Latest DOP document, this one features the work of Janusz Kaminski
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Janusz Kaminski Document
18 replies to this topic
Posted 09 December 2013 - 12:12 PM
Something I find interesting about this:
The flesh tones are beautifully separated from everything else and I'm not sure how this is achieved.
I get the impression that the backlight is natural and the fill from Hanks' right (camera left) is either a silvered reflector or a very big light, to compete with the sun, and they appear to be closely colour-matched so the skintone separation isn't coming from carefully placed light, although the sun apepars to be throwing some of the background into shadow, which is helping it look cooler. But then, the shadow side of Hanks' face doesn't look cooler.
To some extent it is clearly a matter of production design, with the helmet and clothing, and to some extent the custom-built set in the background, being colour controlled. But the background shadows and the helmet are so close in hue, and the shadow side of Hanks' face is so separated from that, that I wonder if something else is going on. It doesn't look too obviously like a grade because the out-of-focus guy in the background has the same separation without any particularly obvious artifacts of it having been windowed-out and treated separately.
It could conceivably be a colour-qualified grade, a tweak in Photoshop for this particular extracted still. I am of course nowhere near experienced enough to make this differentiation or to argue with Kaminsky, so I ask only in the spirit of enquiry: could it be that what really makes this shot work is not really a camera technique at all but one of production design and grading?
PS - By the way, when I complain about people's attitude to video noise and compare it to the noise intrinsic in film, this is what I'm thinking of! It is by any measure incredibly noisy!
Posted 09 December 2013 - 12:56 PM
"As a cinematographer you can only be as good as the director allows you to be"
Funny, I say this all the time, nice to see I'm in good company...
Posted 09 December 2013 - 08:43 PM
Could well be as simple as bronzing powder on the actor's faces.
Posted 13 February 2014 - 04:25 PM
That's great. I've just gone and downloaded a few of the other pdfs, great stuff. Thanks.
Posted 16 February 2014 - 05:59 PM
Thanks for this. I went to your blog and will be downloading others. I've created a similar blog for myself, but focused more on color/composition from films/DP's I admire. Yours is much more detailed. Would love to incorporate those types of specs. Great work.
Here is the link to my blog. Hope others might find it useful.
Posted 17 February 2014 - 05:32 AM
Lovely work Pierre - ive bookmarked it for future reference!
Posted 17 February 2014 - 10:33 AM
Both Star Wars and to a lesser extent Lawrence of Arabia, look very different to how I remember them. Star Wars looks especially bad in a lot of shots.
Are these coming off blu-ray discs of the movie? I remember the shots on the desert planet being red and more hazy than that.
A lot of shots look a bit too oversharp and contrasty by my memory too. Lawrence of Arabia also looks a little odd and not how I remember it.
Posted 17 February 2014 - 11:29 AM
It is indeed incredibly grainy but then it is the EXR film that predates even the first Vision series stock.
The film has been pushed by either one stop or a full two stops which while increasing the speed up to 800ASA will also increase the grain, and even normal 800ASA film was incredibly grainy which is one of the reasons that Kodak stopped making it no doubt!
5293 is actually the earlier version of EXR 200T as well. It was replaced by 5287 EXR 200T some years later.
So we are talking about film technology that is well over 20 years old.
I suspect it was also the intention for the movie to be quite grainy.
There is a long tradition of grainy war films and various methods being used to hype up the grain including shooting on Super16 for the hurt locker more recently.
Heavy Grain would have been a stylistic choice back then, as it still is for some people now.
Perhaps this is what you mean when you suggest people have a different attitude and aversion to video noise.
Personally I like a bit of video noise but then I'm not very into very characterless video which seems to be the trend at the moment!
Posted 17 February 2014 - 11:41 AM
The negative was push-processed and the prints went through a silver retention process, so the grain was definitely intentional.
Posted 17 February 2014 - 11:44 AM
I don't know about grading but the coral 1/2 filter could be a part of the effect.
Also note that pushing the film will increase the contrast too.
I seem to remember this movie was finished photochemically.
Isn't it even famous for having a bleach bypass?
Coincidentally I just picked up a cheap (and ancient) Harrison Coral 2 filter. So this is helpful as it give me a vague idea of a milder form of the effect.
Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:08 PM
Just looks like the fill is the same color temp as the sun, so probably a bounce off of a card close to the face, stronger than one would normally do in order to compete with the increase in contrast from the push-processing and the silver retention printing.
Corals can be used in place of 81EF's and 85 filters, it's just a different shade of orange. They might not have the same degree of UV filtration built into them. "Saving Private Ryan" used an 81EF in place of an 85 filter to get a cooler bias built into the negative. He also used a Panaflasher for some shots to lower contrast, again with the silver retention process in mind.
I think the shot works not just because of the production design and grading, but because of that bounce fill catching his eyes -- a lot of the dramatic power in many scenes comes from Tom Hank's eyes.
Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:19 PM
Heh heh! You seem to be on an eyeball kick at the moment David, but you are definitely onto something and I think it's definitely helpful to pay close attention to what is happening with the eyes.
In this shot I really like the way the reflection curves around like a crescent moon.
Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:34 PM
Perhaps you can help me further David. In this shot he is using a Coral 1/2 to replace an 85, so presumably an 81EF being a much weaker orange would require an even weaker coral?
I have a coral 2 which I assume is a lot stronger, although it's an old Harrison glass filter so if Mr Kaminski is using Tiffen filters or something they may not have the same way of grading the strengths.
My coral 2 does look fairly strong but then so does an 85!
Anyway this shot was helpful to get a general idea of the filter in context, but if you can think of anything to elaborate further that might help.
Posted 17 February 2014 - 04:43 PM
A 1/2 Coral isn't as strong as an 85 filter so he's not completely correcting 5600K light to 3200K for the tungsten film stock, hence a cool bias that is left. I thought the old AC article said he used an 81EF instead of an 85 filter, not a 1/2 Coral.
I think in theory a Coral 3 is equal to an 85B filter but it's not an exact replacement, it sort of depends on if you are basing what matches on density or what looks correct to your eye. Coral 2 would work, probably more like an 85(A).
Not sure it matters anyway since you can shoot in daytime with no correction on tungsten stock and print it back to neutral... so you can use any Coral filter and get whatever degree of coolness or neutral or warmth you want.
The problem is if you want a partial correction for a cool look, then you'd need to first shoot a grey scale with full correction or a heavier Coral and the switch to the partial correction or lighter Coral for the scene itself. Otherwise if you just stick a Coral on the camera and shoot with no reference to what neutral is, a timer is likely to just make the scene look neutral.
Posted 18 February 2014 - 08:49 AM
Thanks David, that's great! I did think the Coral 2 looked closer in density to an 85.
It could be that the AC article said that he was using the Coral 1/2 instead of an 81EF, that would actually make more sense to me and explain where the Coral bit and the 81EF bit were coming from.
Anyway thanks for getting back to me on that!