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Maintaining Consistency


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#1 Kyle Geerkens

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 11:56 PM

Hi,


I was talking with someone the other day and he suggested that he head that there was a general rule of thumb when shooting to maintain a cnstant 'look' throughout a film.

I know this question sounds vague, but I was hoping someone could clear it up for me.

There are so many variables when lighting to achieve a desired look such as aperature, light intensity, shutter speed etc...

My friend suggested that when using your light meter if you alaway set your F-stop to a constant throughout every scene it will maintain a steady visual feel throughout? is this correct or is there something else?

If this makes no sense , sorry.


Thanks
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#2 Chris Cooke

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 12:13 AM

Yes, this makes sense Kyle but for most films this concept is a box that you don't need to put yourself in. Each scene should obviously have some consistency with other shots in that scene (especially key to fill lighting ratios and color). If the lighting changes within a scene the viewer should (other than for dramatic effect) see why it's changing. An example of this would be a person indoors passing by an exterior window. Throughout the film though, different places can have different feels to them and therefore maybe a different hue or lighting ratio. Lighting continuity within a scene is probably as much or more noticable than props continuity.
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#3 Kyle Geerkens

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 12:58 AM

thanks Chris,

I was also wondering about not just single scene continuity, but also throughout the entire film.


thanks again
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#4 Jeff DiMambro

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 06:54 AM

I may have misunderstood what you meant by using your meter to expose for the same stop. if you expose your key, fill, background elements... at the exact same level throughout the entire film you're not creating much of a visual space(skipping the possibility that this tactic might be what you're going for). Everything would look too much alike. There wouldn't be much need for a D.P. if this was a general rule as any monkey with a meter could do the job.

The person that mentioned this to you might have been referring to setting the lens at the same stop throughout. For instance, i tend to shoot (set the aperture of the lens) wide open as a preference (if that's what the film dictates) at a constant predetermined stop such as a 2.8 for all the interior scenes and another constant stop for outdoors. The stop affects depth of field of course but depending on your lenses, shooting at a 2.8 may produce different contrast, sharpness, or color than shooting at a 5.6. These things are usually very subtle but if you stick with certain stops for the entire film, certain scenes, different acts, it keeps a general continuity to the image as far as the lens goes. So i keep the same stop on the lens but it doesn?t mean I never over/under expose or use the same ratios (although I usually don't use set ratios, always by eye).

Say there's a reshoot of a couple of shots in some small scene and you have no idea how you exposed. If you know you shot with a 2.8 on the lens, that you were overexposing by a half a stop in this part of the script, and if you remember how you lit the scenes before or after this one you've got a good chance that all will be well with cutting the reshoots with the other stuff. You (and your a.c.) simply will never forget what you set the stop at. That, in turn, will give you a reference to remember the other stuff.

Also, when using an assortment of lenses (unless you're sticking to just a couple for continuity) such as a prime package and a zoom or two it will help. say you're shooting wide open, your zooms are 2.8 at the widest but some of your primes go to 1.3. If you stick to shooting at a 2.8 you'll never get thrown for a loop by lighting for a 1.3 then really needing your zoom to push in just a bit extra without repositioning the dolly track or relighting.


Hope that shed some light.

Jeff DiMambro,
Detroit
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#5 Kyle Geerkens

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 10:21 AM

That did pretty much answer my question thanks.

i thought that by maintaining a constant Fstop on the lens, it would have too much impact on depth of field creativity. I guess i was wrong.

so if you mainatin say 2.8 for the whole thing, how would you control your exposure for the most part. repositioning lights? shutter speed?


kyle
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#6 Stephen Williams

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 01:01 PM

so if you mainatin say 2.8 for the whole thing, how would you control your exposure for the most part.  repositioning lights?  shutter speed?
kyle

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Hi,

ND filters!

Stephen
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#7 Gordon Highland

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 01:40 PM

so if you mainatin say 2.8 for the whole thing, how would you control your exposure for the most part.  repositioning lights?  shutter speed?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Scrims and nets on the lights, ND on the lens. Fortuntately they're named for how many stops of exposure they cut.
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#8 Michael Nash

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 03:48 PM

Scrims and nets on the lights, ND on the lens.  Fortuntately they're named for how many stops of exposure they cut.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Well, not really. But at least they're named. ;)

Scrims are called "singles" or "doubles", which cut light a HALF stop and ONE stop respectively. ND filters are numbered as .3, .6, .9 and so on which cut the light one, two and three stops respectively.
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#9 Kyle Geerkens

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Posted 18 August 2005 - 03:22 PM

Thanks! Thats very good information to know.


I love this forum.
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