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Any Tips for Shooting Under Fluorescent Store Lighting?
  • Hi, All!

    I'm in NYC for the semester and loving it! I've got a short film in the works, almost cast, and I have several options for locations. The film is set primarily in a convenience grocery store. Of course, this means overhead fluorescent lighting. I've checked all locations for flicker, and most places seem to have electronic ballast lights, which is good (this means you can synch up the shutter speed).

    However, I would really like to have a few lights on set besides the overhead fluorescents. I need something small footprint, as I am trying to be as unobtrusive as possible (the store will be letting me shoot for free during business hours). Any suggestions? I'm looking to rent but not sure what to grab.

    Also, is some sort of magenta filter a good idea under fluorescents? I've never shot anything serious under fluorescents, so I just don't know much.

    Thanks,

    Caleb

  • 4 Replies sorted by
  • In my experience, it's really hard to filter out the green spike of a particular fluorescent on set, better to take your time correcting it in post. If you add white-balanced lights to the scene, your foreground figures may look good, but you'll see a green tint in the background. If the fluorescents are already bright, I'd bring tungsten fills just to warm up the flesh tones. You can then reduce the color saturation of the whole scene without turning everyone pale.

  • Just use more fluorescent lights as fills and do a minus green filter in post as Lpowell suggests. The other idea is to use a minusgreen filter on the camera but good ones can be expensive and can cause issues with coloring in post if you aren't careful.

    The other option would be to use minus-green gels on all the light fixtures. How many fixtures are you talking about?

  • I would recommend getting some plus green for your lights. We had a shoot with an Alexa with just this problem, but we filtered our lights with plus green until they matched the store flourescents, then in camera we added more magenta, but this last step could be added in post. That way they will all have uniform green, which is easier to remove.

  • Check the bulbs color temp and you might be able to pull off a CFL array.