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Day exteriors


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#1 Louis

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 11:07 PM

I plan on shooting a short soon that takes place exclusively in a park, in and around a park bench, and I want it to look bright and warm, but very natural. My basic plan is to cover the action with a large frame of diffusion, and go from there, but I have a few concerns:

1. To make it look most natural (I'm going for a very gentle middle-of-the-day look), what time of the day would be best to shoot this?

2. Any advice on maintaining consistency over several hours?

3. Any advice on keeping the background from completely blowing out, keeping in mind that the horizon line will not be completely straight, so I think that ND grads would be out of the question.

I plan on shooting on Kodak 7245 over-exposed by 2/3 of a stop, because I want as little grain as possible and I want the colors to be pretty bright, but I'm concerned about the contrast making it easier for the background to blow out completely. I'm willing to use a different stock, possibly Fuji's 64T for a softer look, but I still want no grain and bright colors.

Any help is much appreciated.
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#2 Joseph White

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 11:45 PM

yeah day exteriors can be tough - a couple thoughts on what you wrote:

first off, you're already shooting 7245 so you don't need to worry about grain - and i wouldn't necessarily overexpose it as you'll lose a little saturation that way and you've stated a desire for bold colors. i'd say rate it normally - for 16mm its a very fine grained and lush stock. there's nothing wrong with the fuji 64d, i just happen to prefer the 50D.

secondly, if you want it to look bright, i'd be careful about how much diffusion i used as if you calm down your foreground too much your background and highlights will almost surely go nuclear. i always like having the sun to the actors' backs and shoot later on in the day (towards magic "hour") so you get warmer natural sunlight. it depends on how much coverage you are planning on using or how many cameras, but for warm and bright i think you can't go wrong with having your actors backlit by sun and rating normally.

best of luck!
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#3 Joseph White

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 11:56 PM

oops - although i stand by what i said re: diffusion, the real reason to watch your level of diff is that, well, if you soften it too much youobviously won't get that bright feel you seem to be looking for. kinda goes without saying, but i'm sayin' it anyways :)
all the best...
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#4 Louis

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Posted 28 September 2005 - 01:46 AM

I like the idea of shooting with the actors back-lit by the sun, but then wouldn't that REALLY make the background blown out? Would you suggest I find an exposure somewhere in between the foreground and the background, or will the background be fine left alone?
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#5 Louis

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 02:28 AM

I usually don't like to do this, but does anyone else have any advice about this question? Mr. White's advice is extremely helpful, but I just wanted to see several different approaches to try. Thanks.
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#6 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 06:44 AM

I plan on shooting a short soon that takes place exclusively in a park, in and around a park bench, and I want it to look bright and warm, but very natural. My basic plan is to cover the action with a large frame of diffusion, and go from there, but I have a few concerns:

1. To make it look most natural (I'm going for a very gentle middle-of-the-day look), what time of the day would be best to shoot this?

2. Any advice on maintaining consistency over several hours?

3. Any advice on keeping the background from completely blowing out, keeping in mind that the horizon line will not be completely straight, so I think that ND grads would be out of the question.

I plan on shooting on Kodak 7245 over-exposed by 2/3 of a stop, because I want as little grain as possible and I want the colors to be pretty bright, but I'm concerned about the contrast making it easier for the background to blow out completely. I'm willing to use a different stock, possibly Fuji's 64T for a softer look, but I still want no grain and bright colors.

Any help is much appreciated.


Hello there,
First of all, the diffusion frame is a good idea, it will help u control some light. Check the weather channels before u go, you might put your result in risk, if it is gonna rain or overcast clouds.
Use the frame to shadow all the area your action will be, and use reflectors to control the light wherever you want it .
This might be a little tricky though, if the bench isn't positioned in a way that u will have sunlight crossing it about it's vertical axis in relation to your POV.
I hope I have manage to make myself clear here.
Another way to control the light with reflectors is to use one R1 hard silver mirror reflector that will always point to one softer reflector.
For the close ups, things are much more easier, and more controlable.
Is there any way that u can use cinepar's ? If so just use 1x 2,5KW and one 1,2KW.
By doing this u will have your actors in the shadow of the diff frame while the ''sun'', will be the 2,5KW cinepar.
I would use the 1,2 KW as a backlight.
U will need a generator or any AC socket near.
consistency, might be a problem if you have a building in the background that characterises the sun's position, SO the most orefferable move is to do your general shots quickly and first of all, then the medium shots and CU's after.

Dimitrios Koukas
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The Slider

FJS International, LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Wooden Camera

Glidecam

Opal

CineTape

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Paralinx LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Ritter Battery