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Small South-facing spaces with large windows.


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#1 David Grantham

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 03:41 PM

I'm developing a strategy for regular handheld verite style shoots in this beautiful but tricky little space - Day for Day and Day for Night. Shoots will regularly be a day long - so natural light will change and it's usually sunny here.

Windows will move in and out of frame quite regularly.

The room's about 11' x 11' with a 10' ceiling, and two 6' x 3' windows. One window faces west, the other south. Sunbeams usually pour right in. It's the fourth floor - can't do anything outside.

Layers of ND option:

For a test I darkened all but a patch of window with shadow cloth and added layered soft gel under tinted plexiglass on the windows, (which of course darkens the windows and the sunbeams and other light which enters.) 1K of artifical light bouncing around in the room creates suitable ambience for day. To create night I underexposed ambience a stop and add another layer of gel on windows and boosted wattage in practicals.

This was tested with a c-standmounted 1K bouncing off the ceiling, but I want something out of any shot. So for a light source supported at ceiling level in this situation I'm thinking a scrimmable (to balance as ext condtions change) softened/bounced 1K source mounted above the 9' point, (and likely reflective material on the floor if I can keep it out of the shots - probably not.) A very light weight light would be best. I'd rather build a couple of light-weight rigs out of CF bulbs and PVC pipe for this, but I can't see how to scrim that. Never used any sort of soft box, but maybe this is the place for one (thought I'm not sure how to scrim that, either.)

Rosco View Option:

I'm also considering rosco view soft gels (under clear plexi) for the windows, but it's expensive (this is super-low budget.) Natural light (which isn't affected as the cross-polarization darkens only the gelled windows) could then do most of the job lighting this small room, but I think I'll need some major light to balance ambience with the undiminshed brilliant sunbeam-lit surfaces. Day for night will be tricky as the rosco view darkening method would create a great imbalance between windows and the full-power daylight they let in. It would then be a balance between darkening the windows in that way, and using ND on the camera to darken ambience and make the sunbeams seem like moonbeams. I'm not sure I would then be able to make the practicals bright enough to sell that it's night.

A challenge for a beginner (I'm probably missing something,) and whatever I do will be a compromise, but I'd welcome suggestions.
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#2 David Grantham

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 04:19 PM

(The plan for light-weigth lights at the ceiling is actually to build a light weight cluster of CFs and remove some of the CFs rather than scrim.)
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