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Old February 22nd, 2007, 05:03 AM   #31
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And the Rain, don't forget the rain


ooh and the Drizzle


And the sleet..........


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Old February 22nd, 2007, 05:26 AM   #32
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^^ Tell me about it...I was supposed to be shooting a 'vibrant outdoor cafe scene' later today...that ain't going to happen!
Fortunately it's given me the opportunity to read these enlightening posts and get up to speed ASAP...I have a until mid week next to pull this back.

Sorry to labour this point but I need to get hold of some filters today.
I have seen a set of 82mm screw on's (0.3, 0.6, 0.9, 1.2) for around 94. I only really required (or so I thought) a 0.3 and 0.6 (doubling for 0.9 if required).
I have also seen a Formatte Mattebox for the HD100 at around 145. I may have missed it back in this thread but is it possible to get hold of ND filters used in the mattebox (aside from the liner polariser).
If not, then at this stage I'll get hold of the ND screw on filters...time and certainly money is very important.
As for warm cards, I'll see if I can pick a few up cheaply otherwise the arts and crafts tub downstairs will soon pillaged!
Cheers.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 06:58 AM   #33
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The price of the Mattebox and 4x4 ND filters is more than 3 times the cost of the screw in filters (though I won't be 'polarised filter' ready...and I could do with those :( )

The graduated fliters are slightly more expensive than the ordinary ND filters kit - from experience might it be worth spending an extra 30 on graduated ND's?
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 10:26 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam Hall
Again, forgive me if I'm wrong, but shooting an actor/model at sunset with your technique would render orange/red highlights, violet/purple mids and dark blue shadows. Not very flattering I'd have thought. Has anyone got a special technique for shooting people at sunset? We don't get many sunsets in the UK, what with all the fog, but it would be nice to know.
Liam, you are not reading my posts properly. I am talking about creating a mood and conveying a feeling of the scene. Yes, the actors' faces would look VERY warm (sunset or nighttime bonfire) but if the audience is to undestand WHEN and WHERE the scene is taking place, the cinematography needs to convey that. What is real when it comes to skin tone anyway? People in an office lit by fluorescent lighting? Summer day? Cloudy winter day? Evening in a cozy kitchen lit by a single 60W light? If you, as the DP, don't create distinctive 'looks', you would not be doing your job right.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 11:03 AM   #35
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I'm kind of glad I made this 'error' now - it's been worth if for the amount if information I've 'indulged' over the past 24 hours...certainly raised a few points. I feel far more confident now and look foward to carrying out a series of tests before I go 'live' again.
I totted up the costs for a mattebox (formatte) with 4x4 filters and linear polarisers and it came to around 500...beyond my budget at this time, though hopefully the bit of work I'm getting in at the moment will enable to invest in such kit.
As it stands I have the option of the 82mm Neutral Density kits; either standard ND filters at 60 (for the 4) or 95 for the graduated filters. Just reading through some old threads on here and other sites, for some reason (never explained!!) screw in graduated ND filters have admonitions against them?
The reason that I may have trouble with them is that for this current job I'm shooting onto a the white concrete of the building against the sky (which could remain overcast/bright when I shoot again). If the bottom half of the filter is clear then whilst the sky will be exposed correctly the bottom half, the white concrete, has the possibility of being over exposed as before (though not as bad due to correct WB this time).

Does that kind of make sense? Should I therefore go for the ordinary ND filters at this stage and build my kit at a later date...?
[EDIT - 70 for just one Formatte screw on ND filter...looks like the 0.6 will have to see me through for the time being :( ]
Cheers.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 11:14 AM   #36
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David,

screw-on filters are okay. The reasons why some people advise against them are as follows:

1. the fact that they use fine thread makes them (and your lens) more likely to get damaged from the constant use

2. you can't combine more filters, as they would create a deeper barrel that could become visible in the picture (vignetting)

3. matte boxes and sun shades are more beneficial in the long term as they do more than just hold your filters - they shade the lens from light flares, you can attach a French flag to them, etc.

