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Lighitng a fish tank


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#1 NigelAC

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 02:09 PM

I am shooting a short film on Super16 that features a large fish tank in a bedroom. The scenes will be lit with practicals and strive for a warm, natural look. The fish tank, however, will emanate a deep blue glow that separates it from the rest of the room. I have tested the stock (7213), and the blue light that is built into the tank becomes washed out once other light sources are introduced into the shot. Is there a way to rig small lights into the top of the fish tank to boost the overall light level inside it, or would you bounce light into the tank from outside? Are there any flagging techniques that could be used to keep the warm color temperature from blending with the blue?

Thanks,
Nigel
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#2 Lucas Griego

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:23 PM

I am shooting a short film on Super16 that features a large fish tank in a bedroom. The scenes will be lit with practicals and strive for a warm, natural look. The fish tank, however, will emanate a deep blue glow that separates it from the rest of the room. I have tested the stock (7213), and the blue light that is built into the tank becomes washed out once other light sources are introduced into the shot. Is there a way to rig small lights into the top of the fish tank to boost the overall light level inside it, or would you bounce light into the tank from outside? Are there any flagging techniques that could be used to keep the warm color temperature from blending with the blue?

Thanks,
Nigel


I'm working as a gaffer on a production now where we had a fish tank in a living room that we had to have read very clearly... you know that typical type of glow you get with a fish tank. The light that was on the tank wasn't close enough to get it to look how the DP wanted so I used a Kino Flo single bank with a daylight tube in it. To give it some extra kick I wrapped the tube with a Lee filters steel blue. I just put the light on a C-stand slightly below and behind the fish tank and then used black wrap on either end of the single bank to keep it from spilling onto the wall and rest of the scene too much. The rest of the room was lit with tungsten practicals. Worked perfectly.

There are probably dozens of ways you could achieve the same thing - but this was the simplest with what I had on hand. FWIW we are shooting on a RED Epic and not film... but that probably won't make a ton of difference.
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#3 NigelAC

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 07:16 PM

I'm working as a gaffer on a production now where we had a fish tank in a living room that we had to have read very clearly... you know that typical type of glow you get with a fish tank. The light that was on the tank wasn't close enough to get it to look how the DP wanted so I used a Kino Flo single bank with a daylight tube in it. To give it some extra kick I wrapped the tube with a Lee filters steel blue. I just put the light on a C-stand slightly below and behind the fish tank and then used black wrap on either end of the single bank to keep it from spilling onto the wall and rest of the scene too much. The rest of the room was lit with tungsten practicals. Worked perfectly.

There are probably dozens of ways you could achieve the same thing - but this was the simplest with what I had on hand. FWIW we are shooting on a RED Epic and not film... but that probably won't make a ton of difference.


Thank you very much!

Do you know if this is possible with the use of a standard florescent tube rather than a Kino? We are on a tighter budget that may not allow us to buy those units.
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#4 Lucas Griego

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 09:32 AM

Thank you very much!

Do you know if this is possible with the use of a standard florescent tube rather than a Kino? We are on a tighter budget that may not allow us to buy those units.


Yeah if you're on a tight budget you won't want to be buying Kino Flo's they're not exactly cheap. Though you can check with a rental house on what it would cost you to rent a single bank set up. That'll come with the single tube lighting bank, the ballast (which you run to your mains), a feeder cable from the ballast to the light itself. - That'll do the trick. However... if you're budget is so tight that you can't manage that then you might try the same trick with several fluoro tubes in the same position as I described. Just realize that flouro tube in general wont be as high output as a Kino Flo is... and if you gel them off for color correction - then you are going to lose a bit there as well. You'll have to experiment and see if you can get the look you want.

Depending on where you're at and how sussed the fish tank is will effect the light. There are a bunch of different types of lights on tanks these days. A quick overview here:

http://www.aquarium-...arium-lighting/

So find out what you have in that location and how it compares to the Kinos... it probably won't but muck about with it and double it up and what not and then gel it off and you should be ok. Fluoros are relatively cheap so they wont break the budget.
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