Lighting a Daytime Scene


HDDSLR Filmmaking


Lesson Info

Lighting a Daytime Scene

You know, lighting is all about what kind of film you're making we're going to do some very relatively simple demonstrations today I mean obviously always look for motivation in lighting windows obviously are a natural source for lighting, you know, so you bring light into windows or if the windows in shot you can't get you simulated by coming over the top of the set or and if you're working on a real interior, this is obviously a constructed set behind me, you know, use whatever motivation is in the scene tio create the lighting I mean we'd take a set like this which is basically just in two wars at against a solid solid war now would have loved to do is can we now save the age of eyes over here? Could we save those those lives? Is that possible and let's let's far up the redhead over here basically just out of interest to all of us here the lights that were on and we can also save me the edge the lights that were on on age of mine daylight balance lights which require a balanced on t...

he lights that I used most north shootings that I know off our tongues timbaland switches thirty two thirty, two hundred degrees kelvin as we were talking yesterday about the kelvin scale such two hundred for tungsten studio lighting and the new studio film is balance to that callie kelvin you can obviously get daylight balance film, which would work much better with the agent mayes and those of daylight balance to fifty, six hundred k actually, so that's, the big difference between the two different forms of lighting in studios and tongues and lighting is used much more than a gym ized you well, firstly tradition, because agent mayes have bean around for an awfully long time on dh. Also, you khun do things on tungsten lighting that you can't do so easy on h m eyes such as dim them much more easily getting a lot of them. The bulbs and the heads are much cheaper, more economic. I mean, on a a set like has free sample, we have three off three, actually four stages of fox studios and almost every single lamb. I mean, it must be about one hundred thousand lamps and all the entire sets all go back to a dim aboard and a dim aboard operator who has control over almost every single and been the entire set. So, you know, if we want tio, you know, to maybe hospitals use a lot of fluorescent lighting, and in house we simulate parecen knighting by putting diffusion paper over fluorescent grids and using what we called our revels. What that gives us it gives us a lot more control we can put filters in there we can change the color we condemn them down and make them war than obviously dimming a tungsten light or a studio light makes the filament get more warmer redder, less less fall tinge less white heat degrees kelvin go down the more you crank it up degrees kelvin go up just like you know we were talking about yesterday, so we tend to work with tongues to nineteen muchmore it's in general a lot cheaper than h of my lighting way tend to use a gym my lighting a lot more when we go outside for night exteriors because it's several advantages of a gym I've alas, is that it gives you an awful lot of power for the for the amount of amps that it uses. So is more efficient in terms of light output and conventional tungsten lighting and also it's become a kind of film traditional film convention to kind of have a lot of night lighting be quite cool or cold so called I mean dps have different ways of saying it, but I mean, you know, how do you like to big night taste area? We all tend to kind of say, well, mitt moonlight or it could be a street light, but it's something and you know, because until the advent of the hd dslr cameras, I mean almost everything and especially before the advent of fast film stocks, almost everything had to be lit. I mean, with fast film stocks, you could get away with that, um, lighting but then you're stuck with city lighting, which is not particularly attractive generally it's either mercury vapor or sodium vapor that got no lighting, which is either incredibly orange or blue green and not really nice for people's complexions. And you know that you have are the sources that you can use for nine text areas such as light coming from store windows, car headlights on anything and everything that you could use to can it create an effect mean light coming from a doorway, but very often it is pretty common to use large sources at a distance to do general lighting in streets, and we tend to put things like on one of our responses. Actually, cindy mills and a wonderful gentleman call might washy supplies is without lighting in our studio and they make probably the most commonly used eighteen killer what h of my lighting source called the silver bullet and they used extensively all over the world. You often put them up on a condor to get them up to eighty or ninety feet or sixty feet and shoot them down the street to light an entire street with one lamp just to give you a background to a scene and they are daylight balanced moore has fifty, six hundred k way often warm them up in tiny bit with a quarter at least I do I mean it's the dps preference so you have that scenario but anyway back to what we're doing in here which is basically, you know, a simulated day interior basically at the moment with them I just got two lights going on here we've got a light coming in through the window of a simulate daylight coming in on dh that's coming through unopened filter just to take the to take the edge off it when I say take the edge off it just to soften it out a little bit you know? So we just could somebody just do me a favor and go to the go to the the filled to their in just wing that often on and show the difference in hardness that we will see in this set that happens yes. And now, just by using a middle of diffusion you can see very clearly sort of opel is one of the finer diffusion just wing it back on again and you see how much the that like just softens out in a rather sort of gentle kind of way um you see now to my mind let's can we put in double in that lamp because the ratio between the key light I mean if you want to call this a soft diffuse sunlight coming in through the window the ratio between that and this is a little bit too extreme so if we could put in double