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Thread: Camera Lights

  1. #1
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    Default Camera Lights

    Hey everyone,


    I'm a newbie at filming/editing, and I've been filming some stuff with a Canon 600d from a friend.
    Anyway, the footage doesn't look too good with some interior lights (on a garage for example), and I would like to know what kind of light should we use for filming.


    Let me know if you got my question.
    Thanks a lot.

  2. #2

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    We need more information to be able to advise you. In what way does it not look good, what are you filming etc....?

  3. #3
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    Hey,

    I think it looks kinda dark and fuzzy, as you can see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZobD37ISYhY (I used a filter already, so it doesn't look that bad, but I think you can get the idea).
    I was filming that 'horror' trailer (it was my first filming and editing experience by far) and soon I'll record a horror shot film. Most of the records are made inside an house, and those ones where made inside a garage.

    I did some research and I think that buying a small LED light to attach to the camera would be a nice deal, what do you think?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gus Maia View Post
    I did some research and I think that buying a small LED light to attach to the camera would be a nice deal, what do you think?
    I would not have thought an on-camera light is what you want. They are really designed for illuminating whatever is immediately in front of the camera - typically for filming someone doing a piece to camera (eg a news reporter). That is all they light and the direction of the light moves as you move the camera. What you are trying to film are scenes. You want the whole scene - subjects and background - lit and you almost certanly do NOT want the direction of teh ight to change as you pan around the shot.
    Lighting this properly would require several lights - probably a combination of "soft" lights for the general lighting and "hard" lights that are a bit brighter to create shadows and highlights and possibly a "gobo" or two used to create artistic/atospheric shadows. I imagine this is way beyond what you are looking to do (and is way beyond my skill set so I wouldn't being to try to advise you)

    However, as a starting point, try to get light onto your scenes from several sources and try to make them as soft as possible - you can often soften light by bouncing it off ceilings/walls rather than shining it directy onto the scene. Avoid mixing different types of light - different bulbs have different colour temperatures (measured in degrees Kelvin) and whilst the human eye can compensate for this in real life, a camera cannot and if you mix them the result looks ugly.
    Tim

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    You have to approach each scene differently and consider what mood you want to create.

    The worst possible light for a drama production (which basically means anything with a script) is a light on the camera!

    Personally I would try to find a secondhand fresnel light, there are a lot of secondhand stage fresnels about at the moment.

    Or go for an open faced lamp, such as one from Ianiro.

    Stick it on a stand and experiment.

    Also, especially in a horror film, think about switching lights off! If you are filming in an underground garage you can stick brown paper over some of the ceiling lights or, even better, get some sheets of green gel. Pools of light and shadow are often more frightening than an evenly lit location.

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    Ignore most of what I said (apart from don't use an on-camera light) I was being far too generic and ignoring the genre. Robs post is far more useful to you and better informed.
    Tim

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    Gus, remember, there's no right or wrong in lighting. Just different opinions.

    I agree 100% with Tim's post about using soft lighting. It's just my opinion that in horror films, harsh lighting creates a spooky atmosphere.

  8. #8

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    Just to state the (somewhat) obvious, paper and hot lights don't mix. Robs suggestion to cover the lights IS valid provided those lights are NOT Halogen.

  9. #9
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    Thanks a lot to everyone, cleared my mind a lot.
    Another question, whats the cheapest price for that kind of filming lights and where can I get them?
    Since I'm an amateur and I'm trying to record my first experiences, the budget will be really low

  10. #10
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    Have a look on ebay for stage lighting.

    At the moment regulations mean that theatres have to change to eco-friendly lighting and they are selling off a lot of stuff.

    Fresnel and PC lights can be easily used for filming. Failing that, look for "redheads" and open-face units. Cheap and can be adapted to do many things.

    If you have a bit more cash... Go for fluorescents, the Ianiro and Photon-Beard units are particularly good value for money.

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