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Fluorescent Top Lighting


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#1 Alessio Signoriello

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 03:52 PM

Hi guys,

 

I will be shooting a short film in one location, which will probably be a laundry. The location is lit with fluorescent light attached to the ceiling and because this is probably a no/low budget film how could I work with the existing lights?

 

We are going for a quite dramatic look, any tips on how to control the lights? No way we can replace the tubes. The scene is shot entirely at night.

 

Thank you


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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 04:15 PM

Turn some of them off. You could replace tubes, but a lot will depend on the ballast. Personally I'd turn off a good deal of the over-heads so as to have pools of light; and I'd skirt them to keep them off of the walls as best as possible then I'd use an LED panel of some kind to modulate the light on the close-ups. But it all depends on how you want it to look.

Reglobing isn't really a lo/no budget option in terms of time/cost (and that's assuming they're T12s and not T8 or T5!)

 

Also get some cuts of diffusion to soften them, if needed.

 

Hard to tell exactly what to do without knowing the specifics of the shoot, location, crew, and time.


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#3 timHealy

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 07:11 PM

I agree with Adrian that it’s hard to tell without specifics but all the floros together can make a large soft source and you can shoot whatever you want and get the same look, especially if you have a high ceiling. Two things I would look out for is if any of the existing fixtures becomes too toppy or gives the actors raccoon eyes you might want to turn those fixtures off, pull the bulbs, cover with show card or duvatyne etc. and second if you shoot the actors at the extreme front or extreme back of the laundry matte you may need to add a fixture by either putting The same type of fixture with the same bulbs and drop into a drop ceiling of the location, if it has a drop ceiling, or rig it or put it on a stand.
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#4 Gerald King

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 02:24 PM

Turn some of them off. You could replace tubes, but a lot will depend on the ballast. Personally I'd turn off a good deal of the over-heads so as to have pools of light; and I'd skirt them to keep them off of the walls as best as possible then I'd use an LED panel of some kind to modulate the light on the close-ups. But it all depends on how you want it to look.

Reglobing isn't really a lo/no budget option in terms of time/cost (and that's assuming they're T12s and not T8 or T5!)

 

Also get some cuts of diffusion to soften them, if needed.

 

Hard to tell exactly what to do without knowing the specifics of the shoot, location, crew, and time.

Hey Adrian, what do you mean by pools of light? And what does skirting light do? Does it control light to spill onto certain places in the frame or  restrict light in certain regions as you said before like the walls?


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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 02:28 PM

Pools of light are areas in which there are light -v- those where there aren't, and yes, skirting restricts light to certain areas (pools) and keeps it from spilling as much all over .It'll still spill, but it'll be less than allowing it to go everywhere. You can therefore get a better contrast in your image by keeping control of the light and exposing for those brighter areas.


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