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Yellow/Golden light - dimmed tungsten bounce vs gels (3 replies and 8 comments)

shyam
1 month ago
shyam 1 month ago

Dear Roger 

I understand that you often achieve the warm, yellow, golden soft light on faces (as per the attached example from Hail Caesar) by bouncing tungsten fresnels that are dimmed, off muslin (both bleached and unbleached).

Am I correct that in so doing, the light has a beautiful yellow/golden feel, rather than, say more orange if you used gels to warm up the light?

I would be very grateful if you could provide some observations about how you achieve this yellow/golden warmth. Specifically:

  1. Do you have a preference for bouncing off unbleached vs bleached muslin?
  2. Do you sometimes bounce a tungsten light, that is not dimmed, off a gold reflector to achieve a similar effect?
  3. How do you achieve consistency in the colour temperature when you are using multiple lights? Is this done with a colour temperature meter or by eye?
  4. Do you set the camera at a particular colour temp balance for your interiors when you are seeking this yellow/golden light effect?
  5. Do you use gels to also create this yellow/golden light effect, and if so, typically what kinds
  6. Can you elaborate on the lighting set up for the Hail Caesar night time interior, as per attached picture.

Thank you very much and kind regards
Shyam

https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Hail-Caesar-Night-Interior.png
Roger Deakins
1 month ago
Roger Deakins 1 month ago

I will often use a gel in combination with a dimmer, usually a half or a quarter CTO. I bounce off an unbleached muslin when I want a very soft warm light and I use a gold stipple reflector when I need something a little harder and more projection. I do bounce a lamp that is not dimmed off a gold reflector but I will then add gel to the lamp. I almost always have the camera set at 3,200K when I am shooting a tungsten balanced scene, as opposed to daylight driven scene. Consistency? I judge that by eye. I will often use a series of lamps with those on the ends set at a deeper color than those in the middle. I like the way the color will 'wrap' a face when I do that.

I seem to remember that the shot of George was lit using unbleached muslin reflectors. There were probably 3 x 650 Fresnel lamps and three 4' x 4' cloth reflectors creating a small 'cove' of warm light. The exterior is a green screen element shot at dusk and balanced in the comp.

pbwinters
1 month ago

When you say "series of lamps with those on the ends set at a deeper color than those in the middle", what do you mean by "deeper color" and how is that deeper color achieved.

I love these conversations about your work. Thank you, so much.

Roger Deakins
1 month ago
Roger Deakins 1 month ago

I might use three lamps and the outside lamps would have a 3/4 CTO, the next two a 1/4 CTO and the middle lamp might be clean. They would all be dimmed down a little so even the central lamp would be warm. Then I might add more wire to the outside lamps than the middle lamp and produce a soft color gradation from the center to the outside.

pbwinters
1 month ago

Thank you for the details. Do you also do the same sometimes when working with daylight lights? Would you, in the same way, perhaps, play with the CTB and the wire?

shyam
1 month ago

Thank you so much Roger.

shadowest
1 month ago

Hello,
I couldn't understand something because of my poor English and sorry to asking again. What do you mean "the next two a 1/4 CTO"? Do you mean outside lamps have both 3/4 CTO and 1/4 CTO in tandem arrangement?
Thank you

Mike
1 month ago

The Center lamp will have 3/4 CTO and the lamps on the end will have 1/4 CTO.
So you have 1/4 CTO, 3/4 CTO, 1/4 CTO. That’s how I see it.

Ali
1 month ago

@mike but he said middle lamp will be clean so how can it be 3/4 CTO?

Ali
1 month ago

i am sorry i am going to ask a very very stupid question I was wondering if someone could explain to me what does "I might add more wire to the outside lamps" means? ...the use of word wire is confusing me for some reason

Roger Deakins
1 month ago
Roger Deakins 1 month ago

I have done something similar with blue gels when shooting a nighttime interior.

pbwinters
1 month ago

As always, thank you.

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