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Lighting a tight space


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#1 Christopher Norin

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 03:33 AM

Hi!!

I'm shooting a scene in a tight space with a Canon 7d, but I'm unsure how to light it.

This is how the scene looks. I apologize for the horrible floor plan. The subject will be sitting on the floor pressed into a corner of 2 shelves.

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All I've got to light with are three 300W redheads, two 800W redheads, and two Kinop Flos (4 bank). All with regular stands.

The space is somewhat lit with flourescents. My idea was light the subject from above with a 300W, and a reflector on his face.

What are your recomendations? How would you light it?

Best,
Christopher
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#2 Mike Lary

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 03:48 AM

Story should motivate your decisions. What's happening in the scene? What are you trying to communicate?

It sounds like you have a lot of lights for a tight space. How tight is tight? What else is in the room? Are there practicals?
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#3 Christopher Norin

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 05:35 AM

Thanks for your response!

You're absolutely right, the story should motivate my decisions. In this case, the lighting shouldn't do more than communicate the authenticity of the environment - a library. The subject, a young boy (12 yr old), will sit on the floor interacting with an iphone for the duration of the scene.

I do have a lot of lights for the space, 19x6 ft. The practicals are 2-3 flourescent lights stuck on the ceĆ­ling.

How would you go about lighting the scene, with the information I've provided?

I do have access to 2 softboxes 1x1 as well.

I appreciate your help!

Christopher
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#4 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 08:01 AM

Yes, it's a library, but what ABOUT the library? What time of day is it? What mood should your LIGHTING help convey to compliment the point of the scene?

If you just want to illuminate the set to boost the exposure, then just bounce your lights into the ceiling to give that generic wash. But if you want to actually LIGHT the scene, then you need to understand the mood and tone that is intended then use the lighting to help tell that part of the story.
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#5 Mike Lary

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 06:41 AM

You're absolutely right, the story should motivate my decisions. In this case, the lighting shouldn't do more than communicate the authenticity of the environment - a library


The authenticity of your environment is already being communicated by the lights that are installed in the ceiling. I'm sure you want something more than that.
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#6 Chris Millar

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 07:04 AM

Do you want the iphone to illuminate the childs face ?

That could have implications in terms of levels...

Also will you see the catch lights of its GUI reflected in his or her eyes ?



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#7 Ronald Gerald Smith

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 01:54 PM

The 300 watt pointed down would simulate more of the light created by accent lights found commonly in museums or modern homes - possibly a library but it's a lot more natural if the library has a lot more accent lights in the background possibly pointing to artwork on the walls, maybe some particular shelves, on top of tables, etc. So if you want to light the top of the subject with a 300, then it's probably a good idea to have a lot more 300 watt fixtures pointing at different parts of the background - mount them on the ceiling and point them down. Otherwise, if it's a single 300 pointed down at the subject, that will look kind of weird and unnatural, almost like a single spotlight - I personally don't like that kind of lighting. It might work for a music video where the context is stylistic but in a narrative piece it will be a little distracting from the story.

Just like Mike Lary said, it's a good idea to take cues from the lights that already exist inside the environment. You said the space is 'somewhat lit' with flourescents. The libraries that I go to are almost always lit with flourescents. Some of the nicer libraries are lit sort of dimly with natural light from the skylight windows and with incandescent lamp fixtures on desks.
95% of libraries that I encounter are lit with fluorescent fixtures - it's energy saving, bright, and some people say that it increases concentration whereas incandescent lamps relax people. It's a good idea to keep consistent with what is already existing in the library.

The lamps in the library will probably have a green tint and will probably be around 3700-4400 degrees kelvin. So it's a good idea to get the 4 bank kinos - drape some diffusion over it, and some cto gel and plus green to match the existing lamps. You can grade the green out in post by adding magenta.

You might want to rent a color meter before the shoot and scout out the area to get the precise amount of green or cto you need. Or you can just 'rough' it.

You can rig up a kino about 6 feet or so on top of your subject - you will probably use close to the loweset setting and its a good idea to put some kind of diffusion on it - i like to use unbleached muslin and that adds some warm quality to it (it is akin to putting a 1/8 cto on your light). Also, to fill in the shadow areas of the face, you can place a sheet of muslin on the ground near the subject and bounce a light into it - you can use one of your fresnels for this - gel accordingly.
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Visual Products

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