Lighting scenes at night...

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by TSSPro, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. TSSPro

    TSSPro Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    378
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Think Crewdson or Erwin Olaf. Cinematic and probably more complex than it needs to be...

    I'm planning to photograph a night street scene - around blue hour so I have some separation from the building edges - of three characters in front of a mid-20th C theatre and marquee. There is one street lamp, lots of light bulbs under the marquee, and an abundance of neon leading up the building. The three principals are a ticket taker, and a disheartened couple who split up on movie night...

    The last time that I made a photograph like this it involved a cumulative 7k w/s of strobes. I don't have those kinds of resources anymore. So my conundrum is with lighting a night scene with enough light that I can shoot it at f/16-ish with a preference of iso 100 (that way the street lamps that I can't control will be less likely to blow out the highlights). I want this to be in color, so color temp is a concern. I've been considering some less expensive LED flood lamps that are advertised to be 5000 or 6500K and 10000lumen output each.

    I'm thinking that 20000 lumens of flood light to raise the overall lighting of the scene and the few strobes that I have left to add highlights and shaping light to my 3 principle characters for directional light and highlights.

    So the questions:

    1- How can I estimate how much light will be needed to light a street night scene with the estimates of lumens from the flood lamps? Would they need to be converted to lux then into EV? (Is there an online calculator for that...please say yes...)

    2- Any recommendations for LED work lights? Previous experience working with them and your feedback would be much appreciated. Can I run an inline rheostat/dimmer to a standard LED worklamp?

    3- Anyone in N. Colorado that can assist with this shoot in the future?! (Never hurts to ask.)

    As a reference to the lighting style that I am aiming for, I've included my previous venture into cinematic lighting below. (Shot on a rented Cambo 4x5 w/ a 150mm Rodenstock -- I think-- on Kodak Ektar 100. Exposure was about 2 seconds at f/11. This left a few places soft, like the words on the mailbox. I want avoid this in this next attempt. The optical print was great and I have a 30x40 framed that is quite the conversation starter for anyone who visits my family's home...sadly, that ability went the way of the dodo once I left grad school...)

    Screen Shot 2018-11-28 at 2.15.58 PM.png
     
  2. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    28,099
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Groups:
  3. OP
    OP
    TSSPro

    TSSPro Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    378
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  4. Helios 1984

    Helios 1984 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,023
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2015
    Location:
    Saint-Constant, Québec
    Shooter:
    35mm
    What do you mean "History" ? D:
    I use it all the time when I'm in the mood for some night photography. Wherever you are, S.P. Martin, Thank you.

    P.S: Scene no.4 with background details, so a no.7 ?
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
  5. OP
    OP
    TSSPro

    TSSPro Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    378
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    The copyright 1968 on the guide gave it away....that counts it as historical...not outdated or obsolete, but definitely not the newest tool in the photographic toolbox. :tongue:
     
  6. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    28,099
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Groups:
    It may be an older tool but the photons have managed to figured out how to do their even with digital cameras and iPhones and the Jiffy Night Calculator still works and I still use it.
     
  7. tedr1

    tedr1 Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    893
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    Location:
    50 miles from NYC USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Regarding LED worklighting I'd be concerned about color rendering index, in my limited experience the more powerful lamps tend to be lower CRI. There is a Wikipedia entry for "exposure value" that includes a helpful cross-reference between EV numbers, lux and possibly lumens. It seems that there are devices known as "dimmable" LED lamps which suggests that there is also a type that is not dimmable. LEDs run on DC so there is always some sort of power supply inside an LED lamp, and quite often these are picky about being run on the full line voltage and may misbehave (catastrophically?) if run on a low voltage.
     
  8. btaylor

    btaylor Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    797
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I like the look you are after and you’re going to need a lot of light to do it— have you considered renting the appropriate lights rather than purchasing lights that may not suit your purpose?
     
  9. jim10219

    jim10219 Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    895
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2017
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    What about car headlights? A few times I've needed massive amounts of light at night in a remote location, and car headlights worked out great. You can even switch out the bulbs in your headlights if you need a different color temperature. They have lots of options on those these days (including LED). Or you can filter the light, if you wish, by placing some gels over them. If you were planning on using street lamps and strobes, you'd likely get different color temperature light sources anyway. Have the models drive their cars and you can have 6 different light setups. Plus, they're constant lights, which means metering for them won't be an issue. It may or may not work for you, so I'd give it a test run ahead of time. But that's probably your cheapest option.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    TSSPro

    TSSPro Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    378
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, I have. There is a rental house in Denver that is going out of business this year. Their prizes are pretty great for some of the die-hard Speedotron 4800 ws and 2400 ws packs and heads. Same with just about everything. They close at the end of the year. So, if I can get permits, and all through before then it's a possibility...if not....then I'm back to square one.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    TSSPro

    TSSPro Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    378
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have found some distinct differences between the dimmable and non-dimmable versions of LEDs. Most the lamps that I'm looking at have a CRI 95 or greater....

    And the only reason why I'm thinking LED is power consumption, price, and they run A LOT cooler than arc/HMI/tungsten lights. If I can find decent day rate prices for the equipment I need, I may go the rental route and just get more strobe than I would ever need and call it good.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies. If you have a Photrio account, please log in (and select 'stay logged in') to prevent recurrence of this notice.