July 5, 2015 at 8:31AM

0

Dealing with Sodium

Hey Everyone!
At the moment I'm DPing a film which includes a huge night scene exterior on a terrace that's sounded by sodium vapour lamps. They are incredibly powerful and outshine the bar's tungsten sources.
The problem is correcting the unacceptable sodium spectrum and bringing the level down to act as a fill on our subjects while simultaneously lighting the background with that classic urban look.
Luckily I can pretty much do what ever I want in terms of lighting including turning off the sodium street lights.
I'm considering doing just that and then rigging 2kw tungsten floods with a 650 Sodium gel or 1/2 CTO (and maybe a bit of plus green) to mimic the sodium but keep the integrity of the skin tones in the shadows.
Then the key becomes a mix of candle and tungsten from the bar, most lightly with practicals and kinos on our subjects.
I'm very open to any solution and would love advice on mixing, correcting and dealing with sodium and tungsten.
Thanks so much in advance.
James

1 Comment

Keep in mind that Sodium Vapor lights are not complete spectrum, so it's impossible to get a neutral color balance out of them. Your choice is to either live with the orange color of the Sodium Vapor lights, or make them gray-scale so you end up with a black and white image that you can add a color cast to in post. ( i.e. orange cast, green cast, blue cast, brown cast, etc... )

July 5, 2015 at 10:34PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
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