Tag Archives: film lighting

Lighting for Film & TV: Colour Correction Filters Pt 4: Effects

2 Dec

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Effects Filters: What They Do and How To Use Them

OK now you know the basics of colour correction filters let’s talk a little about effects filters. These differ from colour correction filters in that they are designed to create a specific mood when lighting a scene.

Now before we begin I just want to get something off my chest: a lot can be, and is done, in the grading stages of production to help bring out a visual style of a film/documentary BUT – it’s important to remember that lighting with a certain style in mind, i.e. lighting with purpose, will give you much greater results and much more to work with when you get into your grade.

effects_gels_thumbFor example: Want to enhance that backlight to make it bluer in the grade? If you’ve lit the scene with balanced “white light” you might find it hard to isolate the specific source you’re looking for. By having distinct colours in your raw footage it will allow you to select and enhance/desaturate elements quickly and easily in your grade. You can achieve this using gels or mixed colour temperatures. Make sense? Good. So let’s get to it.

In this blog I’ll show you three commonly  used gels to help:

i. Create Flattering Lighting
ii. Replicate Moonlight
iii. Replicate Sunset

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Lighting for Film & TV: Colour Correction Filters Pt 3: Daylight to Tungsten

2 Oct

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Colour Correction Filters
How To Convert Daylight to Tungsten

OK, let’s do a quick review on colour correction so far; in my first blog in this series we’ve talked about the importance of colour temperature, how it’s measured and how that relates in terms of the colour or hue of light. Warm looking light has a low colour temperature and cold looking light has a higher colour temperature. We’ve said that the colour temperature of natural daylight is 5,600K but changes throughout the day and we’ve now talked about how to convert (or correct) tungsten light into daylight using specific blue colour temperature gels know as CTB gels. Now I want to move on and discuss HMI’s (these produce daylight) and how we can convert them into Tungsten light or give the HMI light a warmer look.

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Lighting for Film & TV: Colour Correction Filters Pt 1: What is Colour Temperature?

31 May

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Colour Correction Filters
There’s more to it than meets the eye!

So I thought I’d do a series of blogs all about filters; what they do, how you use them and why they’re so damned handy…

OK, I know you may think that this isn’t perhaps the most exciting subject to read about, but it’s vital for all you budding Directors of Photography and Cinematographers out there, to understand that your ultimate aim is to master your craft, and that means having a deep understanding of ALL aspects of camerawork and lighting.

Mastery will get you to the top of your profession; being part of what I call the ‘Mediocre Majority’ will not, and knowing your craft will get you ultimate respect from your colleagues. If you don’t know this basic stuff, then when you work with experienced Lighting Gaffers and ‘Sparks’ you’ll gain zero respect from them, they’ll see you as unprofessional and treat you with contempt… quite right too!

I know I keep banging on about this but remember… a big part of mastering this craft means having a real in-depth understanding of anything and everything to do with camerawork.

So now I’ve had my industry rant let’s get down to work…

I’m going to divide this into a mini series of into 6 easy to understand parts:

Part 1 : What is Colour Temperature?

Part 2: Why Colour Correction filters are used to change colour temperature and how to use them.

Part 3: The most commonly used Filters.

Part 4: Effects filters and how to use them.

Part 5: How and why you use diffusion to soften a light source.

Part 6 : Bringing it all together a practical workshop on colour correction and filming using mixed lighting

So without further ado, let’s get on with…

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Lighting for Film & TV: 10 Tips for Making Your Subject Look Good

26 Mar

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So I’m trying something a bit different here… I’m thinking “bite-sized blogs” – I thought shorter, quicker to read blogs (interspersed amongst more substantial ones) might be enjoyable for people who want a ‘quick fix’. Let me know if you like the idea, just a thought!

So this one is short and sweet. We’ve been busy over here at Free Spirit – we’re getting a lot of interest in our courses so I’ve been a bit snowed under of late! I appreciate that it’s been a week or so since my last post so I thought I’d bash this one out to give you something to chew on while I’m working on more substantial posts.

Just a quick, cheeky note, I’ve added a donation button to the side of the blog. If you feel like these posts are helpful in any way, financial support would really be greatly appreciated and will help keep this blog going!

Ok anyway, onwards! Continuing my series on Lighting for Film & TV here are a few tips for making sure you’re giving your subject the best chance of looking great on camera (sometimes they need all the help they can get!!). If you havent already checked out part 1 and part 2 (all about the basics and 3 point lighting respectively, I’d recommend checking them out). These are more ‘tidbits’ if you will, things I’ve picked up over the years. It’s nothing too substantial, but …

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Lighting for Film & TV – Part 2: 3 Point Lighting

9 Mar

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If you can light an orange so that it looks or photographs as smooth and round as a billiard ball, you are ready to light close-ups and portraits of living people.

– John Alton, Cinematographer.

So… Lighting: It’s a huge subject, but I thought I’d attack the very basics in part 2 of this series – 3 point lighting. If you haven’t read the intro to this series you can find it here.

3 Point Lighting is a common technique that can be used for both documentary AND drama. It’s the foundation of most lighting techniques and is relatively quick and easy to setup. Please keep in mind that although I make a lot of references to lighting interviews here, these techniques are perfectly transferable to lighting your lead actors in a film, musicians in a music video or products in a commercial.

I’m going to keep this one quick, snappy and concise. So let’s get to it!…

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