4. I am pretty sure that there are more various filters available for matte boxes than screw-ons for your particular diameter size. It's a standard size of tray and you have numerous manufacturers making filters
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 11:32 AM   #37
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Jiri - totally agree.
At this stage though cost is a major factor. However, I'm really warming to a mattebox and it's versatility - a few more jobs in the pipeline should help pay for one (and the complicated add ons like rails etc!).
For now I may have to order the one .6 filter (non grad) to see me through
As I (hopefully) become more professional then this is the type of equipment I should own. The fact I've digested so much over the past 24 hours tells me that if you set your mind to it then 'it' will stick in!
Many thanks.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 11:56 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiri Bakala
Liam, you are not reading my posts properly. I am talking about creating a mood and conveying a feeling of the scene. Yes, the actors' faces would look VERY warm (sunset or nighttime bonfire) but if the audience is to undestand WHEN and WHERE the scene is taking place, the cinematography needs to convey that. What is real when it comes to skin tone anyway? People in an office lit by fluorescent lighting? Summer day? Cloudy winter day? Evening in a cozy kitchen lit by a single 60W light? If you, as the DP, don't create distinctive 'looks', you would not be doing your job right.
Right. Absolutely.
You've outlined the basics of cinematography and I completely concur.
But if I may Jiri, I'll cross swords with you one more time, then I'll bow out gracefully and go back to work. Oh, and I have read your posts carefully.

I picked you up initially because of your assertion that "artificial lighting = 3200k". Clearly that's inaccurate and I know I was harsh to pick you up, well pendantic really and I apologies for that, but I felt that the original poster needed clarity. That's why I mentioned kino's because it's one lamp with two colour temperatures. By the way, in the UK most offices have daylight fluorescents usually giving a cool blue colour temperature.

Again, I raised the sunset issue, not because I don't understand it, but because it's an excellent and easy to understand example of extreme mixed colour temperature and it's one lighting situation that is certainly not as straight forward as it first seems. There are a number of ways to shoot cracking sunsets, I was just interested to hear how different people approached it.

All the best,

Liam.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 01:49 PM   #39
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I certainly did need clarity Liam and these debates have helped the flow of information.
The sunset issue is a good one to point out. Before yesterday, this would never have occured to me and it's entirely possible I'll be shooting objects/people within such a mileu.
Any more suggestions for this setting will be warmly welcomed from me at least!
Cheers all.
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Old February 24th, 2007, 06:38 AM   #40
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WB test update:

I carried out a WB test last evening (just before the heavens opened!) along with control of the zebra:
It was an overcast sky late afternoon/early evening (4:30pm uk), in my back garden shielded to some extent by trees (certainly less open than on the roof of a building). Indeed the reasding was 8000k as it wasn't really that bright at this stage (clouds were beginning to get heavy with light rain).
But considering I was shooting at 3200k the other day there's no wonder I got the results I did.
Also noticed that the zebra isn't as easy to manipulate as I thought. Pointed to the sky the glare was pretty noticeable but not zebra indication (on the sky) - took the iris down a little (both ND's were on btw) and the zebra lines began to appear over the sky. However to completely eliminate these the image was pretty dark (viewing the footage later confirmed this) - clearly not a real indication of the scene. I presume altering the zebra setting within the scene files will help this?
It will then, take some time to get this zebra function working for me...does anybody else find you have to find a compromise between the extreme zebra lines and a light enough shot?

Oh, and the default scene 1 in the camera (after this white balance) pulled almost all the colour from the shots. I'll be adding tim's wide latitude this morning before trying his (and Paulo's) others.
All in all, despite some harsh footage which sank my heart a few days ago I've learned so much over the past few days that it's really a blessing in disguise - and please tell me at least some of you made a few error's when you first started out :)

Huge thanks to all.
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Old February 24th, 2007, 09:59 AM   #41
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David, don't be too hard on yourself. Setting the proper exposure is not easy. The zebra pattern is only a guide. The way it works is as follows in principle:

Set the level - now, the JVC has somewhat 'approximate' settings; 60-70, 80-85, etc. and then 'Over 95' and 'Over 100'. To determine which setting you use and for what is very personal and individual. So, I will share what I do.

I use the 60-70 setting when shooting people-centered material. This setting provides guidance for proper exposure for Caucasian skin. If used (and the person is properly lit) approximately 30% of their face, namely the cheek, tip of nose, possibly parts of forehead would show the zebra pattern. It could get annoying to shoot with it on, so if the lighting is consistent (as with an interview, for example), once you set your exposure, you can turn the zebra off. Also note, that these rules don't apply for darker skins - the darker the person, the less zebra you would see.

If I am shooting landscapes I set the zebra to 'Over 100'. 100 indicates overexposure - in other words, areas cover with zebra over 100 will have little or no detail. For landscape shots I don't want to see any zebra on the ground but might get little in the white clouds or sun reflections on water, glass, chrome, etc. The overall amount of zebra in the frame should be minimal, perhaps some 10-15% maximum. I say this because in some conditions, i.e. partly cloudy, the areas covered by clouds might be too dark unless you compromise a little in the clouds. It's very much a judgment call.

