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Lighting @ EI 12

Published : 16th August 2004


>>>Oops! Thought he said 46. Well, EI 12 is just a third stop slower than EI 16 (Kodachrome Commercial.) He can use Max Factor pancake (aptly named) makeup which probably has an SPF of 150>>>

So how do you light at EI 12? I imagine your eyes aren't going to have any idea what the film is seeing.

I remember hearing stories about the DP of Noises Off doing tests to see what he could judge by eye when shooting at the director-mandated f-stop of T11. The bottom line: he couldn't really judge anything by eye at those light levels.

I can't imagine what it must have been like lighting Gone With the Wind. How did they do such nice work without being able to see anything of what they were doing?

Art Adams, DP [film|hdtv|sdtv]
Mountain View, California - "Silicon Valley"
http://www.artadams.net/
AIM: ArtAtoms



Some fun Gone with the wind facts including a lighting budget of just over 100k:

http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Academy/5924/facts.htm

Walter Graff
BlueSky, LLC
www.bluesky-web.com



Never say never. Years ago I did a short entirely with 7245 over-exposed one stop with a Pola and an enhancer on at all times so I only had an EI 4. For our single night exterior I pulled in a 6k to blast a brick wall and cross-lit the talent with 1.2k pars. Had to shoot at a 1.3 but it looked gorgeous on screen.

Y'all are so spoiled these days with your 500 speed stocks, lighting with the bounce off a sheet of toilet paper. Sometimes it's nice to just blast light into a scene if you have the space and the gear. Tell you one thing--when you wan those shadows to drop off to black, they damn well drop off to black!

Mitch Gross
NYC DP



> So how do you light at EI 12?

In this case I'd use available daylight with maybe a 60W desk lamp for fill (mine's bounced off a white wall) and use it to illuminate my address/phone book to call Kodak and order some 7212 or 17.

(I love 7245 too, but it has to love me back)

Sam Wells



Mitch Gross writes :

>Years ago I did a short entirely with 7245 over-exposed one stop with a >Pola and an enhancer on at all times

Mitch,

What's an Enhancer ?? An 812 warming filter?

Jack Cummings
Buffalo NY



JL Cummings writes:

Mitch,

What's an Enhancer? An 812 warming filter? An Enhancer is a thin sheet of Dydimium (sp?) metal alloy that becomes electrically charged when certain frequencies of light hit it.

The effect is to heighten and increase the saturation of red/orange/brown colors. This filter is very useful in making fall foliage look rich.

Mitch Gross
NYC DP



I shot some stuff w/ 35mm intermediate and print films.

I "cooked" my actor w/ only an open face Mole, (very close)and got exposure-and it's around ASA 6-but the air conditioning was on, and the actor wasn't standing next to the light until rolling. And out in the sun, it wasn't a problem.

I can send a digital still if someone wants one.

John Babl
Miami



John Babl Wrote :

> I can send a digital still if someone wants one.

I would love to see that.

Nathan Milford
Gaffer
NY



One can light by eye at this speed, if aided by the correct contrast filter (gaffers glass).

I use my glass to look at the sun/clouds, but at ASA/EI 12. It would come in mighty (no pun intended) handy to judge light levels.

Josh - (fat stop at any cost) - Spring



Shot a film around 1993 with Plus-X 7231 (64 iso tungsten). And yes they were relatively large night exteriors. Sure makes one appreciate why hard lighting was more popular in the old days when stocks were even slower than 64. Not so much an lighting choice perhaps as a practical requirement i.e.: get the foot-candles level needed to expose the film.

It does require a lot more meter faith and figuring out things than when shooting with high speed but it's been done, and very well, a lot of times before us.

My two and a half cents

Daniel Villeneuve, c.s.c.
Directeur-Photo/Director of Photography
Montréal, Canada



>Tell you one thing--when you wan those shadows to drop off to black, >they damn well drop off to black!

Wait, that's usually my argument...

Sam Wells



DV-Shot a film around 1993 with Plus-X 7231 (64 iso tungsten). And yes they were relatively large night exteriors. Sure makes one appreciate why hard lighting was more popular in the old days when stocks were even slower than 64.

First feature I ever shot was all 7231. Super speeds more or less wide open...all small hard sources, with cookies and Venetians , but you know, in the end, our nights looked like nights, days looked like days, and it was cool to throw hard light at the actors, or behind them at the sets, as long as it wasn't dead in the face it looked pretty good. 64 ASA small tungsten PKG. Film went to San Sebastian festival got bought, blown up, and released...no reason to be afraid of slow stocks.

Nick Hoffman NYC



Art Adams writes :

>So how do you light at EI 12?

Well, first you put five stops of ND on the viewfinder....

>I can't imagine what it must have been like lighting Gone With the Wind. >How did they do such nice work without being able to see anything of >what they were doing?

In the bad old days we didn't think twice about shooting Kodachrome 25. Gave us a nice, bright finder image, it did. Outdoors we used a lot of reflectors. Indoors, we...uh...well, actually we shot mainly outdoors.

Dan "and that's why movie stars wear dark glasses." Drasin
Producer/DP
Marin County, CA



John,

I have just read Your comment in the cml-list about "cooking" the talent w/ an open faced mole and Your offer to send a digi-still. I am very curious about the looks of it and would really appreciate it, if You could send me the pic. Thank You very much in advance.

With best regards and a quick hello from Germany

Daniel Schellhase
Best Boy, CLT;
Berlin, Germany



Art Adams, DP asked :

>So how do you light at EI 12? I imagine your eyes aren't going to have >any idea what the film is seeing...

No, you relied on two things : Your knowledge of the film's range and the use of a contrast viewing filter. You knew that beyond a 4:1 lighting ratio you would get precious little shadow detail so you metered carefully. Then the color contrast viewing filter helped you determine what shadow detail you would actually get.

Of course, it had to be used correctly : Your eyes have to be accommodated to the set's light level, then you look at the shadows through it just briefly, not giving your eye the time to adjust to its density. On low key scenes where it would be the most benefit it didn't work as well because your eyes never really fully accommodated to the key level--you were looking mostly at shadows. So sometimes I would roll in a tener and blast the set with front light up to key and stare at it to adjust my eyes, then switch it off and check the shadows with the viewing filter. But we automatically knew to under light anything near white by one stop and over light anything dark (wood panelling, dark drapes) by one stop.

You avoided white like the plague. White linens, shirts, dresses were toned down by dyeing them in strong tea. Even then you'd scrim or under light them.

And, of course, since such high light levels were needed, you didn't do much subtle lighting, using ambient sources and soft reflections. Everything had to be blasted.

>...I can't imagine what it must have been like lighting Gone With the >Wind. How did they do such nice work without being able to see >anything of what they were doing?

Sounds like what we hear from video - only people today when they are faced with a film camera and no video assist.

Wade K. Ramsey, DP
Dept. of Cinema & Video Production
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC 29614


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