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B&W contrast help.


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#1 dustwaterwindfire

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 01:00 PM

I am shooting some plus-X and I want to get as much contrast as possible, everything will be shot outdoors. I know there are limitations to how much is possible with plus-X but any tips on this would be excellent. I am using a 814xls. Thanks for helping.
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#2 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 02:07 PM

I am shooting some plus-X and I want to get as much contrast as possible, everything will be shot outdoors. I know there are limitations to how much is possible with plus-X but any tips on this would be excellent. I am using a 814xls. Thanks for helping.


Use a haze filter or polarization filters, and consider the use of a yellow or even red filter if you want to enhance clouds in the sky.
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#3 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 03:01 PM

I am shooting some plus-X and I want to get as much contrast as possible, everything will be shot outdoors. I know there are limitations to how much is possible with plus-X but any tips on this would be excellent. I am using a 814xls. Thanks for helping.


Plus-X is a reversal stock so it should be somewhat contrasty to begin with.

There are several contrast options along the entire filmmakig process that one can alter. These Contrast options include film stock contrast characteristics, scene contrast, filming techniques to add contrast, and then NLE/post production contrast.

Actual Film Stock contrast relates primarily how your filmstock will react to how one lights a scene. Filmstock contrast is perhaps the most difficult to master because if you don't recall what your lighting contrasts were in your previous shoots with that particular film stock, you won't have an educated way to refine your lighting contrast for future shoots.

Your key to fill light ratio directly affects film contrast. Was your Key Light to Fill ratio, a 2-1, 3-1, 4-1? This ratio affects how the a film stock handles contrast. Soft light in general can minimize contrast, back light can give the film a nice edge.

Scene contrast relates to wardrobe, make-up, set-design & actor's complexion. You can create additional contrast by how you use these four disciplines. Use red lipstick to bring out an actors lips. Make-up & hair can also thicken eyebrows and can also influence how well the actors hair is seen. Wardrobe can use darker colors such as deep blues, reds, and blacks to offset lighter colors in the scene. Set design also can i incorporate color, size and distance to help create more contrast. Create clash, you create contrast, and hopefully it will blend with the them of your piece.

Filter contrast can also be used. Using filters can increase contrast although you probably will need more more overall light unless you are shooting outdoors during the middle of the day. Filters can used on either the lens or with lights (called gels).

Film Processing contrast can create a different look by how the film is processed. I tend to think it's best not to mess around here too much unless you feel you have no choice, such as you accidentally over or underexposed your footage and need to pull or push your film to save it. I recommend only follow this technique if your lab is an excellent communicator with you and you plan on having an ongoing relationship with them so they learn what your preferences are and you too learn to talk each others language.

NLE/Post Production is perhaps the most common method to adjust contrast for low budget filmmaking. Turning your video signal brights brighter and your darker tones darker will create additional contrast even on shots that have minimal contrast to begin with.
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#4 dustwaterwindfire

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 07:07 PM

thanks guys for the feedback. very thorough and helpful and I plan to use some of these tips next week.
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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Ritter Battery

Willys Widgets

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

Wooden Camera

Aerial Filmworks

Metropolis Post