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Author Topic: Outdoor lighting solutions for video - help.  (Read 2545 times)

CJRodgers

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Outdoor lighting solutions for video - help.
« on: May 31, 2012, 10:31:28 AM »
Hi everyone,

Im wondering what the best solution for outdoor lighting is at the moment in regards to a few different aspects. Are LEDS and other cool lighst best, or traditional hot lights?

Also, how do you power lights outside? Car battery or something similar?

Please imagine the two following situations and suggest what you would do.

1. A night time shoot with a band in some woods to give an eerie atmosphere. Enough lighting is need for the whole band. How many lights, what type, how would you power it? Cost?

2. Following a vocalist around a city with close up shots as they sing for a music video. You want the pretty brokeh in the backround but also want a bit of soft light on the face and maybe something from behind to catch the highlights in the hair.
How many lights, what type, how would you power it? Cost?

I am mainly interested in music promo but im sure these situations can be closley related to many other types of videos.


I look forward to a few responses hopefully :) I dont have much money to spend on lights (£500 - £1000) and everytime ive looked i can only find batteries that costs that much alone. I hope im looking in the wrong places and some can help me here.

Thanks!

Craig

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Outdoor lighting solutions for video - help.
« on: May 31, 2012, 10:31:28 AM »

Seanlucky

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Re: Outdoor lighting solutions for video - help.
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2012, 11:20:36 AM »
For nighttime shooting in the woods, I feel like you could definitely just get away with hotlights. Unfortunately there's no easy battery solution for hot lights as they're rather inneficient... You'd be better to rent a Honda 2K Generator. One person with a bit of strength can carry it through the woods, and that way you just won't worry about running out of juice on your shoot.

For shooting around the city, generator's are rarely an option unless you have a locations permit. LED is one of the better options for running on battery power, but it lacks in punch especially if you're trying to match output of the sun during daylight. A small 200 watt HMI would be a good option for running off of battery, and it's already colour matched to daylight.

That being said, I would rent, and not buy. The only thing that really fits in your budget is hotlights and cheap LED's.

HurtinMinorKey

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Re: Outdoor lighting solutions for video - help.
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2012, 12:02:00 PM »
Unfortunately, HMI lights are only for the big leagues. I feel like tungsten lights will blend better with the ambient city lights.

bp

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Re: Outdoor lighting solutions for video - help.
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2012, 12:41:00 PM »
If you're on a tight budget... as far as the night/woods shoot - I've seen some pretty impressive results from simple tungsten or halogen worklights from home depot.  couple that with a car AC adapter and some extension cords, and you're up and running (do some wattage math to make sure the adapter can handle it, depending on how many work lights you're intending to use). 

If you've got a bit more dough to play with, some of the LED panels available now can put out an impressive amount of light... but you'd need several of them to get enough coverage for a whole band.  The advantage of LED panels is portability and easy to power.  But getting enough panels to light up the whole scene can be pricey
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CJRodgers

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Re: Outdoor lighting solutions for video - help.
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2012, 03:50:27 PM »
Thanks guys, some good advice here.

BP, how long could i run off a typical car battery before it was flat? Also how would I power the LED panels, have you seen any that provide battery packs, or would this be a case of getting a car battery again.

I think builders work lights is a good idea, plus theyre cheap enough to buy. Is the colour temperature of these ok and is the light soft enough or should i make a diffuser for it?

Cheers guys,

DB

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Re: Outdoor lighting solutions for video - help.
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2012, 05:16:14 PM »

Also, how do you power lights outside? Car battery or something similar?

Please imagine the two following situations and suggest what you would do.

1. A night time shoot with a band in some woods to give an eerie atmosphere. Enough lighting is need for the whole band. How many lights, what type, how would you power it? Cost?

I look forward to a few responses hopefully :) I dont have much money to spend on lights (£500 - £1000) and everytime ive looked i can only find batteries that costs that much alone. I hope im looking in the wrong places and some can help me here.

Thanks!

