Filming At Night Tips

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April 28, 2014 at 4:37 am #440636
Avatar of Anna C.
Anna C.

As I was researching how to light a scene properly, I came upon these tips. I hope this would help :-)
Production Lighting: 6 Tips for Filming at Night

Adequate lighting is important with any film production. This is especially true with filming during the night. The amount and quality of light lets you see the elements included in the scene. Filming at night poses numerous challenges. How a camera sees and records a scene during the night is different as to how a person sees it. A filmmaker has to effectively illuminate the scene so that the camera will be able to record the various important elements without losing the effect of being shot during nighttime. Here are a few tips in order to be able to effectively illuminate the scene for filming during the night.

1. Use Reflectors and White Cards to Reflect Light

With filming during nighttime, the colors are subdued or less intense. Moonlight can also provide some illumination but only a limited amount of it. The light from the moon also appears bland. Filmmakers use blue filters to correct the light reflected from the moon. Use additional artificial lighting sources such as LED or even fluorescent tubes to add illumination at the scene.The video camera must have a fast lens in order to absorb the little amount of natural light available during the night. Use reflectors to bounce off the light onto to your subject or segments of the scene. If no reflectors are available, large white cards can also function in the same way.

2. Use Snow

If you decide to film during winter, the snow can act as a natural light reflector. Light bouncing off the snow illuminates the scene. However, it is important to note that snow is less efficient in reflecting light as compared to reflectors and can also be expensive to purchase and use.

3. Wet the Ground

Water placed on concrete can act as a good reflector. This is good especially when working with cityscapes which can provide a good level of illumination. Light reflected from streetlamps, neon lights and even cars can provide additional lighting or add interest to the scene.

Source:http://www.steves-digicams.com/knowledge-center/how-tos/camcorder-operation/production-lighting-6-tips-for-filming-at-night.html

April 30, 2014 at 11:47 pm #440657
Avatar of Onecras Films
Onecras Films

I find the snow and wetting the ground interesting! But the white cards seem like they could work. I find that filming at night is best for me. During the day, the sunlight in my studio causes light flicker throughout the film. Filming at night gives me almost no light flicker, as long as I don’t change my lighting techniques.

May 2, 2014 at 12:32 pm #440659
Avatar of Anna C.
Anna C.

Glad you enjoyed it Onecras :-) Do you have some tips of your own you’d like to share?

May 6, 2014 at 12:53 pm #440686
Avatar of TwoGuysBrickfilms
TwoGuysBrickfilms

It’s almost like night for me 24/7 in my room because these gigantic shades covering the window block almost all exterior light. I just use two desk lamps and I’m good. Normally people like putting paper over their lamps, I’ve tried that and it only makes the light darker, shock I don’t want.

May 8, 2014 at 10:56 am #440699
Avatar of Anna C.
Anna C.

How many watts are the desk lamps? You’re lucky that you’re room has constant light, in my room it always fluctuates so I have no hope of practicing at daytime.

May 8, 2014 at 11:15 pm #440707
Avatar of Onecras Films
Onecras Films

I have one big florescent lamp and a small desk lamp. I find my florescent lamp a little too bright, so I will generally get a thin colored piece of construction paper and tape it over. This gives me the option of choosing multiple colors to create different types of moods. As for my small desk lamp, I will just cover it with some wax paper to diffuse the lighting and shine it on dark areas of my setting.

May 10, 2014 at 1:44 pm #440720
Avatar of Anna C.
Anna C.

How do you guys film scenes in the dark? Like for example, a horror house?

May 10, 2014 at 4:25 pm #440725
Avatar of TwoGuysBrickfilms
TwoGuysBrickfilms

Put black paper in the background, add a little blue color correction, put the lamps really low so shadows are long… turn brightness down a little.

May 12, 2014 at 2:33 pm #440734
Avatar of Anna C.
Anna C.

Blue color correction? Do all softwares have one? Are brightness set down on shooting or in post production?

May 12, 2014 at 2:43 pm #440738
Avatar of TwoGuysBrickfilms
TwoGuysBrickfilms

When I say brightness, I mean the exposure to the camera set so that it’s kind of dark.

Color correction is changing the overall tint of an image to the specified color. I don’t know where a tool like this is available, so I can’t help you there.

May 15, 2014 at 5:25 am #440744
Avatar of Anna C.
Anna C.

Oh, I see. Thanks TwoGuys!

May 25, 2014 at 1:24 pm #440848
Avatar of Fishbowlbob
Fishbowlbob

Btw, not all softwares have color correction. If you’re on a windows, a good editing software to get is Sony Movie Studio. It’s cheaper than Sony Vegas Pro, and does almost everything pro does, including color correction.
WMM does not have color correction. At least, not the one you’re talking about. I’m not sure, but I think virtual dub does.
If you’re on a Mac, (I don’t know much about apple,) I’m pretty sure that Imovie has a color correction feature. If it doesn’t, then I’m not sure what I would do there.
Another thing to remember about nighttime lighting is you can always use your computer monitor as an artificial source of light. It is usually nearby my set, and if I turn it on it gives a surprisingly nighttime-ish glow, if that is the right word to use.
Hope this helps!

May 25, 2014 at 1:29 pm #440849
Avatar of TwoGuysBrickfilms
TwoGuysBrickfilms

You can also color correct the images image-by-image in a photo editor. iMovie does not have a good color correction but iPhoto does, or if you like adobe, photoshop does too.

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