Timescapes - Digital Timelapse Discussion
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Lighting.
http://forum.timescapes.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=160
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Author:  Drayg0 [ Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:04 am ]
Post subject:  Lighting.

Although several of us do most of our shoots outdoors, I feel like lighting is a very important topic that may just deserve a spot on the Board Index. I would like to learn what some of my fellow 'lapsers use. I've been trying to eek by with some of the more powerful household lights, and I'm nowhere near satisfied with them.

Anybody else agree that Lighting should be on the index?

Author:  Michael [ Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting.

Inside, I use an exposure time that is long enough to get rid of the 50Hz current flickering. Longer exposure times than 0.5 sec does a good job. I also use manual color balance (white correction), by photographing a white sheet of paper.

Author:  Michael Slade [ Tue Jul 08, 2008 6:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting.

I have been a commercial still-photographer for over 15 years and teach an upper-division studio lighting class at a local university. If you have any specific questions as to how to light product, portraits, location, etc...I can offer what I know from the still photography side. I am pretty sure that the things I know can carry over to timelapse/video, except for one main difference...I am only familiar with strobe, and have little knowledge of the various hot-lights that are used currently. I was trained to use some old hot-lights from the '50's, and they work great, but man are they HOT!

Stuff now-a-days for the video industry is way over my head.

Having it's own forum might be a good idea.

Author:  Drayg0 [ Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting.

I hope to see it soon so the discussions can begin.

Author:  timescapes [ Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting.

So this forum would be for lighting of timelapses?

Author:  Drayg0 [ Wed Jul 09, 2008 6:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting.

Mainly yes, I don't see how a little regular photography discussion wouldn't slip in there. But I noticed in the Grow 2 videos that Pixelbot posted that he used some sort of consistent lighting. Also I'd like to know some ways around having to use professional lighting. Sort of a lighting tips and tricks area. I'll leave it up to you, it might need to be more broad than lighting but it seemed deserving of a spot on the index at the time I wrote the first post.

Author:  pixelbot [ Wed Jul 09, 2008 7:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting.

Drayg0 wrote:
Mainly yes, I don't see how a little regular photography discussion wouldn't slip in there. But I noticed in the Grow 2 videos that Pixelbot posted that he used some sort of consistent lighting. Also I'd like to know some ways around having to use professional lighting. Sort of a lighting tips and tricks area. I'll leave it up to you, it might need to be more broad than lighting but it seemed deserving of a spot on the index at the time I wrote the first post. :)


pixelbot here: as for the "grow!" lights I used upto 4 clamp lights with day-light rated fluorescent bulbs (around $10-$15 each - bulb and fixture - at home depot, or lowes) - that allowed me to keep my small studio cool and getting alot of soft light to take down the shadows. this last year I purchase a kinoflo knock off from coollights.biz - it is a really well made studio grade fluorescent for a sweet price.

timt

Author:  Drayg0 [ Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting.

OK so, After pestering Timescapes enough, we got a lighting category. Thanks Timescapes.

I'm ill equipped with lighting. I take stock photographs and often get turned down for improper lighting when I submit photographs, there's no way to fix a photograph for that. I keep putting off buying an SB600 flash for my Nikon (any other suggestions for a flash?) I wonder what a timelapse would look like when using a flash for each photo. I don't know that I would try doing that, but it's an interesting thought.

And as for hot lights, I guess I would probably try doing something similar to what pixelbot mentioned, but lighting is very important. Without the proper lighting a photo just doesn't shine. I'm also curious not just about the actual light setups that everyone has but also what you all use to diffuse and bounce the light around. In order to redirect some of the sunlight I just use a piece of white poster board, and occasionally a piece of foil bubble insulation for air conditioning ducts. Hey it works, and it was free.

Author:  Antz [ Sun Aug 31, 2008 3:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting.

Michael wrote:
Inside, I use an exposure time that is long enough to get rid of the 50Hz current flickering. Longer exposure times than 0.5 sec does a good job.


I do exactly the same thing. Long exposure gets rid of any flicker from the lights, and when it is people shots, I personally prefer the blur you get from half-second exposures.

Author:  Michael Slade [ Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting.

I did a 'timelapse pan' of a studio setup I was shooting recently. I was shooting at f/22 with studio strobes. I was wondering about flicker from the strobe output. I still got a ton of flicker, and am going to chalk it up to the traditional causes...inconsistent f/stop openings from frame to frame.

It's on Vimeo here:


Author:  shutterdrone-old1 [ Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting.

Hey Michael - it's pretty funny that you'd show JKS sway bar links - I have a set of quicker disconnects on my JK *grin*

Are those for a TJ?

