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Ronald Gerald Smith

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Everything posted by Ronald Gerald Smith

  1. Yeah, it's definitely the way that the majority of people use light meters and it works for a lot of professionals. However, I like taking it a step further because I don't like averages. I like to know exactly if the lit part of the face will be exactly 1 stop above, 1/2 stop above, at key, and the shadows 1/2 stop under, etc. And I spot meter surfaces in the background to know exactly how it will be exposed on my camera. I also like to do tests with the camera to make sure exactly what 1/2 under on my camera looks like and 1/2 brighter, 1 stop brighter, etc.
  2. Isn't there a possibility that it will create inaccuracies? I like to measure the lit side and shadow side separately. I like to be absolutely sure.
  3. Just FYI, I think the correct term for the 'sphere' is lumisphere and not hemisphere. What I like to do is I like to observe the light hitting the lumisphere. You should have an evenly lit lumisphere instead of a lumisphere that is lit partly with hard bright light, and one in the shadow. To find a reading for the main (key) light, I like to point the lumisphere at the light source and let the light source evenly cover the whole lumisphere, then take a reading. When I want to read the shadows, I like to take a reading with the lumisphere in shadow (block any stray bright lights with your hand) - and keep your eye on the lumisphere and make sure that it is completely in shadow and there are no stray lights hitting it. Make sure that your lumisphere field is even. Pretend that the surface of your lumisphere is a person's face, and you want to measure the light hitting it and the shadows as well.
  4. I think the best way to do this is to just find a very nice overcast day to shoot. I would not use a 1k and shine it through silk because you will see the reflection of it. I would keep everything as naturally lit by the sky as much as possible, and avoid point sources like the sun, movie lights--- these will be distracting.
  5. For some information by Roger Deakins about Kinos and the rigging of Kinos, read the following: Deakins also tapes up bulbs and sometimes he tapes the bare bulb on a foamcore. This is smart because it acts almost like a reflector but soft. http://www.deakinsonline.com/forum2/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1610
  6. Thanks Hal, the wikipedia page here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umbra is quite brief but very interesting. I'm going to look further into this....
  7. Are you talking about fall-off - how the light falls off of the edges, or are you talking about how fast the light gets darker as you move away from the light? There seems to be two ways that people talk about fall-off. Once and for all, what is the absolute correct way to use the term 'fall-off'?
  8. I don't know if there is a video but there are two excellent books that I love and they are useful because they have some great large pictures and technical data with them. New Cinematographers by Alex Ballinger http://www.amazon.com/New-Cinematographers-Alex-Ballinger/dp/1856693341 Reflections: 21 Cinematographers at Work http://www.amazon.com/Reflections-Twenty-One-Cinematographers-At-Work/dp/0935578161/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1302057768&sr=1-1 I highly recommend Reflections because it does not go into theory and elusive definitions of photography like other books, but rather shows clean hard facts and easy to understand data, including light fixtures and full color (and bnw) photos. I wish there were more books like Reflections......
  9. Hi Alex, Great choice in film to analyze. That's what I'm talkin about! Difference in color of key and fill light. There may be several reasons why the fill is a different color closer to red. It could be a dimmer, shooting through a diffusion, the light is further away, etc. And usually in shadow areas, the shadows are naturally closer to red than the key lit parts of the face. The skin tone is quite yellowed and it looks like they used filters to get it to that point. I don't think that they used any gels on the fill light. You are looking for a quality of light that is less soft than a zip light through diffusion. A zip light through diffusion is basically a quick book light, and it produces a very soft light that wraps quite a bit around the face. This is probably what you are not looking for. To achieve a quality of light similar to this, you might want to just bounce an open face light or fresnel onto a regular size bounce board like 4 ft by 4 ft. It'll produce a light source that is quite similar to this one. You can use a china ball for the fill light and place it between the actors and above them, place the china ball around the same side as the key light so that you can have a wrapping light quality to the light. That way, you can light both actors with one light because the light is omnidirectional. The height of the key is quite low and it is near the same height as where the actors are sitting. I know this because of the way that the light fills up the eye sockets and how it casts a shadow on the other side of the face and divides the face evenly in half.
  10. As long as the light is not frontal it should be good and you will be able to see the water drops nicely. You can bounce light off of a card and just have single source lighting and fill in shadow areas if needed. Check out the shower scene from Paranoid Park - it is light coming from the top. You could pretty much do something similar to Paranoid Park scene, but lighten shadows where you need to. You could probably also tape a 2ft flo tube up on the top of the shower or you can zip tie it to vents if there are vents. You can tape up black wrap to control where you want to direct that flo tube. And you can gel it however you want. Camera protection: Well, you should stay at least a couple feet from the shower and possibly put some kind of clear garbage back and cut a hole for the lens to pop through for safety measures. Please make sure that you have someone experienced on set so that no one is going to get hurt. Link to paranoid park shower scene: Also look at how they got around the curtain issue. A simple cut.
