion near your fixture ready to put on, I reccomend four pieces ready to be added little by little ,light changes dramatically in this time of day.
Or have your gaffer or chief ready to move the light further away from the actor...

Dim
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#12 Andrew Koch

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 03:57 PM

Also, I might suggest that instead of going with the 1.2 HMI w/ CTO, maybe you could use a tweenie(650w tungsten fresnel). That way it's already 3,200k, and you don't lose any light from the CTO. You could even bounce the light off of a showcard to make it a tad softer(though remember, this will be less directional and will make it hard to control it).


A 1.2 HMI with full CTO still has a tremendously higher output than a 650w fresnel, but it might not be a bad idea to bring an additional tungsten source. I would suggest a 1K Par. They about 10-15 bucks a day and have very high output. You could bounce the HMI Par and the tungsten Par into a beadboard. This will mix the color temp and bring it down, but certainly not down to 3200. You could bring it down further with partial CTO (1/2, 1/4, whatever you need) If the sun is low enough, the tungsten par alone could be enough.
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#13 John Allen

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 06:18 PM

A 1.2 HMI with full CTO still has a tremendously higher output than a 650w fresnel, but it might not be a bad idea to bring an additional tungsten source. I would suggest a 1K Par. They about 10-15 bucks a day and have very high output. You could bounce the HMI Par and the tungsten Par into a beadboard. This will mix the color temp and bring it down, but certainly not down to 3200. You could bring it down further with partial CTO (1/2, 1/4, whatever you need) If the sun is low enough, the tungsten par alone could be enough.


Well yeah of course the 1.2 HMI is going to have more light, it's double the output. But what I meant to say is that I think a tweenie would be all the light you'd need. Yeah, that's another advantage; it's cheaper to rent tungsten fixtures rather than HMIs. Either way, you could do both. I personally like the quality you get from the quartz lamps more than the HMIs, that is, when you are going for 3,200k.
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#14 Andrew Koch

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 02:43 AM

Well yeah of course the 1.2 HMI is going to have more light, it's double the output.


It is double the WATTAGE, not double the output. The output of a 1.2K HMI Par can exceed 5 times the power of a 650w (I've seen data higher than this) HMIs are a more efficient (but not necessarily better). This is why a 400W joker outguns a 1K Fresnel. I agree, I like the quality of the tungsten fresnel units as well, but I'm not sure if a tweenie is enough. If you're going to go tungsten, I would recommend something with more power, like a 2K fresnel or a 1k Par. A tweenie might work, but only when the sunlight is low enough. I think tungsten would be a good way to go if the sunset is ultra warm. You may even have to add cto to the tungsten units. The reason I think it would be good to have a bigger unit is you can drop scrims in it as the sun goes down to stay consistent.
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#15 Matti Poutanen

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 04:36 AM

I´d suggest using a tungsten and cto/s with dimmer. The sun light level drops in warp speed in that point, so dimming it with a dimmer to get the lighting ratios wanted between the foreground and background would be faster than gelling. Plus the warmer colour temp. from dimming is just a good thing here.

Edited by Matti Poutanen, 09 May 2009 - 04:39 AM.

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#16 John Allen

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 08:41 AM

It is double the WATTAGE, not double the output. The output of a 1.2K HMI Par can exceed 5 times the power of a 650w (I've seen data higher than this) HMIs are a more efficient (but not necessarily better). This is why a 400W joker outguns a 1K Fresnel. I agree, I like the quality of the tungsten fresnel units as well, but I'm not sure if a tweenie is enough. If you're going to go tungsten, I would recommend something with more power, like a 2K fresnel or a 1k Par. A tweenie might work, but only when the sunlight is low enough. I think tungsten would be a good way to go if the sunset is ultra warm. You may even have to add cto to the tungsten units. The reason I think it would be good to have a bigger unit is you can drop scrims in it as the sun goes down to stay consistent.


Yeah you make a good point there. Sorry, I didn't phrase myself well, and I shall try and do better next time. I didn't necessarily mean that just because the WATTAGE is double, then it would be double the output. But yes I know I phrased myself that way, and so I understand the missunderstanding. I was basically trying to emphasize that since the HMI is more efficiant, then it would be at LEAST double the output. I am sorry for my lack in clearification. Anyway yes, I agree with you 100%.
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#17 Oscar D Rivera

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 05:39 PM

I've been reading everybody's comments and i agree with most of you, tungsten would be better. And judging by what you see on location you might still want to add 1/4, 1/2, or full CTO.
But just to be safe i suggest you go with a 2k on a dimmer(which somebody suggested). That way you know you have more than enough light but you can cut it down if you need to. And having a reflector is also a good idea (somebody else suggested this), that way you can add another touch on top of the 2k key.

Good luck man, hope everybody's comments helped.
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