Using Practicals as source light (5 replies and 2 comments)
I was wondering is it possible to use practicals as the source and not blow them out? Can you please explain how is this scene from Mindhunter lit for the wide shot?(Frame-grab attached).
I am thinking the ceiling would have been replaced in post.
I am not sure why you think the ceiling would have been replaced in post. That seems like a simple use of practical sources with no addition.
Thank you for the reply Sir.
Since we are exposing for the face, the practicals are neither clipping nor flaring I thought ceiling was replaced in post.
Clipping means that something has overexposed to white with no detail — the center of some of those fluorescents might be clipped since they are pure white. That can happen on film too — if a car headlights sweep and flare the lens in a wide shot, do you expect to see the surface texture of the headlight or the glowing filament inside? Isn’t it more common to just see a white circle? You don’t always have to record detail in a pure white area in the frame, especially if it’s a small area of the frame.
Now in the case of “Mindhunter”, which is a David Fincher show, they might be rating the camera at a high ISO and getting more highlight detail and then doing some noise reduction for the shadows, or they might be using the HDRx function of their Red cameras. I don’t know. But most decent modern digital cinema cameras recording log or raw wouldn’t resort to visual effects just to shoot under fluorescent ceiling lights that were in the frame.
Depending on the camera move, there’s also nothing stopping you from using an ND grad filter to knock down a bright ceiling.
Thank you Sir for the explanation
Depending on your camera movement, you can also do a lower exposure pass for just the ceiling or anything that you want to bring down - splicing the two images together.
A good example is using a table lamp. Now with HDR one has to be more careful to how you expose your practicals. After many years of mistakes I've been trying to keep my practicals modestly low and when I have to use them to light a scene I choose the shade and shape very carefully.