Combining tungsten & daylight…is this ok?

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    • #44575

      Newbie here! Is it okay to have a combination of Tungsten key light (softbox) and daylight as a fill on interview shoots? I did a test earlier and tried using an LED light as fill but the color did not match (it has a greenish tint.) I shot the video and there was daylight coming through a window but it was diffused somehow so it was not as strong. I have a lamp that was on during the interview that served as my background light. So.. back to my question… is it okay to do this? Is there a rule for this?


    • #186682

      As a rule of thumb, when it comes to mixed lighting I always do a manual white balance (actually, I always manual white balance wherever I shoot)on the predominent light source. Depending on the time of day, time of year, overcast or sunny conditions etc. will determine the colour your camera reproduces. When faced with artificial/natural light mixtures I try to add a gel to my artificial light so that it mimicks the natural light. An example would be adding a blue gel to your tungsten fill light so that it mimicks the blue cast from the outside light streaming in. My professional camera (Panasonic DVC Pro) has a b/w viewfinder, so I just let experience guide me, but with a colour viewscreen you can easily see the result just a soon as you do a white balance. If you don’t like the effect, try repositioning the subject or moving some lights, re-white balance and check the result on the colour viewscreen.


    • #186683

      as a general rule warm colors appear to advance and cool colors appear to recede so using color to create depth is quite an effective technique…
      if possible, try this…. use the window light behind and off to one side of your subject…. use your led light to either light your background or rim light your subjects hair. Use your tungsten light (with a refector if needed) to light your subject… set your white balance to tungsten or slightly cooler than the tungsten setting…

      you’ll have natural/warm lit subject with bluish rim light/ and background…

    • #186684

      @Wayne: Thanks for the info! When I was doing the shoot the other day, I tried putting a CTB on the soft box to match the daylight color but the gel was did not fit because it was small. So, I experimented and tried to mix the artificial with natural light … Anyways, I was thinking of buying a fluorescent bulb so I can be more flexible in any situations. Also, when I tried putting the gel in front of the soft box I noticed that I lost some light because it diffused it somehow…

      Did another experiment where I tried exposing the window (so now my subject is dark), and I compensated with the soft box but it did not have enough power to light the subject. I have a v light with an umbrella but I never tried it.. Maybe that could have worked better since it’s not a diffused light? I might need to try that this week but thanks again for the input. πŸ™‚

      @Don: I will try that too! Thanks!

    • #186685

      I posted this a couple of weeks ago and for some reason it disappeared from the forum. Since it’s a work-around for your problem I’ll post it here again.

      I just came back from a 5 hour shoot — interviews shot in the vary spacious bedroom of a wealthy client. The room was very well lit with afternoon natural lighting coming in through the east-facing windows, camera right. The people being interviewed were well lit on the window side, somewhat in shadow on the camera-left side, the side away from the windows.

      We tried using a reflector to bounce light from the window onto the shadowed side: window=key light, reflected (bounced) light=fill light. Back light coming from the windows, bouncing off the light tan wall behind the person being interviewed. Not enough fill, though. What to do?

      We used a small dimmable camera light — an NRG on-camera fixture — on a low light stand, dimmed way down to create fill. Problem was, of course that the daylight side looked slightly blue/cold and the dimmed down light on camera left looked warm.

      We solved this by putting a small bed-side lamp on a low table next to the client on camera left and turned it on with a low wattage bulb. This gave just enough light to show that the lamp was turned on; it cast a nice pool of light onto the table and side of the chair and motivated the slightly warm light on the client’s face. We made sure to show the lamp at the beginning of each interview, just to remind the viewer that there was a warm light source next to the chair.

      Once we balanced the daylight (key) and incandescent light (fill) the scene looked very good and completely believable.

      The lesson to be learned here is one that film makers learned in the early days of film production: if you provide motivation for light by showing a source point — a lamp, street light, flickering candle or fire, etc., almost anything you do with light and shadow that follows will appear believable. 20th century film noire gaffers and DPs used this principle in virtually every film.


    • #186686

      I found a website that further helped me explain the concept of mixed lighting but nonetheless, thanks for the info that you gave me Jack! You’ve been always a great help to me! Cheers! πŸ™‚

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