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Deep Red Filter and B&W


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#1 Tim Carroll

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 09:44 AM

I need to shoot some footage of the ocean and am looking for something fairly dramatic like this image below.

Posted Image

I will be shooting in B&W, 16mm, and am trying to figure out the best approach. I have used a 25A, deep red filter on my 35mm camera to get a dramatic sky and dark foliage effect like this and was thinking about maybe doing something like that here. I can shoot this with 7265 PlusX Reversal, 7266 TriX Reversal, or with 7222 DoubleX Negative or 7231 PlusX Negative.

I think Reversal film will give me greater contrast, but I still want to add some filtration to get a more dramatic sky and deep foliage and ocean. Anyone have any recommendations?

Will a Deep Red filter be too much with 7266 film stock? How will a Deep Red filter effect the film, besides the drop off in light hitting the film, which I have no problem compensating for? Will it change any other characteristics of the film that I need to compensate for? Or would it be better using a Yellow filter, or even the 85 Daylight to Tungsten filter I already have?

Any and all information on this is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
-Tim Carroll
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#2 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 12:31 PM

using a yellow instead of red25 will yield considerably different results, particularly with foilage.

color filters with bw footage will darken opposing colors of the additive spectrum, while making the corresponding color relatively brighter. a red filter will darken cyan and to a lesser degree greens and blues, while lightening reds. yellow will darken blues and to a lesser degree magenta & cyan, so foilage will seem to be unaffected or even lightened, depending on its shade of green.

and i'm not certain on the science of this... but based on my experience, red filters tend to give you bw footage that has a greater percieved increase in contrast than yellow-filtered footage, though that may simply be because red25 has a higher filter factor.

you can always get a good idea of what your footage will look like by spot metering through the filter. a great example of red25a-filtered bw reversal would be richard myers' "monstershow", a longform experimental film that i was lucky enough to see projected-- the look combined with the subject matter looked incredible. i recall him saying he created the neg from the reversal himself on an optical printer and used a slow stock, and that the prints looked very close to the original footage. i'm pretty sure it's available on dvd through canyon cinema.

one suggestion i'd make though... if you're intending to transfer to video, then i'd shoot neg and just tweak the contrast to taste in telecine. i've seen some people shoot bw/red25a and come back with some unuseable stuff, especially when shooting in direct sunlight with caucasion actors.

hope this helps,
jaan
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#3 dee

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 07:11 PM

using a yellow instead of red25 will yield considerably different results, particularly with foilage.

color filters with bw footage will darken opposing colors of the additive spectrum, while making the corresponding color relatively brighter. a red filter will darken cyan and to a lesser degree greens and blues, while lightening reds. yellow will darken blues and to a lesser degree magenta & cyan, so foilage will seem to be unaffected or even lightened, depending on its shade of green.

and i'm not certain on the science of this... but based on my experience, red filters tend to give you bw footage that has a greater percieved increase in contrast than yellow-filtered footage, though that may simply be because red25 has a higher filter factor.

you can always get a good idea of what your footage will look like by spot metering through the filter. a great example of red25a-filtered bw reversal would be richard myers' "monstershow", a longform experimental film that i was lucky enough to see projected-- the look combined with the subject matter looked incredible. i recall him saying he created the neg from the reversal himself on an optical printer and used a slow stock, and that the prints looked very close to the original footage. i'm pretty sure it's available on dvd through canyon cinema.

one suggestion i'd make though... if you're intending to transfer to video, then i'd shoot neg and just tweak the contrast to taste in telecine. i've seen some people shoot bw/red25a and come back with some unuseable stuff, especially when shooting in direct sunlight with caucasion actors.

hope this helps,
jaan

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


it is because filters only let the same color of light pass through and block the opposite: red filter let through all red light hit the film, block some of the green, block most of the blue. now all things in red has more light hitting the film than the cooler color, that means it will look brighter.

I personally think red filter is abit to extreme. and it kills about 3 stops of your exposure. I prefer deep yellow for greens. but red is awesome for desserts. however, that's just a humble opinion :D
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#4 Tim Carroll

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 07:43 PM

Thanks for the replies folks. What I am really looking for is a dramatic sky. We have these deep blue skies with dramatic clouds at different times of the day along the Oregon coast. I want the blue in the sky to go very dark, and the sun to punch through. Also want the water to go dark and dramatic, as in the shot above.

