This week SAR readers photos selection

By SonyAlpha Admin

Icc on SonyAlphaForum Dancing Lights I had a long evening/night trying to capture the lovely lights dancing in the sky. Gear used: A7II + 28mm f/2 1) Submit your picture with a message and picture here: or on the SonyAlphaForum image section. 2) Like and comment the pictures from other readers here: and […]

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From:: Sony Alpha Rumors

10 Great Vampire Movies That Are Seriously Underrated

By Sasha Roberts

Near Dark

Vampires. Specifically vampire movies. Whatever you think of this particular subgenre, there is certainly no shortage. Ever since Nosferatu (1922), there have been to date almost 200 screen incarnations of Bram Stoker’s Dracula alone, never mind all the other blood-suckers that have graced the silver screen.

No matter how many times our heroes (and by extension we the viewers) kill these creatures, they always find a way to come back. The idea of the undying monster sucking our blood in such an intimate, sensual manner is a resilient one, but also extremely malleable as a metaphor. It can represent lust (The Fearless Vampire Killers), addiction (erm… The Addiction), homosexuality (Interview with the Vampire) as well as anything else the viewer takes from the experience themselves.

Two problems arise from such familiarity however. The first is that the more we see a monster, the less it scares us. Fear stems from the unknown and it’s reached a point where we all know what a vampire is and what to expect, hence such ferocious declarations as, “VAMPIRES DON’T SPARKLE!!” (Sorry, Twilight, but it’s true dammit!)

Second is that most of these films aren’t very good. Of course movies are a subjective experience, but for every genre classic (Horror of Dracula) or cinematic masterpiece (Let the Right One In), there are dozens of hilarious duds (Queen of the Damned, Vampire in Brooklyn, Van Helsing, The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires, Dracula 2000, Blade: Trinity, Blacula… the list itself seems eternal).

The following ten films, for various reasons, don’t fall into either end of this spectrum. This is due to their own imperfections, or simply a lack of public awareness. They are all, however, definitely worth a look.

1. Cronos (1993)

Cronos (1993)

Our first film is also its writer-director’s first feature. Guillermo del Toro → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

Why Color Contrast Is Essential For The Cinematic Look + How To Capture It On set

By Noam Kroll

Having color graded countless films over the years in collaboration with other filmmakers, I’ve encountered my share of creative and technical challenges along the way. Of all of them, by far the biggest hurdle to overcome was attempting to re-build color contrast in a scene that simply didn’t have any to begin with.

This process almost always took the same course in the color sessions that I ran –

To start, a director or DP would come in for a looks building session, during which they would share their creative ideas with me and most importantly their visual references. These references were most often screen grabs pulled from other films in the same genre or tone, with the goal of replicating the same look and feel for the project at hand. Unfortunately though, in many cases it simply wasn’t possible to achieve what the filmmaker was asking for without re-shooting the material…

Almost every time this situation came up, it had the same root cause: The film wasn’t shot with the grade in mind, and lacked color contrast.

The footage would often be very warm overall, with little (or no) cooler tones to be found. No practical lights with cooler color temperatures. No cool colors in the wardrobe. Just a warm wash…

I encountered the same issue many other times with other color casts (blue, green, etc.), that seemed to dominate the look of the raw footage. Regardless, the end result in our color session was always the same –

I would have to inform the filmmakers of why it’s not possible or recommended to proceed with the grade as they had previously suggested, and we would then have to brainstorm ideas for alternate looks that would be feasible within the constraints of the raw footage.

This scenario could easily have been avoided if I (or another → continue…

From:: Noam Kroll

5 Reasons Why “Mother!” is an Allegory of Humanity’s Abuse of the Earth

By Bennett Ferguson

“A couple years ago, I was sitting around going, ‘Why is no one thinking about our mother?’ Not your mother, not my mother, but our mother, this mother who gives us life. And I was like, ‘I want to tell her story.’ She gives us all this love, she gives us a home, she gives us endless gifts, yet we treat her like shit.”

