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#1 william koon

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 01:13 AM

Hi There,
I came across a video shooting on lacation a few days ago. Noticed that the DP filtered all lights with tracing papers (if I name it correctly). Please tell me the reason of doing that. I personally feel that with the filters/tracing papers put after the barn doors leave us limited control of the light spread. Of course cutters could be used but they add extra burden and space. Will it be the same if I throw those lights directly to the scene with equal intensity as the filterd lights mentioned? Instead to using the cutters and c stands, I make use of the barn doors to limit the light spread. Only failing which I then sort to use cutters. Please comment.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 02:55 AM

Obviously he's doing it to soften the light, although putting the diffusion on the barndoors is not as soft compared to shining the light through even larger frames of diffusion.

But the softer the light / bigger the source, the harder it is to flag and cut -- that's just the nature of soft versus hard light. But if you want or need soft lighting, it's something you have to deal with.
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#3 william koon

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 03:58 AM

Obviously he's doing it to soften the light, although putting the diffusion on the barndoors is not as soft compared to shining the light through even larger frames of diffusion.

But the softer the light / bigger the source, the harder it is to flag and cut -- that's just the nature of soft versus hard light. But if you want or need soft lighting, it's something you have to deal with.

David,
Is soft and hard lighting a personal liking or each style implies different message? Which of these lighting do you practise while you are in a project? Am I right to conclude that soft lighting produce better video images and hard lighting produce better celluloid images? Sorry for the ignorance. Thanks in advance.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 12:27 PM

Soft or hard, or inbetween, etc. it's just a question of style, of the look you want to achieve.

Has little to do with video versus film, although artificial sharpening (edge enhancement) in standard-def video cameras tends to exaggerate edges, especially lines on a face, plus video cameras have a harder time dealing with high contrast, so those factors tend to favor softer light as one solution.

But whether you use soft or hard light for a narrative project is usually more of the look you are trying to achieve. Modern cinematography is primarily naturalistic, thus it wants the lighting to suggest real-life sources. And in most situations, practical or natural light tends to be softened in some way or another. People rarely stand in sharp projected light except in direct sunlight, or track lighting, or when other hard sources are motivated (like standing in a spot light on stage.) Windowlight tends to be soft, light from a lampshade is softened, sunlight bouncing off of the floor, furniture, walls, etc. gets softened.

Now obviously if you are shooting head shots for an interviewed, realism is not the goal (except maybe in some documentaries) but making the subject look good, being flattering to their face, is.
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#5 william koon

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 12:53 AM

Soft or hard, or inbetween, etc. it's just a question of style, of the look you want to achieve.

Has little to do with video versus film, although artificial sharpening (edge enhancement) in standard-def video cameras tends to exaggerate edges, especially lines on a face, plus video cameras have a harder time dealing with high contrast, so those factors tend to favor softer light as one solution.

But whether you use soft or hard light for a narrative project is usually more of the look you are trying to achieve. Modern cinematography is primarily naturalistic, thus it wants the lighting to suggest real-life sources. And in most situations, practical or natural light tends to be softened in some way or another. People rarely stand in sharp projected light except in direct sunlight, or track lighting, or when other hard sources are motivated (like standing in a spot light on stage.) Windowlight tends to be soft, light from a lampshade is softened, sunlight bouncing off of the floor, furniture, walls, etc. gets softened.

Now obviously if you are shooting head shots for an interviewed, realism is not the goal (except maybe in some documentaries) but making the subject look good, being flattering to their face, is.

David, thank you so much for this special explanation.
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Willys Widgets

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

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Aerial Filmworks

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rebotnix Technologies

CineLab

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Metropolis Post

The Slider

Rig Wheels Passport

Glidecam

Visual Products