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Marta Teixeira P. Simoes

Enhancing existing light sources

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Hello,

 
I'm preparing to shoot a low budget short, small crew and a few restrictions, shot on super16.
I'm currently trying to see how I can have a versatile and not so heavy a light kit. Some of the interiors are a bit of a challenge, since they have bulbs that I can't change and that don't look so great.
 
The first of them is a sort of library, with harsh focus on the ceiling. I was wondering what could help me ease the harshness of that light in close ups but that still feels like it belongs to that same room.
On the right side of the picture there are some windows, but I don't think there's enough natural light coming in that could be noticeable on the wide shot for me to play with on the close ups.
 
The second one is a similar problem. It's a small storage room where one of the characters will be looking for something.
 
The last one is an office where there will be a night scene. The idea is that everything is dark and we are able to see bits of the space from the light that comes from the computer, a scanner, a fridge, some practical lamps. I know that this won't be enough and I'll have to enhance it somehow.
 
So far I asked for some Aladdins (one 30x120 and two 30x30) but since we are indoors in these scenes I can add something else that has a bit more power, maybe 1 or 2 more sources. 
 
Would love to hear your thoughts on this!
 
Thanks in advance,
Marta

library.jpg

storageroom.jpg

office.jpg

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Hi Marta, 

Without knowing the particular style / aesthetics that you're looking for and the ASA of the stock that you're using is difficult to give a particular answer but here is a general one and how I would light this from the top of my head, assuming that those shots are your wide shots. 

1st location
I would use a small HMI or Skypanel in the background to create a bit of daylight on that table / wall / picture, would block the light from any of the existing windows and would make sure that I can turn off the lights in the ceiling individually if I wanted to.

That way you can create a silhouette up until you have your character in the last position (I would make sure that the character's last position is in front of one of the ceiling lights so he / she is backlit by it)

I would put depron inside those lamp covers.

For the close ups, if you are going to look towards the interior of the rows of bookshelves I would do the same as I did in the wide shot, I would lit the background with a daylight source and for the actors I would just use the two aladdins together through a frame with diffusion)

2nd location
You could replace the bulb for another bulb a bit more powerful and if you really wanted to give it more power you could always put the two aladdins attached to the ceiling through a diffusion or depron. 

3rd location
You have a great location here and at night it can be really good.
You can use the existing fluorescent lights on top of the tables (not the ones in the ceiling) and gel them with a colour that you like and place some practicals here and there.. or you can rent a set of Astera Tubes and replace the fluorescent bulbs and use the aladdin lights on the laptop screens that you're not seeing in camera.
For the close ups you can use one of the aladdin lights on the laptop screen through depron and supplement it with another source on the far side of the character if needed. 

Hope it helps!
 

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Depends what sort of look you're going for really. Do you have any references as to the sort of stuff you're trying to create?

P

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14 hours ago, Marta Teixeira P. Simoes said:

The first of them is a sort of library, with harsh focus on the ceiling. I was wondering what could help me ease the harshness of that light in close ups but that still feels like it belongs to that same room.

Full Hampshire frame overhead will blur the top fixtures enough to remove harsh shadows. Opal, too, although it's a bit heavier. 4x4 size.

Another thought. In these uncontrolled lighting situations, the florescents or CFLs might have a green or magenta cast. My only other consideration would be ensuring the ability to match the key light to the location lights so it doesn't appear different. Either correction gels, or an RGB tunable source, like the Gemini panels or Arri Fresnels (say if you like bounce keys). I think Aperture has a color matching feature on some of its lights as well. Food for thought.

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Hello everyone,

Thank you for your thoughts, it's been helpful for sure.

In the meantime I've been working on the shot list for the library scene with the director and everything became more simple, so lucky me!

There will be a shot in the corridors that face the window, which is easier to control for me, and just some details of books on top of a table.

Like Miguel said, the third location is quite rich so I think I also found interesting solutions together with the art director.

 

Now I'm faced with another challenge for an exterior party scene at dawn...

Maybe I can get your thoughts on this one too!

Our reference for the close ups and details (that will be shot super early morning) is to have this reddish light like the images attached. I think the trick will be to also have another light, colder but still kind of soft as a back light or a fill to create the mood of early morning mixed with this red party leftover light. My fear is that my red light will be too strong and not look like the ones from the reference, that seem to also have a yellow tonality. Our location is a big open field on top of a small hill, the floor is dirt.

Best,

 

 

 

1.jpg

2.jpg

3.jpg

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I think there are three color sources in your photos. Red front light, cyan back light and a yellowish-green top light. That might be be the yellow hint you're referring to.

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