Help! I need suggestions on a makeshift lighting setup

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by jkruppa, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. jkruppa

    jkruppa TPF Noob!

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    I know I'm going to get lectured for this, but let me say first that I plan to get a proper lighting system soon when I have the money (I shoot mostly natural light now).

    I have agreed to shoot individual photos of about 25 children (in costume) ages 8 to 15 for a theatrical production a friend of mine is directing. I'm doing this as a favor for my friend as well as for the practice, so there's no budget. I've got two shop lights (oh the shame) on stands with halogen bulbs, which I'm borrowing from my father. I'll be using a Minolta XD11 35mm (primary) and an Olympus 5050 digital (back up only) and I'll be shooting in color. I have no reflectors or diffusers, and the theatre space is dimly lit, about what you would expect for a small theatrical venue.

    My question is, what do I need to get in order to pull this off? Do I need to get different bulbs, since it's unlikely I'll be able to find halogen film? I guess the overall question is, if you were going to shoot under these circumstances, what's the simplest set up you'd be able to use to get good photos?

    This is a real last minute arrangement, I know, so I apologize in advance for offending anyone's sensibilities.

    Thanks,
    Jason
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The light temperature will probably be your biggest problem. As you know, halogen bulbs are not the same as daylight...which most film is made for. All you really need is a color correction filter. I don't know what kind though (look it up).

    With digital it's usually as easy as setting a custom White Balance.

    Also, beware of how hot those halogen work lights get. They are hot to stand in front of, and put out a lot of heat around them.
     
  3. jkruppa

    jkruppa TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, Mike. What about tungsten bulbs? Same problem, right? Is there another kind of bulb I should buy? I've seen some color correction kits on the web and I may try a local camera shop, but I have to do this tomorrow. Yes, I know, crazy isn't it.

    Jason
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yup, same problem with Tungsten bulbs.

    We are talking about color negative film right? I don't think you have to worry about getting the color temp exactly correct. They can correct for this at the lab...but helps if you are close.

    I think all would need is an 80B warming filter (check that to be sure though).
     
  5. morydd

    morydd TPF Noob!

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    If you're shooting in a theatrical space, would you be able to use the stage lighting at all. You'd still run into the tungsten issue, but you may be able to have a little more flexibility for things there, and they're already set up to have color correction at the source. Any theatrical supply house should be able to get you color correction gels for about $6/sheet (28"x28" ish)
    Roscolux 3202 "Full Blue" says it boosts 3200K to 5500k
     
  6. jkruppa

    jkruppa TPF Noob!

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    Unfortunately, this is a small community theatre and their lights aren't adequate for what I'm trying to do. Everything's fixed on the ceiling about 20 feet up and not really that bright. I'm considering just using my lights to boost what they already have in the theatre in the hope that I can at least get an acceptable exposure.

    Just to clarify, if I use tungsten bulbs, any place should be able to do the color correction, right?

    Jason
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    (I think)...that any lab should be able to color correct...after all, they all use very similar machines these days. It would probably help if you went to a better lab (not Wal-mart etc.) and told them that you shot under tungsten/halogen lights and that they may need color correction. Or just let them do it...and then if you don't like the result, ask for reprints.

    Still, I would think that the farther off your color is...the harder (worse looking) it will be to correct it.

    I wish I knew more about this...but I don't....sorry.
     

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