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Stephen Sanchez

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Everything posted by Stephen Sanchez

  1. 4) Regarding the parabolic softbox. Karl Taylor explains that subject very well. To continue the rest of your question about the diffusion's bounceback into the reflector. That occurs in every softbox with white diffusion. But the return doesn't "intensify" as maybe you think. Some softboxes are white-lined as opposed to silver, which helps to create as much of an even glow from end to end on the diffusion layer. I hope this was helpful.
  2. In my travels, I've had cracks in 2 glass filters. I own a set of Tiffen glass Low Cons and I'm looking at purchasing a set of resins. But I see Lee makes some. I'm curious about the difference between the two? I've not used a Lee filter before.
  3. "Happy crews make happy pictures." I've been told by a commercial director. He also said, "If it's not fatal, it's not serious." He taught me to loosen up and enjoy the time working together. It sounds obvious, but some folks' seriousness can stall morale.
  4. I had a conversation with a techie friend yesterday about something similar. It was for a remote crew in LA to operate 4 cams in Florida. They'd used $1500 Blackmagic cameras with a BNC or HDMI video out and another BNC to control the camera's settings (I don't understand how). I could give him your contact if you're interested in the techie details.
  5. Oh yes, they go to 5. Which I imagine is quite a dense effect. I have a set of Low Cons from 1/4 up to 4 and that is dense. Fraction sizes are available. B&H Ultra Con 1/8.
  6. This is the specific bulb I've seen in use.
  7. Yes. That's correct. Jarin's objective as it appears was to light a large space with a single sharp source. The drawback is that source is objectively closer, which he mentioned about having to hide the "divergent rays." A parabolic fixture does make the source objectively more distant, creating parallel rays. I don't believe it appears as a smaller source. And it's inherently spotted, requiring more fixtures for a wider coverage area.
  8. Agreed with Nina. Have a handfull of floppies on standby, and teasers (black cloth stapled to wood) to cut the top. Don't be nervous. Having these tools with you will allow you to move them around the day of shooting and you'll see their effect. They are your safety net. Experience has taught me not to fight established scenarios. So if you find yourself trying to cut so much light that it looks unbelievable when compared to the reverse shot, then that's not the solution. Like Nina said, simply change the angle to collect contrast if that's the goal. I'd also consider (if you can afford it) to cover the wood tone walls in that room with black. 12x12 or 20x20 negatives. That will contrast the crew more. Think of Arrival onside that space ship.
  9. @Jarin Blaschke Brilliant solution! Truly creative. I love reading about stuff like this. This made my day. It's so obvious when you think about it. Trophy for you my friend!
  10. I've guessed that it takes energy to retransmit the photon after impact. I'd recommend getting a spot meter. I own an older L788. It gives 3° and 1°. Which has been perfect for isolating small elements from the whole. It gives CDm2 reflectance measurement. Which is on the same SI measurement scale as lux. (Hence why I use lux instead of FC.)
  11. I can help with this. I'll try to plot out some time soon. On the subject of a calculator. I've been looking for a solution as well. I don't understand all the math terms, but I can say from my tests that the angle of the surface relative to camera determines the light falloff. Or cosine. Specularity comes from simply how uniformly smooth the surface is. But if that surface is then wrinkled, like on Styrofoam insulation, we consider it "specular" but it is just a wrinkled smooth surface. Provided the texture is uniform, then it will meter like a hard light. We should talk more on the subject indeed.
  12. You should consider softness as well. It's easy to place a 4x4 reflector to the face to reach level in camera. It will look like a 4x4 hard light to the face, with specular skin and squinty eyes. A 4x8 will throw even more light but not necessarily be any softer. But that's if it's a sunlight reflection. If a skylight reflection, then it could work better for talent's experience. And the lift would depend on what breaks in the trees it can reflect. And 4x8, will be softer. It will be cooler too, which isn't necessarily bad. There is no right or wrong answer because it depends on your values as a DP. I value with 100% conviction the shape around the face, and I will surround and lift areas of the space to make the face appear as if done by natural mechanics. The surfaces can be large, and if desiring more output, then I lift all of it, not just one small spot. Others may not value natural appearance and choose to poke a PAR light straight to the face in the middle of a forest. Relying on collecting sunlight under treecover will disappoint expectations. Pockets will move, and the reflection will never be consistent. Also, hard reflectors are a great short term solution, but they need "wiggling" every 3 minutes. A Silver Lame is better because its a larger surface to track the reflection across, so adjustments can range between 10 minutes to 20, depending on if 8x8 or 12x12.
