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Lighting Day4Night (Infrared) Interior?

LightingInfrared Day4Night low budget day for night split screen split field

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#1 Filippo Giani

Filippo Giani

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 08:06 AM

**Questions marked in bold**

 

**Attachment was too dark and compressed, a better one with the correct contrast can be found here: https://drive.google...mPKfVdkCIG_yp**

 

 

Dear all,

 

I am currently working on a short project with an extremely tight budget and minimal crew.

 

About half of it will be taking place at nighttime (roughly 15 extremely still wides and a couple of close-ups with some tilting/panning involved).

 

Due to the limited resources available, I started considering a day4night approach pretty early on.

 

I bought a variety of filters and gradient ND's of sorts, experimenting with different combinations in order to try and manipulate the ambient light sources in-camera (I understand this approach would normally be impractical, but due to the extreme stillness of all the locked-off wides, I assumed it might work out as long as the character did not cross such sources). 

 

The results haven't honestly been that bad, but not mind-blowing either.

 

I attached a frame to this post, shot at T2.8, 1/50 shutter with a Tiffen Cool D4N (used for its LowCon properties, as the film will be achromatic) and two .6 gradient ND's stacked on top of each other.  

 

Now it's evident that if perfected, such technique could ideally bring me the result I'm looking for, but at the same time necessitates some improvements & has some evident limitations. Such limitations would include: subject and light source always having to be placed as antipodes & subject being unable to move within frame unrestrictedly.

 

It's basically like shooting split-screen for those movies in which the same actor plays two different roles (I'm assuming Adaptation was shot like that, potentially even The Social Network). I attached a picture in which such technique is used down below, illustrating exactly what I mean. 

 

My question is: do you guys think this is going anywhere? How would you approach a nighttime scene with no gaffers and only you on set as a DP/Operator?

 

Finally, one last detail I should mention is that originally, an infrared implementation to the technique described above was also considered. This is mainly because of the fact that we were going to shoot the thing in August, with potentially clear skies. The idea was to turn those clear skies black using infrared filters, adding an extra touch of nighttime to the whole thing. For this purpose, I non-permanently converted my RED to full spectrum (so going back to the original OLPF is always an option). However, the camera is still not with me at the moment and I won't be able to run tests with it until mid-January. Preventively, do you guys think that shooting infrared will achieve the effect I'm looking for? Or would you say that simply implementing the technique with a gradient red filter would achieve the same, black-sky effect?

 

Thank you all in advance for the time you took to read this, it's extremely appreciated.

 

Best,

 

Filippo

 

 


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