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Types of Lighting

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Charc, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't sure whether to post this in Lighting, or Off Topic, so here it goes.

    I was curious if anyone on these boards has any other lighting experience, and can shed some light (excuse the pun) on the various differences. My interest was sparked last night when I stumbled onto the set of a new movie with Collin Ferrel being shot here in Brugge (on vacation). I came out of an alley and *bam* lighting truck. I exchanged a few words with the guys there, told them I was interested in lighting, and they pointed me towards their biggest instrument, 18 KW. (Er, I've never seen bigger than 1 KW. What do you need 18 KW for anyways?). I started thinking, what are the differences between Theatrical Lighting, Dance Lighting, Concert Lighting, Cinema Lighting, and Exhibit (Museum) Lighting? Are there any fields I missed in this list? Does anyone have any preference of one type of lighting over another, or have anything they would like to share on the subject?

    Thanks, Charlie.
     
  2. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I've a bit of expirience in Cinema Lighting. It is a different sort of beast. Much different values. In the theatrical / production /preesentation world we are lighting to make people see what we want. In Film we are lighting everything and the camera makes it look the way the DP and Director want it to look. One scene I remember was a hospital room in which we had replaced all the regular flourescent lights with special Full spectrum lamps < special at the time now quite commonplace> There were at least three 1k lamps a 6K soft light a three 3k Par and a grip with a reflector catching rays off the sun. Funny thing is when the movie came out it was a really dark scene. Movie stars don't really need to Tan, just spend more time on set.
    See the Director of Photographer or the Cinematographer and the director hve decided what they want the scene to look like and instead of setting levels and cues and geling allthe lights to particular colors they can manipulate a wide variety of variables to acheive the desired look. They can change f-stop, film stock, exposure and print settings. We have just the human eye to deal with. Also, in movies, your eye goes where the director wants it too. In theatre We have to direct peoples eyes to where we want them to look. Now, there are a lot of novies that use some theatrical lighting when they are aiming for a different look, say Moulon Rouge as opposed to The Green Berets. Lighting for video and TV production is strange too in that it's acombination of both disciplines.
     
  3. jfitzpat

    jfitzpat Member

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    There are several reasons that the fixtures are so much larger that you are used to. First, the crew can be lighting a much larger area (lighting a whole city block or alley). Second, film is not as sensitive to light as the human eye. Third, as Van mentioned, there are other variables being manipulated. To give just one example, as the aperature, or F-stop, of the lens is adjusted, depth of field changes. That is, the distance before and after the current focal point that objects still appear sharp changes dramatically.

    The director, or director of photography, will often want a specific depth of field for a given scene. If the opening on the lens is changing, lighting often has to change to compensate (ie, if it is a tiny hole, you need more light). Maintaining continuity from scene to scene used to be a little harder, with everyone running around with light meters and arguing, but with video assist and some other new tools, that part is a little easier.

    Lighting for video has its own challenges. Everything looks flat. Contrast used to be very poor, and you used to have to worry about ruining the camera but, again, technology has helped a bit.

    Architecture, at least decorative lighting, is a lot like theatre in the round. You have to contend with a lots of points of view, but aside from any city ordinances about disrupting traffic or scaring airplanes, it is pretty much aesthetics and the human eye.

    -jjf
     
  4. Logos

    Logos Well-Known Member

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    I've done a bit of internal architectural lighting in churches and so on. Almost always used low voltage and tried to keep the instruments as invisible as possible while highlighting the features that seemed most deserving due to beauty or historical interest. The importance as I have always seen it is to ensure that your lighting is effective and complimentary but not distracting.
    I loved DHA's lighting of the Science Museum in London. My partner got a bit narked with me as I spent more time looking at how they did the lighting than at the exhibits.
    Dance Lighting? Well shins and lots of cross lights etc. Fun.
     
  5. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I Don't know a lot about that world but I do know (going back to Sawyer's question yesterday about Tungsten vs. Arc lamps) both Film and video need a much higher color temperature of light for the camera to see something as white. You'll also find TV studio lighting to use dramatically different equipment.

