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Alex Sprenger

Animals and tungsten lighting

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So it looks like I am gaffing an animal related TVC soon. As it was a straight studio shoot I was planning on using all tungsten units, combined with maybe a few LEDs. During the first meeting the animal trainer told me that animals would prefer working under daylight units, so HMIs. I have never heard that and was wondering whether someone else could chime in? Obviously the heat could be an issue, but we have a rather spacious studio and the lights would always be going through a 12 by 12 full grid anyway, so there would be only a quite pleasant warmth at most. We will be shooting at a T5.6 and at ISO 800.

Edited by Alex Sprenger

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I have not seen the animals fearing HMI units but I can imagine their high frequency sound could be a problem for some species.

Even some people may get a headache from HMI noise as far as I have seen.

Did the trainer specify why the daylight would be preferred, would the animals be more active in high colour temperature?

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I don't know, but if the trainer told you that, at least interview other trainers and check if that it's ok.

 

Animals don't perceive light and sound like us (well, cats almost "watch" screens like us, dog don't even refresh the frame rate at all like us) so if an expert warn you, I listen him

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Well my reaction was of course I would listen to what she says, she works with them everyday and shoots with them very often, so she clearly is the expert on the topic and I would adhere to the topic. Currently it looks like the shoot isnt going to happen anyway, so its not urgent anymore. I am still very much interested in what others have to say on the subject matter anyway.

Edited by Alex Sprenger

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I've done a few shoots over the years with various types of animals, and have never heard the animal trainer express an opinion about what kind of light the animal would prefer. Any domestic animal is more than likely well used to tungsten light, because that's what we have in our homes. It's usually excessive noise and activity around the animal that are the main worries.

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Sounds like you need to dig deeper with the trainer herself and find what exactly she meant. Most people do t know enough lighting terminology to ask for what they want

She might have been trying to ask you to use LED panels but didnt know the correct term.

 

Animals have long memories and I bet there was an incident that caused a bad reaction from her animals something like a lamp cracking or a ballast buzzing rather than the color temp itself. Or maybe they really are that sensitive to Kelvin.

 

Fascinating mystery.

Edited by Richard_Swearinger

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Unfortunately the shoot never happened (agency didnt fancy the idea anymore), but the animals in question were dogs and lamas. Maybe you are right though Richard, maybe she meant LEDs. I can only imagine that HMIs might be problematic as well, with the high frequency buzz.

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