in the two k here that would be a wonderful thing and double to scream knock it down to stop or put in double night in front of it just take a minute or two yeah, that would be great wave a question in the audience right here. Okay, gail uh does hollywood ever used any of that led lights? I'm coming with you jumping the gun a way we have a lot to tell you about her many delighting because our actual sponsorship company city mills there doing a massive amount of research and led lighting a moment and it's going to be it's going to be making a huge impact on on the film industry in the next few years because first of all it's incredibly light efficient but also it cz very green and the longevity off the actual light emitting diodes. Um um um I mean, what, steve, what did they say? Sixty thousand hours or something? I mean the life I mean, should they last a thousand times longer than regular light bulbs showed with thirty years? Yeah, I was using him eight hours a day I mean, the brightness need compared to the big hands they're still working on that, but they they still don't have lights, any disease that are as powerful as tungsten and h of my lights but him it's all coming in to work in process and you know there's been a lot of difficulty kind of creating a perfect spectrum because you know, as you as you probably know there continuous spectrums and lighting with all tungsten lighting it's a continuous spectrum with age in my lighting, I think I'm sure somebody's going to correctly I think it's it's rather like fluorescents and with president knighting instead of having and continuous light spectrum what it is is spike sitting three primary colors that combined together to give the illusion off white lives, but in fact it's just three kind of spikes in red, green and blue but it's not actually getting tenuous spectrum. Andi andi, I you know, I actually do a lot of people use kino flows I'm not a great fan of king of lows, but a lot of people use them a lot, but at least they're balance properly for the right color their balance to fifty, six hundred or thirty, two hundred for senior use did he manage to get the double in their girl? Okay, so that that's a slightly better kind of balance what I'd also like to do is do commit it may be a one k and just projected onto the ceiling so if we watching this this is obviously a work in progress I'm trying to create a kind of more or less a kind of unbelievable looking daylight interior with just a few little lights and them so if we got something like a warning cave that jobs weaken bounds into the ceiling just directly above here that would be wonderful meantime do we have any questions from the audience? Way sure dio I mean sorry from from our chat room we dio philip had a question do you correct the white and leave warming and cooling to post or do set the warm and cool directing camera very good question and it's very unusual that every single lines in the scene is exactly the same color so often I've correct in cameron for example you know I think it's really nice when this isthe like variation off color that happens within a scene for example the light that might be doing most of the key lighting on an actor's face is often neutral or it could be a tiny bit on the warm side if you're in late afternoon for example. But you know I always think of daylight is being of two components on the sunlight and then there's also skylight and skylight can be anything you want it to be it can be imaged cloudy sky like like you see three hundred sixty four and a half days a year in seattle then it's really quite sort of cool ish if it's like in l a where you hardly ever see a cloud it is very cold because it is a pow sky so you know, if you sort of put a tiny bit of warmth into what you're trying to create is a sunlight key then it's very logical to have quite a cunning cold feeling coming from the other side or from above which would simulate the light coming from a completely cloudless blue sky you know, so very often there's things you have to do in camera because you can't just hit certain areas with certain colors without a massive amount of work just imposed so I would say that basically you have to do a lot of working camera and then you know, I mean in post you can obviously overall shifter seem slightly one way or the other but you can't shift the components within the scene so thank you get is that whenever we're ready let's find this guy up okay, I'm just put a bit of spot it into it yeah ok, so just tip it just like me that way yeah, yeah, there we go and just just flash that I just flashed that, you know, now we can see that we're sort of building up a little bit of ambient light to my mind I mean this is a obviously a fairly crude demonstration of just basically a three light situation where you basically create a scene there's a simulated sunlight or you know, sort of slightly defuse some night coming in through the window we're assuming that there's another window of here this gives us a bit of phil could somebody when somebody just mind switching that light often on you see this is you know, normal look it's sort of way way to contrast is so just switch that on and off a few more times it feels way too dramatic for a days inn to my mind but it depends what it is maybe sometimes this is much more interesting I mean uh you know, it's creating its own shadow over here let's just put the focus back now and this is more dramatic so maybe in a more dramatic scene this is what you want but these are the components that you can play with if I was at my home based on house I would be using a much larger source here because I don't like seeing shadows from phil like very much it's nicer to have a much bigger, more subtle right? Absolutely yeah, so I would tend to use a twelve by twelve here and make the shadows much softer and probably slow it down let's just if we can do we have the wherewithal tio just take the double back out of that kagan this's meet watch how it works this's me watching how your works well it shouldn't be together the lighting you know it's um it's a little bit difficult when you're not you know you obviously develop a relationship with your own guys and you know you have your own specific lights and they you know where they are and so it's a little bit never got here but I'm doing