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Author Topic: Indoor video lighting guide?  (Read 28847 times)
Raw shooter
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« on: August 30, 2006, 10:54:59 AM »
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All my experience is with digital still photography, and its all indoors with multiple flash units.  As I shift over to video, I now realize I am a complete beginner again.  I have experiments with tungston lighting, but the results are very mixed - like the dynamic range of the capture CCD is too narrow to give the scenes the tonal range my eyes see.  

My question is about video and how anyone, with experience, uses lighting to get the video quality that is more like what is seen on quality HDTV (720P) programs on network televison. The video quality, on shows like CSI, seem to have tonal range that seems perfect.  Maybe its the camera hardware - or maybe its the lighting - or maybe its software?

Thanks in advance for any pointers, books or courses!
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smthopr
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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2006, 10:35:20 AM »
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Quote
My question is about video and how anyone, with experience, uses lighting to get the video quality that is more like what is seen on quality HDTV (720P) programs on network televison. The video quality, on shows like CSI, seem to have tonal range that seems perfect.  Maybe its the camera hardware - or maybe its the lighting - or maybe its software?

Thanks in advance for any pointers, books or courses!
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Dear Raw,

CSI, to the best of my knowledge, is shot using older technology from the last century - film. The film is then scanned into HD format and color corrected by computer.

That said, it is possible to shoot with fairly inexpensive video cameras and still have it look fairly good. I shot a feature film  a year ago on a $3000 Panasonic camcorder. You can view some clips from the movie at [a href=\"http://www.brucealangreene.com/LYtheater.html]my website[/url]. Keep in mind though the camera cost $3000, the lights probably cost $100,000 (not including the truck to keep them in).

The best lighting advice I can give on a forum is to always place the brightest light source behind or to the side of the subject. Always have the shadow side of the subject facing the camera. If shooting day exterior, this light source is usually the sun. When lighting interiors, this gets to be a challenge because you'll have to hang the lights high out of the frame so that you don't put the light stand in the shot.

You'll probably also have to fill in the shadow side of the shot from the camera side so that the lighting doesn't get too contrasty. A large soft source of light is good. Try bouncing your tungsten light off a large white board.

Hope this helps Raw.

-bruce
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Bruce Alan Greene
www.brucealangreene.com
Raw shooter
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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2006, 02:08:09 PM »
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Bruce,
Thanks - and I will try the lighting from behind the subject.  That is something I would not have noticed, but after reading your reply, I viewed a copy of CSI.  The backlight was obvious only after you pointed it out.  Actually, the backlight seemes to be the key in making the CSI scenes so rich and contrasty.
Thanks again - I really appreciate the time you spent on the clear description of the lighting.  I do have the equipment (good enough to learn) and some white boards.  It will be nice to have something to try, as I was out of ideas!

All my best, Greg
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Greg_E
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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2006, 12:21:58 PM »
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Read "Matters of Light and Depth" by Ross Lowell. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller...oughType=search

Traditional (textbook) video backlight is the same intensity as the key light. That rule should always be broken to acheive the effect that you want!
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