Lighting Fixture Recommendation?

ppc_michael

Guest
Apr 26, 2005
1,498
2
Los Angeles, CA
You could do worse than that, especially for the price. :) However...

I'm not sure, but you might find two 500 watt lamps to be a bit overpowering in smaller rooms, so be prepared for some rather contrasty shadows, even when using the umbrella.

Chromakey lighting is pretty tough, and I don't know how much of an improvement you'll get with that setup. The goal is to light the subject completely separately from the colored background. So for your subject, you should MINIMALLY have a key light and a backlight (important for good separation), which takes up all your lights. Ideally you would also have a dimmer fill light, but I digress.

To light the green/blue background, you might consider buying some work lights (cheap, ~$30.00 US) for a nice broad coverage. BUT when you're doing that, you have to be aware of what kind of lights you have. Those lamps you linked to are tungsten (pretty warm color temperature), and I think a lot of work lights these days are halogen, which has a cooler color temperature. I'm saying all this because if you mix tungsten (for your subject) and halogen (for your background), if you white balance for your subject, your background won't look quite the right color, and if you white balance for the background (for a better key), your subject won't look right.

So! Long story short, be careful when you mix lights, which has nothing to do with your original post. :eek:
 

swwack91

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 28, 2007
735
23
New Jersey
thanks for all the info - would i be able to use lower wattage bulbs in that setup to dim it down a bit? or should i look at a different setup?

what's a good wattage for doing like interviews & shoots indoors? (as in house-sized rooms, not like huge auditoriums)
 

swwack91

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 28, 2007
735
23
New Jersey
okay well i've been looking around and its completely killing me -

i'm looking for something MAX $200. Umbrellas or soft box is fine - and i'd prefer 2 setups. I can't find anything... i don't know where to even look.

again, its for video shoots so i don't want flashes and i'm aiming towards using them for chroma key & indoor scenes.
 

ppc_michael

Guest
Apr 26, 2005
1,498
2
Los Angeles, CA
Unfortunately the "good stuff" is much much more than $200, so anything in your budget will kind of be a compromise. Will you be going to college for a production-related field? They'll have all sorts of lighting equipment to experiment with "for free" and you might want to just sort of save your money for the moment. Or maybe not. ;)

For an interview in a room, maybe around 360 watts... -ish? I wouldn't go more than 420. Just sort of depends on how they're set up. THe numbers I'm giving you here are probably best for the basic backlight behind them, keylight off to the side, and a reflector to fill in the other side.

I was thinking about your general indoor shots (like non-interview stuff), and I guess if you did shine a 500 watt or two just up to the ceiling so that it diffuses across the room, that probably wouldn't be overbearing. It would just sort of light up your room though, you wouldn't be able to control it much.

I dunno. I guess wait to see what other people say. :) It's really good that you're expanding your endeavors to lighting, it's extremely beneficial. :)
 

swwack91

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 28, 2007
735
23
New Jersey
thanks a hell of a lot so far, ppc.

it's actually really hard to find kits with less than 500W.

maybe if i can find a dimmer switch?
 

ppc_michael

Guest
Apr 26, 2005
1,498
2
Los Angeles, CA
I think a dimmer is a good idea.

Something else tangential I should add is to keep in mind how good your camera is. Consumer-lever camcorders tend to do a poor job of handling contrast. I've lit some scenes that looked pretty great on the expensive film cameras or HD or whatever, but the video from my MiniDV camera I shoot my silly "behind the scenes stuff" on ends up complete trash. The brighter parts are completely blown out (over exposed) and the dark parts are completely black.
 

swwack91

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 28, 2007
735
23
New Jersey
well i while back i had posted a thread about how much a difference a new camera would make and a lot of the people said to save the cash on a new camera and get lighting.

the link in my signature goes to my youtube videos. besides the obvious crap quality for uploading it onto the web - you can still get a mildly good idea of how my camera is.

at the end of the day its just a high-end consumer miniDV camera.
 

AviationFan

macrumors 6502a
Jan 12, 2006
510
0
Cedar Rapids, IA
To light the green/blue background, you might consider buying some work lights (cheap, ~$30.00 US) for a nice broad coverage. BUT when you're doing that, you have to be aware of what kind of lights you have. [...] if you mix tungsten (for your subject) and halogen (for your background), if you white balance for your subject, your background won't look quite the right color, and if you white balance for the background (for a better key), your subject won't look right.
True statement for regular bakgrounds, but not a problem when doing chroma key, right?

- Martin
 

banjomamo

macrumors regular
May 9, 2006
156
0
USA
Just get the cheap stuff and experiment. It's not like you're trying to make money with this equipment yet. You may need something to diffuse the light more or you may not, it will be different for each shoot. I say learn how to work with the cheap stuff and make it look great - anything is possible.
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,368
119
Los Angeles
If it hasn't been recommended to you yet picking up a copy of The DV Rebels Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap is just about the best $30 you'll ever spend (much of the info inside is relevant to any type of lo/no budget venture not just action movies).

Lighting is is putting light where you want it (obviously) and also taking away light from where you don't want it. As another poster suggested I'd go buy some work lights from Home Depot (ones moveable heads), some black and white foam core from an art store and start experimenting. The lights you linked too look like they'd be good for giving off a soft, even light but that's not what yer always gonna want so those lights might be limiting. You can achieve a similar effect by using a work light and bouncing the light off of the ceiling, a white wall or a piece of what foam core. You can use the black foam core as a "flag" to block light and place shadows where you want them. I think you can also get dimmers at Home Depot, but be careful because if you dim too much you'll change the color temperature of the lamp which will make white balancing problematic if you have multiple lights all dimmed a different amount.

Blackwrap is also very useful (it's basically a heavy duty, matte black aluminum foil) because you can attach it to the front of your lights to help control where your lighting goes (careful though, it gets very hot very fast so always make sure you have work gloves on when using it). For example, if you want to put a slash of light going down a wall you just clothespin (wood, not plastic) some blackwrap onto your light and bend/fold the wrap until you get the light slash you are happy with.


Lethal
 

D ROCK

macrumors regular
Feb 6, 2007
123
0
good advice on the home depot lights!
I picked up 4 doubles on sale. they had push buttons on back to set a low light or a high light.
they came in a plastic carry case with a foldup extendable tripod and the two lights would swivel from the top of the tripod.
they were bright orange but I sprayed them flat black to look a bit more "pro" for clients shoots etc....
I love them!
sure they are not "pro" but they only cost me $35 CDN each set and I got all 8 lights for less than $150.00
that left me with a bit extra to but a reflector... I used a foldup car window sunlight reflector shade. I works great to bounce light in the correct direction...

go a bit cheaper and experiment!
have fun.
great videos by the way!