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Overexposing/underexposing and printing


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#1 Eugene Lehnert

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 01:21 PM

I want to shoot a scene at night. I want to shoot my backlight 2 stops brighter from my fill light and set my f-stop to match the reading I have for the fill. Then I want to print this down a stop so that my backlight is 1 stop overexposed and the fill is 1 stop underexposed.

Would this help reduce grain in my Super16 image? I want to possibly blow the film up to 35mm depending on how it turns out. I want to shoot with 500T Vision 2 stock. I want to try and get a good silhouette of the figures outlined by the backlight.
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#2 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 04:27 PM

This will reduce grain somewhat, yes.
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#3 Francisco Valdez

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 01:02 PM

One stop under exposure is not enough for the silhouette effect.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 01:07 PM

Silhouette and backlit are somewhat different effects.

A silhouette is a black shape -- no light at all on the subject -- framed against a lighter background. A backlit subject is lit, but from behind.

Usually you would use no fill for black shadows. One stop under on the shadow side is very flat and well-lit. Three stops under would be more typical for a low-level of fill that looks underexposed.
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#5 Eugene Lehnert

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 12:49 PM

Thanks for the tip. I am going to shoot a roll tonight to test out how far I can underexpose before losing detail to the darkness.

So would this be more realistic...

Shoot at 2.8
Set my backlight to read 5.6
Set my fill to read 1.4

Then print it all down a stop. Does that sound like a better setup? Or maybe should I have my backlight set to an 8?




Silhouette and backlit are somewhat different effects.

A silhouette is a black shape -- no light at all on the subject -- framed against a lighter background.  A backlit subject is lit, but from behind.

Usually you would use no fill for black shadows. One stop under on the shadow side is very flat and well-lit.  Three stops under would be more typical for a low-level of fill that looks underexposed.

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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 01:34 PM

That sounds right, although you're hardly risking losing detail if you fill is only two stops underexposed on the negative and then printed another stop darker. But it sounds like a good plan. If this is a test, it would be easy to play with different levels for the backlight and the fill.
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#7 Eugene Lehnert

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Posted 28 July 2005 - 03:49 PM

I got my tests back and wow, you can really see a lot even 3-stops underexposed. So I was thinking of doing this now...

My target f-stop would be: 5.6
Overexpose 1-stop at: 4.0
Backlight to read: 11.0
Fill to read: 1.0
Background light: 1.4

Shooting on 500T Vision 2 stock

Printing down a stop for my final print

I'm using an Arri lighting kit with 3 650 watt fresnels and a small softbox. I was thinking of using 1/8 CTB over the backlights and background light. I wanted to rent a 1000k Par Can for the background. I would like to try using HMIs but they are a little too pricey.

All of this to shoot a night scene that is mainly backlit. Does this reasoning sound logical?
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Aerial Filmworks

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

The Slider

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment