Lighting for HD
Posted 19 July 2005 - 11:07 PM
I not that interested in the differences of working with HD from the directors perspective but I would love to know how different the lighting for HD is as opposed to film.
Posted 20 July 2005 - 12:13 AM
If you want to light a face with a big soft light coming from one side, for example, you're probably going to use the same techniques for HD or film.
The only situation where HD handles light significantly in a different manner is in overexposure, bright areas of the frame, hot whites, etc. which tend to clip (burn out) faster and not in the most attractive manner. So a lighting technique based on overexposure may have to be modified in order to hold more detail in the recording. More time may be spent gelling windows in daytime to keep them from blowing out too much, and lamps may have to be dimmed down a little more (or a lower wattage bulb used.) Wardrobe should minimize pure white or very light tones.
Posted 20 July 2005 - 12:39 AM
How do you keep consistency from shot to shot if you don't use your lighting meter.
Wouldn't you want to keep a consistent stop as you go through your set-ups within the same scene. Consistent meaning within a certain range.
Do you just go by the waveform?
Posted 20 July 2005 - 01:46 AM
In some day interiors with HMI's, I find myself more at an f/5.6 sometimes; I'll often shoot the master at that, but on the close-ups, with the same light levels, switch-in the internal 2-stop ND filter and open up to an f/2.8.
I might pull out my meter once in a while, like if a light on a crane is obviously too bright, I'll meter it so I can give the guy in the condor a better guess on what scrim to drop in, but even then, you can stand at the monitor with a walkie-talkie and say "drop in a double... hmmm, add another single... looks good."
A meter is also useful for lighting a long tracking shot or movement where someone walks through a series of spots and you want them all to be the same intensity.
Or if the electrics prelight a set while I was shooting somewhere else and I drop by without the HD camera to check on their handiwork, I'll meter what they have to make sure they are in the ballpark for the HD camera.
Posted 20 July 2005 - 09:19 AM
Posted 20 July 2005 - 06:56 PM
Underexpose instead of overexpose, figure on 3-5 stops latitude.
David, would you say that's a good way at looking at it?
Posted 20 July 2005 - 07:10 PM
Posted 20 July 2005 - 08:12 PM
Okay, but I am feeling pretty stupid here because I didn?t get the term ?ND?. I understand everything else though.
A bit of fan mail, David- I picked up a copy of Cinematography 3rd edition at Boarders about a month ago and it?s fantastic!! I really like the new images. My last copy was very tattered-pages were falling out, and I was considering re-buying it when I saw that the new edition was out! How very fortuitous. Let me know when you?re doing book signings! Thanks also for recommending "Film Style & Technology: History & Analysis" by Barry Salt It was exactly the book I needed.
Posted 20 July 2005 - 10:06 PM
Do you find yourself working differently if the project is a film-out versus straight to video.
I've never done a film-out from hd footage, Are there any other variables that you have to keep in mind.
Do you ever shoot wide open. I would like to test that scenario, perhaps with the digiprimes which I think are the fastest out there.
Posted 20 July 2005 - 10:53 PM
However, I would say that the Zeiss DigiPrimes seem to stay sharp when wide-open. I shot one HD feature on them and loved the look. I usually shot them at an f/2.0 though, not wide-open.
I tend to always shoot features in HD with the possibility that there will be a film-out in mind. I shot parts of two music videos in HD and I felt a little freer about playing with the menu settings since the final product would only be seen in SD.
One of the main things to worry about is Detail level when shooting for a film-out. Either turn Detail off or turn it WAY down, like to -70. Don't worry that at -70 you can't see it doing anything because on a big screen, it's borderline visible, but subtle.
Also, small artifacts become more visible on the big screen. Noise is more obvious too. So you tend to be a little more conservative with how far you push the camera.
Posted 20 July 2005 - 11:46 PM
Also, which of your HD work are you the most pleased with.
What about other DP's?
Posted 21 July 2005 - 01:21 AM
It was an experiment in how small we could go. The director bought a Sony F900 HDCAM and an FCP HD editing set-up. He borrowed some Kinoflos from a friend. He hired me, a sound person, a line producer who doubled as AD, an art director, and a wardrobe person. Plus three PA/interns; one pulled focus, one held the boom, and the third helped me set-up any lights. I shot most of the movie in available light.
The shoot was 15 days.
My best-looking HD feature may still be my first one (before I learned anything about HD!) which is "Jackpot", understanding that it was also a 15-day feature road-trip with minimal lights.
I think the comedy "New Suit" came out pretty well for a comedy about life in L.A. in the film industry. It's fairly slick for a small budget. Not moody but the actors looked good.
I'm looking forward to "The Quiet" (formerly "Dot") coming out -- it is my darkest, most dramatic movie shot in HD, athough the settings are quite mundane (a white modernist house and a high school). Small budget and crew again though.