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Want to do a building beauty night shoot with out without the moon?

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Jeff Herring
Want to do a building beauty night shoot with out without the moon?
on Jun 8, 2018 at 3:50:23 pm

I want to shoot some B-roll of a group of buildings centered around a statue in a fountain at night. My focal point will be the fountain with its water jets and the buildings will be the background. The only lighting available will be the offices within the buildings, panel lights that flood the front of the buildings, Lamp posts, and any lights inside the fountain.

I'm going to arrange all of the building's lights to be left on. What's perplexing me at the moment is when to schedule the shoot. Should I look at a night with the full moon as to better light the quad around the fountain, or would a new moon night better show off the lights coming from the buildings without washing them out.

Shooting on a Panasonic AG 180, playing around with a DSLR shooting video as well

Or are there other aspects that I'm not considering.
Thanks
Jeff


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Nick Griffin
Re: Want to do a building beauty night shoot with out without the moon?
on Jun 8, 2018 at 7:01:20 pm

Jeff-
I don't think there's really any way around this but testing it on a couple to a few nights with and without the moon. There's no easy way to guesstimate the lighting ratios between the office building lights and the moon.

If it were me I'd consider doing the shot as a still so it would be far simpler to control the lighting by having different exposure lengths. You would then also have the choice of easily adding the moon of your choice. Also use a long shutter time so the fountain turns to a smooth silk-like flow rather than a frozen moment.

Then do an AfterEffects push or move on the still to help it pass as more than a still. Adding the sound of the fountain would also help in selling the illusion.

OR- you could come up with a simpler B-roll shot.


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Jeff Herring
Re: Want to do a building beauty night shoot with out without the moon?
on Jun 8, 2018 at 8:36:39 pm

Thanks for the advice Nick!,

The video camera I know for sure how to shoot with the DSLR I can turn it on and put it on auto ☹ but I will play around with it some before to try it out. The new moon is in 5 days we'll see how it turns out.

You're right I do what that silky smooth water motion vs a frozen shot or HD water moving. I'm planning on shooting the video as a static shot. then in post going to layer the same shot on top of it with a 50% transparency and about a 2-10 second delay to help get some of that silky water effect.

Jeff


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Mark Suszko
Re: Want to do a building beauty night shoot with out without the moon?
on Jun 14, 2018 at 4:34:40 pm

Following up on Nick's suggestion, you could also take the same locked-off shots at dawn and/or dusk, and blend them with the actual night shots, to get back some lost detail. One way I'd try that would be to convert the daytime shots to grayscale/ monochrome, then adjust blend modes and opacity to taste.

This would be easier if the camera can be locked off for several hours, and not splitting the shot over two different days. Getting everything to line up again would be difficult.


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Nick Griffin
Re: Want to do a building beauty night shoot with out without the moon?
on Jun 14, 2018 at 4:47:09 pm

[Mark Suszko] "This would be easier if the camera can be locked off for several hours, and not splitting the shot over two different days. "

And therein is a problem that's all too common in many corporate shoots. You need someone to sit with the camera over an extended period of time -- even if it's just to guard it rather than operate it -- but the client balks at the cost of this person covering the extended period of time.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Want to do a building beauty night shoot with out without the moon?
on Jun 14, 2018 at 5:07:14 pm

"I can invoice you for three hours of my camera assistant's time, or I can step-rent you a couple of lighting trucks with generators and operators and union electricians for two hours, plus the permits and street security, to light up the building practically at night... your call."

:-)


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Bill Davis
Re: Want to do a building beauty night shoot with out without the moon?
on Jun 22, 2018 at 3:15:55 pm

This is why ProRes Raw or similar "expanded latitude" video technologies might change the way we approach a lot of this.

When it eventually moves beyond Atomos and DJI, the ability to brightness correct via masks on live video will potentially change the game.

Time will tell.

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.


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