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Protecting blacks with RED Epic (and other digital cameras)

red epic exposure protecting shadows selective exposure high contrast

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#1 Alex Mansfield

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 03:59 PM

Hi all,

Wanted to get some advice and thoughts on the best way to approach lighting and shooting a scene with selective exposure.

I want to partially expose a shot, and keep other parts in shadow. This is for a dramatic short in which that sort of low-key and contrasty lighthing will best reflect the mood. My concern is protecting the blacks in the shadows from noise. I will be using RED Epic.

Any input would be greatly appreciated as I am still learning.

Many thanks,

Alex

 


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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 05:16 PM

You need to use your full name, it's one of the forum rules.


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#3 Stephen Williams

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 05:25 PM


 

 

Hi all,

Wanted to get some advice and thoughts on the best way to approach lighting and shooting a scene with selective exposure.

I want to partially expose a shot, and keep other parts in shadow. This is for a dramatic short in which that sort of low-key and contrasty lighthing will best reflect the mood. My concern is protecting the blacks in the shadows from noise. I will be using RED Epic.

Any input would be greatly appreciated as I am still learning.

Many thanks,

Alex

 

The shadows will only become noisy if you try to brighten the image. Ideally don't compress more than 5:1


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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 05:31 PM

If you plan on timing for a high-contrast image with very dark shadows, then generally you should be fine in terms of noise if you pick a conservative ISO and compression level -- it's only when you end up trying to lift up detail in the shadows because you didn't use enough fill on some object that you have the potential of bringing out noise.  In other words, if you light a little flatter and add more contrast in post, crushing the blacks a bit, you are less likely to have noisy shadows than if you did the opposite, shot too contrasty and tried to lift the shadows in post.  And of course the base ISO will set a basic noise level.  You may also want to rate the camera slightly slower in 3200K light than 5600K light.


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#5 Alex Mansfield

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 10:59 AM

Thanks for your thoughts - the RGB histogram on the Epic is a useful tool, but the noise bar can be misleading.

Best,

Alex


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#6 Oliver Hadlow Martin

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 01:43 PM

If you plan on timing for a high-contrast image with very dark shadows, then generally you should be fine in terms of noise if you pick a conservative ISO and compression level -- it's only when you end up trying to lift up detail in the shadows because you didn't use enough fill on some object that you have the potential of bringing out noise.  In other words, if you light a little flatter and add more contrast in post, crushing the blacks a bit, you are less likely to have noisy shadows than if you did the opposite, shot too contrasty and tried to lift the shadows in post.  And of course the base ISO will set a basic noise level.  You may also want to rate the camera slightly slower in 3200K light than 5600K light.

 

David just curious why is this? It this because digital sensors are always looking for enough "quality/ decent" light in the blue channel but never really get enough? So shooting in 3200k light will introduce more noise into the blue channel than one would obviously get by shooting in a bluer light (like 5600k).


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#7 Dustin Supencheck

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 12:23 PM

 
David just curious why is this? It this because digital sensors are always looking for enough "quality/ decent" light in the blue channel but never really get enough? So shooting in 3200k light will introduce more noise into the blue channel than one would obviously get by shooting in a bluer light (like 5600k).


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#8 Dustin Supencheck

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 12:27 PM

You can also use an 80a filter to convert tungsten heads to daylight for cleaner image, but unfortunately you lose 1 1/2 stops of light.
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