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Lighting a room warm without destroying skintones

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    Lighting a room warm without destroying skintones

    I've been doing several tests recently trying to light a white walled room so that it had a warm feeling to it. Ideally I would paint the walls the walls tan or something warm to get this effect, but that isn't an option so I'm trying to do everything with light and gels.

    I've been experimenting with a various strengths of CTO gels on china lanterns placed behind actors to light the walls and using a CTB Fresnel on the actors face keep decent skin tones (white balanced the camera to the CTB Fresnel). So far I haven't found any combination that looked natural to me, it always looks lit.

    The walls always just look straight out orange to me instead of warm. Reducing the CTO gel then makes the change to subtle that it looks like I just forgot to white balance the camera correctly.

    I'm getting closer to shooting and I'm running out of ideas. I don't have the greatest variety of gels, however if anyone knows of any that might work better than CTO I'd appreciate any tips.

    Thanks.
    I invented the "remove echo" audio filter. And only people that boom their actors closely get to use it.

    Alex Donkle - Sound Designer -

    #2
    China lanterns give off very diffused light and if anywhere close to the actors they will also act as fill. Also if you're using standard light bulbs they are rated usually less than 3200 degrees Kelvin, so will appear warmer.

    If its a night scene maybe include a practical lamp in the shot close to the wall to excuse the warmth and direction of the light. Then light the space where your actors move with what you balanced your camera to get proper skin tones. It all depends where they are and what light would naturally be falling onto them and the space around.

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      #3
      Bastard amber is a nice warming gel that can avoid that "forgot to white balance the camera" feel.

      If you experiment with non-white cards, you might find you can get a good color from white balancing from various shades of pastel blue/purple/cyan.
      Cinematographer | Director of Photography |FB | Twitter | LinkedIn
      Milwaukee Camera, Lighting & Grip Rental | Alexa Mini LF | FS7 | About me

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        #4
        Maybe try some break-ups too so your walls dont look so lit.
        Hunter Hampton
        hunterismyfriend.com
        vimeo.com/hunter

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          #5
          Originally posted by ProfessorU View Post
          Bastard amber is a nice warming gel that can avoid that "forgot to white balance the camera" feel.

          If you experiment with non-white cards, you might find you can get a good color from white balancing from various shades of pastel blue/purple/cyan.
          Thanks, do you know what company's version of bastard amber you prefer? (I ask as one of the first things that came up when I Googled this was how that specific color varied from company to company)
          I invented the "remove echo" audio filter. And only people that boom their actors closely get to use it.

          Alex Donkle - Sound Designer -

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            #6
            I've never picked a favorite. They're all pretty close. Lee makes the darkest I know of, Rosco the lightest. Apollo's is called Fatherless Amber, and it's in the middle. I've only used Lee and Apollo, I think.
            Cinematographer | Director of Photography |FB | Twitter | LinkedIn
            Milwaukee Camera, Lighting & Grip Rental | Alexa Mini LF | FS7 | About me

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