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That washed out look


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#1 Phil Moreton

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 06:47 AM

Hi everyone,

I wanted to see what the best way would be to achieve a washed out, low contrast look. I'm shooting digital.
My first thought is that I could achieve those washed out blacks by having a Litepad above the lens so I create a gentle flaring coming into the lens.
Other thoughts are; purposely having the white balance off a bit and over-exposing a 1/3 to 1/2 a stop. I'd really like to get as close to this look without any post production.
So any advice would be great. I'm going for a very overcast feel, so i'm going for a soft quality lighting look.

Examples below:
"This is england '86" YouTube Link
(I hope this link works abroad). If not i've attached some screengrabs.
This is England86a.jpg
This is England86b.jpg
This is England86c.jpg

Other examples:
Posted Image
Posted Image

P.S. On film, i've got a look like this by over exposing, 1-2 stops and then pull processing it the same amount in the lab.

Thanks,
Phil
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 07:04 AM

You can do a lot with the camera set up menus. You don't want to be overexposing digital images because you blow the highlights, but you can change the gamma and the blacks in many cameras. Of course, how you do the settings tend to vary depending on the menus in each camera, although with RAW you'd have to do it in post.
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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 08:40 AM

Diffusion and lo-con and fog filters will help a bit too to wash out shadows.
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#4 Phil Moreton

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 08:47 AM

You can do a lot with the camera set up menus. You don't want to be overexposing digital images because you blow the highlights, but you can change the gamma and the blacks in many cameras. Of course, how you do the settings tend to vary depending on the menus in each camera, although with RAW you'd have to do it in post.


Oh ok...well at this moment in time i'm not sure what camera we are shooting on. Dependant on budget...
I will not let my highlights clip obviously, but i was hoping that this was more achievable with lighting rather than tinkering around with my gamma, knee.

Worse case, it could end up shooting on a 7D, and in camera menus on this are limited unless i start playing with custom picture profile settings.
I think a soft source of light pointing towards the lens, would help to encourage this feel and look.

Any other suggestions?

Thanks!
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#5 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 09:41 AM

I think a soft source of light pointing towards the lens, would help to encourage this feel and look.


An even light might help in combo with Adrian's low con filters, depending on the strength of the effect required. It might need a bit of testing before hand.
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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 10:46 AM

Costume and Make up design will help a lot too. To lighten up skin-tones ect. Something as simple as picking a "greyed out" black fabric for clothing can save you frustration later on.
This is especially true, in my opinion on any Digital format where you are dealing with thinner latitudes ect whihc means you can't push it around as much in post as you could with negative film, or higher end RAW camera systems.
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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 11:31 AM

Shoot log.

Assume it's linear.

:)
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#8 Phil Moreton

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 01:22 PM

Shoot log.

Assume it's linear.

:)


Shoot with picture profile style "log"? Do you mean for dslrs now?
And then treat it as film and light with my meter?
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#9 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 01:50 PM

Lift your black levels and lower your saturation.
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#10 Albert Smith

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 02:21 PM

If you want low contrast light it low contrast so the ratios between shadow and highlight are really mellow. Lots of soft fill light. If your exterior shoot on an overcast day and use negative fill to shape the light.
as said costume design, production design also all factors....the look seems to come from slightly over exposed backgrounds and the shadows filled way in.


I would suggest not using filters, but to each there own....flaring the lens with a soft light I have never seen...it might work on really long lenses...but if your at all wide it's unlikely to work and will probably slip into frame. if you want some flare you could try putting some lights into the lens though. I have seen interesting effects with people messing with light leaking in behind the lens too, maybe a bit stylized for your purposes

Test, Test, Test.



if your shooting dslr use the technicolor picture style thats pretty close to the flat picture a red puts out. Do not use picture style settings to shape your picture, shoot flat work on it in post, the canon presets are all awful.


btw, what is this....they made "this is england" into a tv series. geeze.

Edited by Jake Zalutsky, 19 September 2011 - 02:24 PM.

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#11 Chris Sharman

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 04:03 PM

Personally I would be tempted to go the filters route. Though your idea is akin to the lightflex and arri varicon systems which used to be fairly well used. You could always see if Panavision still has a varicon that you could test?
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