    Spend some time wandering around the Mole Richardson website. They are sort of the ETC or Strand of film and video lighting. It's kind of interesting looking at all the different gear and the history tab has a lot of cool stuff about the company and movie lighting.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2007
  6. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    18Kw.. .why that's noting just last week I was quoting out constructing a ,,, ok, it was only 14,400w fixture. Hanging my head in shame and walking away. but rreally.. it was based upon a movie industry 12-light Mole Richardson PAR 64... Just better. soon to a rock & roll tour near you.


    Anyway, comes down to it, a Fresnel is a Fresnel, audience blinder a Mole Fay, a Fluorescent a fluoresent, and a Leko a Leko no matter if MoleLipso or S-4 Leko - they work the same no matter if HPL or DPY. Moving light a moving light. Got some MR-16 strip/LED fixture in the works... still only about type of fixture and lamp used. You bet the 18Kw fixture would tend to wear thru it's lamp base faster than that of a 1Kw lamp on the other hand.

    Wattage and fixtures are job requirements at times - what one does with them and how one works with them, that's important.

    Know the difference between a 2Kw Fresnel and a 10Kw Fresnel? Ask the IA in how many people it takes to lift one. That's a major factor.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2007
  7. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Chris Parry (who recently passed away) was famous for getting 5k and 10k fresnels and hanging them in a theatre for specials. One of the images that comes to mind is a 10k fresnel US center with real bars infront of it making this stunning bar effect on the deck.
     
  8. punktech

    punktech Active Member

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    footer, that effect just sounds awesome...sounds like it was a bear to create, but never the less, awesome!!!!
     
  9. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Did you ever see the article about HBOs "From Here to the Moon"? They lined one side of a sound stage with something like 100 10K fresnels < it might have been more I cna't remember. > They then Bounced the light off a giant bank of giant mirrors suspended from the ceiling of the sounstage. The over all effect was the incredibly harsh feel of raw outerspace sunlight. and it was incredible. The power consumption was unbelievable, and the amount of extra air conditioning required to bring the place to workable temperatures was outrageous. I think I remember something about mirror deforming too, as a result of the heat.
     
  10. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    One of the Genesis tours. Moving mirror truss. Monstrous mylar mirrors that they shot lights on to from far upstage, and they then angled the huge mylar "arrays" to shine the lights at the band members.

    Yup, I just got two new books: Moody's Concert Lighting and Cadena's Automated Lighting. Cool books.
     
  11. jfitzpat

    jfitzpat Member

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    I believe that part of the inspiration for the Genesis rig came from a fairly innovative Kansas rig. There were ultra-arc operators SL and SR who basically lit performers indirectly from the deck (slightly raised) using both a large upstage mirror and a small downstage mirror. I know it doesn't sound that elaborate, but it was such a change of pace from the stacks of bars of 6 that it was really exciting to see. I am drawing a blank on the designer (another senior moment), but I'll ask some of my aged cronies.

    Of course, drugs have to be factored in. For an early Yes tour LaserMedia used a simple pair of black scrims, one high downstage, one over the audience and projected some laser logos. It was a really nice effect, but on the few occassions that I've met someone in the audience, they swear that it was 3D holograms, materialized into giant objects over their heads, that exploded into sparkles of color... Again, not to take away from the effect, or to admit any past drug use on my part, but I just may recall a spectacular light show that was car headlights coming through a side window in an apartment... ;)

    -jjf
     
  12. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I seem to remember actually Boarding a two-masted schooner, and sailing away with Styx during the '79 tour. rotating cloud gobos swirling past a static ship gobo, projected on a scrim. " It was Cosmic! Man!"
     
  13. jfitzpat

    jfitzpat Member

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    Sorry to have dragged this so far off topic, but I actually liked some of Jeff Ravitz's early rigs. I never saw his 'reunion rig' with Styx, but I've also liked some of his broadcast work.

    -jjf
     
  14. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Keep going man, it's just starting to get really interesting. I think we all love hearing about lighting tricks when men were men and there were no go buttons.
     
  15. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    James Moody's book has alot of Jeff Ravitz's stuff, including the Reunion Rig and some pix.
     
  16. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    No go buttons? My god! Oh to be young. Actually I have some experience with some '70s gear. Thank my school for enriching my education with their dated equipment.
     
  17. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    A great book for learning about set lighting which also has some good info abou tpower is the "Set Lighting Technician's Handbook" by Harry C. Box. It has both the theory end of it and the technical end as well as a bunch of tables of figures ( amp rating for cables, what lights use what lamps etc)
     

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