Hi Everyone at dvxuser.com . I'm very happy that I've found this site. I have a project I have in mind that i want to do hence the title "music videos w/ low light". I want to make a music video with myself and my girlfriend, over a love song.. (this is just a for fun project) but I'm also going to use this to improve my videography skills.
Now since I'm doing most of the shooting and also being in it, I'd like to know how low the lighting should be while filming and what filters to use when editing to give it that "darkened look", its kinda hard to explain in using all the technical terms but I've attached some random photos so you kinda get the idea of how i want to shoot some scenes. I have Two Sony Handycams HDR-CX550V and a pair of lumahawk LED lights. with variable brightness dials. The Softwares I'll being using is Final Cut Pro X and IMovie '11 and probably Adobe Premiere CS5..
Repies and advice will be greatly appreciated and I will give credit to those who gave me advice one the production is completed Thank you so much in advanced!
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06-30-2012 10:44 PM
- Join Date
- Jun 2012
Last edited by Ken Salmon; 06-30-2012 at 10:52 PM.
07-03-2012 06:04 PM
Looking at your pictures I would not say you are looking for "low light" tips. Low light would mean you are going to shoot with a candle or two. Or maybe indoors using light that is only coming in through the windows. I think what you're after is getting a low-key lighting look (like old X-files episodes it reminds me of) or call it a high-contrast look where you have well lit subject(s) but dark backgrounds or vice versa.
First thing about getting a high contrast look is to figure out how you will light only your subject without lighting up the whole room or area you're working on. There are many ways to do this and by combining one or more, or ALL of these techniques you can easily achieve the look you want:
This is an area of lighting where most people make their first mistake. They use space to shoot their scene that is far too small that will not allow any control of lighting. Find a large area that is dark. Like BLACK dark! Turn the lights off, make sure there are no windows or cover them up with black cloth or plastic garbage bags if you have to. High ceilings are preferred as well as a long room of at least 20 feet or more.
What? A large, tall, long and dark room? Think about it logically: when you see a dark or black background in a scene it wasn't just because the wall was painted black and only 2 feet behind the subjects. Using distance between your subject and background you can easily make a "white" colored wall appear white, black or grey on-camera just based on how much light is hitting it. But to get your subjects in frame you too may need to be at a good distance bewteen you and your subjects and hence the need for a room 20 feet long. A low ceiling will also work against you because chances are it's WHITE. That will take your main light source and scatter it even more creating "fill" in your scene so avoid low ceilings if possible. If the ceiling is an off-white color remember that color will end up reflecting onto your subject(s) and/or scene. Avoid a low ceiling all together and if you CAN'T then you will need to cover it with black cloth near where your subjects are standing. (Covering walls and ceilngs and floors is not abnormal in order to really control your light!)
All light wants to do is go everywhere any which way it can. To get a high-contrast look you need to control light so it only hits one specific area of your scene. Therefore the type of light you chose to use is also important. Think about how hard it is to control the spill on an open face 500W construction light. It would be tough to create any of the looks in the photos you provided using a construction light so you need the right type of light and possibly light modifier. Stick with a fresnel light or softbox with grid or louvers to aim your light onto a specific area of your scene only. Keep your light off the walls, floors and ceiling.
HARD VS. SOFT:
It's up to you if you want to use a direct fresnel light that is inherently free of spill light to light your subject but with a hard light source like a fresnel you will get very harsh hard-edged shadows which is not wrong but lends itself to a particular look. Hard lights don't often have a lot of spill so are "easy" for creating high-contrast looking images but if you don't like the hardness then you will need a softer light. You can throw your hard-light or open face light into a softbox (so cheap these days) but your softbox will try and spill everywhere so you will need a grid or louvers outside of it to keep the soft light aimed at your subject. Dimmable flourecent lights are also a good choice but they too will need a grid to keep the light directional.
Here's a shot I did using two hard light sources with grids 45 degrees behind on both sides of the subject. The white background was too close and therefore ended up slightly illuminated from the "spill" light in the scene. Had the background been 15 feet back it would have appeared BLACK in the same shot and you wouldn't have really known or noticed the actual distance would you have? The front of the subject is slightly lit from a piece of white foam core board used to bounce the rear light source back onto the front of him.
Think all this is WAY TOO MUCH WORK? It certainly is, but the end result are images that will leave people guessing how it was done, or at least why it looks so "photographic" or "cinematic".
Lighting is everything.
Last edited by starcentral; 07-03-2012 at 06:25 PM.
07-03-2012 09:26 PM
- Join Date
- Jun 2012
Thank you starcentral, I've disclosed the full details with her and she backed out... so till futher notice. This project is on the back burner. Thanks again for all your info quick question the lights that I have are the lumahawk lights and there is not way to "control" the direction of the light.. so is there another method I could use just using software? by the way the scenes that I was going to shoot were going to by in a hotel room..
p.s I forgot to mention before that for some parts I was going to use candles..