Jump to content


Photo

Desaturated colors with solid blacks


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Laurent Navarri

Laurent Navarri

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Student

Posted 01 November 2009 - 01:14 PM

Hi,

I'm a french student in cinematography.
I'm actually working on a short film that will be shot in 35mm during the first week of december.
The action takes place in the 70's during a power grab in Morocco.
For this film, i want to have desaturated colors with solid blacks (most of the action takes place in an underground prison. Darkness is important: corridors, cells)

That's an example of the kind of look i'm searching for:
http://picasaweb.goo...feat=directlink

The film i'm working on is a small budget film. We don't have the money to do special laboratory treatment like silver retention or to do a lot of tests.
I was thinking to use a low contrast desaturated film (fuji 400t) but i'm afraid of the black quality. (maybe shoud i overexposed ?)

Do you have some advices to get desaturated colors while preserving solid blacks ?

Thank you very much

Laurent

PS: sorry for my bad english :)
  • 0

#2 Bobby Shore

Bobby Shore
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 95 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles / Montreal

Posted 01 November 2009 - 02:33 PM

Hi,

I'm a french student in cinematography.
I'm actually working on a short film that will be shot in 35mm during the first week of december.
The action takes place in the 70's during a power grab in Morocco.
For this film, i want to have desaturated colors with solid blacks (most of the action takes place in an underground prison. Darkness is important: corridors, cells)

That's an example of the kind of look i'm searching for:
http://picasaweb.goo...feat=directlink

The film i'm working on is a small budget film. We don't have the money to do special laboratory treatment like silver retention or to do a lot of tests.
I was thinking to use a low contrast desaturated film (fuji 400t) but i'm afraid of the black quality. (maybe shoud i overexposed ?)

Do you have some advices to get desaturated colors while preserving solid blacks ?

Thank you very much

Laurent

PS: sorry for my bad english :)



hey,

if you dont' have the money to test or for special processing, you're definitely on the right track in terms of working the look in through the choice of neg., how you expose it, and how it's printed. I've shot with the eterna 400t, has a nice soft pallette to it, and you could definitely crunch up the blacks if you overexposed it and printed down. unfortunately, that'll also bump up your color saturation a bit as well. In the stills you posted, a lot of the desat. look actually comes from the set and costume design. Not sure how much control you'll have, but if there aren't any strong colors in the frame to begin with, then you're half way there.

hope this was a touch helpful. If you can swing it (which it sounds like you've already thought of), beg the lab to skip-bleach the neg. But that'd defintiely mean a test so you'll know exactly how to rate and expose the stock. Good luck man!


Bobby Shore
mtl/la
www.bobbyshore.com
  • 0

#3 Tebbe Schoeningh

Tebbe Schoeningh
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 117 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Buenos Aires, Berlin

Posted 01 November 2009 - 03:09 PM

I can pm you the email adress of the DP who shot that feature. Write him and and ask him what he did to the neg and how he lit the scene you´re using as reference.
  • 0

#4 Laurent Navarri

Laurent Navarri

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Student

Posted 01 November 2009 - 04:25 PM

Bobby, Tebbe,
Thank you very much for your answers.

Do you think that the fuji 400t overexposed will remain less saturated than the "classic" eterna 500t ?

I've read that it's possible to desaturate colors by lighting the neg with a blue tint (for example with HMI lights) and to compensate the tint when you go to print.
What do you think of this solution ?
Could it be combine with the overexposure ?
Does it affect the image quality in other ways ?


Laurent
  • 0

#5 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 01 November 2009 - 05:00 PM

I think using the most pastel stock out there and then overexposing and printing down is the best approach if you can do a silver retention process, so overexposing Fuji Eterna 400T is a good approach. Making the lighting more blue-ish will help desaturate skin tones.
  • 0

#6 Satsuki Murashige

Satsuki Murashige
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3510 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 01 November 2009 - 06:30 PM

Hi Laurent,

Are you finishing on film or on video? You can easily control contrast and color saturation separately in the video world, but it's much more difficult on film. Usually, every step you take to increase contrast will also increase color saturation, and vice versa. For example, overexposing and printing down will get you richer blacks, but also more color. Printing on Premier stock will do the same. Flashing the film and using low-con filters will lower color, but also fog the blacks.

The one exception that I know of is silver retention processing, which will lower saturation and also increase contrast.

I think your best bet is to try to make the art direction as desaturated as possible, then add contrast with lighting and by overexposing the negative. Then you only have the skin tones to worry about. Good idea about using blue light, that will help. I think your stock choice is spot on, 400T will give you a significant amount of desaturation. It is a bit grainy compared to Eterna 500T.
  • 0

#7 K Borowski

K Borowski
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3905 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • I.A.T.S.E. Local # 600 Eastern Region

Posted 01 November 2009 - 08:02 PM

You'd have to find a lab willing to do this for you, and the cost of the camera stock will be slightly higher, but I've seen striking examples of reversal film (5285 or Velvia) cross-processed in the standard negative developer (ECN-2) that look stunning.

I'm sure the printer lights/colorist's timing/grading would be unusual, but these images had the densest blacks and most muted colors I have ever seen in tandem.
  • 0

#8 Andy Karkut

Andy Karkut
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 37 posts
  • Student
  • Los Angeles

Posted 01 November 2009 - 11:29 PM

I can pm you the email adress of the DP who shot that feature.


Excuse my ignorance, but what feature is this? The images look very striking indeed.
  • 0

#9 Tebbe Schoeningh

Tebbe Schoeningh
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 117 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Buenos Aires, Berlin

Posted 02 November 2009 - 12:25 AM

Excuse my ignorance, but what feature is this? The images look very striking indeed.


It´s called "Garage Olimpo" by Marco Bechis. Argentinian film about a prisoner during the military government in the 70´s who starts to have a love-hate relationship with er torturer.
  • 0


The Slider

Opal

Paralinx LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Abel Cine

Willys Widgets

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

CineTape

Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

CineLab

Aerial Filmworks

FJS International, LLC

Technodolly

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Glidecam

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Tai Audio

Visual Products

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

Abel Cine

Glidecam

Opal

The Slider

Paralinx LLC

CineTape

Tai Audio

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

FJS International, LLC

Wooden Camera

Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

Technodolly

Ritter Battery

Willys Widgets

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Metropolis Post