Now, the most difficult is the situation where you are shooting with no control of lighting, location or anything else. You might (and likely will) find yourself making sacrifices and blowing out background in order to see the person's face - or keeping the face slightly underexposed in order to maintain some background. This will all depend on the situation, importance of the subject and the call you, as the DP will make.

Shooting a dramatic material is another whole chapter and the application of the zebra pattern , evethough in principle the same, in practice might be quite different. Just a quick example could be a dramatic scene in a dark basement: the actors may not have any zebra on their faces because you are conveying the fact that they are in the dark place. So, you are underexposing their faces by a stop or two on purpose.

Another example might be someone walking in a hallway with sun-lit windows. As they are passing by the windows, their faces are well lit and you'd see 70% zebra but in between the windows they get darker and no zebra would be visible. This is also another example of creatively determining WB: it could be that you don't want the image too warm and WB to the sunlight. The oposite is WB in the shade and let the sunlight put warmth on the people's face when they pass by the windows.

A lot of this is subjective and good results will come with experience. Good luck.
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Old February 24th, 2007, 10:15 AM   #42
 
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Exposure is one of the items that makes this "art". In today's technically oriented world, it seems there is a need to quantify, quantify, quantify. In the end, the image is a reflection of the sentiment one wants to convey. I'm not even gonna touch the "good art" vs "bad art" topic. Beauty is in the eye of the blah, blah. What makes digital video somewhat unique is that the LCD in the viewfinder is not a perfect reproduction of the scene that you record. Then art takes on a little good old Kentucky windage.
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Old February 24th, 2007, 10:46 AM   #43
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Thanks for that Jiri.

Quote:
The overall amount of zebra in the frame should be minimal, perhaps some 10-15% maximum. I say this because in some conditions, i.e. partly cloudy, the areas covered by clouds might be too dark unless you compromise a little in the clouds. It's very much a judgment call.
That makes much more sense to me now. The earlier test in the garden I had all but eliminated the Zebra (50% landscape and 50% sky), but the scene was underexposed this time. If I had left a small amount as you suggest here then I would've been pretty close, at least as close as I can get with the equipment I have. Slowly this is all clicking into place and once I have these fundamentals tied up I can worry less about the 'higher spec' worries!

Quote:
Another example might be someone walking in a hallway with sun-lit windows. As they are passing by the windows, their faces are well lit and you'd see 70% zebra but in between the windows they get darker and no zebra would be visible. This is also another example of creatively determining WB: it could be that you don't want the image too warm and WB to the sunlight. The oposite is WB in the shade and let the sunlight put warmth on the people's face when they pass by the windows.
I had read a bit of this situation on another thread (the guy, I forget who, recording in the church under an environment described by you above).

I go back a bit to the Neon lighting WB a bit back on this thread: Ironic as a project I want to get going (personal rather than commercial paid...though it all helps) has a scene set in a store in Chinatown here. I really like the work of Christopher Doyle in Asia and Chan-woon Park in South Korea: they seem to have a distinctive, green hue to them often set under these very same atmospheric neon's. With a couple of scene file plays and WB I'm hoping I can nail that one...!

Like this! http://www.scoutgallery.com/doyle_im...ges_5_2046.jpg

Quote:
Exposure is one of the items that makes this "art". In today's technically oriented world, it seems there is a need to quantify, quantify, quantify. In the end, the image is a reflection of the sentiment one wants to convey. I'm not even gonna touch the "good art" vs "bad art" topic. Beauty is in the eye of the blah, blah. What makes digital video somewhat unique is that the LCD in the viewfinder is not a perfect reproduction of the scene that you record. Then art takes on a little good old Kentucky windage.
Yes - be great if I had access to a top range field monitor or even dedicated HD monitor at home, so yes I have to rely on that little fella!
Aye - good art/bad art...one man's meat is another man's poison...some might not be too keen on south Asian cinematography!

Kentucky Windage? :)
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Old February 24th, 2007, 12:51 PM   #44
 
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Kentucky Windage...

A term coined, I beleive, by us yanks, referring to the accuracy of the American Long Rifle during the Revolutionary War and later in the War of 1812. The kentucky Long Rifle was extremely accurate at long distances when placed in a skilled frontiersman's hands. The frontiersman knew, from experience, how to accurately compensate for the effect of wind on his musketball trajectory when fired over a long distance. The long rifle was most famous in Kentucky...hence the term kentucky windage refers to hitting a target at long distance by pure skill and judgment.
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Old February 24th, 2007, 01:39 PM   #45
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I like it Bill!!
I'm off out this evening with friends (rare 'pass out' from the missus!)
I'm gonna somehow squeeze that into the conversation and see who picks up on it! :)
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