the best they can so I think that's what makes great riches yeah chris what you have show up get out absolutely I mean you know for example I one of my best hates his white war was like this wall over there because it to me it takes too much attention and let some say we didn't bring a little flying in on this side and just start to cut the light on that wall it will become a much more interesting kind of image if we come in oh yeah that would be great yeah that's um thank you so much yeah, we just bring it up a flag on the top them just just again of them he's eased the light off this section of the wall here because it's all to do is I was saying before it's all to do with directing the id where you want the audience to look and uh just do that when she'll take it minute so kale yes good question from from the chat room from trevor corbin who has the main influence in deciding the light set up? Is that the director? Is that you? It's that's a good question it some directors have an awful lot of input on the way they want to see him to look on dh so I think it's the dps job to service the director because I think if you give a director that tours they need to to create their vision that's when films really start to, um I kind of believe and films being made by community sometimes directors will choose a particular dp because they know that well either they worked with him before and they know that he could give them a san look. I mean, there is some wonderful dps in the world that do very unique things guys like robert richardson and things so that you know, so directors might go to him for a specific look or a specific effect or something you know, sort of more unusual unless mundane, but it really you know, but sometimes directors if they think you've got it, they leave it very much to you. There are some directors that are much more performance driven and like to work with the actors much more closely and not worry about on dh the way it's the lighting is being done technically, they might say like seem to be kind of quite dark and moody or I might like this seem to be kind of feeling sort of quite up end up lifting and so it is over I said that I'll give you that kind of guidance, but it just depends totally on the director, but in the end, you know the director should be the person that makes the choice is to have the lighting looks in my book because you should be I'm serving the captain basically is mine my personal opinion but not not that you don't come to me you can make suggestions, says tohave things khun b but in your mind improved or changed or made to be more interesting you can ask another question you show tt would like to know is working with a key gaffer as important to you as it as a director working with dp of his choice is her choice. It is I mean, I I am I've been working now with the gaffer on on house for about two years on dh you know you end up, you end up sort of working together as a team and not an awful lot needs to be said and it's always difficult because you know no matter how good a gaffer is or no matter how good a deep ears when you get to know somebody style or the way in which they like to work in the kind of instruments they they like working with it makes it much easier for both sides of that equation too you know collaborate and save time and so on and so forth I mean them you know I use lights that other dps don't use and you know, andi I'm not saying they're any better than just personal taste I mean there's lots of great means he's around that you know, love kino flows and I dont nineteen of lows and they do beautiful working you know, it's all personal taste in preference you know, maybe I haven't learned how to use kin and flows properly you know, um you know it's uh you know, but personal relationships it's like him the relationship you have with your camera operator on a on a film it's so important that you you know, you develop a camaraderie half the things that you know need to be done I don't even need to be talked about because you know you've done them said many time has been for all you know you know, that kind of thing working with your team is is great and then having your own team what were we doing? Oh that's right? Yeah, yeah let's just bring that down a little bit and just take the lights off the move case if we can maybe just yeah, there we go I mean, just in that simple little thing you know what might be nice? It is to kind of maybe angle it over forty five degrees so that it's not just a yeah thank you just put a bit more angle on it and then that's it then just just take it off the wall a bit more if you can s o for anybody watching these are all the sort of very common implements we use every day in our we use flags we use if fusion way use singles and doubles in the lambert said it designed to and reduce the amount of light coming out of the light they tend to be delineated by red if they take a full stop delineated by green if they take a forced open often they might even be half singles or doubles so that for example oh yeah right that's fantastic that that for example is this you know, this is a two k double on by they have special holders in the lights that um except these that you can just literally and very accurately and very quickly just take a a store powers of the intensity of the light on and this is red so that means to stop the ones that have green take half a stop so and they also make half singles and doubles which just the same but they're just half and that would that would enable you to just cut the bottom or the top of the light and you know I also know that we go right thank you so much so these air this for example is it's probably a double the colors yes it's yes it's red so that's you know you put that in the top of them and it would just take a star passively the top part off the light has opposed the bottom patton people use thes to a certain extent if some if attacked is walking towards a hi isha light that might be a position where he becomes very bright but you could set this in such a way that he walks into the section of the light that's covered by the the double so he doesn't grow in intensity as he walks towards the light on them but that's all the numbers swim separate screams on ceased ends as well and there we go away lighting control