View Full Version : Natural Lighting - Day

07-06-2004, 10:10 AM
Simple enough a question as this is, how would one accurately go about lighting as close to NATURAL lighting as would be possible? The Director/Producer have both stated that we're going for as "natural a look as is possible for the day scenes." To achieve this, I will require the assistance of your gracious expertise. Thanks!

07-06-2004, 10:34 AM
Natural lighting means a single main source of light (assuming daytime). If you have multiple shadows or too much bounce from below it will look unnatural.

Try to place lights close to where they duplicate the real light source. (i.e. don't have a strong light from the side in a room if there's only a bulb on the ceiling) You don't have to be a slave to pure matching as long as it looks convincing.

07-06-2004, 10:39 AM
"NATURAL lighting"... By this do you mean indicated light sources?

07-06-2004, 01:05 PM
By speaking of "NATURAL lighting," I mean to express the gallant wish of mine to be capable of portraying a convincing daytime indoor and outdoor look.

Both the Director and Producer have stresses their extreme will for the majority of the lighting, in scenes as such, to be viewed using in a realistic, natural technique/look.

07-06-2004, 02:25 PM
Give me an example of the scene you plan or post a storyboard image.

07-06-2004, 07:24 PM
To be as natural as you can, visit your location, put a stand-in in place at the correct time and see how the light is. See it it's got a backlight, if it's contrasty or if the key is really smooth. Then you turn the camera. See the diference? that's your job now, to get the same look you studied within the latitude of the camera. Basically, in a daylight, you'll have to add fill to the light coming from the window, to the point everything will look natural. It will look a little boring for most cinematographers (they tend to be a little "flashy", and appealing to big cranes and reflectors... ;D)... If you want to expand on the idea, get some practicals on the frame and spice things up. It also may be worth to invest in a few backlights if they can be clearly justified. Don't overdoo it.

07-06-2004, 10:21 PM
For Outdoor: I would use a photo disk and place it above the talent reflecting down onto the fill side. I would use a polarizer filter.

For Indoor: Light the indicated light sources like a lamp or a window like they should in real life and depending on the time of day Gel your outdoor lamps to daylight balance (ctb). If you go in for close ups try and stage or cheat your actor so that they look good if not adjust your lights accordingly but be careful if your lighting doesn’t match right your viewers will notice, and when I mean "match" i mean light and dark... not where the light hits the face, that is a lot less notice able to viewers, but I notice it all the time in big features. Use a light meter to make sure your key, fill and backlights stay the same. I would slap on a Black pro mist filter (1/4).

07-06-2004, 10:47 PM
Here it is plain and simple: Use "motivated" lighting. That means, make sure that your lights are set up to imitate the lights that would normally be lighting the interior. For instance, you can seal off a window and put a softbox in it's place, so the light on the subject appears to be coming from the window. If your subject is near a lamp, put a 250 or 500 watt bulb in the socket, so that it looks real, but provides you with enough light. You can also place a softbox on the other side of the lamp so that the light "appears" to be coming from the lamp. You can "cheat" the angle of the light to whatever is most flattering for your subject. The trick is to try and copy reality.

07-07-2004, 09:40 PM
do most of film productions place a bounce board or reflector curtains on set when out in bright daylight? but no additional light, right? unless...?

07-07-2004, 11:26 PM
I'm not sure that I understand the question, but yes you'd probably see some sort of reflector on most outdoor productions and many use daylight balanced lights for interviews and reports when the subject is going to be in a fixed position.

07-09-2004, 11:56 AM
Sometimes one of the easiest ways of discerning what someone wants is by asking them to clarify what exactly it is they DON'T want.

Often times, statements made adamantly yet vaguely like "natural a look as is possible for the day scenes" are the result of some looming fear in the producer’s or director's mind. Perhaps they've had a bad experience with daytime exteriors in the past, so you might want to ask them what they don't want to see.

Of course they might just be telling you to go for a ‘natural daytime look’ just because they want to feel like they're speaking your language and collaborating with you artistically. I’ve encountered people many times who give directions they don’t understand, simply for the sake of feeling like they’re in control.

07-09-2004, 05:16 PM
Many films use daylight balanced lights (HMI, mostly) on day exteriors. They can come in handy under a butterfly (A big difuser for the sun) and let you be in control for the whole day, instead of tracking and folowing the sun. Also, in cloudy days mirrors and reflectors won't give you much punch, although they still are very handy...