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Pre-Exposing or “Flashing ” film


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#1 bobbioni

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 07:25 PM

...using it in order to reduce overall contrast or to modify color in the darkest image areas altering the mid-range and lighter image tones....
ok, I am looking for movies made with this process, someone knows one?

since the only flashing images that I saw was my tests




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#2 Paul Bruening

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 02:40 PM

Hello,

Vilmos Zsigmond is a pretty notorious flasher... of film, that is. He used it throughout on The Long Goodbye and McCabe and Mrs. Miller. Here's a link to IMDB for more on Zsiggy- http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005936/ (you'll have to copy/paste it). Although the technique was a big deal in it's time, it has not really caught on as a prevalent technique. It is difficult to judge just how much to pre-expose the stock. Post exposure has a better chance for accuracy but, all the same, is a bit risky and not very predictable. In some cases it fogs the film in an undesirable way negating it's black reducing characteristic. I have yet to find anyone who can provide a quantitative way to determine flash levels. Generally, DPs go with a percentage system that always seemed vague to me. I would love it if flashing could reduce the need for fill lighting. Yet, it doesn't seem to be able to do that.

That was probably way too much answer.
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#3 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 04:44 PM

"Percentage" flash is sometimes used to measure the degree of flash level. In most cases, the best measure is the amount of density the flash adds to the normal minimum density (D-Min) of each imaging layer of the negative. In general, with a neutral flash, the increase is the same in each layer.
An increase of +0.10 density would be a relatively low level of flash, an increase of +0.30 density is more of a contrast decrease in the shadows. Remember, the effect of the flash also depends on your basic exposure -- as you increase exposure, the scene information is placed higher on the sensitometric curve, lessening the effect of the flash exposure, which primarily is softening the "toe" of the negative.

That is why it is important to work with your lab in seeing the effect of various flash levels/techniques, and running some practical picture tests to establish the flash and exposure level.
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