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Short film under forest canopy


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#1 Joseph Dudek

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 05:08 PM

I am going to be working on a short film in which my main responsibilities will be exposure. After reviewing the locations the director has chosen and then visiting them today, I came to the conclusion that I will not be able to achieve the look I wish with the speed of film the director has already (over-eagerly) purchased, which is 100D [Super 16mm K3].

Now, I am in the United Kingdom and we have horrible overcast, dull skies this time of year - which means even out in the open you will be stuck with a wide aperture most of the time. The majority of the short will consist of a man progressing through scenic countryside and inside thick woodland. Considering my average measurements of the locations gave me a reading of F4 and that is not exactly the depth of field you would be wanting for wide scenic shots of hills and forests - what can I do other than request more options with the film stock? I was thinking 100D for in the open and 250D for inside the forest - though I would like to be able to work within the boundaries set by the director regarding stock, if possible, though I cannot see how.
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#2 Joseph Dudek

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 05:13 PM

50D**
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#3 Nic MacDonald

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 05:02 PM

If you're able to get enough exposure under the canopies with the stock the director's bought, I'm not sure I see the issue. An F4 will give you plenty of depth of field on a small format like Super 16, surely enough for landscape shots where there's nothing close to the lens.

Is there something I'm missing?
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#4 Jesse Aragon

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 01:09 AM

Your dof also depends on your lens, depending on the look you can also try pushing the stock.
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#5 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 10:14 AM

People are using wider stops on 35mm sensors, unless you're after some extreme deep focus shots f4 should be fine. Although. given how dark some woods can be, I'd be suprised you'd getting f4 in some of them on really dull days.
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#6 Chris Burke

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:20 PM

You will be fine outdoors, it is just that the shadows are going to go black really quick. I would really try to get a hold of some 250D or 500T with a 85 in front. Pushing one stop is probably the best choice for you short of getting another stock.

Edited by Chris Burke, 04 November 2012 - 02:24 PM.

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#7 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:25 PM

If the forest is dense you should definately check some worst case light readings. 100D may be fine with fast lenses. Think it through with a DOF calculator. I only had a standard 16 Kelly to look at, but if you had f2.0.... I got this for 9.5, 12, 16mm lenses..
Standard 16,
9.5mm, f2.0, DOF from 1.8m to inf.
12mm, f2.0, DOF from 3.2m to inf.
16mm, f2.0, DOF from 5m to inf.

So I think your wide scenic shots would be OK. If you do some sample plans of the shot geometry for the closer shots you can check the required DOF for those also.

Do people still use wheel calculators for DOF or does everyone do on an iPhone or something like that?

Cheers,
Gregg.
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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:28 PM

I tend to use the ASC Manual when I need to check it but most of the 1sts I use have something like PCam or the like on their iPhones. I refuse to buy an iPhone myself, though.

I don't see the big issue with 50D in a daylight wood, unless it's a very dense canopy with no light what-so-ever. If anything I find I'm often NDing on 16mm to kill some of the inherient DoF of the format. Anything wide you'll be fine, and hell, in your bright sunlight you'll be 'round an F16 or so. Unless it's early morning or early evening I'm wagering even on 50D you'll still be pulling out a 2.8 or the like even in the dimmest of woods.
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#9 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:42 PM

But Adrian it's allways sunny in Philadelphia.
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#10 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:44 PM

I tried to hit the "like this" button; and of course it didn't work ;)
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