Jump to content


Photo

How to light Alleyways and Streets


  • Please log in to reply
2 replies to this topic

#1 Daniel Maitland

Daniel Maitland

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 02 October 2011 - 01:48 AM

I have a music video coming up in the next few weeks. A great deal of the of the video is shot in night time exterior locations long streets and alleyways. We are trying to achieve a film noir look (harsh shadows, rim lights etc.) while also replicating the various colors of out door city lights such as those greeny streetlamps or those orange buzzing sodium vapor lights. Our cameras native ISO is 800. I may be willing to crank the gain up but i am not overly fond of the idea. Also we are going to be using a lot of steadicam (lots of wides) so if there is a method to tucking the lights up out of the way to allow for camera mobility then please enlighten. All options must be powered by one 6500 watt honda.

Any methods would be helpful.
  • 0

#2 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 02 October 2011 - 08:22 AM

It's hard to do night lighting with one generator simply because you often want to have power in the foreground (for video, camera, foreground lights, whatever) but also in the background -- it's hard to string the power that far, plus your cables end up running through the shot.

Assuming something like a 3-story building, I'd consider, for example, some 1K Parcans armed out from rooftops using a menace arm rig to point straight down for pools of light, or at the end of the alley on each roof corner to crosslight the opposite wall of the alley (a one-story alleyway may not be tall enough to clear the lights from the shots except for closer overheads.

Art department can help by hanging some practicals like "china hats" under small roof awnings and fire escapes, or mounting bare bulb fixtures or other security lights to walls. You could even try mounting sodium vapor or metal halide security / streetlamp fixtures down the alleyway if you want those colors.

You could even try string wire across the alley in intervals and then hanging a lightweight practical in the center between the buildings, again, something like a lightweight china hat or a paper lantern (if off-camera above the frame, hard to justify seeing a paper lantern.)
  • 0

#3 Daniel Maitland

Daniel Maitland

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 03 October 2011 - 11:00 AM

It's hard to do night lighting with one generator simply because you often want to have power in the foreground (for video, camera, foreground lights, whatever) but also in the background -- it's hard to string the power that far, plus your cables end up running through the shot.

Assuming something like a 3-story building, I'd consider, for example, some 1K Parcans armed out from rooftops using a menace arm rig to point straight down for pools of light, or at the end of the alley on each roof corner to crosslight the opposite wall of the alley (a one-story alleyway may not be tall enough to clear the lights from the shots except for closer overheads.

Art department can help by hanging some practicals like "china hats" under small roof awnings and fire escapes, or mounting bare bulb fixtures or other security lights to walls. You could even try mounting sodium vapor or metal halide security / streetlamp fixtures down the alleyway if you want those colors.

You could even try string wire across the alley in intervals and then hanging a lightweight practical in the center between the buildings, again, something like a lightweight china hat or a paper lantern (if off-camera above the frame, hard to justify seeing a paper lantern.)


Fantastic advise. Thank you sir, I will relay this information to my gaffer.
  • 0


rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Glidecam

Technodolly

Paralinx LLC

Opal

FJS International, LLC

Tai Audio

Visual Products

Wooden Camera

Ritter Battery

CineLab

Abel Cine

Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

Willys Widgets

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

The Slider

CineTape

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Metropolis Post

Willys Widgets

The Slider

CineLab

Technodolly

Visual Products

Ritter Battery

Aerial Filmworks

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Glidecam

Opal

rebotnix Technologies

Abel Cine

Metropolis Post

Rig Wheels Passport

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

FJS International, LLC

Wooden Camera

Tai Audio

CineTape

Paralinx LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc