Jump to content


Photo

Making Flat Light more Interesting...


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 Erdwolf_TVL

Erdwolf_TVL
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 104 posts
  • Other
  • London

Posted 28 January 2006 - 02:42 PM

When shooting in an environment with an inherently low contrast (an overcast day for example) is there a way to make things look more interesting / colourful?

IE, using CircusChrome, a special filter or by exposing differently?

Or should one just have to live with what one can get in such environment?

Most of my filming is experimentation and home movies where I cannot always control the "scene" :)
  • 0

#2 Stephen Williams

Stephen Williams
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4708 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Europe

Posted 28 January 2006 - 02:51 PM

When shooting in an environment with an inherently low contrast (an overcast day for example) is there a way to make things look more interesting / colourful?

IE, using CircusChrome, a special filter or by exposing differently?

Or should one just have to live with what one can get in such environment?

Most of my filming is experimentation and home movies where I cannot always control the "scene" :)



Hi,

Adding a light and negative fill will help, ts much easier with close ups!

Stephen
  • 0

#3 Jaan Shenberger

Jaan Shenberger
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 262 posts
  • Director
  • San Francisco

Posted 28 January 2006 - 03:36 PM

When shooting in an environment with an inherently low contrast (an overcast day for example) is there a way to make things look more interesting / colourful?

IE, using CircusChrome, a special filter or by exposing differently?

Or should one just have to live with what one can get in such environment?

Most of my filming is experimentation and home movies where I cannot always control the "scene" :)



the biggest advantage to shooting in overcast or very soft lit situations is that the texture and color of the subject matter will generally become more visually dominant over light & shadow. maybe using well color-coordinated wardrobe/production design/location might help. or integrate pattern and texture in a similar way too. or you could create your own kinda de facto light & shadow by juxtaposing dark objects against light to create the contrast missing in the lighting (ie. person in white outfit standing against a dark blue wall, etc). and you could overexpose a stop or so to saturate the colors (just use an nd grad for the sky, overcast skies often come out as white). and there's always shallow depth of field.

hope this helps,
jaan
  • 0

#4 Erdwolf_TVL

Erdwolf_TVL
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 104 posts
  • Other
  • London

Posted 29 January 2006 - 02:27 PM

the biggest advantage to shooting in overcast or very soft lit situations is that the texture and color of the subject matter will generally become more visually dominant over light & shadow. maybe using well color-coordinated wardrobe/production design/location might help. or integrate pattern and texture in a similar way too. or you could create your own kinda de facto light & shadow by juxtaposing dark objects against light to create the contrast missing in the lighting (ie. person in white outfit standing against a dark blue wall, etc). and you could overexpose a stop or so to saturate the colors (just use an nd grad for the sky, overcast skies often come out as white). and there's always shallow depth of field.

hope this helps,
jaan


Thanks for that!
  • 0

#5 John Pytlak RIP

John Pytlak RIP

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 3499 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • Rochester, NY 14650-1922

Posted 29 January 2006 - 08:19 PM

Costume and set design can also be used. For example, on an overcast day, flesh tones look very nice, but a bright red jacket or hat really "pops". Using fluorescent or brightly colored costumes can "brighten" up a flatly lit scene.
  • 0

#6 Anthony Schilling

Anthony Schilling
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1063 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • Portland, OR

Posted 30 January 2006 - 01:41 AM

A 220 shutter angle can give some extra saturation punch on an overcast day.
  • 0

#7 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 20074 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 30 January 2006 - 02:13 AM

A 220 shutter angle can give some extra saturation punch on an overcast day.


Why would the shutter have an effect on color saturation??? Especially when switching from 180 to 220 degrees (assuming you have a camera that can even do that.) All you get is more exposure. Are you talking about overexposing slightly and then printing down to gain saturation & contrast? Because you don't need to use a 220 degree shutter angle to do that.
  • 0

#8 Josh Bass

Josh Bass
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 552 posts
  • Other

Posted 30 January 2006 - 02:21 AM

Just keep in mind that he mentioned that most of the time, the overcast days weren't planned. That could make the wardrobe/set dressing thing difficult unless he had a plan B for the overcast day.
  • 0

#9 Anthony Schilling

Anthony Schilling
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1063 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • Portland, OR

Posted 31 January 2006 - 02:59 AM

Why would the shutter have an effect on color saturation??? Especially when switching from 180 to 220 degrees (assuming you have a camera that can even do that.)

I don't know exactly why but I notice it quite a bit with low speed reversal. I live in a lot of overcast, often take out a canon 512XL with a fixed 220 shutter angle (have other cams with variable 180/220) and get better saturation with more exposure time. maybe the colors just bleed more? I also notice desaturation if I go to a 90 or 45 degree shutter.
  • 0

#10 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 20074 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 31 January 2006 - 03:20 AM

I don't know exactly why but I notice it quite a bit with low speed reversal. I live in a lot of overcast, often take out a canon 512XL with a fixed 220 shutter angle (have other cams with variable 180/220) and get better saturation with more exposure time. maybe the colors just bleed more? I also notice desaturation if I go to a 90 or 45 degree shutter.


Shutter angle just affects exposure time per frame, and assuming you compensate and expose correctly for the different shutter angle, the only affect will be on the amount of motion blur. There should be NO affect on color saturation. I mean, when you do still photography, do you expect a different color saturation at 1/30th, 1/60th, and 1/120th of a second, assuming you adjust the f-stop for the change in shutter speed?
  • 0

#11 Anthony Schilling

Anthony Schilling
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1063 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • Portland, OR

Posted 31 January 2006 - 09:47 PM

The exposure time may be what makes a difference in dreary overcast, comes out to about an extra 2/3rds maybe. Otherwise reversal rated at 25 or 40ASA daylight can get pretty muddy in those conditions. With negs, I did a shoot last summer with 7218, one camera with a 220 shutter, another was a beaulieu 4008 with guillotine (which translates to about a 130 shutter equivilant I think) But no difference in saturation.
  • 0

#12 Leo Anthony Vale

Leo Anthony Vale
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2010 posts
  • Other
  • Pittsburgh PA

Posted 01 February 2006 - 02:54 PM

The exposure time may be what makes a difference in dreary overcast, comes out to about an extra 2/3rds maybe. Otherwise reversal rated at 25 or 40ASA daylight can get pretty muddy in those conditions. With negs, I did a shoot last summer with 7218, one camera with a 220 shutter, another was a beaulieu 4008 with guillotine (which translates to about a 130 shutter equivilant I think) But no difference in saturation.


If the Kodachrome was getting muddy, it was probably underexposed.
Beamsplitter reflex viewers eat light.

---LV
  • 0

#13 Anthony Schilling

Anthony Schilling
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1063 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • Portland, OR

Posted 06 February 2006 - 09:13 PM

If the Kodachrome was getting muddy, it was probably underexposed.
Beamsplitter reflex viewers eat light.

Yeah, thats probably the case, where I live 25ASA can be pushing it in winter overcast.. but using the 220 shutter always helped with K40. I've recently noticed the new 64T holds it's colors nicely when underexposed.
  • 0


Rig Wheels Passport

CineTape

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Metropolis Post

The Slider

FJS International, LLC

Wooden Camera

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

Visual Products

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineLab

Willys Widgets

Glidecam

Aerial Filmworks

FJS International, LLC

Metropolis Post

Glidecam

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

rebotnix Technologies

CineTape

Visual Products

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Technodolly

Paralinx LLC

Tai Audio

CineLab

Willys Widgets

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

The Slider

Ritter Battery

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Wooden Camera

Rig Wheels Passport

Abel Cine