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Long shot in low light condition, with poor lightning


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#1 Jean Maxim Desjardins

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 04:56 PM

My question is about making something good with almost nothing. I'm a first year student in a University and I need to light this place with a basic tungsten 1K lights kit (three spots). It's shot in 16mm (Kodak Vision3 500t 7219). Three guys will be sitting on the floor against the wall and people will walk by as if it was a street (It does not look quite like a street, but it's part of the aesthetic). This is on the fist picture behind the water basin, on the second, on the right passage.

I'm considering giving it an evening look by using the practical wall lights, in a sense that I should light it as the light was coming from them. It will be shot during the afternoon, but it's an indoor location with a large and high window ceiling. Also, both pictures are daylight balances at 5500k. I will have to use a 3/4 CTO in camera (Bolex H16 shutter 135degree). I also know that putting CTB on tungsten lights drastically cut 1 2/3 of a stop. I took some meter readings, and there is hardly 30 fc on the water pound, 20 fc on the wall.

Any insight or suggestion on that?

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#2 Alex Zustra

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 08:20 PM

Is it not an option to shoot on daylight balanced stock? That would save tons of light in the end.
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#3 Jean Maxim Desjardins

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 08:34 PM

Is it not an option to shoot on daylight balanced stock? That would save tons of light in the end.

It is an option indeed. And then I would have to use a film stock like the Kodak 7205 or 7207. I would only have a finer look, and I don't have any money or power to rent any HMI, I will still have to gel my tungsten lights, and lost a lot of light anyway. Also, because of the reflex system and the angle of the Bolex's shutter I always have to compensate 2/3 of a stop. But in the end, if I have to choose daylight film, so be it, why not. To choose daylight balanced film is a much more obvious choice to me than to put an 85 on a tungsten balanced film, even twice the speed.
My major concern is how to light it without having this flat look.
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#4 Jean Francois Rajotte

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 08:19 PM

I dont know if you've shot this already but i'm going to offer a reply anyways.

If you shoot daylight, are you concerned about the possible orange spill from the 15 or so surrounding lights ? They dont seem to have alot of throw but considering their predominant presence in the area it will be quite hard to work around them. Additionnally, i'm not sure to what extent it can be taken care of in post. You can always gel them all if you're feeling adventurous. Or slightly insane, heh.

Depending on the grain structure of your chosen stock you may want to consider pushing it one stop. You'd gain a stop and a higher contrast at the expense of larger grain. As i've never pushed color negative, i'd suggest you to shoot some tests to make sure the color tones remain similar.

The flat lighting problem stems from the general soft light from what seems to be an overcast sky. Since the lighting is so flat, i would think that even with an 80B filter on the 1k's you should have enough light to overcome the general fill. What lenses do you have access too ? You will want to get the fastest ones. Think about shooting 1.4, 2 or 2.8. Keep in mind that will lower your depth of field.

Also, you may want to experiment with 'negative fill' to add shadows to the faces. Put a black piece of foamcore on a stand and play around the faces. The black sucks in the light thus accentuating the shadows and contrast. Worth a try on your tighter characters shots.

Keep us updated on the final product !

Cheers,

J-F
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