I have used the 25A with 35mm Kodak Black and White still film, and was wondering if there is any difference in the 16mm motion picture film, or in the Reversal stock, particularly the 7266 TriX reversal, that would maybe make the 25A act very differently than it did with PlusX or TriX negative 35mm still film. Was wondering if anyone had experience with 7266's sensitivity to blue when it is not filtered, and if adding a deep red filter does anything weird that I should know about. Was planning on shooting about the same time of day as the above shot, so with the TriX reversal I will still have plenty of light.

Thanks,
-Tim Carroll
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 11:32 PM

Reversal is higher in contrast, so the red filter will seem stronger than with b&w neg in terms of increasing contrast. Of course, red darkens blues, so in backlit situations with very little blue sky, the effect is not as dramatic.

You could also try deep orange.

If you really want dramatic contrast, then red is fine assuming you expose correctly.
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#6 Marty Hamrick

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 10:03 PM

  i've seen some people shoot bw/red25a and come back with some unuseable stuff, especially when shooting in direct sunlight with caucasion actors.

hope this helps,
jaan

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



I've seen this too,had some really strange results with skin tones in some of my early black and white stills.What are the effects of these filters on skin tones and what would any of you recommend to balance between getting the desired dramatic effects AND normal skin tones?
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#7 L K Keerthi Basu

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 11:44 AM

Yellow-Green 11 and Green 13 are the ideal filters to render the skin tones with the Red 25A filter in the camera. This green filters will have their effect on the red portions of the subject so this will give a skin tone separation with the dramatic clouds by the Red 25A. Green 13 will do well on the skin tones with the High speed films.

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#8 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 01:12 PM

Yellow-Green 11 and Green 13 are the ideal filters to render the skin tones with the Red 25A filter in the camera.  This green filters will have their effect on the red portions of the subject so this will give a skin tone separation with the dramatic clouds by the Red 25A. Green 13 will do well on the skin tones with the High speed films.

L.K.Keerthibasu

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Are you saying to filter the flesh tone areas with a different ("split") filter than the blue sky? :unsure:

The whole idea of using a red filter to enhance clouds in a cyan sky is that a red filter blocks cyan (green+blue) exposure onto a panchromatic film, making the cyan sky darker. So the tone scale of any other colors in the scene will likewise be affected by the camera filter.

Using both a red and a green filter together will block almost all the light.
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#9 Nate Downes

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 08:40 PM

I've shot material with a combo red/green filter. While it works, you'll need a LOT of light. I shot mine with oer 5kW of light in a small room, very uncomfortable to say the least.
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#10 Tim Carroll

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 09:54 PM

Using both a red and a green filter together will block almost all the light.


Thanks John,

When I read that I thought the same thing. A red and a green filter kind of comes out to be a black filter, pretty much blocking everything. Maybe if you used a really light red and a really light green filter, you would get some light through.

Luckily I will not have any people in the shots I am working on, so the red 25 should work well. They are just B-Roll shots to play under the opening and closing credits, so dark dramatic lapping waves and a dark sky with dramatic clouds will be perfect.

Thanks all,
-Tim
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#11 Marty Hamrick

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Posted 20 August 2005 - 09:26 AM

Thanks John,

When I read that I thought the same thing.  A red and a green filter kind of comes out to be a black filter, pretty much blocking everything.  Maybe if you used a really light red and a really light green filter, you would get some light through.

Luckily I will not have any people in the shots I am working on, so the red 25 should work well.  They are just B-Roll shots to play under the opening and closing credits, so dark dramatic lapping waves and a dark sky with dramatic clouds will be perfect.

Thanks all,
-Tim

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



I have red about cinematographers in the 30's using a combo filter pack on the old BW stocks.One story I read concerned a director and cinematographer getting into a very heated argument until the cinematographer reluctantly agreed to try it.The results was a dramatic day for night shot they were looking for at the time.Interesting when you consider stocks of the day were around ASA 6.

OK suppose you needed to intercut shots with actors and you still wanted the dramatic skies and the normal flesh tones?
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