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Flashing reversal film


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#1 linus rosenqvist

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 10:16 AM

Im going to do some test with flashing on kodak ektachcrome 100d (7285) and then do telecine for video SD usage. My idee is to get highly saturated image with soft shadows and burned out highligts. Im wondering if anybody have tried this and what kind of advice you can give me.
How many steps can i flash? (since im doining test i can try several), and more important when do i need to start compensating for this in my exposure?.
Will the imagecolor tint in any direction, im more after a cold rather than warm look, should i filtrate the image or could i go clean and fix it in the telecine?
Is there any other stock that i more better for the look that im after?
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 01:37 PM

You'll have to test to find the results you like -- it's hard to tell you "how much." You're probably more likely to get foggy, milky-looking blacks before you'd need to compensate exposure for midtones, though.

Flashing with a daylight-balanced light source (on 100D) will leave the colors neutral. If you want to add a tint you can gel the light source, affecting the shadows more than the highlights.

But if you're going to telecine anyway, you'll have more flexibility shooting color negative and adjusting the contrast curve and color saturation in telecine.
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#3 Paul Bruening

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 03:43 PM

Hello Michael,

Your post causes a question in me: With the power of DI is there any need to flash film anymore? Photoshop and After Affects have very strong filters and algorythms for selective Gamma, et al. Further, how much can DI/computer color timing compensate for high lighting ratios. Specifically, could you reduce the dependance on fill light against sun by simply kicking up gammas on the dark end of the latitude?
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#4 Michael Nash

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 04:19 PM

Hello Michael,

Your post causes a question in me: With the power of DI is there any need to flash film anymore? Photoshop and After Affects have very strong filters and algorythms for selective Gamma, et al. Further, how much can DI/computer color timing compensate for high lighting ratios. Specifically, could you reduce the dependance on fill light against sun by simply kicking up gammas on the dark end of the latitude?


I don't think a digital process will ever completely replace an opto-chemical one, but sometimes you can substitute one for the other. For one thing, movies that go through a traditional film finish still need to use traditional methods. But even for a DI, flashing is changing the densities on the negative, and the negative is what gives you your information for the DI. You can emulate the look of a flashed negative digitally, but you can't emulate a more dense negative if it's not dense already.

Regarding contrast control as a replacement for fill light; there's a limit to what you can expect. It's true that you can lift shadows and soften overall gamma digitally, but it's always within the limits of what's on already on the film (or video signal, when shooting digitally). What you're doing is simply re-arranging the information that's already there. Anyone with Photoshop can play with the "curves" tool to see how it reshapes the contrast curve -- and what it does to the overall image.

I regularly kick up the gamma and black stretch when shooting video outdoors in sunlight, just to smooth out the contrast range a little more. But it's not really giving me any more dynamic range, it's just letting me underexpose the highlights enough so they don't clip, by borrowing some of the extra information in the deep shadows. And it's still not a substitute for fill light either; it's more like switching to a lower-contrast film stock.

Pushing the curve too far will always reveal the limitations of the source material, either as film grain or video noise. When I raise the black stretch in video, I often reduce the gain to suppress some of the added noise in the shadows.
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#5 linus rosenqvist

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 06:03 PM

Thanks for the replies.
Of course i will test several levels of flashing but since i havent done i before i dont really know i what range, im thinking 3, 4 and 5 steps underexposure.
Since the colors should render normaly and im shouting outdoors im guessing that the stock will work fine but im still wondering about the question of compensating, is there any need to do so?

About doing it in the post. I never really been satisfied with either "flashing" nor with adding saturation, just dont belive that i will get the same result as i will get with a "real" flash.

Edited by linus rosenqvist, 01 March 2007 - 05:56 PM.

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