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Low Key High Contrast


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#1 Ashim

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 11:52 AM

Hi,

I desire a low key, high contrast look for a shot in a room lit with 3200K. Now I'll most certainly create the effect by lighting the room according to the look desired. But I know I am gonna be pressed for time and it is a fairly large room. I am going to use a Sony HVR Z1, is there any way that changing the gamma can get me closer
to the required effect and in effect accentuate and better the look. Thinking of increasing the Gamma... How far should I go.

Thanks.
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#2 Dominic Jones

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 10:14 AM

You could try using the CineGamma modes (there's two levels in the Z1, type 1 is more subtle, type 2 more accentuated) - they will crush your image somewhat, giving you a helping hand, but you need a fair bit of light to work with them indoors, in my experience, as they darken the image a bit. Most importantly, in terms of camera settings, make sure Black Stretch is turned off.

Of course, as you rightly surmise, it's really all in the lighting - you may already know all of this, but: Take a lot of blacks and soak up as much spill light as possible. Smoke and lots of backlight always look great for low-key noir-esque effects (but can get cheesy if overdone) and try to use as many lensed lights (either fresnels or pars) as possible. Remember, it's easier (and quicker) to get the low-key look with hard light than with soft, so if you're strapped for time go a little old-school on it!

Have fun!...

Edited by Dominic Jones, 16 October 2006 - 10:15 AM.

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#3 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 12:01 PM

good advice. for this particular camera though i must say that i like to expose every part of the image and then bring it down in post. the hdv codec has a nasty habit of getting *really* noisy in the darker areas. i'm talking 1996 web video level of mosquito noise and blocking that you'll see the second you start doing any kind of color correction.

/matt
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#4 janusz sikora

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 09:55 AM

Hi,

I desire a low key, high contrast look for a shot in a room lit with 3200K. Now I'll most certainly create the effect by lighting the room according to the look desired. But I know I am gonna be pressed for time and it is a fairly large room. I am going to use a Sony HVR Z1, is there any way that changing the gamma can get me closer
to the required effect and in effect accentuate and better the look. Thinking of increasing the Gamma... How far should I go.

Thanks.

Dear Ashim...

As a friend from community... I say STOP! Turn around and go with the LIGHT. Try not to think about camera screwdriver and/or the Post. Welcome the Light into the realm of your visual perception.
Set your camera to facory defaults and light. http://lightextreme.com/wst_page5.html
jotes
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#5 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 10:41 AM

Set your camera to facory defaults and light.

except there's nothing default about the camera defaults. i believe cinegamma is much closer to the "native" gamma of the camera than the default for example. changing the settings is no different from chosing how to rate a stock or what camera filters to use. and again, many custom settings will result in much less image manipulation than the default.

i totally get your point though. there's very little you can do with the camera compared to how much you can do in front of it.

/matt
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