FORUMS: list search recent posts

Lighting a train engine

COW Forums : Cinematography

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Caleb Coppola
Lighting a train engine
on Nov 1, 2010 at 10:55:56 pm

I need to send a gear list out for lighting a train engine -something I've never shot before. We will be shooting it in a warehouse with mixed lighting (daylight from windows and nasty halogen overhead) with a 5d MK II -a mix of stills and video. All we want is even lighting, but the thing is about 82' long. Would putting 4 10k HMIs about 30' back with diffusion sails be enough? We need a clean, sharp image, so our ASA would stay 100 for 24 fps and I'd prefer to keep the aperture at no less than f/5.6.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

-Caleb


Return to posts index

todd mcmullen
Re: Lighting a train engine
on Nov 2, 2010 at 1:07:36 am

well depending on size of warehouse (height) and budget, I would suggest product lighting it from above. you could build some long narrow soft boxes that you could hang from above and you would have a nice soft ambient top light. this would also eliminate the halogen lights that you deem nasty. then you could add some raking hard lights form various positions.I would think soft hmi(blue) lights would look nice on that black train. Another thought depending on where you are is to rent a lighting balloon. there are many different sizes and they are brilliant. may save you in cable and crew costs as well. tough to tell without seeing, but your initial lighting set up seems to limit you to only a few wide angles.but then again maybe that is all you need. also, you may find those halogens give you interesting highlights and reflections.

Todd McMullen
Flip Flop Films
Austin
http://www.toddmcmullen.com


Return to posts index

Caleb Coppola
Re: Lighting a train engine
on Nov 2, 2010 at 2:55:25 am

Todd,

Thanks for the quick reply. We have about 3-4 hours to shoot this and we'll be jockeying for position with two other camera crews, so an extensive lighting set up isn't feasible. If we had the time to throw lots of softboxes up that would be lovely, but I think getting the entire thing lit and also having a certain amount of mobility to the lights is paramount. My questions was more if 4 10k HMIs with 10' diffusion sails (or a couple light balloons) would adequately and evenly light and 80'(possibly 60') train.

The train isn't black, btw, but a modern high speed one with probably a pastel glossy skin.


Return to posts index


todd mcmullen
Re: Lighting a train engine
on Nov 2, 2010 at 3:30:44 pm

mmm...math was never my strong hand. however, the 5d is incredible in low light. the other question is what is the type of diffusion. light grid,half silk, full silk,etc., what lens types do you have for the hmi's, lots of variables. but I would assume that should be plenty of illumination for that space requirement. you will just have to setup to see.

Todd McMullen
Flip Flop Films
Austin
http://www.toddmcmullen.com


Return to posts index

john sharaf
Re: Lighting a train engine
on Nov 2, 2010 at 3:40:12 pm

For once, I'm going to have to disagree with Todd when he says "you will just have to setup to see". A professional lighting cameraman will scout a location, design a plan that previsualizes the result and calculate the light levels (including the diffussion) from the photometrics which are published for each and every professional lighting instrument (based on the distances and lens). It is wrong to defer to the day, as you might neither have the equipment nor proper manpower to accomplish what is required.

In this case, given the minimum set up time you mention, I don't think you can do anything but go au natural and just light the actor in the foreground (if there is one).

To install, rig and power four 12/18k HMI's would take a crew of four guys at least 6 hours and would cost about $4000. This is without Condors to raise the lights as high as might be required.

JS



Return to posts index

todd mcmullen
Re: Lighting a train engine
on Nov 2, 2010 at 9:50:53 pm

yes, this is indeed true. The scout can be 110 percent of your success.
As matter of fact the last show I was shooting had so many locations per episode I couldn't get off the set to scout. So I sent my gaffer. But I also had a 40 footer with all the instruments and power I needed so I knew I could pull it off on-the-day. Nonetheless, scouting is a good thing,when you have the luxury.

But, I assumed Caleb had already scouted and he was trying to get the technical nuts and bolts of the instruments he already ordered.

Todd McMullen
Flip Flop Films
Austin
http://www.toddmcmullen.com


Return to posts index


Dan Brockett
Re: Lighting a train engine
on Nov 4, 2010 at 2:32:15 pm

You need the photometrics of the lights you will be using and the material you will have in your frames in order to figure out if you have nearly enough light but based upon instinct, I don't think that you will have enough light to light an object that huge evenly with only four main sources. How large are your shots? Do you need shots of the whole 82' or are you shooting smaller segments of the train with talent in them? With your lighting, you will have plenty to light a segment of the train, reset, shoot, reset, but that will be time and labor intensive.

Plus, with mixed lighting sources, you would want to overpower the daylight and nasty halogen overhead, at least on the train itself. ISO100@24fps@F5.6 requires quite a bit of light. I think you will have enough light to shoot the subject, but not enough to light something 82'long evenly.

You really have to do the math to know for sure but even coverage from a 12' x 12' from, say, 20' feet from subject is not going to be 100ISO@24fps@F5.6 in a very large area. The 5D MKII is cleanest in increments of ISO160, so you may have to shoot at ISO320 or ISO640 or higher to achieve your shot. So you need probably either more or larger wattage sources. Also, are we talking 10k HMIs or 10k tungsten here? Also, is camera moving? On sticks? Will you shoot one side and reset lighting to get the front? There are so many questions I would be pondering in your situation if I were DP before I could even figure out the math.

If I were in your position, I would be budgeting for more sources and they would be HMIs for sure.

Good luck,

Dan

A Producer Who Is Also A DP? Yep, that's Me.

http://www.danbrockett.com


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]