The Fujinon 200mm f/2 From the Point of View of a Portrait Photographer

The Fujinon 200mm f/2 From the Point of View of a Portrait Photographer

The Fujinon 200mm f/2.0 is a beast of a lens designed mostly for sports and wildlife, but as a portrait shooter I wanted to see how it stacked up.

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New Netflix Podcast ‘The Call Sheet’ Is Filmmakers’ Newest Obsession

The Call Sheet is a new podcast that digs deep into the Netflix shows you love. Check it out!

Ever wonder how your favorite Netflix series and movies came to be? What was the process behind brainstorming them, writing them, and directing them?

Well, now all your questions will be answered with The Call Sheet! From Apple: “THE CALL SHEET with Kris Tapley is a weekly show that dives deep into the craft of your favorite Netflix films and series with some of the most talented artists and artisans in the game.”

The premiere episode features Ava DuVernay and Spencer Averick talking about the acclaimed documentary When They See Us.

The episode covers everything from ideation to editing. Its description is as follows:

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Watch Lorene Scafaria’s Amazing ‘Hustlers’ Sizzle Reel

Hustlers was a hit with audiences and critics this year. So how did writer-director Lorene Scafaria get the gig? Her sizzle reel. Check it out!

From the first trailer, I was intrigued by the world Hustlers presented.

It felt like a crime movie for the 21st century, and when the movie debuted I was not disappointed. But Hustlers was not an easy get for Scafaria to direct. She had to pitch after reading the article which the movie is based on.

At the time, Scafaria told The Hollywood Reporter, “I was sent so many female-empowerment stories over that year in which people thought suddenly it was a genre. A lot of them felt really manufactured. Either the characters didn’t have to be women at all — they just changed the names — or they were doing an all-female whatever or a remake.”

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Making The Right Proxies

Do you experience dropped frames either from using an underpowered computer or from editing higher resolution files with harder to process codecs? Using proxies for playback while editing can help but getting them to work can be difficult.

I previously talked about a proxy workflow with Adobe’s Premiere Pro. There are a couple of ways to start the process. This blog covers using proxies that were created either during the shoot by the camera or after the shoot by a DIT or someone else.

Once the proxies are created, it’s just a matter of attaching them to the already ingested/imported files. Even if your files are named correctly, as discussed in my previous blogs, you may still run into issues because the proxies’ audio must exactly match the camera originals’ audio.

One of the common errors is not matching the number of audio channels. If the camera file has two channels, the proxy must have two channels. If there are 5 channels in the original clip, you can’t attach a 2-channel proxy.

Unless the audio matches exactly you won’t be able to attach the proxies.
Unless the audio matches exactly you won’t be able to attach the proxies.

Beyond audio channels, you also must make sure that the type of audio channels is correct. That means a proxy with a single stereo audio pair layout will not attach to a camera original with two channels of mono audio. Why? I can only guess, but I think it relates to the way the audio tracks will be inserted into a sequence. A stereo pair has to be treated differently than two mono audio channels.

For example, if you edit a stereo clip into a sequence that has stereo tracks, everything lines up. But what if you want to edit a clip with two channels of mono audio onto those stereo tracks? How should the mono tracks be laid out? Should they be panned left and right, or not panned at all? If they are not panned, should they be summed together and put on both tracks? And if that is done should the tracks be reduced in volume?

Maybe you have answers to all those questions. But what happens when you switch between proxy playback and original playback? You can’t expect the software to change the audio routing on the fly.

It’s only a guess, but that’s my thinking on why there is such inflexibility when it comes to attaching proxies and not matching audio channels. So, you must make sure that your proxy audio matches the original audio or it won’t work.

This can be frustrating. There are cameras out there that can create proxies, but if the proxy audio layout doesn’t match the original files, the proxies won’t work unless you recompress them with the correct audio. At that point you might as well create new proxies.

Even if you recompressed, you might still run into a problem. Let’s say you look at an original camera file, see that it has four mono audio channels and then set up an encoding preset that creates reduced resolution proxies that have four mono audio channels. After spending several hours rendering proxies for multiple days of footage, you try to batch attach proxies and realize that at times no audio was recorded. Perhaps this was because of a different frame rate, or maybe the audio recording was simply turned off.

For whatever reason, now you have to search through the footage and figure out which files have audio, and which do not. It might be just a couple of files, or maybe there are a lot. So you could have just a little work ahead of you, or you may have a lot.

Next time, a better way to create proxies that work.

The post Making The Right Proxies appeared first on HD Video Pro.

How the Table Affects Lighting When Shooting Bottles

Here’s a 7-minute video in which photographer Dustin Dolby of Workphlo demonstrates how your choice of shooting table influences the resulting lighting when shooting bottles.

