1. Today's TSL lesson is a look at how to light a large space at night. Some may think it takes a tremendous amount of equipment to shoot a large space at night but this is not the case. 2 or 3 well placed strobe heads will create a very effective look. There is also my secret weapon for shooting at night. More on that thought to come.
2. We started with a few shots before sundown. The lighting was very easy because the sky created contrast with all the elements of the ship. One octodome on the talent's face looks great but we wanted a much more intense night shot.
3. I shot with a 5D mark 3 because the camera has a great sensor appropriate for night shooting. We shot at F8 and 1/4th of a second. Because we wer not trying to burn in the night sky I changed the exposure during the shoot. The ambient wasn't a concern to us at night so the shutter speed was of very little concern.
4. Let's look at how we set up our lighting to shoot at night so the light looks natural and not pushed. This is our first image with only the ambient. We see a fluorescent light on the canopy. Not really 1700's and we will need to retouch it out.
5. My first light is a Photoflex small octodome with a grid for the captain up front. This is the key light.
6. Each of the next 2 lights used were Dynalite strobe heads with travel reflectors and no softeners.
7. Our next light was a rim from camera left, it's meant to rim the guys on the cannon. Here is our image with the second light.
8. We next placed the most important light on set for shooting at night. It's a rim from behind. It lit up the set and highlighted all the elements of the boat. This helped the images to look less like a black hole. The ship has come alive now and we can see the details in rigging and cannons in the back. Not a bad look, but not finished yet.
9. We wanted smoke to create atmosphere in the air and tie the image together. Because of the cannon I can use hard smoke and it has a purpose in the shot. If there was no reason for it like fog or cannon fire, I would defuse it more. Smoke and atmosphere is the secret weapon most DPs and photographers use while shooting at night. Here is our final image with smoke and lights in place.
10. I shot a few portrait images as well. The light is less controlled looking and lets the faces drop into some shadow.
11. To give our images a more vintage look we took them into Nik software. Here is our final image. Keep those cameras rolling and keep on click'n.
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