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Shooting at Night with Available Light and Skip Bleach


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#1 Adam McDaid

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 09:56 PM

I'm shooting a 35MOS as my final MFA requirement in cinematography for AFI next weekend and I had a few questions for those with more experience. For the final day of the shoot, we plan on shooting around Los Angeles streets using available light. My camera is the ARRI 35-3 with the 5279 500T (rated @ 500) and I'll get a little help from a Panel Lite mounted on the camera. I'm also shooting the Zeiss Super Speeds (T1.3) to help me out with the low light conditions. The plan is to shoot wide open in order to have a super shallow depth of field. But, I also was considering doing an 80% Skip Bleach on the negative to bloom all of the sources in the background. I know that I should compensate one stop for the Skip Bleach, but am I insane in shooting this way when working with such low light levels? I won't have a genny on this project, so I need to work with what I've got. Or would I be better off rating the 5279 at 1000, processing normal to achieve more grain and dirtiness and then achieve the Skip Bleach look in the post from my telecine? Unfortunately, I don't have time to shoot a test for this before I shoot and any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks,
Adam
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#2 Jarin Blaschke

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 11:17 PM

My gut reaction would be that Skip Bleach will add far too much contrast to an available light environment that is probably already very high in contrast, without any fill at your disposal.
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#3 Joseph White

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 12:44 AM

if anything i'd suggest rating 5279 at 1000 asa and pushing a stop, especially if you're ok with more grain. you'll get more contrast, but nowhere near as much as if you did skip bleach. i'd reccomend shooting 5218 if you can, especially if you're planning on pushing, as it has better lattitude than 5279 and less grain, so that when you push you're starting off from a better place. 5218 pushed one stop looks gorgeous (i usually rate it at 800 asa, overexposing slightly to have a fatter negative) but again it's all about what's appropriate for the look of the film. i'd also reccomend not shooting super speeds all the way open as they tend to not perform well as such; use the speed of the lenses to shoot with a little buffer and maybe try to get a t2.0 (which will still give you very shallow depth of field) - you'll sacrifice a little bit of stop, but you'll certainly be shooting with better performance.

anyhow, just my two cents - good luck with the shoot - let us know how it comes out!
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