devices filter holders the colors on a lot of colors and just attached tio lamps by the simple use of what we call see forty seven's which basically clothes pegs him nobody's ever explained to me where they call c forty's heavens yeah absolutely that we don't um so there you go let's take a few more questions while we before we move on to our next little new york would be a great thing to do at this point no just check my notes a question from a viewfinder visuals is it's nice to see gail lighting by and I, um, question is, do you use a light meter and does you do you use reflective or incident readings? I am I'm a great with depend festival. It depends whether we're shooting on film or not when I shoot on the five d and I tend to use the martial monitor false keller aspect of that monitor, which we will be demonstrating later. So stay tuned and, um, but for film, I always use a meter, but I use that I've always used to spot meter because I always found it very, very funny to see people use an incident from put the hand above it, and I know they put their hand above it to stop being to influence by skylight top line, but to me that's essentially inaccurate, bizarre way of taking a light reading because that's, if you say you're african american and you have an enormous hands, that means you're going to be two stops over exposed. If you have a tiny little white hand, it means that you know, you're obviously going to get more light from the top, but I find that a very inaccurate form of expose your reading and I use this bark meter and it means that I don't have to get into the actor's face and I can you know, be it just five feet away instead of getting right into an actor's face with it like me too, which I think is sometimes or other route of dp is to do that just sort of, you know, stick something right into an actor's face without asking and you know, so it's much more discreet to use a spot major much more accurate, I think because you khun measure lots of different areas on, uh, you know, on a in a sad and no what your total ranges and it's got, like, I use a pentax bump me too, which has a little scale on top, and I find that scale very useful because it almost works like his own system. It's very conservative. Uh, so it'll tell you, where you going to effectively go off into black and where you gonna go off into white or the digital equivalent to where you're going to start clipping or where you going to just have no detail where you're below zero I, ari, um you know, but, um, again, the marshal, false color or I mean, several devices have fallen, skele rages like the marshall one particularly, and, um so intended to use that, uh, vigil well especially on the five it's very easy to plug it in and just have a look straightaway where where everything falls on the I r e scale and that we will demonstrate they jump go take another question okay? Ken brexit asked um or it said I've heard of several dps filling from the same side as the key I would think that produces too much contrast but maybe you could explain how this works I'm sorry say that again it was just looking at my notes no problem paying attention ken brooks said I've heard of several dps filling from the same side as the key I would think that produces too much contrast but maybe you could explain how that works it's interesting I mean I suppose it depends on the look you're going for I am I've tried to get my I liked him from the same side as the key so it doesn't fill in too much but it all depends the project you're working on if you know the thing is though that if you if if the feel is doing the same is the key, I'm not sure why would be on the same side if it's lighting from the same angle unless there's a slight variance of angle I mean you could be using your filled to be on the same side but just slight people round towards the camera so that you're just what we go wrapping the light a little bit more you know, because any three dimensional object you know, if it was just like from the side like a human face it will just be very dark on one side and let on the other so the mohr ground towards the ends you come with the light source the mohr of a rap they call that wrapping when the light wraps around to the other side of the face so you know, I would imagine that's what he means and I suppose it depends what kind of project it is. I mean, there are no real rules it's just what you like asian personal style I mean, you know, you you take him uh I'm film wow. You know, in the fifties, I mean, there was some dp is that we're so incredibly brave they almost never used to put light on actorsfaces or you'd see would be a bit of light on the edge of that hat all the backside of someone's cheat litton a glint off the side of the gun and you know, stuff like that it's him very, very brave lighting in lied and said all depends what kind of style you're going for and again or so the cameras or of film you'll lighting forum you know, as we talked about yesterday, things like sitcoms tend to me much more lit conventional films and or conventional tv and music videos there are no rules as far as I can see and, you know, that's, um, that's, kind of where we are cool. You should just take one more question. A question from a question from the chat room is how does he keep the visual continuity of lighting set up if the scene is not completed and needs to be picked up the next day, where involves both studio and daylight? It's sze, tough stuff. It's um, you know, one of the worst things that can happen at every time I read a scene in a script that is, um, you know, a scene that goes for more than a few pages of its a ten page scene, and it happens in daylight. There's no way that you'll be able to match the light perfectly for the entire scene, because what will happen during the day is that the sun will, if you, you know, happened to be in seattle. You're lucky because you've got lovely soft lights a lot of the time, but in l a, for example, when most days are completely clear, blue there's some will do that during the course of the days of keeping the continuity of light direction. The same is very difficult, and it takes an understanding director and a good collaboration between the director of the d b to kind of work out how you can pull this off and make it feel like they're seen