That’s what director Darren Aronofsky told an audience at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival that had just seen “mother!,” his transcendent, apocalyptic freak-out about a selfless homemaker, a vain poet and the ravenous mobs who storm their pristine, isolated Victorian home.

It was a message worth repeating, but Aronofsky didn’t need to vocalize it. His depiction of human hubris and ecological decay is so clear-eyed and ruthless that “mother!” registers not just as a home-invasion horror show, but as a scalding allegory of humanity’s vicious abuse of the Earth.

It would be foolish to suggest that there is only one “right” interpretation of “mother!” Since the movie’s release on September 15, myriad theories have been blurted out (it’s about religion! It’s about celebrity culture! It’s nonsense!). But to get caught in the whirl opinions and objections is to miss the point.

At the core of “mother!” is an outraged, deeply felt portrait of how we have devastated our planet via war, global warming, and pure, lethal idiocy. It may re-harness the psychological terror of Aronofsky’s “Black Swan,” but it has as much in common with that Oscar-winning cine-nightmare as it does with “An Inconvenient Truth.”

In other words, if you aren’t too busy vomiting after the end credits have rolled, you’ll probably feel like joining the Sierra Club or melting your car keys. Here are five reasons why.

1. It’s meant to be taken symbolically, not literally

<img src="×430.jpg" → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

3 Ways David Fincher Uses Color to Completely Mess with Your Head

By V Renée

The color palettes David Fincher uses in his films are just as powerful as his dark, unstable characters.

There are a lot of words to describe David Fincher’s films but “subtle” isn’t really one of them. The worlds he creates have a characteristic normalcy, albeit dark and slightly off, but as their stories progress we’re always brought to the nightmarish carnival that is Fincher’s creativity—peeking past the curtain to see a fight club, a missing woman stabbing a man to death mid-coitus, and a mummified man barely alive laying in a room full of pine tree air fresheners.

However, there are areas in which Fincher uses some restraint and finesse in order to carefully lay the groundwork for his more over-the-top sequences, one of which is color. In this video essay by StudioBinder, we get to see how the director employs different color palettes to communicate important themes and character traits to his audience, as well as to ramp up the anticipation in suspenseful scenes.

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From:: No Film School

What Dan Harmon’s Improvised Cartoon Can Teach You about Instinctual Storytelling

By V Renée

“You are a storyteller. You were born that way.” —Dan Harmon

Does storytelling come naturally to you? That’s kind of a tricky question, right? On one hand, we can pretty capably tell a co-worker about our crazy weekend, but on the other hand, we can spend hours staring at a blank page, completely stuck on how to write our next scene. Really, while storytelling might be an inherent skill we’re all born with, the ability to put that skill to work on paper may not be.

However, one writer that seems to really have this screenwriting thing down is Dan Harmon. His work on Community, Rick and Morty, and countless other TV series has shown us that consistent quality is attainable, but one show, in particular, reveals a unique spirit of storytelling that relies less on talent and labor and more on creative instinct, the improvised D&D knock-off HarmonQuest. In this video essay, Sage Hyden of Just Write discusses what screenwriters can learn about storytelling from improv, practice, and going with your gut.

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From:: No Film School

P+S TECHNIK Kowa Evolution anamorphic lenses

By Matthew Allard ACS

P+S TECHNIK has started producing Kowa Evolution lenses, clones of the classic Kowa anamorphic 2x prime lenses that that were last made in the 1970s (probably before a lot of…

The post P+S TECHNIK Kowa Evolution anamorphic lenses appeared first on Newsshooter.

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From:: News Shooter

We can now calculate our way out of technology’s limitations

By (Simon Wyndham)

Much of technology's limitations can be overcome with computational power

With even small devices such as smart phones becoming incredibly powerful video imagers, will sheer computational power make many of the limitations of our devices and cameras irrelevant?

