Forum Replies Created
Hello Jeff, if I can share my thought about this topic I would say that exposure is something subjective and so also the method that you seems it’s better for you is the right for your work.
I use a mixture of: incident light meter, false color, waveform, and also spot meter.
When I started to be fascinated by photography there were already digital cameras and so monitors to judge exposure, but when I “grew up” in terms of knowledge and awareness I understand that, for me, relying only on a monitor is something a bit approximate. When you have to balance lights for a set and you want to be specific about contrast/tone/differences between bright areas and dark areas I think you have to be a bit more specific than seeing on the monitor and dim down the lights while you look at the monitor without knowing at what STOP that light is.
The same for me is for false color, when you look at a false color, you see a scale based on IRE, now there are a lot of people more prepared than me over this forum, but each camera has its own increase of IRE to reach a STOP of value.
I look at false color (as for waveform) only to see if I’m clipping highlights or blacks but everything in the middle I feel is quite complex for me to judge.
If you do multiple tests and understand (with a light meter) how your camera sees a full STOP with a false color, you, of course, can be the idea of which color means in terms of under and over exposure.
For me, an interesting tool, that would be a mix of false color and spot meter, is the EL Zone, by Mr. Ed Larchman, but if I remember it is only for Panavision.
Please note, this is MY own thought, there are a lot of fantastic dp’s over there that expose their image fantastically well only watching at a monitor because they are fixed and solid a workflow and this is the point for me.
Develop your workflow and stay on which you feel better comfortably with.
I wish you a great day.
Thank you so much Mr. Deakins for your reply! It’s always fantastic reading from you!
The beauty of “simplicity”.
I wish you a peaceful day.
Since I discovered this site, it is my best inspiration source every day. It gives me the strength to go ahead and follow my ambition and passion, especially in difficult moments.
There are not enough words to thank Mr. Deakins and Mrs. James, for everything they did and do for the cinematography and cinematographers.
I always loved to share and for this purpose, I love their attitude, Learning is one of the best parts of life, and even if (like me) there was not the possibility to go on film school, resources like this give us the ability to learn from a master and improve ourself.
Just two words from a simple guy: Thank you.
This news is awesome!! Can’t wait! ♥
Hello Jeff, I’m not Roger Deakins of course (not even if I worked as hard as possible could I reach 10% of his level), but If I can join in your topic, I think most is about what you want to achieve and what you are looking for.
Before starting to talk about the technical aspect (and I’m curious to read answers from Mr. Deakins, Mr. Mullen, and other experts dp’s here) I think is a matter of “look” and “taste”.
For instance, I love “naturalism” so when I’m on a location scout, I tend to see how the location will impact in a natural way with my lighting, so if a room has only a small window and the story “call” for a “high -key” day interior scenario, my consideration with the director is that maybe that room could not fit for which we are searching for the story.
In the technical aspect, I think you have to consider some aspects: First of all, how the window is located in the location, do you have the ability to control that window/s? Will you light that window artificially or do you rely on natural daylight? There is direct sun or bouncing daylight coming from the building in front of you, or the window is facing North and you will have “only” soft daylight coming? The angle of your Frame, do you shoot square and in front of the window? If so, do you need to be connected to the outside landscape or you will “blow out” your window?
For example, a solution, if you could have control of the light outside, and maybe you don’t have to shoot straight to the window is to rely on the inverse square law for the fall-off of the light and then place your lamp/s at least 3/5mt. away from the window (but then you have to figure out if you will diffuse the light and how much you diffuse it to “recalculate” the fall-off), so that the difference in the lighting of your subject near the window and the other at a distance (but depends on the distance) will be not so extreme.
In “the past” I often struggle with this kind of scenario and as you said bouncing light from the ceiling sometimes helped me but “destroy” the “natural” feeling and made me frustrated, in the last years I’m more serene, and I gladly accept the naturalness of things so that if a man is distant from a window and this is the only light source in the room, this man will obviously be less bright than the one near the window.
This is only my thought, and I will follow with pleasure other answers for this topic.
I wish you a peaceful day, and I apologize for my not perfect English.
Thank you very much for your reply Quijotesco!
Your pieces of advice are really great, I agree with you about the entire flow and rhythm as a full big piece. It is really important to have this point of view.
I for sure will try to read a script and see the realization in order to see their own choices and then my analysis and findings.
Thank you again for your inspiring pieces of advice.
I wish you a great day.
Thank you very very much for your detailed answer, Mr. Deakins. Means really a lot for me to read from you and know that you take your time to answer a mine question. It’s something priceless.
I think it is an incredible experience to see you at work, I would be there in a corner to watch you and study for hours..
I wish you a peaceful day.
Thank you very much for your answer Mr.Deakins! It’s always fantastic to read from you.
I can’t wait to see some BTS photos to watch you at work and I hope for a chapter in the ‘Looking at Lighting’ section! Maybe in the near future, If I can find some frame and if I can post here on the forum, I’d like to ask you questions about some specific situation that you faced.
I would to ask you maybe a silly question, but if the lobby set was facing north-west shouldn’t the direct sunlight be present in the afternoon for a short amount of time? I assume that your start of the day would be in the morning.