Anyhoo. Anyone use hot lights (well, besides fluorescent)? I was considering lighting the other day, and I prefer the Eiko hot bulbs (mostly because I have three ballasts/stands already), and I was thinking it might be easy enough to pre-light them with an AC relay or such. I'm doing motion tests outside right now, but I've got a few optocouplers left, and I guess it wouldn't be hard to run them to an AC relay board and turn on the lights well-enough in advance to let them get hot before shooting. Thinking of shooting a flower opening or such, where you shoot ever 20 minutes or whathaveyou.

!c

Author:  Jeff Wright [ Thu Sep 04, 2008 1:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting.

I just finished a project that I had to "light". I used either a sb-26 flash or a couple of Maglite flashlights with the LED conversion option (daylight balanced). I also used them at night with other tungsten stuff in the background and desaturated the "blue" color in post. The flash worked the best for "competing" with daylight. One problem I had though was if I wanted a big depth of field I would obviously have to stop down the lens therefore needing a ton of flash power. And shooting four or five hundred shots at full power without a fancy extra battery pack didn't really work. It was always a tug of war with enough light on the logo and the depth of field I wanted. Also with the lens stopped down you really don't get the nice fat streaks of light from traffic that you do if you have things wide open. We just had the premieres last night for the film. We had a great turnout in both Montreal and here in Squaw Valley. The DVD will be available in a few weeks.

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Author:  etegration [ Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting.

everything lighting has got to be on http://www.strobist.com, check them out if you have not.

Author:  Delrious [ Sat Mar 07, 2009 8:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting.

Hi all,

I just found this forum! If only I would have found it 6 months ago when I started doing this stuff I would have done things differently and probably saved some money however...

I do time lapse shots of macro subjects - I've found the best way to avoid flicker in time lapse shots is to use an assortment of extremely cheap and easy to come by: LED lights. If you mount them properly you can put them just out of frame for macro subjects (like flowers). You can also do stuff like focus a spot of light on your subject and add some ambient lights farther back...etc...you will get almost zero flicker.

DELRIOUS

Author:  dmassphoto [ Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting.

shutterdrone wrote:
Anyhoo. Anyone use hot lights (well, besides fluorescent)? I was considering lighting the other day, and I prefer the Eiko hot bulbs (mostly because I have three ballasts/stands already), and I was thinking it might be easy enough to pre-light them with an AC relay or such. I'm doing motion tests outside right now, but I've got a few optocouplers left, and I guess it wouldn't be hard to run them to an AC relay board and turn on the lights well-enough in advance to let them get hot before shooting. Thinking of shooting a flower opening or such, where you shoot ever 20 minutes or whathaveyou.

!c


I use professional hot lights as well as strobes for my interior work. In my opinion, the best brands out there are Lowel, and Arri, and they can get pretty expensive and can take a lot of power to run. I would think that, for timelapses, this would be the only way to go as using strobes could get inconsistant depending on the number of shots taken and time between each shot.

For light modifiers, I use umbrellas, soft boxes, reflectors, and other lights. I've also used car lights outdoors at night. A cheaper option may be using flood lights you see at home depot, but you would more than likely need some sort of color correction filter. Sometimes you can get away with it though. Flashlights work great and are fun when "painting" with light, and there are many places on the web you can go to learn how to do it. That's how the Sprint commercialswere done.

I can most likely help with any questions people have concerning either hot lights or strobes or cheap lighting, only can't reccomend what brand to buy, just how to use it :)

Author:  ckbknyc [ Sun Jun 14, 2009 7:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting.

I have 10 years experience as a gaffer for film and TV, everything from music videos and TV shows, to way-too-many-to-list TV commercials, as well as doing lighting design for big name fashion photographers.
I can answer any questions about using HMI's, tungsten, Kinos, LED and strobe systems and all of the various power needs that come with these lights

Author:  Antz [ Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting.

ckbknyc wrote:
I have 10 years experience as a gaffer for film and TV, everything from music videos and TV shows, to way-too-many-to-list TV commercials, as well as doing lighting design for big name fashion photographers.
I can answer any questions about using HMI's, tungsten, Kinos, LED and strobe systems and all of the various power needs that come with these lights


Most the shots I do are outside, often at night, and occasionally need fill-in lighting.
I normally use LED lights (do you know of anything better that is daylight balanced and low power consumption?)... but I always have trouble finding places to buy portable DC operated lights that don't cost a small fortune.
The basic electronic parts are dirt cheap to buy, yet most pro supply houses charge through the roof.

Author:  matt b [ Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting.

I agree with the other members on the use of either Kinoflos (a proprietary lighting system used on features and TVC's etc.) or boxed LED arrays..... you can build your own low budget versions of each type - but get a certified electrician to check your handywork!