  • AI
  • camera specifications
  • noise reduction
  • Depth of Field

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    From:: RedShark News

    The Syn-Composed Spot “Why We Go” Wins News & Documentary Emmy For Outstanding Promotional Announcement



    Syn, the global music production house founded by Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran, Nick Wood, and Yasmin Le Bon, wins at the 38th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards. The team was presented the Emmy in the Outstanding Promotional Announcement category for their…

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    From:: Shoot OnLine

    Photo of the week: A heartbreaking photo of a bear in a landfill

    I was in the region on an assignment unrelated to bears, but a friend in the area said we could check out the landfill as there may be bears there, so we went for a drive. When we arrived at the landfill there were bears everywhere, I believe 7 total. I was speechless, in complete shock of what I was seeing and I actually didn’t shoot any photographs.

    That night I couldn’t shake the feeling about the bears in the landfill, and so the next day I asked my friend if we could go back. When we arrived the smokey pit was on fire with flames coming up taller than the bear. I immediately knew that, this time, I had to shoot.

    When I finished making the photograph, the bear turned slowly and walked down into the smoking pit, disappearing from my sight. He never came back up during the rest of my time there.

    It took me a very long time to process this photograph after, and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. All I know is that it’s the only photograph I’ve ever made that has made me tear up on multiple occasions. And I’m sure still has more to teach me.

    I used a Nikon D810 and 35mm F1.8 lens. Exposure was F11 and 1/400 second, as I wanted as much detail as possible and didn’t expect the bear to be so still, so I chose a high shutter speed to ensure clarity in case the bear moved around. I got pretty lucky with the smoke and position of the sun—just one of those moments I believe come to us photographers, when everything aligns just right.

    Troy Moth is an award-winning photographer based out of Sooke, British Columbia, Canada. His photography → continue…

    From:: DPreview

    Exploring ZEISS eXtended Data With CP.3 Lenses – Perfect for VFX

    By Olaf von Voss

    eXtended Data

    At IBC 2017 we caught up with Sundeep Reddy from ZEISS to discuss the now-ready eXtended Data feature of the new CP.3 XD lenses. So what is eXtended Data, anyway?

    We caught first sight of the new CP.3 line of prime lenses at this years NAB show, more precicely at a special event hosted by ZEISS. Aside the freshly developed CP.3 lenses there was more to discover: A feature called eXtended Data which would be part of a twin-line of CP.3 lenses, called CP.3 XD. These are the same lenses but add a inconspicuous Lemo connector to the barrel. In comes the magic. Aside of its premium of around $1400 per lens this tiny connector is capable of giving your VXF artist a sense of pleasure.

    ZEISS eXtended Data

    Basically, the XD labeled versions of the CP.3 line of ZEISS lenses can provide you (and your DIT) with the following: A calibrated internal encoder gathers shading & distortion data of that exact lens. The provided data flows through the Lemo output of the lens through a Master Lockit device by Ambient and then further on to your DIT station via wi-fi. Pomfort’s Silverstack or Livegrade Pro are there, awaiting to process the data in real time.

    The whole process is based on Cooke’s signature /i data system but this time around with the famous ZEISS , eh.. look.

    As a result, you’ll get a so-called ZLCF, or ZEISS lens correction file which is not limited to the already mentioned Pomfort products. DaVinci Resolve is also capable of processing these. The distortion and shading data can then be used to speed up your Post and VFX workflow. Stiching together shots will be far more easy when all the lenses used are already matched up perfectly, for example.

    The DIT or AC doesn’t have to write → continue…

    From:: Cinema 5d

    Taking the Canon 28mm F2.8 IS USM to Big Sur, California

    Big Sur, little lens

    Standing alongside the Bixby Creek Bridge in Big Sur, California. Processed to taste from Raw.
    ISO 125 | 1/160 sec | F11

    By virtue of a considerable quantity of dumb luck, we had timed it perfectly.