Craig

With regard to the first problem - outdoor lighting in the woods - well why are you assuming that you need electric power (DC or AC), why not make do with natural fire light like humans have done for thousands of years e.g. use bamboo patio lanterns (see Amazon link below)

http://www.amazon.com/Set-Of-Bamboo-Tiki-Torches/dp/B004RDM7RA/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1338498748&sr=8-14

or

http://www.amazon.com/Set-12-Bamboo-Tiki-Style-Torches/dp/B007IL3GZK/ref=pd_sbs_lg_1

They're really cheap, portable, give off a nice 3300K color temp, will create nice shadows etc. The run off cheap oil and can be planted in the ground wherever you need them - just use a lot of them. Would look really cool too.

Cornershot

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Re: Outdoor lighting solutions for video - help.
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2012, 09:04:31 PM »
You'd have to really hike up the ISO to get torches to work. They don't put out that much light, even a lot of them. One thing you can do outside and in daylight is to use reflectors. You can pretty much get a lot of what you need by redirecting sunlight. There are some pretty cheap LED light panels available online in the 600/900/1200 led range that can be run off v-mount batteries. The light quality isn't the best but if you have matched lighting or use gels you can do a custom white balance.

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Re: Outdoor lighting solutions for video - help.
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2012, 09:04:31 PM »

leGreve

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Re: Outdoor lighting solutions for video - help.
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2012, 03:32:46 AM »
Par Can 64s are great lamps for your shoot. You're going to need a genny or two anyways to get anything decent going.

Par Cans can be configured with different lamps from wide to very narrow spot. The VNSP are great for outlining trees etc. in the background, where you might need a wide lamp on the key lights.

I'd suggest outlining the back with 2-3 pars and then either get some 650w / 1k tungsten fresnels OR wider par cans... shoot either through a white bed sheet stretched out, to key light the band.

Regarding LEDs... forget them, to be honest they are still a joke, and I would never ever use them for anything serious except if I wanted to get a specific mood or for lighting small areas in the background or elements in a scene.
LEDs are NOT good at rendering colors correctly and they spike in the green wave lengths, along with omitting quite a lot of the red wavelengths. They get used on run & gun amateur shoots and news crews because you can set them up in a flash. Check out what Guy Holt has written about LEDs and you'll understand why they rarely get used for subject lighting in the professional industry.
Another issue with LEDs, apart from bad color rendering is that the light fall off is severe. You lose foot candles rapidly and therefore you can't really use them for wide shots.

Fresnels are still king, especially outside where you don't have to worry about the heat they generate.

If you're from EU, check out Thomann.de for both Par Cans and Arri fresnels.... they can be had pretty cheap both, and Arri fresnel tend to keep their value because they are quality to the bone.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2012, 03:34:35 AM by leGreve »
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paul13walnut5

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Re: Outdoor lighting solutions for video - help.
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2012, 06:21:42 AM »
+1 for generator for woods shot, set of reds with diffuser.  Not a good idea for urban - lots of cables trailing.

Your best ally for the urban daylight shot is actually the sun.  Download the photographers epehemeris.  Look where the the sun will be for your chosen location and pick the best time for backlighting (at this time of year sun rises NE, sets NW) the photographers ephemeris will let you plot the sun for times of day as well.

For fill use a white reflector.

I use LED lights (rotolights) to augment available light working close to camera with a fast lens, they are of very limited and specific useage, but far from useless.  They are the wrong light for this job,  but the best light for certain other jobs (such as off camera interview lighting in a dark scenario)

I have a set of reds gathering dust in the cupboard..  moral is, rent rather than buy.  This goes for esoteric lenses, jibs, specialist sound gear etc.  If it's that important then there must be money involved, if theres money involved spend some in hiring the right tool for the job.

untitled10

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Re: Outdoor lighting solutions for video - help.
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2012, 03:07:24 AM »
Thanks guys, some good advice here.

BP, how long could i run off a typical car battery before it was flat? Also how would I power the LED panels, have you seen any that provide battery packs, or would this be a case of getting a car battery again.

I think builders work lights is a good idea, plus theyre cheap enough to buy. Is the colour temperature of these ok and is the light soft enough or should i make a diffuser for it?

Cheers guys,

I've used builders lights several times, you need a little cooling after but with the right colour correction it can look okay.

here's an example: Balcony Session - Sean McGowan

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Re: Outdoor lighting solutions for video - help.
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2012, 03:07:24 AM »