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And the rocket's red glare

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Steve
And the rocket's red glare
on May 3, 2005 at 1:13:24 pm

Hi Gang

I just found out that I will be shooting a fireworks display overlooking a lake for the 4th of July. I shoot with a Panasonic SDX900. Here is my lighting question, I also need to shoot a person watching those fireworks and need to cut between some of the display to the person watching it. Any ideas on what color temperature I should use for the lighting on the observer. This is going to be used for a political ad next year so I need this guy to look regal...so to speak. My next question is how much light to throw on him. I have Lowell insturments that run anywhere from 1000w down to 250w. I'm thinking of 3/4 low angle shots so I don't have to worry so much about any other people in the crowd next to the main subject. Any ideas here would be greatly appreciated.

Steve


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Bob Cole
Re: And the rocket's red glare
on May 5, 2005 at 2:38:07 am

Here is a bit of a hit-and-miss approach, but when it hits, it's very authentic.

I just shot a fireworks display, and the families watching it. When I turned the camera around on the families, the only light was from the fireworks themselves, and it captured the mood beautifully, as the lighting changed colors, and brightness. I used +18 gain, which ordinarily is terrible, but the graininess accentuated the effect nicely.

If I were to use any auxiliary lighting (and I wouldn't) I'd try minimal front lighting, and something from the back and side, just to define the facial contours, and I would still let the fireworks act as the "key."

There probably is a more "professional" approach if you are staging the whole thing. I believe the Shadowmaker device has a fireworks setting. http://www.magicgadgets.com/mg_ol_04.htm

Good luck.

-- BC



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john sharaf
Re: And the rocket's red glare
on May 7, 2005 at 5:05:59 am

Steve,

I think you'll be suprised just how bright the fireworks will be in the sky! For this reason, lighting the foreground subject should be done with supplemental lights. Because it's basicly a night scene you'll want to avoid flat front lighting; I'd suggest a back cross light to seperate your subject from the dark sky and soft fill light from the least flat direction that still reaches into both eyes. Small bettery lights should suffice. Lately I've been using the Lite Panel LCD's which are very convenient and have a built in dimmer and many precut color and diffussion gels. They are pricey but perhaps you could rent a few for this assignment.

Good luck,

JS


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