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-   -   Review? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/techniques-independent-production/9202-review.html)

Frank Goertzen May 2nd, 2003 01:21 AM


You can obviously tell which was shot with an xl1s and which was 'fixed' in post(if not 1st post, 2nd original) I think that the first one is pretty or as close as I'm getting to a 'film look' any suggestions?

Rob Lohman May 2nd, 2003 05:17 AM

As close to what? I think they both look fine, but the first one is
truly spectacular! I really love that look. Superb job!!!

Frank Goertzen May 2nd, 2003 08:59 AM

[Close to the film look]

Dylan Couper May 2nd, 2003 09:22 AM

I like the second one better.

Christopher Hughes May 2nd, 2003 12:48 PM

I like the first one, but prefer the 2nd one cos it seems more crisper that the 1st one which looks too soft to the point of looking like out of focus. But thats just my opinion.

Regarding the first one - have you anyother photos showing that look in other lighting situations with people in. I'd be interested on that very softness if its "useabl" with people rather than just objects.

Derrick Begin May 2nd, 2003 01:11 PM

Excellent foreboding staircase...

The original(2) is cold and ominous. The touched one(2) is warmed up a bit by the yellow.

What a great stair well! Very active photo. Depending what you want to do with it or where it fits in the story, I think the original is a great base.

How far did the stairs extend down? Could you see the bottom? I'm just curious about the range of blacks and the detail contained.


Frank Goertzen May 2nd, 2003 03:15 PM

We don't have any other shots of any subjects on the staircase although we might soon. And are story is a little out of focus at the moment to. But thanks for the interest.

Dylan Couper May 3rd, 2003 08:22 AM

The over manipulation of the colour in the first one distracts me from the subject matter.
So instead of thinking "Wow, that's a cool staircase"
I think "Wow, he spent some time in post on that."

Which is better?

Frank Goertzen May 3rd, 2003 09:17 AM

The first one heh.

Cazi Brasga May 5th, 2003 02:45 AM

The first pic looks like something that would be in matrix, with the green tint.
In case you didn't notice, whenever they are in the matrix there is a a subtle green tint to everything and when they are out of the matrix, everything is "normal".

Zac Stein May 5th, 2003 03:30 AM

How was that effect achieved in the first one?

Rob Lohman May 5th, 2003 04:15 AM

Cazi: actually the "normal" world has a blue cast to it. The matrix
world is indeed green.

Akos Szemenyei May 7th, 2003 10:36 AM

One word, terrible, but if you add some lights and recreate the mood without the crushed blacks and grain, I think it can be an amazing looking shoot.

Derrick Begin May 7th, 2003 11:40 AM


Thats what I was looking for. How can you tell from this still photo regarding the crushed blacks? I assumed that if you can't see a range from light black to deep blacks ala the details at the bottom of the staircase...

Let me know.


Akos Szemenyei May 9th, 2003 07:59 AM

Hmm... I'm not sure if I use the term crushed blacks corectly, but all the grain comes from the lack of lighting and that in turn (the way I express it) is crushing the blacks, since it's more gray now and basically your blacks are gone.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Kevin Maistros May 14th, 2003 06:52 AM

You should have put a softlight somewhere out of view in one of the lower stair wells, but next time.. lower your grain, open the iris, and the AE shift to 2+

Post it and mess with the levels, making blacks real black.. but avoid the grain.

Keith Loh May 14th, 2003 09:50 AM

Hard to tell because of the completely different tones. But I like the 'look' of the second one better.

Wayne Orr May 14th, 2003 10:32 AM

Note the window that is visible in the first stairwell. That becomes your visual clue how to light the shot. Set your exposure for this part of the shot. If it is still too low, then add a light to the first stairwell, imitating the light coming through the window. Then, work your way down the each stairwell, adding a light to each one imitating the look of the first, even if there are no more windows. By establishing a window in one stairwell, will assume there are additional windows on each level, even though because of the angle we cannot see them. Directors of Photography are always looking for visual clues to "justify" their lighting choices.

Also, the foreground pillars need additional light. Basically the whole picture is underexposed, and way too grainy, unless you are after that look as a choice, but I doubt you were.

If you want to keep the "black hole" look, I would suggest even more powerful lights which would allow you to stop down and make the "hole" more intense, while cleaning up the blacks. Remember, when you increase grain, it will show up in shadow areas more quickly, showing everyone your "dirty laundry," so to speak.