the perhaps took you even two days to shoot actually happened in five minutes in the actual context of the movie and it's really difficult? What I think a lot of people tend to do is to try and shoot the wider shots kind of you know when the lights more interesting either early or late on, then shoot the closer shots or the meat of the scene by changing like how when the lights really nasty by putting up steelworks and creating a creating a new sun effectively through rags taking out the rial son which is probably overhead. And I just know it's completely different from when you started your day when the light was probably quite cause matching king quite nice and created shape and things like that in the middle of the day it's straight up there and you have a new shadow running right down to the ground. It looks disgusting in black guy's whole kits and you know I mean that's the thing about it was a terrible shock for me as a british person to come to the states when I first came here to see how how bad then the light actually was in the film capital of the world, los angeles and I thought one and then I sent me realize well, you know it's actually when you think about it the reason that came about was because in the days off chaplin and keystone cops and things like that film stock was so slow and so insensitive that they needed a massive amount of light they tended to to shoot their interiors by just basically building a box like this and putting a silk over the top of it. And so a soon as the sun got up high enough to hit the silk illuminate the set they start shooting and a soon is it it went down to the point where it didn't hit the silk anymore they went home on dh then some idiot decided to put roofs on studios on ben on dh they were very, very good at it they tended to build quite high sets and they used to have scenic painters that would paint the sets on graduate them towards the top so that they would get a little bit dark and towards the top because it's an interesting thing to know that light comes when you use diffusion in in between the light source and something you're photographing the light source is no longer the actual light it's the actual diffusion so for example over here the light is actually no longer the lies anymore the light is actually the paper that's illuminated and so the same applies with if you put a silk over the top of a set that actually becomes the line it's the sunlight it's got nothing to do with it anymore because that's the actual source of illumination so therefore based on what we're all talking about before where the inverse square door how light is it falls off very fast, you know, double the distance in the light and you quarter that the amount of light and so you could imagine if you have a silk on top of this set how bright it is where it touches this at relative to the ground it falls off enormously so that's why they would tend to build the sets quite tall and that's also why they would tend to graduate the painting and they were very skilled at it so that it looked sort of relatively normal on dh that's the reason that hollywood became hollywood and it's the reason we're stuck with this absolutely horrible light from most of the summer that is great gail that not many people knew that that's amazing thank you cool get what's next on our little plotting revenge here so we've talked about the five d wide so incredibly cinematic it's wine I love it over every other hd dslr camera what's him be people often ask me why you know what what would you what do you do differently for the lighting for the age dds alarm cameras and actually not very much there anything that I tend to do is to try and achieve a tiny bit more shape in the shots in terms of lighting angle is just by cheating a little bit more because I think because of the compression and things should have flatly lit flat faces and these look sort of fairly boring when they're short on five days a little bit more boring than they are on film because it's more compressed and so there's less texture to see and so flatter images look boring, but s so I think it's important to kind of keep an eye on text you're in shape on dh, you know again on the five d, for example, I tend to want to get in a little bit closer because once you, when she get into kind of a head to waist shot on an hd dslr camera, you you really don't notice that there's a great deal of lack of definition because you're the human and the human eye very rarely kind of examines a human face kind of microscopically you tend to see somebody is an impression of memories or you tend not to stare it intended it to revisit that everybody's got things like that which cameras do just because that's what they do where is this is again is the human brain can be getting him between actual human eyesight and our interpretation of it. You tend to soften everything out in your head and not see all the imperfections in some of these face and s so that's. A very important thing, too. Remember when lighting for cameras, you know, try and create a little bit more texture and you know I can not to use diffusion on hd dslr is just purely because the image when it's compressed it's, fairly fragile. If I need a little bit of diffusion all, advance in post on by certainly wouldn't put it on camera. The same reason that I'm when it is to shoot sixteen millimeters rain very rarely used effusion, because it's, very quick. When you start out in filters to see that the image falls apart very fast.

Class Description

For the first time in history, a camera that costs roughly $2,500 can shoot material good enough to hold its own weight on the highest professional levels. 

Gale Tattersall, renowned Director of Photography, has been at the forefront of pushing HDDSLR's in Hollywood. He shot the season finale of House entirely on a Canon 5DMII last year. In this HDDLSR filmmaking workshop, he teaches the ins and outs of making great films with HDDLSR cameras. 

Note: Neither NBC Universal, Fox Television or any other entity involved in the production of the House M.D. program endorses or is in any way responsible for the content and production of this workshop program.


a Creativelive Student

It is a very good class, with a lot of information and exercises. It´s better to watch more than a couple of times.