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How do you know when to use natural light outside and when not to?

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    How do you know when to use natural light outside and when not to?

    When you have exterior scene during the daytime, how would I know when to use the sunlight
    as my key light and when to use my own lights to light the subject?

    #2
    There's really not a simple cut and dry answer to your question. There's many varaibles to consider. Time of day is huge. Location, scene, what your shooting, how reflective are your surroundings. I wouldn't even try to use synthetic light outdoors in the day time unless your using HMI's. Their great for filling in shadows and creating depth, they can even out the hard sunlight. The only problem is their expensive to buy, so your better off renting.

    On a low budget, you can go to home depot and buy an 8ftx4ft foamcore board with a reflective surface on one side, then get a quart of semigloss white paint, and paint the other side. Now you have two options for bounce, and you have only spent twenty bucks. Use that to bounce the existing light. it will match the kelvin because it's the same light, just being bounced. You can even try some goldleaf paint instead of white. These different colored bounce boards will help for the different times of day. Or just a creative preference. Thats one way you can go.

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      #3
      Originally posted by DDirector View Post
      When you have exterior scene during the daytime, how would I know when to use the sunlight
      as my key light and when to use my own lights to light the subject?
      The 'problem' with using sun light, is unless you have big lights, there's no way for the no-low budget filmmaker to not use sunlight and further the filmmaker can't directly mitigate contrast with artifical lights for fill.

      The things you can do are:

      Location selection to use the natural situation to give a pleasing look.
      Time of Day
      Screen the talent
      Bounce light from the sun into shadows on the talent.

      For interiors where there's a light coming from a window, things are a little better, because one can mask off the window with neutral density gels, and then use artificial light to fill. Color balance as required... Light from windows does follow the inverse square law, so further into the room there will be more of a need for artifical fill.

      Outdoors probably around sunset/sunrise, before and after, is when you could use 'affordable' low power lights to fill.

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