Here is a question for the class: Why is the light in the stairwell more intense directly below the twelve o'clock position than near the window?

BTW, this is a great exercise and it would be wonderful to see more of this type of discussion on these boards, because sooner or later, you are going to realize its all about the light. I am impressed that there are so many replying to the post. Give yourselves a star.

Rob Lohman May 14th, 2003 11:07 AM

I think the light is coming in at an angle (notice one spot on the
little window seat on the left that is stronger suggesting an
angular light source) and bouncing of off the stair railing (metal?)

Am I far off?

Frank Goertzen May 14th, 2003 01:32 PM

It was all natural lighting -

Wayne Orr May 14th, 2003 01:59 PM

"All natural light."
OK. So, if we like the look, but we just need to bring up the levels; we could add a light under the stairs, about two o'clock. This is probably where the sun is outside, somewhat overhead giving us soft sunlight through the window moving across the frame, the hottest spot being about twelve o'clock on the stairs. So adding a pretty good source, like a 650 HMI punched through a Chimera, would give us similar daylight with enough power to raise the overall level on this floor. The trick would be to hang the light under the stairway at the two o'clock position so it is completely hidden.

You could do the same set up upstairs and below, only in these locations you could set the light on a stand, as it wouldn't show.

If you want to figure a cost for this shoot, three HMIs plus some grip equipment would cost you at least $200.00 to do this shot, more like $300.00. All part of doing business.

I am a bit surprised the camera didn't handle the scene a little better. What was your f/stop, shutter speed? Are you certain there were no ND's in the camera? Pola filter?

Bryant Sentosa May 14th, 2003 02:40 PM

I like the second one. Mind you this is coming a purely amatuer eyes, I think the look of the second has the that film look.

I think the tone or shading will be be determined by the preference of the director.

The reason I like the look of the second one is it gives more detail in the banisters versus the first one which is blurred.

In my amatuer opinion, I thing there is difference in what appears sightly blurred (picture one) versus a softer "film look."

Just my 2 cents..


Rob Lohman May 14th, 2003 04:21 PM

What was the answer to the question, Wayne?

p.s. I was not suggesting there was artificial light. Merely that
the light outside was at an angle bouncing of the railing....

Wayne Orr May 14th, 2003 06:19 PM

You got it right, Rob. Very perceptive, and a great way to study film lighting. See where you think they have postioned the key light, and figure out why. Some of the older black and white films are excellent for this, as they also used harder sources and you can really get a good idea of their plan. Its harder to tell with some of the contemporary masters, like viewing Conrad Hall's work in "Road to Perdition." Of course I am betting Hall used a lot of the work by the painter, Edward Hooper, such as "The Diner" and "Night Hawks" as a reference point for his work in "Perdition," along with the illustrated novel upon which the movie is based.

Chris Hurd May 14th, 2003 06:35 PM

I recently saw "Road to Perdition" (only on disc though) and it is indeed a superb, highly crafted work of visual art.

Rob Lohman May 15th, 2003 02:49 AM

Hah! Glad I had it good... Was fun examing the picture like that
indeed. Never did that before. Thanks for that, Wayne!

Road to Perdition was an awesome movie. I can understand that
some (if not most) people think it is too long/too slow, but I
really liked it. Great atmosphere!

Andrew Petrie May 16th, 2003 07:58 AM

That shot was done on an XL1s, standard lens, no ND's with the gain cranked (obviously). Shutter speed, I think, was 1/30, fstop varied from room to room, between 3.8 - 5.6, so the picture was brighter. It's important to note, we weren't shooting for effect. We were shooting for reference. Scouting, if you will, the building both inside and out, for inspiration and planning later.

It was VERY dark in there, and the pola that was on didn't help. The pola was on as we were shooting in and out as we went around the building - Again, it was experimental footage. All your comments are welcome, but it's no where close to the quality, commitment, and dedication the real shoot will have :)

Lighting will be the most time consuming part of this project, no doubt about that. Almsot every shot will require beefed up artificial light. Much of my experience in lighting has been in the studio environment, which is much, much easier than this sort of location!

Keith Loh May 16th, 2003 10:08 AM

Interesting comment, except that Road to Perdition, the graphic novel, is largely monochrome. I guess you could get some lighting cues from it. At least in terms of contrast.

The movie had story problems and wasn't as violent as the graphic novel. I didn't understand why they had to have the photographer assassin. They should have used Jude Law as the son.

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