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Fluorescent Lights on location in a big room


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#1 Oscar Petersson

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Posted 28 March 2015 - 06:37 AM

Many public and work places have these built in fluorescent lights in the ceiling usually behind a plastic cover. Would you ever use them when shooting a movie, or would you always have them replaced if you want to see this kind of light source lit in frame?


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#2 Albion Hockney

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Posted 28 March 2015 - 12:44 PM

Use them all the time, everyone does I'd say. Depending on the project you might augment them with different bulbs like Color Correct 3200K Tungsten Kino Flo Bulbs or 5600K Daylight bulbs. Or just change to one of the other variety of consumer bulbs for effect.

 

for example many people like the "Cool White" bulbs. When you shoot at 3200k with cool white bulbs the effect is usually some sorta cool/teal look because the crappy consumer bulbs have a lot of Green or Magenta in them sometimes

 

I have shot scenes with real fluorescent lighting the background and in the foreground either light the talent separately... or I have augmented the ceiling fixtures to look a little better by putting diffusion on them and slipping newspaper around the outside of it to control the light a little.


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#3 Oscar Petersson

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Posted 28 March 2015 - 10:11 PM

OK, thanks. But how do you avoid the flickering problem these lamps sometimes cause?


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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 March 2015 - 11:26 PM

You try to shoot at a shutter time that reduces flicker, typically 1/60th for 60Hz AC fluorescents and 1/50th for 50Hz in other countries.  But sometimes you'll still see one of the overheads flickering, either due to a bad tube which can be replaced or a bad ballast, which is harder to fix but not impossible.

 

Your first question is very broad because it all depends on whether that ceiling light is mixed with other sources with different colors, and what the intended look is.


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#5 Oscar Petersson

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Posted 29 March 2015 - 02:38 AM

Hi, thanks for reply. Yes its very broad. Because of the flicker problem and the color temprature issue I had imagined that on a bigger budget film, they would just replace them all with Kino Flos...


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#6 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 29 March 2015 - 02:55 AM

Kino tubes are expensive, and a typical office space might have hundreds of tubes. Even larger budget productions often cannot afford the time and expense of changing them out.


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