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Haze, night, and wooded areas


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#1 Graeme McMahon

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 08:52 PM

Hi,

 

I heading overseas soon to shoot a picture very soon. I'm not from a cold climate, so it is hard to test, but we are aiming to shoot the night exteriors like these reference pics attached. Basically, lighting the haze so there is an omnipresent light source (being the haze), that separates the layers of trees and characters.haze night 001.jpg haze night 002.jpg

 

I'm making a assumption these are shot with a high soft backlight. Working with a modest budget, anyone can help me with ideas to achieve this look please?

 

My idea at this stage it to string up a horizontal line of lights (tied up into trees in the BG), maybe open faced blondes flooded, every 5 meters apart, back lighting the scene (my cheaper method). More slower and costly way I am also thinking is two or tree scaffold towers in the BG with 10 x 10 frames on them, either bouncing or shooting light through them.

 

Thanks.

 

Gra


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 10:49 PM

You could also light the smoke from below, as Shelly Johnson did in "The Wolfman":

 

wolfman1.jpg

 

wolfman2.jpg

 

wolfman3.jpg

 

The trick is to have the action on a low hill or rise so that you have room to light from below.  The advantage is that you can shoot low angles.


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#3 Guy Holt

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 12:38 PM

 

wolfman3.jpg

 

The trick is to have the action on a low hill or rise so that you have room to light from below.  The advantage is that you can shoot low angles.

 

The trick to lighting the haze so there is an omnipresent light source (being the haze), is to use a very even diffuse source. Blondes strung over-head or on scaffold towers would probably be too sourcie (sp?) to work.  How Shelly Johnson was able to separate the layers of trees and characters by lighting haze was, as David posted, to use large lights far down an embankment and diffuse them heavily so that they would spread evenly before reaching the action area.

 

CK_ColorBlaze_LG.jpg

The 6' Color Kinetics ColorBlaze 72 RGB LED 

 

A low budget approach that would accomplish the same thing without a steep embankment or large HMIs would be to use a ground row of Color Kinetic ColorBlaze 72 LED fixtures. Each fixture is 6 feet long and can be strung end-to-end to cover a long distance. If you use the newer dmx four channel RGBA fixture, you will be able to dial in with a dimmer board the color blue you want without losing output to color gels as you would with your quartz blondes. And with a maximum draw of 420 Watts at full output you can operate up to 15 of them (enough to cover 120 linear feet) on a 7500W modified Honda EU6500is - which will save you having to run feeder cables through the woods (there is nothing worst than running cable through woods at night.) In fact, you could probably light your entire night scene with nothing more than a couple of 7500W Honda EU6500is portables just as the makers of “Gasp” did (pictures attached).

 

EB_Gasp_Title_Screen.jpg

 

But, beware, their power factor deteriorates as they are dimmed or only single color emitters are used. Which means that they will draw current rich in harmonic distortion, which will have severe adverse effects on most portable generators. The harmonics generated by these lights, and any other non-Power Factor Corrected sources (HMIs, KINOs, LEDS) you might use, can cause severe voltage waveform distortion and higher than normal return current on the main neutral conductor which can result in it overheating and catching fire.

 

EB_Gasp_ScreenShot_1.jpg

 

Night exterior beach campfire scene lit with only a 7500W modified Honda EU6500is portable generator 

 

For this reason, I would not operate them on conventional AVR putt-putts through splitter boxes, but only through an inverter generator (like the Honda EU6500is) and a transformer/distro with super neutrals (use this link for details.)

 

Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip, Lighting Rental and Sales in Boston


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#4 Graeme McMahon

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 07:43 AM

Wow, thanks lads, exactly what I needed. Was going to try and test the low angle approach for expedience.

 

Need to ask, yes, a soft source, but how big does the frame have to be and how many? In the second frame grab from Mr. Mullen, that is ideal, to me thought, the light source looks more 3/4 back light as opposed to backlit.

 

I'm thinking of doing a scale test shoot, garage to stop fog from escaping, toys for actors, pot plants for trees. Has anyone done this before?

 

Thanks


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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 11:58 AM

You don't need soft lights but you need enough multiple hard lights to create a lot of spread -- Shelly Johnson told me that when he did the same effect for the Percy Jackson sequel, he used rows of multi-bank lamps like 12-lights, etc.  He also told me you need a lot of smoke evenly hazing the area to spread the light.

 

A row of 2K blondes would work if you have enough of them.


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