    Our belongings shifted gently to and fro in our rented cherry-red Hyundai Sonata as we zig-zagged freely along Highway 1 in California’s Big Sur region, a stretch of road that has been described as the ‘longest and most scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the contiguous United States.’*

    We were visiting Big Sur just into the off-season, with Highway 1 subdivided by a massive landslide to the south and a bridge closure to the north. As a result, the road was remarkably unoccupied, devoid of the typically ubiquitous caravans of gawking tourists.

    Although the extensive closures tacked on about six hours of additional driving onto our trip, the journey along the famous Nacimiento-Fergusson Road – the only way in and out of the region cut-off by the closures – was unforgettable. Unfortunately, thanks to the rampant switchbacks, it was also literally nauseating. Can’t have it all, I guess.

    It was into this scenario that I brought Canon’s diminutive 28mm F2.8 IS USM lens attached to an EOS 5D Mark IV; my only photographic tools for the duration of our time in central California.

    Fitting into the lineup

    Photograph courtesy Jordan Stead

    The Canon 28mm F2.8 IS USM is not a new lens by any means. So why write about it now? Well, for starters, we didn’t yet have a gallery on it here at DPReview. It also happens to be among the smallest and lightest full-frame Canon lenses around, and so a great way to (attempt to) minimize the bulk → continue…

    From:: DPreview

    The 6th Oslo Digital Cinema Conference

    By (Tony Costa)

    A report by Lars Pettersson FSF

    Let it be said once and for all, that the 6th edition of the ODCC was a highly rewarding experience, especially for anyone interested in feature film cinematography, since it boasted no fewer than two masterclasses with high-ranking cinematographers Luciano Tovoli ASC, AIC and Luca Bigazzi AIC. As is their habit, IMAGO and the FNF, under the competent leadership of messieurs Paul René Roestad, FNF, and Rolv Håan, FNF, respectively, put on a well-oiled and excellent three-day conference.

    Compared to the conference held two years ago, there has also been a pleasant evolution in terms of equality, in 2015 all speakers were exclusively male, but this time around at least three of the presentations were held by female experts. As is customary, the ODCC is held in the excellent facilities belonging to the Norwegian Film Institute situated on Dronningens Gate in downtown Oslo , just a stone’s throw from the central train station with its direct shuttle to the airport.

    The seats in the film Institute’s Cinema are rapidly filled with participants perhaps mainly from Europe, but also from Australia, the US and many other corners of the world. After a short introductory speech from the President of IMAGO, Paul René Roestad, FNF, the conference is off to a flying start with three camera presentations in a row: The Canon C700, the Panasonic Varicam and the brand-new Sony Venice.

    British cinematographer Brett Danton recounts his experiences with the Canon C700 while shooting a Range Rover commercial in the remote Australian outback. He emphasizes how quickly you can work with this camera -in only seven hours they managed to shoot two full commercials! The fact that the camera house has built in “cheese plates” both on top and below, means that you can very quickly mount it on, say → continue…

    From:: Imago News

    Do you remember? We already had an Alpha 9 many years ago!

    By SonyAlpha Admin

    Did you know we had an Alpha 9 may years ago? This is what ChemicalCameras writes about the : The Minolta Alpha 9 (a.k.a. Maxxum 9 or Dynax 9) is arguably the finest professional grade 35mm SLR camera ever made. It just oozes with ruggedness and quality. It is one of those cameras that once […]

    The post Do you remember? We already had an Alpha 9 many years ago! appeared first on sonyalpharumors.

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    From:: Sony Alpha Rumors

    “How will you tell your story?” – Pond5 short-film challenge

    By Matthew Allard ACS

    “How will you tell your story?” is a Pond5 and Filmmakers Alliance short-film challenge. The competition challenges up-and-coming filmmakers to put their skills to the test while incorporating stock footage…

    The post “How will you tell your story?” – Pond5 short-film challenge appeared first on Newsshooter.

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    From:: News Shooter