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Flashing In-Camera


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#1 Emilio Schlappi

Emilio Schlappi

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 10:35 AM

Hello,

Some subtleties of flashing the negative in-camera have been eluding me, hope somebody can clarify things.

Firstly, am I right in assuming that 'flashing coloured light' simply means combining a coloured filter with the Varicon, and that it would only affect the shadows? Would love to get an idea of what it looks like, before I try it myself.

Secondly, I've heard people liken the effect of Ultracon filters to that of flashing. Is that really an accurate comparison?

Many thanks in advance for your time and your wisdom.


Emilio
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 10:58 AM

A flash works from the bottom up, it affects the blacks and shadows mostly. A colored flash will tint the blacks and shadows with that color. But be aware that a lot of the affect of a mild flash can be cancelled if you restore the blacks somehow, either in digital color-correction or if using something like an ENR process to the prints.

Putting a colored filter in the same mattebox as a Varicon does not create a colored flash -- that's just filtering the overall scene. You'd have to gel or filter the light source inside the Varicon in order to create a colored flash.

Lighting the blacks with a filter like a UltraCon is similar; in fact, I think the Varican starts out with a piece of glass like an UltraCon. However, a filter works by reacting to bright areas in the shot, whereas a flash can be independent of what's going on in the frame. Plus a true flash that doesn't involve a piece of glass (like flashing using the Panaflasher or in the lab instead of the Varicon) may be a tiny bit sharper since you aren't talking about a diffusing piece of glass, just an overlay of light.
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