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need help lighting a night street scene


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#1 Glynn Albert

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 03:24 AM

Hi,

I will be lighting a dark street on a steep hillside Hollywood hills. There are no street lights. There is one house there on one side of the hill and trees and a ravine on the opposite side. again no street lights. I did a prelight where I placed a 1k tungsten Fresnel with CTB on the roof of a garage. and a 650 off and hi to the side for fill again with CTB. We had one background light a 1k Lowell into the trees but with the angle of our shots, several straight down the street mostly there is nothing to light. Please see attached images from prelight.

prelite_1.jpg

We plan on bringing a fogger but cant count on no wind, I was thinking about balls with 500 W photo floods but we are talking about alot of empty space, and with no where to hang them.

The director doesn't want it monochromatic just blue and black, I don't want it to look like like we used colors just for the sake of using colors, he is thinking blue, red and orange. The mood is to be nightmarish. We can use a kino, but that dosen't fit ta nightmarish concept in my mind.

We are using a DOF adapter. The camera prelight was muddy and dark, can anyone suggest something? We are limited by budget to household power. the street in 30 yards long if we shoot down it. perhaps the answer is simply don't shoot down it.

Picture_4.jpg

* The other BIG concern is maintaining a night feel but not looking muddy, How is that accomplished?

Any advise from experience would be great. Thanks.

Edited by Glynn Albert, 22 June 2009 - 03:25 AM.

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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 07:17 AM

Get some par cans with NS and VNS globes and "pick out" little things to light. you can use one to make a street light type look from somewhere (orange) a few others to carry the nightmarish blue quality
and maybe mix from orange-red in the far background for some separation chromatically. My quick thoughts.
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#3 Karel Bata

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 01:06 PM

Wetting the street will increase its reflectivity. Remember you'll get peak reflection if the angle of incidence = angle of reflection. If you have no power, maybe use battery powered lights to fake a street light or two? Park a car with headlights on in the distance? Use a frame with tape on to fake an out of focus window..? You don't need a lot really. And if it's white or orange it'll make your blue look bluer.

Looking at your stills I'd throw in a wee touch of pale blue backlight on your talent, maybe 'justified' (and matched in color) by what you end up putting in the background..
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#4 David Rakoczy

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 01:16 PM

I think what you have there is fine... maybe a little flat for my taste in the closer shot.. I (personally and if the story warrants it) would add come 'white light'' or 'warm light' for color contrast... that would help a lot! You could place lights out of frame (up as high as you can get them) and aim them down.. one to the right and one leftish... they could mimmick street lights.. color them to taste... remember, you don't have to see the source.. but you could create 'Streetlight' lighting where there is none.. ;) ... if that fits the story of course...
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#5 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 08:14 PM

I think what you have there is fine... maybe a little flat for my taste in the closer shot.. I (personally and if the story warrants it) would add come 'white light'' or 'warm light' for color contrast... that would help a lot! You could place lights out of frame (up as high as you can get them) and aim them down.. one to the right and one leftish... they could mimmick street lights.. color them to taste... remember, you don't have to see the source.. but you could create 'Streetlight' lighting where there is none.. ;) ... if that fits the story of course...


If you put christmas lights (or small sources far away) and only leave a few xmas lights on, it will give you some nice depth. But if there is nothing to light, then there is nothing to light....You can skim the street with light to add shape, and use water to get some extra punch.

Also, I'd mix some color temps too. Going blue with no orange is overkill.
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#6 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 08:25 PM

Why you have to shoot there, where there is nothing to see in the background and you don't have the budget to light it?
I mean.. if it's part of the scenario to be like that, then leave it as it is, but if you want to have something look like something else in the background then change the location.
You can do the same in a dark room....IMHO as always...
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#7 Glynn Albert

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 10:48 PM

Get some par cans with NS and VNS globes and "pick out" little things to light. you can use one to make a street light type look from somewhere (orange) a few others to carry the nightmarish blue quality
and maybe mix from orange-red in the far background for some separation chromatically. My quick thoughts.


Cool. I like the idea of a mix from orange to red. Sounds nightmarish.
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#8 Glynn Albert

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 10:50 PM

Wetting the street will increase its reflectivity. Remember you'll get peak reflection if the angle of incidence = angle of reflection. If you have no power, maybe use battery powered lights to fake a street light or two? Park a car with headlights on in the distance? Use a frame with tape on to fake an out of focus window..? You don't need a lot really. And if it's white or orange it'll make your blue look bluer.

Looking at your stills I'd throw in a wee touch of pale blue backlight on your talent, maybe 'justified' (and matched in color) by what you end up putting in the background..



Backlight ok
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#9 Glynn Albert

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 10:53 PM

Why you have to shoot there, where there is nothing to see in the background and you don't have the budget to light it?
I mean.. if it's part of the scenario to be like that, then leave it as it is, but if you want to have something look like something else in the background then change the location.
You can do the same in a dark room....IMHO as always...



No permit required, neighbors are cool and providing electricity. Good thought.

Edited by Glynn Albert, 24 June 2009 - 10:56 PM.

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#10 Glynn Albert

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 10:54 PM

If you put christmas lights (or small sources far away) and only leave a few xmas lights on, it will give you some nice depth. But if there is nothing to light, then there is nothing to light....You can skim the street with light to add shape, and use water to get some extra punch.

Also, I'd mix some color temps too. Going blue with no orange is overkill.



I like the idea of christmas lights. Thanks.
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#11 Glynn Albert

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 10:57 PM

Hi,

I will be lighting a dark street on a steep hillside Hollywood hills. There are no street lights. There is one house there on one side of the hill and trees and a ravine on the opposite side. again no street lights. I did a prelight where I placed a 1k tungsten Fresnel with CTB on the roof of a garage. and a 650 off and hi to the side for fill again with CTB. We had one background light a 1k Lowell into the trees but with the angle of our shots, several straight down the street mostly there is nothing to light. Please see attached images from prelight.

prelite_1.jpg

We plan on bringing a fogger but cant count on no wind, I was thinking about balls with 500 W photo floods but we are talking about alot of empty space, and with no where to hang them.

The director doesn't want it monochromatic just blue and black, I don't want it to look like like we used colors just for the sake of using colors, he is thinking blue, red and orange. The mood is to be nightmarish. We can use a kino, but that dosen't fit ta nightmarish concept in my mind.

We are using a DOF adapter. The camera prelight was muddy and dark, can anyone suggest something? We are limited by budget to household power. the street in 30 yards long if we shoot down it. perhaps the answer is simply don't shoot down it.

Picture_4.jpg

* The other BIG concern is maintaining a night feel but not looking muddy, How is that accomplished?

Any advise from experience would be great. Thanks.


THANKS EVERYBODY, ONCE SHOT I WILL POST THE PICS OF THE SHOOT WITH SOME OF THE SUGGESTIONS IN PLAY... THANKS AGAIN!!!
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#12 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 05:53 AM

Glad to help. Good luck!
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#13 Glynn Albert

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 10:19 PM

THANKS EVERYBODY, ONCE SHOT I WILL POST THE PICS OF THE SHOOT WITH SOME OF THE SUGGESTIONS IN PLAY... THANKS AGAIN!!!


well, our crew consisted of two people and we were so overloaded we did not get a chance to use most of the suggestions but ended up using 2 1.2K HMI PARs and a Kino with tungsten bulbs you will see the shots here
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Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Opal

Metropolis Post

Abel Cine

Visual Products

FJS International, LLC

Tai Audio

Aerial Filmworks

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Glidecam

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Paralinx LLC

Wooden Camera

The Slider

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Ritter Battery