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How to detect unwanted flaring when shooting on film?


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#1 Benjamin_Lussier

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 06:11 PM

Hi guys,

Im starting to shoot on film more and more these days.. and theres just one thing that bugs me. How do you get rid of the subtle (sometimes not so subtle) flaring that occurs when the subject is filmed against bright exteriors.

I have attached a picture that shows what I mean. The camera was not aimed at the sun, and it's not like a flag could have blocked the flare because it coming from behind the subject, correct me if Im wrong. And since it was shot outside, bringing a 1k spotlight to light the subject to compensate for the brightness of the sky is simply not very practical... and if it were, would that have solved the problem ?


Any tips from the pros ?

Thanks

Benjamin
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#2 Alfeo Dixon

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 08:16 PM

you attachment didn't make it... so speaking blindly off your words.

At first it sounds like the sun is behind the subject which could be peeking around and through your subjects hair or arms and such. Not much you can do if this happens other than pulling your filters and using your best lens with the clearest glass.
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#3 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 11:27 PM

If you're talking about more of a GLARING type flare from a bright background, then your best options are to try and find some balance between your subject and the background by pumping some more light on him/her. Some people try and use giant scrims behind people to cut it down, and that works sometimes, but can produce a weird effect sometimes.

If it's an object in the background that reflecting sunlight directly at the lens, you could always just throw some duvetyne or black tape on it. If it's out of focus, no one will know.

Of course, we'll need to see that pic to know what you're really talking about.
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#4 Benjamin_Lussier

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 07:35 PM

Hmm.
Im trying to attach the pic but it says its too big... even tho its just 30k

But yeah I wasn`t pointing at the sun at all.
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#5 Benjamin_Lussier

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 08:26 PM

Is it possible also that I was just using a very bad lense and that`s what caused the glaring ?
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#6 Alfeo Dixon

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 10:16 PM

Is it possible also that I was just using a very bad lense and that`s what caused the glaring ?


So, not pointing to the sun but an over all softness could be a quality of the glass, if its a very old lens not well maintained. I use to have a still lens that had such a quality, the images I captured where great, but what they weren't was hard and crisp which is what a lot of people where trying to achieve with filtration. I wouldn't call it bad unless it's NOT the look you want.
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#7 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 02:56 AM

Try loading it to Photobucket or something, and using the [IMG] "bracketed" link, you can post the photo here directly.
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#8 K Borowski

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 03:51 AM

Also, just want to point out that flaring is an optical phenomenon, not a film or digital one.

This is why filmmakers go to a great deal of trouble to mount matte-boxes over their lenses to try to minimize flare.

There are certain situations where you can't avoid it entirely, but you can cut down on it a great deal with the aforementioned matte-box.


If you are actually referring to halation, due to extreme overexposure of a background that causes bleeding due to light bounce within the film, the only way you can avoid this is by keeping the overexposure of a background compared to a normally exposed foreground to no more than 3 - 3-1/2 stops over. If you go four or more you will get halation.

There's an example somewhere on this site of someone deliberately overexposing six stops to get intentional halation for a dream sequence. I'll see if I can't find that post. . . .
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#9 Sing Howe Yam

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 11:01 AM

If equipment is shortage for your situation it would probably be easier to also cheat the subject into a more controlled area based on the position of the sun. A lot of it also depends on the focal length you're using. I just did a feature recently and for a clean single on this actress we put up a double 12X12 net behind the actress and the car behind her to cut down the white wall behind her that was too hot. Also if you're shooting against the sun it's amazing what you can bounce back depending on the shot. Be weary about making sure the mattebox to the lens is covered with a donut or a black cloth to avoid any kickback onto a filter.

But like everyone else that has posted on this topic, it would be easier to further assist you with a screen grab or a photo.
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#10 Benjamin_Lussier

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 11:01 AM

Posted Image

There you go gentlemen !

Finally managed to upload the picture.

I was shooting with an old Arri II-B by the way. Old lenses too. The more I look at it the more I think this could be the problem.

By the way, Karl, is that what you mean by halation, or it is just a little halo around the actor? Something we call " light wrap" in the world of compositing.

thanks for your helps guys, very much apreciated
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#11 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 11:07 AM

Looks nice actually, in a sort of Geoff Unsworth fog-filtered way...

Looks like basic soft flaring, or veiling or glaring, whatever, from pointing an old lens or a zoom lens into a bright sky. Filters on the lens could also contribute.
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#12 K Borowski

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 11:17 AM

Looks nice actually, in a sort of Geoff Unsworth fog-filtered way...

Looks like basic soft flaring, or veiling or glaring, whatever, from pointing an old lens or a zoom lens into a bright sky. Filters on the lens could also contribute.


I concur. Halation is distinct and concentrated towards the edges of the highlight-shadow separation.

This is just slight flare, which would be difficult to avoid. To be honest, on the monitor, I didn't even notice it at first. I thought that it might have been the line on the building, until I realized it was a reflection off a bank of windows.
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#13 Benjamin_Lussier

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 12:29 PM

Looks like basic soft flaring, or veiling or glaring, whatever, from pointing an old lens or a zoom lens into a bright sky. Filters on the lens could also contribute.


Cool. So if I want to avoid this in the future I should get a better lens. Don't really have the choice to use a .85 filter tho :S...

Edited by Benjamin_Lussier, 23 December 2008 - 12:30 PM.

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#14 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 12:45 PM

Cool. So if I want to avoid this in the future I should get a better lens. Don't really have the choice to use a .85 filter tho :S...


Some people would spend money to get that effect deliberately...
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#15 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 01:39 PM

Some people would spend money to get that effect deliberately...


Right, but one is not expecting it, it's kinda like: Doh!

You can fix that optically and digitally too, if you don't like it. FCP, Premiere, Vegas et all will let you increase contrast to your liking.
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#16 Alfeo Dixon

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 11:45 PM

So, not pointing to the sun but an over all softness could be a quality of the glass, if its a very old lens not well maintained. I use to have a still lens that had such a quality, the images I captured where great, but what they weren't was hard and crisp which is what a lot of people where trying to achieve with filtration. I wouldn't call it bad unless it's NOT the look you want.

Here's that photo I spoke of...
Posted Image

This is just slight flare, which would be difficult to avoid. To be honest, on the monitor, I didn't even notice it at first. I thought that it might have been the line on the building, until I realized it was a reflection off a bank of windows.

Not a flare from the windows. Look closer at the windows, looks more like the cloud reflection just to the right.
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