  13. With a tiny crew, I would avoid small fixtures and use white and black surfaces. The larger the frame, the further away it can be. Also, frames can combine for a larger surface. I'll sometimes run 4x4 ultraflops and white cards to surround the subject to create a 8x8 or 4x12 or whatever. It's faster, but not as tall as a 12x. I've done two 8x8 ultras (8x16ft) for fill as well. Either way, you'll know what amount of gear your crew can support. These are my solutions. Another benefit to lots of white. If you're in a forest, then I'd always suggest white surfaces to replace the green and brown that would otherwise hit the face. The return may be negligible to the meter, but the face will appear "more pleasing." It'll also create a huge but dim reflection on the eye. And black the fill side to whatever flavor the project wants. This will create a natural look, great for drama or branded commercials with 50IRE skin. But if you're doing a high-key commercial where skin has to be at 70IRE, this is not the solution. You'll need power. And I'd avoid CRLS to the face. It's a really efficient series of frosted mirrors.
  14. This may be the case in L.A. But in Florida, where I work, spark/grip is the same and the work is combined. And we call it a grip. Only on the larger budgets do the most experienced folk take up the gaffer and keygrip positions, but the workers are always swings.
  15. The modern digital era hasn't just changed technology's availability and immediate access. It's also impacted the people who've "grown up" in that environment. I see this in modern kids, who consider smartphones a normal default for immediate entertainment, who get frustrated when they can't "skip" a commercial on Roku TV, or don't understand waiting a week for the next episode. The trend may seem unrelated, but it encourages less appreciation of time, or planning ahead. If everything is immediate and you don't have to wait, then you'll deal with things as they happen. That's my take on the subject. I've recognized this new generation of workers in various ways. I once worked with a grip who stared at a joker case and said he didn't know how to set it up. He'd only used LED. So he didn't even know about restrike time, cooling down, lens swapping. All of which take time.
  16. An update on this: https://www.waveformlighting.com/ This company produces full spectrum LEDs. The spectral distribution is really nice, especially for 3200k. Their T8 bulbs are non-dimmable, unfortunately. Which leaves the strip lights/driver/pwm dimmer combo.
  17. I had a recent discussion with a seasoned DP in my area (40 yrs experience I think). We were on a discussion about commercial price brackets (30k jobs, 200k jobs etc.) and staying within budget. Previously, we both got to visit another commercial set that was two 12ft walls, 15 skypannels for backlights and key, 2 alexa minis, wireless FF each, really heavy O'Connor tripods. This was for a stationary talent. The crew was something like 20 people total. I want to say there were two operators for those static cameras, I can't remember. About staying on budget. I said it was quite a lot of gack for the situation, and I've done similar with much cheaper lighting and fewer personnel. And his response was... He's seen on bigger jobs like that where the DP and Director would deliberately inflate the costs to bump the commercial into a higher price bracket. Because the DP and Director got a percentage of the spot's total budget. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Perhaps it was a story of old, I forgot to ask. But I am still curious! Thanks friends!
  18. Oh no, never. Proving others wrong is a pointless endeavor. My concern is only in learning and educating.
  19. Yes, science! Exactly! My favorite subject! While these processes may not make sense, I still enjoy learning about them. The Alien Resurrection story is a wonderful example, and the Ashok Metha link as well. Thanks Karim and David. I'm totally not surprised by everyone's responses.
  20. I ran into this information today. His suggestion was for lighting the interior of someone's space ship set. I'm a fan of the motion control and model-shooting processes back then, and I've never read about "black glass." I never received a reply back from the guy. Theoretically, it doesn't make sense. I mean, why use an HMI to kill 4.5 stops, and receive a hard reflection? Honestly, nothing about what he says makes sense. But, who knows. Does anyone have info on this "black glass", and its use case? Thanks friends.
  21. I considered obsolete aputure. But I'm building a quote and can't lean on the unreliable avenue of finding all materials second hand. And then there's replacements. Judging from the response, it seems that nobody else has gone through this avenue. Looks like I'll have to source spectrally accurate LEDs, either raw or in tube form, and solve the flicker myself with a 3rd party PWM driver. Or go with cinema florescent and high frequency ballasts. Exciting! I'll return with my findings.
  22. So I'm designing the light for a permentant set outside the windows. And I'd love to have 8ft tubes outside each one. LED or flourecent. Its a tungsten studio, so the tubes would be 4000-4300k. I was advised by the local grip shop not to use kino flo ballasts because of parts and reliability over the long term, and instead look at permanent housings with Duro-test or Kino tubes. My concern is flicker or banding with commercial ballasts. Suggestions are appreciated. On the LED end, I've tested a home depot LED 8ft fixture. Green shift was minimal and it was at 4000k. At 30/60p it was fine, but 24/48/96p it was unusable. The goal is to be safe to to 100-120fps. I don't mind swapping ballasts, but I don't know if its the simple case of swapping it out with a high frequency, or a specific frequency. And so any help would be appreciated. No... Purchasing skypannels isn't an option, for those interested.
  23. Specifically for narrative DPs. How involved are you in the storyboarding process? And how do you feel about producing shots or sequences that an artist designed, rather than you? And how common is it for shots to be determined outside of the DP's involvement? Or are they simply the director's soft vision conveyed to an artist, and not concrete? Thanks friends.
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