Dolby starts by showing the resulting highlight you get when placing the bottle on a “normal” rectangular table and lighting it with a speedlight and stripbox adapter.

The table’s edge presents a barrier for placing the light. Adjusting the position of the light will alter the resulting highlight on the bottle, but they all have the flaw of not having a clean highlight where it meets the bottom of the bottle and table.

Next, Dolby uses a custom-welded rectangular shooting table that’s about the size of a textbook. For a similar solution, you can buy a baby wall plate.

While the issue at the bottom of the highlight has been suppressed a little bit, it’s still not “clean as a whistle.”

Finally, Dolby uses an even smaller circular custom-welded shooting table that fits just a single wine bottle. For a similar solution, you can also use an upside-down cup.

This table allows the highlight to extend all the way down to the bottom of the bottle. To finish the lighting with the one-light setup, you can add a reflector card on the opposite side.

Here’s the final edited photo that resulted from this shoot:

You can find more of Dolby’s Workphlo content on Facebook, https://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Finstagram.com%2Fworkphlo&redir_token=2BZKOn3enk8yA_dPvTWfXw1yQjl8MTU3NDk2MTkyOEAxNTc0ODc1NTI4&event=video_description&v=fxxsCCDpJs0“>Instagram, and YouTube.

What is Dual Base ISO and why is it important?

Almost all modern day video and electronic stills cameras have the ability to change the brightness of the images they record. The most common way to achieve this is through the addition of gain or through the amplification of the signal that comes from the sensor. 

On older video cameras this amplification was expressed as dB (decibels) of gain. A brightness change of 6dB is the same as one stop of exposure or a doubling of the ISO rating. But you must understand that adding gain to raise the ISO rating of a camera is very different to actually changing the sensitivity of a camera.

The problem with increasing the amplification or adding gain to the sensor output is that when you raise the gain you increase the level of the entire signal that comes from the sensor. So, as well as increasing the levels of the desirable parts of the image, making it brighter, the extra gain also increases the amplitude of the noise, making that brighter too.

Imagine you are listening to an FM radio. The signal starts to get a bit scratchy, so in order to hear the music better you turn up the volume (increasing the gain). The music will get louder, but so too will the scratchy noise, so you may still struggle to hear the music. Changing the ISO rating of an electronic camera by adding gain is little different. When you raise the gain the picture does get brighter but the increase in noise means that the darkest things that can be seen by the camera remain hidden in the noise which has also increased in amplitude.

Another issue with adding gain to make the image brighter is that you will also normally reduce the dynamic range that you can record.

Screenshot-2019-11-27-at-18.21.19-1024x576 What is Dual Base ISO and why is it important?

This is because amplification makes the entire signal bigger. So bright highlights that may be recordable within the recording range of the camera at 0dB or the native ISO may be exceed the upper range of the recording format when even only a small amount of gain is added, limiting the high end.

Screenshot-2019-11-27-at-18.22.59-1024x576 What is Dual Base ISO and why is it important?
Adding gain amplifies the brighter parts of the image so they can now exceed the cameras recording range.

 

At the same time the increased noise floor masks any additional shadow information so there is little if any increase in the shadow range.

Reducing the gain doesn’t really help either as now the brightest parts of the image from the sensor are not amplified sufficiently to reach the cameras full output. Very often the recordings from a camera with -3dB or -6dB  of gain will never reach 100%.

Screenshot-2019-11-27-at-18.23.08-1024x576 What is Dual Base ISO and why is it important?
Negative gain may also reduce the cameras dynamic range.

A camera with dual base ISO’s works differently.

Instead of adding gain to increase the sensitivity of the camera a camera with a dual base ISO sensor will operate the sensor in two different sensitivity modes. This will allow you to shoot at the low sensitivity mode when you have plenty of light, avoiding the need to add lots of ND filters when you want to obtain a shallow depth of field. Then when you are short of light you can switch the camera to it’s high sensitivity mode.

When done correctly, a dual ISO camera will have the same dynamic range and colour performance in both the high and low ISO modes and only a very small difference in noise between the two.

How dual sensitivity with no loss of dynamic range is achieved is often kept very secret by the camera and sensor manufacturers. Getting good, reliable and solid information is hard. Various patents describe different methods. Based on my own research this is a simplified description of how I believe Sony achieve two completely different sensitivity ranges on both the Venice and FX9 cameras.

The image below represents a single microscopic pixel from a CMOS video sensor. There will be millions of these on a modern sensor. Light from the camera lens passes first through a micro lens and colour filter at the top of the pixel structure. From there the light hits a part of the pixel called a photodiode. The photodiode converts the photons of light into electrons of electricity. 

Screenshot-2019-11-27-at-17.40.52-1024x605 What is Dual Base ISO and why is it important?
Layout of a sensor pixel including the image well.

