Dusk/Magic Hour



This may be a rather stupid question, but shooting in the magic hour or dusk (that time period where the sun has gone down but it isn't night yet) is it better to use indoor or outdoor film.

I would assume indoor since during that time there is no visible daylight since the sun has gone down.

This brings me up to my next question, since the sky is somewhat blue during these hours whats a good gel to match a light to that blue. Lets say im in a field and I want some extra light to look like its coming from the sky. I don't want to wind up getting a blue gel that gives off to much of a "moonlight" effect.



New member
I think you'd be right to use tungsten balanced stock since the color temp at magic hour is closer to that than daylight. You'd need a color temperature meter to be sure, though. If you have access to one I'd go out for a few days before shooting to test. If you can do an actual shooting test, too, that would be ideal. Then you'd have a really good idea of what you'd get on the day.

As for the extra light you could get away with a regular tungsten unit if you want it to look like white light. Otherwise you could use a CTO or straw or even light red gels, or combination of those, to make it look warmer like dusk.

You should also make sure you have enough exposure that you can open the iris or use ND's that you can remove because that will allow you more time to shoot. Just constantly have your meter out and ready and use it often to keep your measurements as accurate as possible. If you think you're using it too much use it for a couple more readings. Of course, you should always be using your eye to check your contrast, but I've found that while still learning a meter will save your butt (as long as you know how to use it).

Hope this is helpful.


i just like to paose another question which is , somehow, related to the topic. i'd like to know if the film's sensitivity to daylight or tungsten light is determined by its ISO number. for example, is the film which is 100 ISO sensitive only to tungsten light? Or can we have two versions, one for tungsten and the other for daylight, of of a film reel with the same sensitivity?


New member
I'm not sure of having understanf your question, you can have stocks either balanced to tungten light or to daylight, both of them with their own sensitivity. Sometimes you have a reel that specifies the ISO for tungsten and a different number if you're using daylight, that's because they're counting on the color correction filter you'll put on your lens to match the color temperature, and they're adjusting the ISO to correct the loss of luminance due to the filter. I'm not sure if I have answered to your question, anyway, the sinsitivity of a stock is determinated by it's ISO no matter the quality of light.

Ale Reynoso


When the sun is falling, the colour temperature starts to get low, getting close to tungsten light. But when the sun disapears, the colour temperature raises because now the main source is the sky. In "days of heaven", photographed by Nestor Almendros, there´s a scene shot with tungsten stock where a fire has a deep orange cast while the sky (the sun has fallen down but the sky si still clear) is deep blue.

B&W stock has two nominal sensivities: one for daylight and other for tungsten.

Good Luck