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candle Light low budget DSLR

Robin Russell Booker

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Hi I'm just on my way out of uni so pretty new to cinematography and am shooting a night time scene between two people lit by candle light.


I will be shooting on a canon DSLR and only really have a few simple dedo lights available to light the scene. Anyone got any advice on how to get enough light that I wont have to crank the ISO too high?



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What I've done before is use a very soft fill light for base exposure.


For tighter shots, I've actually used real candles, which look great, although you'll probably need a few of them. I was shooting wide open around 1600ISO, which shouldn't show too much noise on a DSLR.


Kubrick used real candles on Barry Lyndon and that was on film, although he did have a F 0.7 lens designed by NASA.


Anyway, if that doesn't work, you could always use a flicker box or a dimmer to create a candle light effect from the dedo lights.

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Here's a more modern use of candles, candle light, and camera than Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon"(1975, 100T 5254 film)...





From the article:

Anna Foerster was the cinematographer.


Foerster shot all night scenes at T2.8 and 1,280 ASA. Day interiors mixed in a healthy amount of Vermeer’s “north-facing light,” and in those situations, she set her stop between T4.5 and T5.6 at 800 ASA. “We used candlelight and fireplace light even during day scenes because we were assuming gloomy English days,” she says. “We couldn’t dim the candles, of course, so we had to bring up the daylight level and compensate for the exposure. Otherwise, the fire would have overpowered the daylight or had the same value.

Edited by jeclark2006
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