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Simulating Photo Dark Room Lighting

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Brett Crow
Simulating Photo Dark Room Lighting
on Sep 1, 2012 at 12:32:57 am

Seeing if anyone has any lighting diagrams and/or tips for lighting a scene, simulating a photo dark room. Obviously, red gels will be a must. Just seems like a very tricky setup and wanted to see if anyone else had some insight to offer.

Thanks!


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Brett Crow
Re: Simulating Photo Dark Room Lighting
on Sep 1, 2012 at 8:36:18 pm

I know I can simulate red lighting easily in After Effects.. just seeing if there was a better way to get it correct in camera first. Thanks in advance.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Simulating Photo Dark Room Lighting
on Sep 5, 2012 at 1:36:45 am

I think actually that you want to light in noir/chiaroscuro style in mostly white light, maybe just a coral gel or a tweak of the camera's white balance, then add more/most overall red in post. I say this because if you light practically using just red bulbs, you're going to crush the blacks and lose more detail. Now maybe you think that's part of the authentic "look" of a darkroom. But myself, I think I'd prefer the extra control to push the exposure in post in either direction, to change the feel of it, and for that I think I want a mostly white light base on the set, with one obnoxious red practical bulb in the frame to "motivate" the filtration to be added later. You want to layer red AND gray together, in my inexpert opinion.


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Brett Crow
Re: Simulating Photo Dark Room Lighting
on Sep 5, 2012 at 2:34:31 am

I agree. I think using straight gels would definitely crush the blacks. Its going to be a uni-directional lighting source though, so any shadows are ultimately going to be fairly defined. Also, what if I'm trying to mix other sources of light? Say a door is opened and that light is also in play, how would I work that?


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Mark Suszko
Re: Simulating Photo Dark Room Lighting
on Sep 5, 2012 at 3:33:57 am

Hello? Dark. Room.

:-)

Okay, if the scene is someone accidentally breaking into a darkroom that's in red light, I think using white light becomes even MORE important, it just becomes a situation of controlling how the color correction windows are applied and blended. Since it's almost like a cut when a darkroom door opens and a white light snaps on, you might use that as a cue to turn on a second practical light that's motivated by the opened door crack, so, a slash of white light across the coral pink base light? I'm just spitballing here, having never lit such a scene myself. The nice part is, if you get a jumble of light and shadow, that's what you'd see in a realistic version.


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