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Michael Ognisanti

moonlight through window tight budget

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I'm wondering if anyone has ideas of getting a subtle blue moonlight feel through a window.


We are shooting a Christmas tree in the corner of a room with a window behind and to the side. It's a day shoot so we have to make a tent outside the window.


I'm trying to figure out what light I can use for this look. It would have to be small enough to run on house power and be within the confines on the tented in area.


Any suggestions?




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It all depends on the ASA, the T-Stop you're going to use, the size of the room and the size of the window.


However, if you are going to use, let's say, an Alexa rated at 800ASA with a Tstop of 2.8 in a normal size room you could use a Skypanel above the window.


I suggest the Skypanel because you can change the color on it (it has loads!), the intensity, it has different facets that you can use either to make it more direct or softer and it is small enough to fit within anything!


Alternatively you could use a M18 / 2.5K bounced off a 1.5 meters x 1 meter polyboard above the window on an angle and use scrims to reduce the intensity of the light if needed.


That's for the one on the side.


For the one behind if you're going to see it I suppose that if you have to black it out you could use venetian blinds almost closed and a bit of light coming from the exterior to not give away that the exterior is blacked out.


You can see an example of "moonlight" done with Skypanels with blacked out windows on the following commercial I shot last month.

Take into consideration that the commercial had to have a very bright look! :D


Shot on Alexa Mini at 800ASA with Leica Summicrons at T2 1/2.



Pass: Fripozo


Have a good day.

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OP, you have to do a lighting test ahead of time to get it right. In the old days they would do many film tests for getting the lighting and filtering look they were after.

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I ended up using a kino. It sort of worked but because we had to tent out the sun we couldn't get the light far back enough to get the spread we wanted. We had blinds on the window so it only partially came through. One thing I should had done was diff the window. I think that would of helped soften and spread but we were moving fast and it didn't occur to me till after.


Needless to say it didn't turn out as well as Miguel's ;)

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* High-power LED fixtures other than Skypanels are available. Terms and conditions apply. May cause drowsiness. Do not operate heavy machinery.

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If I'm tenting a window, but want a cool blue light, I usually try to use the available daylight, but controlled down to a level that looks good. Sometimes this can be as simple as just leaving a small gap between the tent and the window on the top edge.

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