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Window Lighting Effect


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#1 Ben Brahem Ziryab

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 10:51 AM

Hello,

After recently seeing "The Black Dahlia", photographed by Vilmos Sizgmond, I was very inspired on how the lighting was approached, and particularly the lighting coming from the windows, as an essential component in forming the space and the overall mood of the shot. The style, obviously, is strongly influenced by abstract film-noir lighting and roman paintings from the caravaggio era.

As a matter of fact, I need someone to give me insight or a description of how to recreate this type of window lighting effect?

Thanks,
Ziryab Ben

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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 10:57 AM

All you need is a big enough/strong enough source to pour through your window and a type of atmosphere in the room, smoke or haze, to catch the light. You'd want something rather directional, like a Fresnel, or a PAR and you can spread it out a bit with some diffusion, though I'd keep it mild.
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#3 Ben Brahem Ziryab

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 02:44 PM

Thanks for insight, Adrian. But how do you know how keep the streaks of light so strong throughout the window blind, and still maintain highlight details in the background (probably a matte painting) ?
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 02:47 PM

It's just a matter of careful exposure, making sure that you're not blowing your dynamic range too far out. Film can handle a lot of over-exposure anyway, and I'm certain they tested to stock to see how many stops over they can go and still get detail. In truth, the streaks of light and the BG look to be almost the same exposure level, as you'll see they aren't white white streaks of light, but a grey, very pale, but there. Or, worst to worst, you light the BG separate from the streaks-- keeping it within your range and letting the shafts brighten to taste.
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#5 Ben Brahem Ziryab

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 03:30 PM

Thanks again. I'll have to some perform tests with the RED ONE (unfortunately film is not being used on this project) and see how well it handles overexposure. Hope it holds well, especially in this kind of situations where you actually need the enormous exposure latitude. If it doesn't work out, I was thinking of moving the BG plate back and putting something like a flag, blocking the light from the PAR, and sort of isolate it.
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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 03:33 PM

Digital doesn't have as much room above, as you obviously know, i'd say though that you can certainly still get this type of effect, especially if you have a hazier set, as you are essentially lowering contrast. A quick test, though, with some lights and some smoke should take care of you, if you have time. Else as you mention, flagging off light from your BG plates (translites etc) and treating them separately can get you good results.
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#7 Ben Brahem Ziryab

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 03:39 PM

Yeah you'r right Adrian. I will do the test with smoke for the haze, as you suggest. I'm just hoping the production company agrees to it. Anyway, thanks Adrian for taking the time :)
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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 03:43 PM

Anytime. Good luck and let us know how it goes. And if all else fails, take 2 Guinness and call me in the morning ;).
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