Maybe (probably) my consideration it’s wrong and so I will learn another thing from you.
Ps. I loved very much the opening sequence.
Thank you very much again for your answer Mr. Deakins.
I wish you a peaceful day.
Hello Quijotesco and Mr. Deakins, first of all, thank you very much for your reply!
What I understood from your pieces of advice about my question is to be obviously prepared with a good prep. but also be prepared and maybe training (maybe the most difficult step during a stressful day) for drastic changes without losing the “focus” of the story. I think that this is something that can be improved with experience or of course with an innate talent.
To Quijotesco, I’m European (Italian), and I too like mid-range movies, personally, I love so much Asiatic cinema (Kore’eda, Edward Yang for instance) even if there are tons of European movies that I still have to watch (a few days ago I saw “La terra trema” 1948 movie from Luchino Visconti and it was really fantastic).
I have to watch ‘The Rider’ cause I like both the director and the cinematographer, I really love his “minimalistic” style and non-invasive.
I think that a good/strong story and a great narrative image making, it’s more valuable that a big-budget “soul-less” movie (even if it’s freaking complex to realize). Maybe this could sound a bit too “poetic” in the industry, (and I don’t hide that in the last months, I thought to change my way.. but this is another topic) but I think that even new generation audiences want to be absorbed into the stories through images.
In the “past” maybe big budgets were however used with the idea to make a “film” and maybe “nowadays” the same big budgets are used to make “products” or even to realize a director’s virtuosic. But I’m nobody to say this.
This is a bit “complex” topic and maybe I can’t be clear as my English is not really good, but it is really interesting too. As a great chatting with you all, around a coffee/Tea.
Another good thing is that with this topic I discovered other movies to see from you Mr. Deakins and from you Quijotesco.☺
Thank you very much again Mr. Deakins and Quijotesco for your reply.
I wish you a peaceful day.
If I can write something, I understand what Vaniyann says in terms of a giant source of pieces of information.
As an assiduous frequenter of the forum (I check at least 2 times a day if there are new posts for 4 years, I would like to create many for the numerous questions and for the thirst for interest and admiration I have towards Mr. Deakins but I limit myself) I am still shaken by the idea that all those years of interesting questions and just as many interesting answers have vanished.
However, I understand that it is a delicate and complicated matter and that Mr. Deakins and Ms. James are obviously very busy given their prestige (due to their talent and dedication to work and disseminating information to us all) so we can only hope.
I “know” Vaniyann as a user, since I have often read posts by him on this forum and he often specified that some messages from him could be misunderstood since English is not his native language (like me after all). He is not a disrespectful user, he always thanked and always addressed Mr. Deakins as a teacher.
We all love what Mr. Deakins and Mrs. James have done, are doing, and will do and we will never dream of being disrespectful to a figure who is almost a god to us.
We just have to hope for the recovery of the whole forum or otherwise enjoy what has been through the years and maybe generate new potentially interesting content on this fantastic platform.
I wish you a peaceful day everyone.
Thank you for your reply Quijotesco!
In that situation, I had mattebox and no filter. I think it was basically a problem with the lens. It was a cine lens but not something like master primes and that range.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t move the camera cause was a sort of symmetric shot in a kitchen.
As I wrote, the result was that I ended up turning off the two practical sort of tube that was specular to the lens under the cabinets and used only the others on the side, and I was quite happy (I’m never totally happy 😅) with the result. Maybe when the feature will come out I can share a frame of that scenario.
Thank you again for your reply.
I wish you a great day!
Thank you very much as always for your answer Mr. Deakins! It’s always a big pleasure to read from you.
It’s so interesting the fact that due to the multiple single sources being so near to producing one big source, this can reduce the flare (that would be produced if it was a single source).
Also, the trick of the smoke (of course that was motivated by the “flames” on the church in the story) it’s very interesting and could be very helpful if I will have some of those issues in the future.
Thank you again for your time and availability Mr. Deakins.
I wish you a peaceful day.
Hello Mr. Deakins, I hope everything goes well for you and Mrs. James.
I found interesting this topic from Simon and a lot of interesting about your thought on the LED “new” workflow that you used on ‘EoL’.
Since in the past, you felt that even if you use light through a thick diffusion you always prefer to bounce light in order to avoid (in some cases) the “projected” effect, in this case, was it a balanced choice between time consuming and final result?
Did you use square shape softboxes in order to match the shape of the 4X4 reflectors? And last question (always keeping in mind the relationship of the size of the light source to the subject for what kind of softness you wanted to achieve) did you use 4-foot size softboxes (always to match the size to what you used usually for bounce)?
Fillex LED’s are really great in terms of spectrum and solidity, of course, those are not cheap but the quality has its price.
Can’t wait to see ‘EOL’! Here in Italy will be in the theatre on the 23 Feb. But I see your interview on ‘BSC’ with some schemes and I already have something like 1000 questions LOL.
I wish you a peaceful day and thank you always for your kindness and availability.
I agree, I just “offered” my cent some weeks ago with the internet archive link but recovering the forum would be fantastic.
It is a giant source of information and sharing.
I really hope that there will be a solution maybe with the help of skilled people over this wonderful platform.
Happy new year to all of you!