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shoot with sepia filter


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#1 Anastasia Loguinova

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 12:36 PM

I'm a cinematograher student and its my first time shooting with sepia filter. Unfortunately I won't have a chance to use a DI process so I wanted to ask experienced pros about some tips on shooting in sepia. My stock is Fuji Eterna 500. Thanks in advance :rolleyes:
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 06:02 PM

I'm a cinematograher student and its my first time shooting with sepia filter. Unfortunately I won't have a chance to use a DI process so I wanted to ask experienced pros about some tips on shooting in sepia. My stock is Fuji Eterna 500. Thanks in advance :rolleyes:


First of all, don't forget to compensate your exposure for the stop loss of the filter.

Just remember that any colored filter is limiting the opposite colors from coming through the lens; it's not adding color. So a sepia filter doesn't add brownish-orange to the negative, it just limits exposure in the blue-cyan range. What this means is that blue subjects will appear darker, and warm-colored subjects will appear lighter relative to a neutral gray. The more saturated the subject, the more pronounced the difference in brightness will be.

Not only will the image take on an overall brownish tone, but color reproduction gets shifted as well. Warm tones get compressed together, and anything with a blue component will get shifted strongly toward magenta or pale green, depending on its color. You'll want to factor this into your wardrobe and production design, since colors will read differently than they do to the eye. For example, bright-red lipstick will just look pale, and a deep blue jacket may just look black.

All this is easy to preview though by using the filter on a digital still or video camera. Precise color rendition won't be the same as with film, but you'll get an idea of what to expect.
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#3 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 06:46 PM

You don't need a DI to get straight sepia do you? I'm pretty sure it can be achieved during your basic supervised color timing session.

Get in contact with the lab you're working with and see what their capabilities are.

I think too many newcomers are reading the AC Mag and therefore are now thinking that a DI is "REQUIRED" in order to get any kind of special color timing on your film. This is not and has never been the case. A lot can be accomplished simply using timing lights at the lab.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 12:26 AM

"Brown" can be a subtle color to try and achieve in RGB timing, whether digitally or photochemically, hence why a Sepia or Chocolate filter on the camera may be the simplest way of getting that look.

I sort of think of Sepia as really being a very warm image that is desaturated in some manner, so that rather than orangey, it looks brownish.

Trouble with sepia camera filters is if you have to shoot greenscreen or bluescreen shots where it is advisable to not use a filter, so then the question is whether the background plates should have the filtration so that the compositor has a reference to match the foreground elements to, or shot normally, composited normally, and then an overall sepia tint is added to the finished effect.
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#5 Anastasia Loguinova

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 03:50 AM

All this is easy to preview though by using the filter on a digital still or video camera. Precise color rendition won't be the same as with film, but you'll get an idea of what to expect.
[/quote]

Thanks a lot, but there is one more question appeared. I've just rewatched The Last Man Standing movie and noted that mostly in shooting interiors the DP put a bit of cold color in a shot to make some color contrast to the whole sepia tone. So the question is ... what color tempreture should I use to make such slightly cold tints?
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 12:39 PM

All this is easy to preview though by using the filter on a digital still or video camera. Precise color rendition won't be the same as with film, but you'll get an idea of what to expect.
Thanks a lot, but there is one more question appeared. I've just rewatched The Last Man Standing movie and noted that mostly in shooting interiors the DP put a bit of cold color in a shot to make some color contrast to the whole sepia tone. So the question is ... what color tempreture should I use to make such slightly cold tints?


That's like asking how much salt to put in your food for taste. How blue do you want it to look? Do you want a 1/4 CTB or 1/2 CTB worth of difference? It's something you should test if you're concerned; otherwise, do it by eye.
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#7 Anastasia Loguinova

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 12:48 PM

That's like asking how much salt to put in your food for taste. How blue do you want it to look? Do you want a 1/4 CTB or 1/2 CTB worth of difference? It's something you should test if you're concerned; otherwise, do it by eye.


Ок, my question was not quite correct.... I meant that what kind of CTB should I use to make my lighting source seem white on the screen when I use Tiffen sepia 2 on camera? Of course I will do some film tests, but may be some of you have any on-set experience.
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#8 Stephen Williams

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 01:02 PM

Hi Anastasia,

I remember 25 years ago I made some sepia tests, double exposing (Flashing the neg) with out of focus brown wrapping paper was as good as anything! That was using Matthew's favourite stock 5247!

Stephen
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#9 Anastasia Loguinova

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 01:06 PM

[quote name='Stephen Williams' date='Mar 4 2007, 10:02 AM' post='158441']
Hi Anastasia,

I remember 25 years ago I made some sepia tests, double exposing (Flashing the neg) with out of focus brown wrapping paper was as good as anything! That was using Matthew's favourite stock 5247!

Wow, that's really something extraordinary. I'll try it, thanks!
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#10 James Erd

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 02:36 PM

Just to share another option with you,

I used to do a true sepia on B&W reversal by using sodium sulfide for the 2nd development. I don't know any labs that do it but it might be worth asking around.

Other wise you have to do the whole processing your self from start to finish, though theoretically you could also convert any true B&W print to sepia using using Kodak's sepia toner. I have to tell you though it is a very stinky and messy process best handled in a very well ventilated area.

Also I should point out that going this route have no color but the sepia. So if you want to have any other colors this would not be the way to go.
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#11 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 02:50 PM

Ок, my question was not quite correct.... I meant that what kind of CTB should I use to make my lighting source seem white on the screen when I use Tiffen sepia 2 on camera? Of course I will do some film tests, but may be some of you have any on-set experience.


Well, a Sepia 2 is probably close to a full 85 correction, so in theory a full CTB worth of difference, but honestly, if you're trying to create a color temp difference, it doesn't have to be that extreme to see it. It will look cool by virtue of being surrounded by warm.

As far as flashing with brown light, that was what Gerry Fisher originally developed the Colorflex (then Lightflex / Varicon) to do, for "Young Winston", in order to create a sepia feeling without an overall sepia affecting the highlights. So basically only the shadows go brown (of course, your blacks aren't black anymore...)
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#12 Serhan NASIRLI

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 01:57 PM

When i read this discussion i want to ask something regarding the sepia filter.
Actually i don t know that is it sepia or not but i want to know it.Is it a post production work?
It s about the Neil Burger's film starring Edward Norton "The Illusionist",which Dick Pope from B.s.c,is the director of photography.
I want to ask how did they achieve that look on film
In the beginning of the film,when eisenheimer is young the films look is warm,like sepia,darkened thru the corners,softened thru center in close ups.
For instance on the trackin shot where young eisenheim is running to catch the phaeton,and on another trackin shot when he is in the forest with the young lady.(is it just a sepia filter used?)

Is it a custom made filter or is it done in the post anyone know s that?and it s flickering,the flickering is done in post i think.
i want to know that what film is used? daylight or tungsten+ round filters(circular polarizer) darkens the corners,tobacco/sepia look thru corners
Are they used tungsten film on daylight?custom made tobacco filter+pola and warm soft fx on close ups. i m confused and i want to ask how the look of this film can be done
Thank you for your answers
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