A recent shoot at a winery in the Napa Valley provided plenty of lighting challenges for our small crew. There was a beautiful cave system at Chateau Boswell with metal halide lighting throughout. The color of these lights is close to the color of daylight, but certainly not full-specturm light for proper skin tones on-camera. After checking the color of the light with the new Spectra color meter, we decided that to use a mix of Kino Flo daylight fluorescent lights and HMI sources for most of our interior lighting setups. Our cameras for this shoot were the RED Dragon and Canon 5DII.
Working on location can be challening, but with the understanding of lighting and color balance, your images can be dramatic and powerful. In this case, the natural colors of the rock caves provided a great backdrop for many of our shots. When you have sources built into an environment - like the up-lights in the caves - it's best to first set your camera exposure for the look of the background (the cave walls) and then light your subject areas to match that exposure. Often, we would use 4'x4' black flags or diffusion frames to either block or control the effect of the overhead metal halide lights. This way we could design the look of the lighting on the subjects and/or foreground with our production lights while keeping the rich, natural look of the rock walls throughout the project.
(Top image: The barrel tasting room has a beautiful symmetry to it ... we beefed up the splash of light on the center wall behind the barrel by adding 2 Arri LED LoCasters on the floor for additional up-light.
This lighting setup was done for winery owner, Susan Boswell. The image was captured as both a still photograph and a moving video portrait. For the main source, a 400w HMI was set behind 2 layers of diffusion, and a Kino Flo 4x4 was set over the lens for an additional fill and eye-light. The bounce board on the floor was illuminated with an Arri LED LoCaster for soft up-lighting on Mrs. Boswell.
Working in a great location can make a world of difference in your images. The well-designed architectural lighting already in place at Chateau Boswell made our job easy for creating interesting shots for the video marketing piece.
This image shows the camera angle and a small shiny board that was positioned to provide a small amount of bounced separation and hair light from the camera-right side.
The Sekonic C-700 color meter was useful to show us the true color of the lights in the cave system. Our eyes naturally white balance to the environment, so we cannot always trust our eyes when deciding upon additional lighting for a scene. DP Christian decided on a higher color temperature setting on the RED Dragon in order to shift the cave lighting to a warmer tone.
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