  11. John, I am right there with you in the dumpster. Beat you to it! Personally, I prefer the flexibility of Kinos...
  12. Hi, I am aware that a lot of cinematographers and gaffers build their own fire effects unit out of a wooden panel with a bunch of household bulb sockets and some device to turn bulbs on and off. How would I get started on building one of these?
  13. Yeah the purple was is just an idea if you want to bring some more colors into your image (and it's motivated by existing lights as well) - that might not be what you are going for though. It's a nice location. Have fun!
  14. Also, you can just rim light the group with purple and maybe place the overhead on the area closer to the bowling lanes. Balance lights as necessary. You're not going to be able to light an extremely wide shot because one kino flo wont be able to reach the whole room but you will be able to manage around 10-15 ft width-wise. For rigging you can probably get away with using speedrail goalposts and mounting your kino and rimlights on that.
  15. You have the right idea. Here's what I would get. 1x 4ft 4 bank kinos for overhead lights from the top. $40 1x 650w $13 Use the flo soft boxes to fill in shadows. Use 650 as some kind of rim light or accent light or you can use it to fill in shadows during some scenes. Maybe you can give some kind of purple rim (light motivated from the purple accent lights up on the second floor). Or some orange rim light . Spend the rest of money on gels to match the kino flos and the soft boxes to the existing lights in the bowling alley. Use plus green gels plus any cto or straw gels as needed. Keep in mind that adding plus green to your movie lights and removing in post, the hue of the accent lights will change as well so maybe some kind of color test beforehand would be good. Just so you can get exactly what you want and no surprises later.
  16. I am not sure because I have never done this... Maybe you can set up a net behind the subject to knock down the sun and the background? And then you can use bounce sources or lights to bring up the exposure on the subject?
  17. What do you mean that the negative 'split'? And which lab is this? I might need to stay away from this lab.
  18. From my point of view, I think you can pull it off. However, if Roger Deakins saw the way you lit that he would probably get angry. He hates using flos for anything other than flo motivated scenes. However, with enough diffusion and a level that doesn't overpower the original lamp, you should be fine. In those situations though I prefer not to use any flo but just prefer to use a china ball with 150w instead. It's omnidirectional and the quality of light is very similar to a practical lamp.
  19. I am trying to make my lights look like moonlight by applying full ctb to 3200K - white balance set to 3200K. However I am getting this very magenta skin tone (it is very low saturated magenta. Is this normal sometimes when putting ctb on tungsten and lighting faces?
  20. Interesting that you went all out on direct light - that is uncommon these days but does kind of add to a film noir/50's detective feel. I am looking forward to seeing some frame of the actual film stock.
  21. Also, I realized that my first post (that started off this thread) would probably have made Roger Deakins cringe at the sight of it. Hahaha.
  22. Hey David, I guess the word 'fill' can lead people the wrong direction especially if they are just starting out. It's doesn't help that a lot of cinematography books place emphasis on the numbers and contrast ratios and so on so forth, people trying to aim to hit an 8:1 or 4:1 contrast ratio or something like that, and that makes people start to 'light by numbers' which Deakins clearly doesn't approve of. I definitely gain insight by the examples you posted like Amelie - and the different ways that people naturally fill in shadows - and it's cool that you saw patterns with Dubonnel's work. That being said - you and Roger seem to me to be the most helpful in terms of helping new cinematographers and students learn more about the craft. I'm wondering if you know of any other fellow ASC members who have their own forum or website or contribute regularly to online forums?
  23. Interesting... I was looking on Roger Deakin's forum and he has some interesting things to say about fill. He says, "Fill light!I don't really understand using a light for fill. Try lighting without a 'fill' light as such. If you want something in the shadows try using a piece of poly. or a soft silver reflector." "I really don't think of lighting in the way of using a key light, a fill light, a back light etc.etc.and taking light readings of each separately. I think there is a danger in that becoming 'lighting by numbers'. That is not to say I don't use what might be termed fill light but I try do it by taking the main light source and molding it to the subject or by taking a secondary motivated light source rather than using a fill light for it's own sake." You can find the discussion here: http://www.deakinsonline.com/forum2/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=310 He is very against using fill light for fill light's sake - Something that maybe people should read because it's become very popular to use fill light for fill light's sake and has become quite generally accepted.
  24. Yeah the second still with the reflector looks pretty harsh/unnatural. The first still looks pretty nice and natural.
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