Conventional tungsten lighting bulbs can fail on long-term T/L projects and they also generate heat.
If you are shooting plants you can custom mix 'red' and 'blue' LED wavelengths in your lamp to suit your growth/flowering balance.

Author:  ckbknyc [ Mon Jun 15, 2009 2:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting.

Antz wrote:
ckbknyc wrote:
I have 10 years experience as a gaffer for film and TV, everything from music videos and TV shows, to way-too-many-to-list TV commercials, as well as doing lighting design for big name fashion photographers.
I can answer any questions about using HMI's, tungsten, Kinos, LED and strobe systems and all of the various power needs that come with these lights


Most the shots I do are outside, often at night, and occasionally need fill-in lighting.
I normally use LED lights (do you know of anything better that is daylight balanced and low power consumption?)... but I always have trouble finding places to buy portable DC operated lights that don't cost a small fortune.
The basic electronic parts are dirt cheap to buy, yet most pro supply houses charge through the roof.


Yes LED's are perfect for TL's where you have long exposure times but the prices are ridiculous right now. They get away with it, LitePanels especially, because color temperature shift is such a problem with LEDs, see Roscoes' systems which are great because they are wafer thin and you can hide them anywhere, but are insanely green so get ready to permanently tape on various degrees of magenta gel. I did see a lower price LitePanel kit at B&H that I assume is cheaper because it runs on AAs http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/6 ... ED_on.html
The other option for a TL where you don't need much output with slow shutter times is a KinoFlo mini kit http://kinoflo.com/12VDC%20Systems/Mini ... ni-Flo.htm which can run on AC or DC, even comes with gator clips for battery posts.
I would stay away from LEDs with separate RGB bulbs as you can get weird triple shadows and it's not gonna get you true white light, same goes for any homemade system.
LED's will probably drop in price as new competitors enter the game, and they become more common place. But being film equipment, they will of course always carry a premium price.

Curious if you've had any color problems doing long exposures with LEDs?

Author:  Antz [ Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting.

Quote:
Curious if you've had any color problems doing long exposures with LEDs?


It really depends on the LED. One of the cheap LED video lights I bought from Circuit City comes out very blue in a long exposure.
I have a small 12 volt LED video floodlight from B&H which is pretty good.

I also have a cheap white LED flashlight that is surprisingly good, this shot was 30 seconds while painting the ice with the flashlight...

Image

Author:  Antz [ Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting.

Just wondering how the "Pure White" version of one of these would look...
http://www.ledtronics.com/Products/Prod ... P=M376K248

Only about 1/3rd the price of commercial video lighting.

Author:  shutterdrone-old1 [ Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting.

Antz wrote:
Just wondering how the "Pure White" version of one of these would look...
http://www.ledtronics.com/Products/Prod ... P=M376K248

Only about 1/3rd the price of commercial video lighting.



Doesn't seem to be a bad price, but not a lot of lumens there. It would take a number of them to get close to a good 300w hot light. You could probably cook something up w/ the cheap high output leds from eBay for a lot cheaper cheaper. Say, this order and some resistors would get you 10,800 lm! (For less than $100, and some sweat equity =) http://cgi.ebay.com/30p-H-P-Super-Brigh ... 1|294%3A50

!c

Author:  Antz [ Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting.

That's a pretty good price for the bulk LEDs. Very tempting indeed.

Author:  astronomerroyal [ Sun Jun 21, 2009 2:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting.

I'm sure these 10mm LEDs are bright but the power seems to be 0.3W, not the 1W advertised. I'm not an expert but at some point these type of LEDs are going to be limited by heatsinking issues. I recently bought

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.2134

with current regulators

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.3160

very good prices, free S&H, but good Lord the company is excruciatingly slow to ship. I did once make a UV LED array of 96x 5mm LEDs. Quite tedious soldering. It taught me to opt for a few powerful LEDs rather than many small, cheap ones. Maybe off-topic but I have a really nice 4Watt Inova T4 'tactical flashlight' - but the LEDs above, in conjunction with http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.1920, actually produced a brighter central spot.

Author:  Birdman-hd [ Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting.

Ok All I can contribute nearly a year later is the wonderful product called Zylight-

http://www.zylight.com/servlet/Detail?no=115

This is the best LED solution I've seen. Works great to adjust the color by degrees K˚.

This is not cheap but very elegant.

I used a tiny single LED to very softly light a scene for the upcoming show and when i get to post later in summer I'll put up some of the tricks. Used a blue gel to get the color I wanted. Hilarious because it was only 1" x 1" gel.... Ok so maybe some of you guys have never seen the reams of gel in big shoots...
:)

Tim

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