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Thread: cheap skate rides again ....

  1. #1

    Default cheap skate rides again ....

    yes its the digital director forum cheap skate back again ....

    I hope to start work on the next installment of my "me and my" series within the next couple of weeks. theme for this will be "Me And My View".

    the talent is a friend of a friend who lives on the eighth floor of a high rise tower block. Got a few ideas together and plan to start shooting late afternoon, early evening into night.

    I'm aiming for a warm, low light look. i dont have any supplementary lighting and wondered if its possible to achieve the sort of look i want using household lighting, table lamps etc (did i mention im a cheap skate)

    is it feasible ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    I'm sure this'll be met with howls of derision, but you might experiment with the following (which you can do now in your own home). Go outside and switch the camera on and set the white balance (if left in auto mode, my camera will automatically white balance based on whatever it's pointimng at when switched on, or so it seems).

    Without turning off (and thus keepin the white balance the same) go inside and film with normal tungsten houshold lights placed in a couple of strategic places. I find this gives a definite overly warm look. You may find it too much, but it'll take you only a couple of minutes to try it out.

    EDIT: Thinking about it, if your camera has various preset white balances, you might just set it for outside, but film inside.

    "Me and my ... view" sounds like another winning idea. Looking forward to it.

  3. #3


    It's definately possible. In days of old film and tube cameras needed high power lights to get an image, then ccd's needed less light than before, then cmos less again. Proper lighting equipment still makes a big difference, it is far more versatile and easier to work with but at the end of the day, light is light.

    If you can get your image the way you want it to look with household lights then it'll work just fine. But, if your doing a piece based on a tower block view I'm assuming you'll be shooting indoors shots, outdoor/window shots and combined in and out shots. That's where things could get tricky. Using HMI lamps or C.T.B gel on tungsten lamps is easier with proper lighting equipment.

    But it's still possible to use C.T.B gel on household lamps, just be careful to be sure your using everyday normal light bulbs and not those energy efficient ones.


  4. #4


    If it's raining and you don't want to take your camera outside do the white balance on a slightly blue emphasis on slightly blue white card which will give the same effect as Tims idea. In fact you can experiment with different "off whites" to get different effects. However I'm sure you'll want to film outside at some point as the word "view" appears in the title of the piece.

    I would say you can get away with normal household lighting you can even use a candle if the meter runs out. improvised reflectors etc. Placement and use is important as I'm sure you are aware. To create a dark background look, make sure the talent is well lit, so you can close down the iris so the background is dark but the talent is just right. This won't give you a shallow depth of field if that is the look you wanted. For that you would have to zoom in open the iris and be more inventive with the lighting.

    Be aware that as time passes the light will change so figure this in with your shooting schedule and story board, so when you get to the editing stage you won't be surprise. May be close the curtains to minimise this effect. You will have to figure out whats best when you are there as you know the look you want.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    May be close the curtains to minimise this effect.
    Me and my ... view of the curtains

    I'm reminded of (first 10 or 11 secs)

    (I know what you really mean Midnight, I just couldn't resist)

  6. #6


    If the ceiling light(s) aren't quite as strong as you like, I often take a 500 watt hallogen work light and bounce it off the ceiling. That's pretty soft.

    Another thing I like doing is overlighting scenes and then using filters to bring it back down. That's a softer look too, and it's really good for taking wrinkles out of people's faces.

  7. #7


    cheers fellas, plenty to consider there.

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