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Achieving a milky and soft look with Alexa


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#1 Marie Davignon

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 08:58 PM

Hi,
I'm a young director of photography. I've been doing this for a few years already (lets say 3 or 4), but I feel I have still a lot to explore in my field of expertise.

I am about to shoot a short in a little more than a month. The director and I would like to achieve a "milky" but subtle look, maybe a little soft too (?), with the Alexa. We have an ultra prime lenses kit and we'll probably shoot LogC prores4444. It is a summer movie, we'd like to include a few flares here and there when its sunny. (Is it a good idea to fake them with a mirror?)

I'm looking for some advices in exposure, filters or even postproduction to help me achieve the look we are looking for. I've already planned to try to overexpose a little bit and to use black pro mist filters, but I am curious to hear how others would approche this look, what else do you think I shoud test before the shoot?

Thanks in advance,

Marie
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#2 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 12:06 AM

Are you locked into your lens choice? Ultra Primes are pretty much the opposite of the look you want..

Something like Cooke Speed Panchros would be much closer. Perhaps a local rental house has a set that has been rehoused and PL mounted? Should be cheaper than Ultras (if you're renting), and you also won't have to spend so much on filters or faking it in post.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 01:30 AM

What's wrong with filters?

I'd consider regular ProMists instead of Black ProMists if you want less contrast, more milkiness. Or use the Tiffen Smoque, or UltraCons. Or if you want more softness, the old Double-Fogs or Low-Cons.

The thing is that the Log-C format looks pretty soft and milky if viewed on a monitor without the Rec.709 LUT, so in some ways, all you have to do is leave the final color-corrected image looking more "loggy".

I don't think older lenses are radically lower in contrast, unless the coatings are missing or have gone south, but one reason to rent them might be for the increased flaring.
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#4 Marie Davignon

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 06:05 PM

Thanks for your advices, it was very useful.
I did some tests and ended up choosing the Cook Panchros, especially for their increased flaring which gives me the milkiness I was looking for.
The shoot starts tomorrow, wish me luck!
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