A Letter From Our CEO – Now, Community Matters More Than Ever (COVID – 19)

Read Here

Cinematography : Black Light / UV by Shane Davey

Shane Davey

Black Light / UV

Has anyone had any experience shooting black light or UV footage? I'm prepping a music video and we've been discussing but haven't got any real experience so it would be an experiement - any tips and examples of successful executions would be massively appreciated. Shane.

Gregory Hines

We shot a music video under black lights in the early 90's. The light is obviously weird and can take some playing around with to get it how you want it. Depends on what look you are going for but we lit the foreground with heavy black lights and then splashed light behind the drummer and against the side walls with colored gels. In the edit we spliced that scene with other'normally' lit scenes and it worked

Vance Burberry

I have done several pieces with black light, I have used super blue tubes with congo blue gel. works great or wildfire uv lights.

Shane Davey

Thanks Gregory and Vance. Much appreciated. Have you got any links to the work you did for reference? Very interested to see it.

Vance Burberry

Hey Shane so one of the more famous pieces is Busta Rhymes, "look where your eyes can see. Tracking back down hallway with UV make-up and Art direction, I used 2 Image 80's mounted on the front of dolly with Kino Super blue tubes rosco congo blue 181, This video is online but really low resolution , I have a hi-res version I could upload and send you a drop box link, it's a great example of shooting blacklight. I shot it on Eastman 5219 Film

Shane Davey

Thanks Vance, that's a great reference - found it on youtube - it looks absolutely epic. Top job.

Brent Reynolds

I have shot both on film and video in black light. Shot both with standard black light flouros you can get at any hardware store, though we did use them in kino fixtures. in both cases the results came out as envisioned. We even did some mixed lighting with tungsten and that worked out as well. What camera will you be shooting?

Vance Burberry

Yeah the black light fluorescents work ok probably about one third of the output you get from super blue Kino with Congo blue. All depends on the scale of the shot.

Brent Reynolds

True. There is a difference depending on if you really need to see detail or just want to see the effect. I mainly chimed in in the event budget was a big concern.

Vance Burberry

Yeah Brent u are right on that point. We all have had to adapt to shrinking budgets that's for sure.

Shane Davey

Top tips guys, really great stuff. I think we're shooting mid-June so I'll post the results!

David Neal

I recently had a Red shoot with a few 400 Watt black lights, UV facepaints and greenscreen. If you get too close to your subject, you'll get a violet/purple cast, so the trick is in the distance you are from the subject.

Other topics in Cinematography:

register for stage 32 Register / Log In