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Pretty pictures..and how to make them


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#1 Aaron Solomon

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 04:34 PM

Hey,

So we all know what the difference between SD and HD and 4K looks like, but I'd get murdered if I attributed too much of a film's look to the resolution in which it's shot. I've shot a lot of SD, but mainly event stuff, and I've only shot HD twice. When it comes down to making a film pretty, especially in the digital age, how many of you actually take out a light/color meter and set your F-stop based on that or gel lights based on the color temperature reading you're getting? How do people judge which filters to put on? Experience? I mean besides simple stuff like a polarizer going on in daylight. I know that HD and anything in 4K improves upon SD drastically, but what keeps even an HD shoot from looking like a kid movie with weird colors? I guess that's my real question. How much of it is resolution and type of sensor vs. the F-stop you're setting at (I know that probably doesn't have anything to do with color) and everything else?

Thanks,
Aaron
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 04:54 PM

Experience, Experiment, Gut, Screwing up, and Luck. Practice makes (near) perfect. It's just something you get at and you learn what works and doesn't work for you.
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#3 Aaron Solomon

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 05:05 PM

OK Thanks Adrian. If only I didn't have school to fill up my day haha...I'll try to get out there and make some stuff. I'm working on a remake of Cabaret that we almost have the rights too but we'll see how that works out. I'm probably shooting on a DVX-100A and some VX-2000's so it'll be fun trying to make anything look pretty but I'll enjoy it haha. Thanks.
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 05:07 PM

One big questions to keep asking, is what is "pretty." or better yet, Beautiful. I think it changes depending on context.
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#5 Aaron Solomon

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 05:09 PM

So based on the mood you want to convey to an audience?
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#6 Justin Hayward

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 05:10 PM

One big questions to keep asking, is what is "pretty." or better yet, Beautiful. I think it changes depending on context.


“Pretty” is a subjective word, so you start by deciding what you personally think looks good. Watch all your favorite movies with the sound off and decide which ones you think look the best. Then figure out why you think certain movies look better than others. But, not how they technically got there, just what you personally like about the shot – the bright colors, dull colors, compositions, movement…etc.

When you figure out specifically why you like the look of certain shots, try to find out how they were achieved technically. This may bring you back here with more specific questions such as, “How do I get backgrounds to be really out of focus?” Or, “How do I get shafts of light?” Or whatever.
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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 05:11 PM

A bit. What I mean is like this, sometimes I'll find a pile of trash beautiful, for some reason or another. othertimes I won't for some reason or another. It's important for me to realize, as Justin Mentions, what I find beautiful or not and then apply that when needed (what about making something beautiful ugly, for example).
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#8 Aaron Solomon

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 05:14 PM

Ok. So sort of manipulate beauty/ugliness to achieve what you want?
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#9 Aaron Solomon

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 05:16 PM

But what about the actual shot? Like sometimes a picture is just ugly and its colors are whacked and is that mainly a resolution thing?
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#10 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 05:19 PM

Remember you can only photograph what is in front of the camera. So if you're in a room with ugly whacked out colors, it'll come out that way on camera. I'd say a good 80% or so of great looking images is having great looking things to photography. As the old saying goes, you can't polish a turd, as such if you're stuck in a horrible boring white room with white walls and a dark black rug, there isn't too much you can do to make it look like Versailles, ya know.
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#11 Aaron Solomon

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 05:24 PM

Wow that really opened my mind. I've never really thought of it like that. At this point I've had color temperature drilled into me so much sometimes I forget about the actually colors haha. Thanks Adrian.
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#12 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 05:30 PM

Anytime. Tell the truth, for a long time I was uber concerned with shadows on walls hated it, till i realized, well, can be quite useful on occasion. Welcome to learning which'll last you the rest of your life!
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