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lightning effect via studio strobes


Michael Helenek
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Hi,

 

I'm looking to create some lightning effects for a short film with the use of studio strobes. We don't have the budget for lighting strikes and this seems to be a viable option. We'll be shooting inside a house on RED scarlet. 180 degree shutter. 23.98fps.

 

Wondering if anyone has used still photography studio strobes for this purpose? If so, can you share any advice or experience?

 

Thank you,

Michael Helenek

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Some strobes will work fine. Like Atomic 3000's and a Detonator to control it. I'm not sure what you mean by studio strobes. Still photography strobes? Like a single flash? I would say no. You need a strobe that can blast and be erratic like a lightning strikes or Atomic 3000's. There may be others that can do the same.

 

You won't have to be worried about any sort of syncing with the shutter with those lights for just a blast of lightning effect.

 

Best

 

Tim

Edited by timHealy
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Tim,

 

Thanks so much. Yes, I was referring to still photography strobes, and after further thought and reading your response, I realize this won't provide the intended effect.

 

The Atomic 3000 you suggest does seem like a viable option for us. Can this run on a 20amp house circuit, or is it fitted with a bates connection? I found a user manual online, but can't seem to find that information.

 

Also, you say that a normal 180 degree shutter at 24/23.98 fps will not have any syncing issues? Or are certain angles/speeds required.

 

Thanks again Tim.

Mike

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The Atomic 3000 you suggest does seem like a viable option for us. Can this run on a 20amp house circuit, or is it fitted with a bates connection? I found a user manual online, but can't seem to find that information.

 

 

I've shot with the Atomic 3000 and a Red MX, and the results are not pretty. Wish I'd insisted more on the lightning strikes.

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The Atomic 3000 you suggest does seem like a viable option for us. Can this run on a 20amp house circuit, or is it fitted with a bates connection? I found a user manual online, but can't seem to find that information.

 

Also, you say that a normal 180 degree shutter at 24/23.98 fps will not have any syncing issues? Or are certain angles/speeds required.

 

Yeah it has an edison plug but I would try to use a real 20 amp circuit (if you are shooting in the US) There is a 220 volt version avail if you want to try and get power out of an electric dryer or stove outlet.

 

the 120 volt version seems to have a 30 amp rating but I believe it is momentary. I haven't seen one trip a 20 amp circuit … yet.

 

If in doubt you should try a camera test on your check out day. Are you shooting film or video? But think about an un-synced flash. For lighting you'll be getting a blast of light for a few frames. Your first and last frame of the flash may get a partial film frame or a partial video frame exposed depending where your scan line is. If in doubt you can open your shutter for longer exposure to try and reduce this. But I don't think you will eliminate that entirely.

 

Basically an Atomic 3000 controlled by an atomic detonator is a poor mans lighting effect. Compare the price to rent one with the cost of a real lighting strikes and you can see if it's worth it.

 

Best

 

Tim

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Tim, John,

 

Thank you both for your replies. That leads me to a final follow up question. How do lightning strikes correct for this sync issue that seems unavoidable with the atomic 3000? Last I saw a lighting strikes on set I didn't recall any sort of sync cable to camera.

 

And Tim, we are shooting RED epic.

 

Thank you both,

mike

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Just as an odd thought, what about a bright light behind venetian blinds... old tech, but works. In the case of Still Flashes, the light pulse duration are typically above 1/250 to 'very fast'... for the Edgerton type capture the bullet through the apple shots... and so are not long enough to 'fill one frame'... and most likely will display any form of 'electronic shutter artifiact' in its worse form.

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