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DUSK and LATE DUSK for NIGHT


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#1 Thomas Cousin

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 06:31 PM

hello,
for a short film to come, i am wandering around to find some info about shooting "dusk for night".
it's something i have wanted to try for some time, and this next project calls for an "effect" like this one.
we want a scene taking place a night. the story ends. the sun is gone. the action take place in front of an house in the country. we want something deep in the shadows , and silouhettes. but still have the feeling of the presence, of our men, the car and the street at "night" or "very late dusk".
we opt for a street with no light at all. just the lights inside the house are playing.
i want to "feel" the shadows. i am going to play depth with the house behind, but all the rest of the texture of the image will be with the help of the dying day.

we are in s16mm with a 35mm print behind. i try to achieve the kind of beautiful dark realism, that harris savides did for "gerry" and "last days" for their deep dusk and dawn.

for the moment i imagine shooting it with the help of 7229 (for low contrast, low saturation for a soft, blue grey night) shooting wide open T2.4 (canon 8-64) and underexpose faces and silouhettes about 3 to 4 stops. and composing the shots to keep the action in silouhettes against the lights from the house.

any suggestions around here to avoid the problems that might appears. or any tricks to do it better?
i would like to be able to show waht's it's like when it's almost dark but your eyes are fighting and you see the forms and shadows but not the colors anymore.

thanks

thomas

we found a picture by edward steichen that shows well the kind of feeling.

edward_steichen.jpg
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 06:35 PM

Well, four stops under is pushing it unless you barely want to see anything. I'd settle on 3-stops under for the dusk light to read dark, if mixed with some lights shining from the house.

In a dusk light only shot, I'd feel more comfortable with two-stops underexposed and printing down for a darker look if necessary.

The key is consistent underexposure even as the light level is dropping like a rock. You might need ND's at early dusk and then pull them as it gets darker and darker.
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#3 Tony Brown

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 02:17 PM

GOLDEN rule.

Shoot through dusk. Don't do this by numbers. Start early and repeat. Control the image in TK / printing, but you must have enough on the neg to start with.
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