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thani

To light, or not to light, that is the question

To light or not to light  

21 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you use lights all the times?

  2. 2. Do you use lights for macro only?

  3. 3. I do not use lights at all



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Hi,

 

As the topic clearly states, I'd like to start a healthy debate on lighting when shooting video underwater. I really don't use lights for many reasons such as we shoot in water with many particles/planktons, I don't shoot at night, I don't like to disturb the creatures, etc...

I would like to leave the reasoning for the forum members.

I will try to start a poll and if I couldn't, I'd like the administrator to help in setting up the poll. The questions about when is lighting more effective.

1) do you use lights all the times?

2) do use lights for macro only?

3) or you don't use lights at all?

 

In the reply to the topic, members can elaborate on the reasons for or against lighting.

 

Regards,

Thani

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Thani,

 

I always have the lights attached to my video rig. Except where they are not allowed, as when we snorkel with the manatees.

 

I do not use them all the time; I try to use them only when I think it will help the video such as in turbid water, night diving and in overhead environments where the light levels are low.

 

Macro is usually better with lights on, but not always. Positioning the lights is very important too.

 

I guess what I'm trying to say is there is no set answer - yes/no to your question (sorry!) but depends on this operator's sense of whether they will add color or contrast to the video. A school of sennet or barracuda will pop when properly lighted, where they may appear dull in natural light.

 

At night I use red filters and low power levels most of the time so as to minimize annoying the critters. Sometimes full white light is needed, but usually at lower power than daytime. BTW, tarpon love hunting near me when they see my lights. I try not to illuminate their prey too often.

 

Well, I hope you get the idea,

 

Tom

Edited by wydeangle
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Tom,

 

I really appreciate your clear reply.

I just wanted to gather some usability stats When it comes to lighting which will be helpful for all us :) However, It is disappointing to see that only 7 out of 74 only voted. That is not even 10%. Come on guys, please vote.

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I use lights almost all the time, except maybe extreme wide angle shots.

I have filters on my lights to better match the water colour.

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I use lights almost all the time, except maybe extreme wide angle shots.

I have filters on my lights to better match the water colour.

 

I do pretty much the same. I have tried the blue filters for my Keldan lights but must admit that I did not get good results. Maybe they only really work in conjunction with Keldan's own red filter. Which filters are you using if I may ask?

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Technology and competition has brought lighting prices down.

 

I just bought the Big Blue 7500 lumen light for $620. Fantastic light with variable output, comes with ball mount, flip filter, 120 deg beam, metal housing, good buoyancy.

 

This kind of power has changed my old school thoughts on video lighting. Biggest surprise for me is I got good footage shooting wide angle, filter on the camera, auto white balance, using the lights on day dives.

 

 

https://vimeo.com/193303827

Edited by ronscuba

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Your shot is quite overexposed, tough. Thats the challenge I found changing to my new Keldan's over my previous lamps: You've got to be careful how much of your newly acquired lighting power you apply to each shot.

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Your shot is quite overexposed, tough. Thats the challenge I found changing to my new Keldan's over my previous lamps: You've got to be careful how much of your newly acquired lighting power you apply to each shot.

Yeah, but I prefer overexposed to under. I find it easier to correct in editing and less noise. Shooting up into the direction of the sun was challenging on this shot too.

 

Never had an overexposure problem shooting daytime video with lights. It is a nice change.

 

Super impressed with the Big Blue 7500 light. A light this powerful for $620 really opens the lighting possibilities for UW video.

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My 2 cents:

It is almost always 'all about the light'.

 

This is only my second year of video but just as it was with stills - the lighting is everything (almost).

 

Basically, I am using lights for macro and a red filter lens for ambient light. I have nailed down the macro part fairly well but admit having problems with ambient light. As mentioned above, a school of fish will pop with proper lighting but my neo lights just don't have the same punch as my ike strobes did when I was shooting stills.

 

 

 

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That's not surprising, Tom -- even a pair of 32000 lumen lights (i.e. 64000 lumens of light) don't pack quite the same punch as a good set of strobes. Not to mention that too much light has downsides, like scaring all the fish and blinding your models..

 

One of the hardest adjustment I've had to make going from stills to video is learning how to work within the limitations of video lights in wide angle shots. The big budget underwater productions bring giant surface-supplied light rigs with tens of thousands of lumens (or more) and several specialized lighting divers to position them.

 

So far, I haven't managed to recruit any dedicated lighting divers. Must be the salary I'm offering :D

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I do pretty much the same. I have tried the blue filters for my Keldan lights but must admit that I did not get good results. Maybe they only really work in conjunction with Keldan's own red filter. Which filters are you using if I may ask?

Bub, I use the Gates GT14 lights and have the filter attachment installed with Tiffen Filters attached and am getting very good results using those lights/filters and a filter on the camera as well.

​The Keldan filters look nice and I would like to test out their camera filters too.

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