SHOOTING DAY FOR NIGHT??? : LUSENET : Shooting DV Films : One Thread

Does anyone know how you can shoot day for night with video (& the XL1)?

-- Kelly (, September 25, 1999


The obvious solution might seem to be just underexposing, but this will yield poor results. If you use a good ND filter on your lens, then use medium blue gels on tungsten lighting, you might be able to get a fair approximation, without your video looking too "blue." Also, throw some ND gels up on the windows. (this all assumes, of course, you are shooting int. scenes...)

-- Jim (, September 27, 1999.

In my upcoming project I'll be shooting a day for night ext. scene. I'm planning on shooting during "magic hour", the hour when the sun has gone below the horizon but there's still enough light out to get an exposure. I'm then going to play with brightness and contrast and add some blue in after effects. I hope this helps.

-- win edson (win&, September 30, 1999.

I misspelled my email address above. oops

-- win edson (, September 30, 1999.

For exteriors, shoot on a clear day, so the sun gives you a strong backlight.Always avoid seeing the sky in frame. Underexpose, and use either a tungsten balance, or partial correction for a bluish cast. If you can include incandescent practicals in a scene, headlights, household lamps, etc. that really helps the illusion. Of course they need to be very bright, as you are using daylight for your base exp

-- Marc Kroll (, October 21, 1999.

The difference is the key to fill ratio and the color temprature and the fact that shadows are deeper.

So for exterior shoot on a hard sunny day and then alter the color and gamma in post to reflect your mood. As the writer above indicated don't show the sky if you can avoid it as it is a dead give away.

For interiors just light it as if it were a nite scene. Rent some videos and look at how the lighting masters handle the scene. You are going to need lights that you have total control over. Lots of little "practical" (real lamps in the shot)lights will help to indicate that it is lit from inside instead of an arc light moon comming in the window.

Again high key low fill light helps convey the illision.

Night scenes are the hardest for us to light. So if you blow it, you fit into about 50% of the working gaffers too. I have hired very few lighting guys who really understand night scenes.

With these little cameras I don't know why you would even need to shoot day for night? I have found that any reasonable amount of light really works well and then you are doing things correctly.

-- Joseph Allen (, September 24, 2001.

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