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Overexposing to achieve look


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#1 Garland Greene

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 10:04 PM

Hi everyone! I've been wandering, would overexposing a negative by say 1/3 or 1/2 a stop and then printed at "normal" lights build up the saturation to give me rich color and velvet blacks ? Also, I will be using an 85b filter over the lens during my next film for interiors and exteriors, I'm guessing I would have to compensate for the 2/3 stop light loss from the filter, and on top of that, overexpose for the saturated effect I want?

Sorry if I come across as vague or if any of this has been covered on here before. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 11:52 PM

Most folks tend to over expose around there by default so you won't get the look oyu're after with such minimal over exposure. If you wanted to really play I'd start by testing over and under exposure on the negative in 1/2 stop increments starting at 1 stop over and 1 stop under-- then printing normal. This will show you how your specific workflow will look with the lab and print stock you're thinking of using.


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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 12:37 AM

If you are transferring to digital, black level and color saturation can be adjusted in color-correction from a normally exposed negative, though the slightly overexposed negative will still help keep the grain tighter and the contrast snappier with better shadow detail.

 

If you are making a print off of the negative, yes, printing at higher printing light numbers will get you deeper blacks, which will make the colors look richer.  1/3 of a stop of overexposure is so subtle as to fall within a margin of exposure error; generally I rated stocks by 2/3's of a stop slower to get a richer look, particularly with high speed stocks.  But if this is for telecine transfer / scanning only, then 1/3-stop would probably be enough.

 

Yes, this is in addition to the 2/3-stop compensation for the 85 filter.


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#4 Garland Greene

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 01:38 AM

Adrian- that's exactly what I thought about doing. To be honest until you spelled it out for me, in my mind it seemed almost like a mad scientist idea to even do that. Thanks for your reply I appreciate it! Hope you have a good day.

David- Yes I want to just transfer over to digital and color correct that way. But I figured the overexposed negative would bring out more detail and saturation that will give me a great foundation to start with. I was worried if I went as high as 2/3 or a full stop over I might go too far. I've done little tests before on 16, but most of my previous work are Super8 French New Wave style shorts. I never cared much to experiment with overexposure until now

Well, you answered the 85 filter question on the other post of mine so I won't be worried about the 85. The more I think about it, my original ideas seem very idiotic. To put it lightly. Ha

It seems like people on this board don't really acknowledge or show the proper respect of the time and effort you've given on here teaching people. When I first started learning a few years ago I would come on here just to read your responses to questions. thanks a lot for educating so many of us.
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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 01:51 AM

In the good old days of film it was all mad-scientist stuff. Now it's much more like this:

 


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#6 Mathew Collins

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Posted 28 December 2015 - 12:11 AM

If you are transferring to digital, black level and color saturation can be adjusted in color-correction from a normally exposed negative, though the slightly overexposed negative will still help keep the grain tighter and the contrast snappier with better shadow detail.

 

If you are making a print off of the negative, yes, printing at higher printing light numbers will get you deeper blacks, which will make the colors look richer.  1/3 of a stop of overexposure is so subtle as to fall within a margin of exposure error; generally I rated stocks by 2/3's of a stop slower to get a richer look, particularly with high speed stocks.  But if this is for telecine transfer / scanning only, then 1/3-stop would probably be enough.

 

Yes, this is in addition to the 2/3-stop compensation for the 85 filter.

 

David,

 

>"If you are making a print off of the negative, yes, printing at higher printing light numbers will get you deeper blacks, which will make the colors look richer."

 

Could you explain about printing at higher printing light numbers? 

 

Is this about overexposing the staock and printing at higher printing light numbers?

 

Is it about Garland's overexposed stock to be printed in this way?

 

>"generally I rated stocks by 2/3's of a stop slower to get a richer look, particularly with high speed stocks."

 

Is it about underexposing the stock by 2/3's of a stop to get a richer look?


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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 December 2015 - 01:41 AM

If you rate a stock slower, you are overexposing it, not underexposing it.

 

Let's say that a negative of normal density prints at 25-25-25 points for RGB on a printer that goes from 1 to 50, so 25 is the middle.  If 25 is the printer light value for a normal negative, then the more dense the negative is (the more overexposed), then the more light you have to pump through it to end up with a print of normal brightness, hence the higher printer light values.  It takes about 8 points to make a correction of a stop in brightness.

 

So you can see that a negative that is only a 1/3-stop overexposed is only going to shift your printer light levels about 3 points, which is pretty minor.  Remember that you cannot make a correction of less than a single point for each color in either direction.

 

Anyway, a print made at higher numbers will have deeper blacks.  Think of it this way, imagine you either shoot a roll with the lens cap on or you basically don't expose anything, you just send an unexposed roll to the lab and get it developed, so basically you have a black image.  If you print that negative, which is more or less clear other than base fog density, at different printer light values from 1 to 50, you find that the deepness of the blacks in the print, the density of the blacks, gets higher at the higher printer light values until you hit the D-Max of the print stock (maximum density).

 

Deeper blacks means that in a regular image, you get more contrast and more saturation in the print because black level affects our perception of contrast and saturation.  Thin, grey-ish blacks have the reverse effect, the image feels less contrasty and the colors seem weaker.

 

In reality, a normally exposed and developed negative rarely prints at 25-25-25, it depends on the lab set-up and usually the blue prints a bit lower, so a normal negative might print at 28-29-22, let's say.  So a negative that has been overexposed a stop will usually print in the mid to high 30's, though occasionally a number might drift into the 40's shot by shot.

 

Anyway, a one-stop overexposure isn't generally something to be scared of unless you are shooting subjects with a lot of bright highlights like snow in sunlight or a backlit ocean, etc.


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#8 Mathew Collins

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Posted 29 December 2015 - 12:30 PM

Thank you David. That clears many doubts.


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