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DSLRs and pyrotechnics

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Peter Burger
DSLRs and pyrotechnics
on Sep 5, 2011 at 8:21:47 pm

Does anyone has experience with shooting pyrotechnical effects with a DSLR?
I was asked to shoot a music-video and the band wants to have some pyro effects in it.
Should I expect problems with rolling shutter of the CMOS sensor?

I'm asking, because when shooting concerts I'm always having trouble with strobe-lights.

Any suggestions and/or advice is much appreciated! Thanks in advance!

------------------------------------------
"Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot." - Buster Keaton


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Noah Kadner
Re: DSLRs and pyrotechnics
on Sep 5, 2011 at 9:15:58 pm

Definitely shoot some tests- there's rolling shutter to be concerned about and also of course basic safety issues that sometimes get lost if you're talking low budget...

Noah

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Peter Burger
Re: DSLRs and pyrotechnics
on Sep 5, 2011 at 9:50:08 pm

Thanks Noah! Safety (hopefully) shouldn't be an issue. They've got a professional on set...

------------------------------------------
"Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot." - Buster Keaton


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Phil Balsdon
Re: DSLRs and pyrotechnics
on Sep 5, 2011 at 9:19:59 pm

I don't think you'll have the same issues.

The strobe light problem is caused by the lighting pulsing flashes of light that are faster than the shutter speed, therefore causing only the portion of the chip that was exposed during the pulse to be exposed.

Pyrotechnics are constant burning sources of light with no pulse similar to tungsten, essentially just fire light.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://philming.com.au
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Peter Burger
Re: DSLRs and pyrotechnics
on Sep 5, 2011 at 10:03:01 pm

[Phil Balsdon] "The strobe light problem is caused by the lighting pulsing flashes of light that are faster than the shutter speed, therefore causing only the portion of the chip that was exposed during the pulse to be exposed."

Thanks, Phil! Yeah, that's exactly the problem, I was worried about!
I'll talk to the pyro guy what he's about to use.
So we'll better avoid fast flashing pyros and stick to more or less constantly burning stuff.

------------------------------------------
"Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot." - Buster Keaton


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Chip Thome
Re: DSLRs and pyrotechnics
on Sep 6, 2011 at 5:23:03 pm

IMO, it shouldn't be any different than shooting fireworks, which is basically what pyrotechnics are. If you can find the proper shutter speed for fireworks, I would think you should be good to go.


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Peter Burger
Re: DSLRs and pyrotechnics
on Sep 7, 2011 at 11:39:31 am

Fireworks. Yeah, that's the solution! Thanks a lot, Chip!

I guess, that'll be my starting point in research!

------------------------------------------
"Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot." - Buster Keaton


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Phil Balsdon
Re: DSLRs and pyrotechnics
on Sep 6, 2011 at 9:49:23 pm

Even a fast flashing pyro won't fade fast enough to cause a problem, with strobe we're talking 1,000ths of second.

I would however talk safety issues with the pyro guys. ie how close etc is still safe.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://philming.com.au
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Peter Burger
Re: DSLRs and pyrotechnics
on Sep 7, 2011 at 12:08:58 pm

Thanks again, Phil!
The pyro-guy does a lot of stage-effects and seems to be pretty experienced. But we will definitly have a "safety-meeting", since neither the band nor the guys behind the camera(s) have worked with pyros before.

So thank you guys for your input! Much appreciated!

------------------------------------------
"Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot." - Buster Keaton


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