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Sharp contrast on Face


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#1 Jon Bel

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 08:57 AM

I would like to know how to light a actors face, sort of like half-lunar glow, without grain in blacks. This is a low key shot, right side of actors face is key, hardly no fill. Point of my question is, what are my considerations for a high contrast look in the dark which will not produce grain in blacks and give clean image. Is shooting 500t stock at f2.8 or 2 just too risky? 200t has better grain structure but I would probably need a f4. I just essentially want no grain in blacks. Any approach to this?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 11:59 AM

I would like to know how to light a actors face, sort of like half-lunar glow, without grain in blacks. This is a low key shot, right side of actors face is key, hardly no fill. Point of my question is, what are my considerations for a high contrast look in the dark which will not produce grain in blacks and give clean image. Is shooting 500t stock at f2.8 or 2 just too risky? 200t has better grain structure but I would probably need a f4. I just essentially want no grain in blacks. Any approach to this?


Overexpose and print down. Use slower film stock. That's it. The f-stop is not the issue, the exposure is. Overexposing will mean that you can "crush" the blacks a bit in printing or in post, plus you will be exposing more of the tiny grains inbetween the large ones... but the overall grain structure itself in the whole image is part of the design of the stock, so use a less grainy stock if you want less grain.

Blacks are only grainy when the overall image is underexposed and "lifted" in post to compensate.
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#3 Jon Bel

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 04:37 PM

this helps, thank you David.
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