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exposing the interior for the exterior


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#1 Nossair CHKERBOUBY

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 07:27 AM

Hi everyone!

 

Let say i want to soot a scene and there will be a window in my shot, i want the outside to be visible:

 

1- use big soft lights far away outside, but i'll be shooting directly in front of the window, should i put one big source in the side (will it light the the room or do i need the same source from the other side for the light to be even).

 

2- i quite dont get how gelling the windows with nd filters and lighting with smaler ligths inside works. (doesn't make sense in my mind can someone please explaine to me)

 

3- bounce a big source to the celling (will it look fake only if the exposure is the same in the inside and the outside, and if i let the outside overexpose by 2 stops will it look nornal)

 

 


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 08:46 AM

If the view out the window needs to be at f/22 to be exposed normally, for example, and you decide that 2-stops over is about as bright as you want the view in order to still read a lot of detail, then you'd be setting your camera to f/11.  Maybe you decide that the interior should be 1-stop under to look about right, so that means lighting the interior to f/8.

 

Well, that's a lot of light probably.  If you don't have larger HMI's, you could gel the windows with ND, let's say ND.90, so your f/11 setting for the camera can be reduced to f/4, which means the interior only has to be lit to f/2.8 now, a big difference.  You could even use 85ND gel so that the view is converted to 3200K and you can use tungsten lights inside.

 

Where ND makes less sense, other than the cost of ND gel and being able to apply it neatly and tightly so that it doesn't ripple, etc. is if your lighting for the room is coming through that same window, in which case you'd be losing light output after it passed through the ND-gelled window.


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#3 Miguel Angel

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 05:58 PM

Mr. Mullen, 

 

One question regarding the "outside" if it is ok for me to ask. 

 

Would you be reading the exterior with the spot meter or with the incident light meter?

Let's take your example and say that you read the exterior with the spot meter and it says T22, would you be reading your interior with the incident light meter and light it up to T8 or you would be reading the interior with the spot meter too and light it for T8? 

 

Thanks in advance! 

Best. 


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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 06:08 PM

It depends on whether I thought the glass had tinting on it and whether I could open the window to take an incident reading, in a skyscraper you'd have to use a spot meter.  It's up to you what you want to measure with it, something close to medium gray or the hot sky, etc.

 

If it's an untainted window, then you pretty much know from experience what the light level is outside in full sun thanks to the Sunny 16 rule, so at 50 ASA with a 1/50th shutter, you'd be at f/16 in direct sun.

 

The main problems with ND'ing windows, besides the cost, is being able to get the gel flat and even, and to not ripple in the wind, and the fact that you are darkening the incoming light from the window equally with darkening the view, but it still helps in terms of reducing the amount of light you'd have to add relative to the window light.

 

For small amounts of knocking down the brightness of the view, if you didn't mind it getting a bit diffused-looking, is to stretch a double-net on a frame and set that outside the window to cut about a stop out.


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#5 Miguel Angel

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 06:17 PM

Thank you very much for the response and the tips! all written down now! :) 

 

Very appreciated! 

 

Have a lovely day.

 

Best. 


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#6 Nossair CHKERBOUBY

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 06:44 AM

Thank you Mr Mullen!


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#7 Guy Holt

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 02:07 PM



The main problems with ND'ing windows, besides the cost, is being able to get the gel flat and even, and to not ripple in the wind, and the fact that you are darkening the incoming light from the window equally with darkening the view, but it still helps in terms of reducing the amount of light you'd have to add relative to the window light.

 

For small amounts of knocking down the brightness of the view, if you didn't mind it getting a bit diffused-looking, is to stretch a double-net on a frame and set that outside the window to cut about a stop out.

 

Here in New England we tend not to ND Windows for two reasons.  A lot of our locations have windows with divided lights and so it is very time consuming to cut the gel into the individual panes so that it doesn't wrinkle.  The second reason is that there are usually clouds in the sky so the sun comes in and out during the course of a shot.  As David pointed out a double net is a lot quicker and if you oversize your net you can angle it relative to the window to make it fatter or thinner to camera and cut the contrast by more than a stop.  If you angle the net you can also bring a light in the open side so that you have consistent light even if the sun goes behind clouds and the net is not cutting the intensity of the light.  Even then you will probably need at least a 4k inside to balance the interior to an exterior on a sunny day.

 

For example, my company, ScreenLight & Grip, lit a segment of a special two-hour program for British Television’s Channel 5 that presented the same problem that you are facing.

 

 

piratefilmstrip1lg.jpg

Host June Sarpong interviewing a marine archaeologists

 

The show told the story of the Whydah - a pirate ship that sank off Cape Cod nearly 300 years ago. In a unique TV experiment, marine archaeologists on Cape Cod dove to the wreck to salvage pirate booty live on air. In addition to the dive on the wreck, the program also included specially shot dramatic recreations of the story of the Whydah’s notorious pirate captain Black Sam Bellamy. To link between the modern-day adventures of the marine archaeologists and those of Black Sam Bellamy, co-presenter June Sarpong hosted marine archaeologists and pirate historians from a makeshift studio under a tent situated on a bluff overlooking the dive site.

piratefilmstrip1.25lg.jpg

Host June Sarpong interviewing a marine archaeologists

 

Where they wanted the dive site to serve as a backdrop to the makeshift studio, the show's producers wanted the Salvage Ship to be seen clearly on the water in the shots of June and her guests. This requirement created a similar interior/exterior contrast problem to the one you are facing.

 

We rigged a couple of 4kw and 2.5kw HMI Pars  into the frame of the tent in order to get them as close as possible to our subjects, but even then we didn’t have quite enough output to compete against the sun outside.

 

 

piratefilmstrip2.25lg.jpg

A 4k HMI Par was rigged overhead as a key for each subject

 

The final ingredient for success was a double net strung across the open backside of the tent. The net further reduced the contrast by bringing the exterior levels down and in line with the pumped-up interior. The trick in situations like this is to strike a delicate balance between the interior and exterior light levels so that the net disappears to the camera without the exterior becoming overexposed and losing important detail – the Salvage Ship out on the water in this case. Another advantage to netting the background is that it takes the hard edge off of HD. It creates the illusion of a shallower depth of field or the selective focus we associate with film.

 

 

piratefilmstrip3lg.jpg

A double net was stretched across the open side of the tent facing out onto the water.

 

Where it took a 4k Par on each of the talent, plus a double net across the back, you can see that you need a lot of light to balance interiors to exteriors. The problem with using 4k par HMIs is usually powering them. If you know how, you can plug them into 240V wall outlets with a transformer/distro, or the 120A combined output of paralleled Honda EU6500s will run the package we used on the Channel 5 show (use this link for more details.) 

 

Guy Holt, Gaffer,

ScreenLight & Grip,

Lighting Rental & Sales in Boston


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#8 Miguel Angel

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 05:33 PM

Very informative Guy!

Do you think you could have bounced a couple of 12K (providing you have had the power) plus diffusion to get the same ambience levels in the interior or that would have been too much if you don't mind me asking?

Have a good day!
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#9 Guy Holt

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 06:13 PM

Very informative Guy!

Do you think you could have bounced a couple of 12K (providing you have had the power) plus diffusion to get the same ambience levels in the interior or that would have been too much if you don't mind me asking?

Have a good day!

 

In this situation that would not have been possible because it was a three camera shoot so we had to keep the floor clear and rig everything.


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#10 Miguel Angel

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 04:50 AM

Thank you!

Have a good day!
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