In order to measure the pixel output we have to store the electrons for the duration of the shutter period. The part of the pixel used to store the electrons is called the “image well” (in an electrical circuit diagram the image well would be represented as a capacitor and is often simply the capacitance of the the photodiode itself).

Screenshot-2019-11-27-at-17.41.00-1024x605 What is Dual Base ISO and why is it important?
The pixels image well starts to fill up and the signal output level increases.

Then as more and more light hits the pixel, the photodiode produces more electrons. These pass into the image well and the signal increases. Once we reach the end of the shutter opening period the signal in the image well is read out, empty representing black and full representing very bright.

Screenshot-2019-11-27-at-17.41.09-1024x605 What is Dual Base ISO and why is it important?

Consider what would happen if the image well, instead of being a single charge storage area was actually two charge storage areas and there is a way to select whether we use the combined image well storage areas or just one part of the image well.

Screenshot-2019-11-27-at-18.10.02-1024x575 What is Dual Base ISO and why is it important?
Dual ISO pixel where the size of the image well can be altered.

When both areas are connected to the pixel the combined capacity is large. So it will take more electrons to fill it up, so more light is needed to produce the increased amount of electrons. This is the low sensitivity mode. 

If part of the charge storage area is disconnected and all of the photodiodes output is directed into the remaining, now smaller storage area then it will fill up faster, producing a bigger signal more quickly. This is the high sensitivity mode.

What about noise?

In the low sensitivity mode with the bigger storage area any unwanted noise generated by the photodiode will be more diluted by the greater volume of electrons, so noise will be low. When the size of the storage area or image well is reduced the noise from the photodiode will be less diluted so the noise will be a little bit higher. But overall the noise will be much less that that which would be seen if a large amount of extra gain was added.

Note for the more technical amongst you: Strictly speaking the image well starts full. Electrons have a negative charge so as more electrons are added the signal in the image well is reduced until maximum brightness output is achieved when the image well is empty!!

As well as what I have illustrated above there may be other things going on such as changes to the amplifiers that boost the pixels output before it is passed to the converters that convert the pixel output from an analog signal to a digital one. But hopefully this will help explain why dual base ISO is very different to the conventional gain changes used to give electronic cameras a wide range of different ISO rating.

On the Sony Venice and the PXW-FX9 there is only a very small difference between the noise levels when you switch from the low base ISO to the high one. This means that you can pick and choose between either base sensitivity level depending on the type of scene you are shooting without having to worry about the image becoming unusable due to noise.

NOTE: This article is my own work and was prepared without any input from Sony. I believe that the dual ISO process illustrated above is at the core of how Sony achieve two different base sensitivities on the Venice and FX9 cameras. However I can not categorically guarantee this to be correct.


What is Dual Base ISO and why is it important? was first posted on November 27, 2019 at 5:55 pm.
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Art of the Cut Podcast Eps. 23 (w/ “Terminator: Dark Fate” Editor Julian Clarke, ACE)

The Art of the Cut podcast brings the fantastic conversations that Steve Hullfish has with world renowned editors into your car, living room, editing suite and beyond. In each episode, Steve talks with editors ranging from emerging stars to Oscar and Emmy winners. Hear from the top editors of today about their careers, editing workflows and about their work on some of the biggest films and TV shows of the year.

Terminator Dark Fate Edited By Julian Clarke, ACE Oscar Nominee ACE Eddie Winner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week Steve spoke with Julian Clarke, ACE about editing “Terminator: Dark Fate.” Julian is a multiple ACE Eddie nominee, Oscar Nominee, and won an Eddie for his editing work on “The Handmaid’s Tale.” You might also know Julian for his editing work on “Deadpool” and “District 9.” To listen to Steve’s interview with Julian click the link below:

This weeks episode of the Art of the Cut Podcast is brought to you by LaCie. As a leading media storage company, Lacie consistently brings innovative ideas to the market. Make sure to listen to the above interview for a special offer from LaCie when you shop on Filmtools.com!

For Steves full interview with Julian please check out this link!

The Art of the Cut podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Pocket Casts, Overcast and Radio Public. If you like the podcast, make sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast app and tell a friend!

The post Art of the Cut Podcast Eps. 23 (w/ “Terminator: Dark Fate” Editor Julian Clarke, ACE) appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

Shooting a Photo of Politicians’ Empty Campaign Promises

Politricks‘: “the word “politics” altered to convey the empty-campaign promises often experienced after politicians get elected.” About a year ago I had this thought of making a picture from this word.

I needed a suitable location and model who looked like a politician (and who had no problem coming and acting like one). Finding the right location was quite challenging because many of the potential locations were actively used by political organizations, and obviously the content of the image isn’t flattering. So I had to find a sufficiently neutral place for the photoshoot.

After I found a model to pose as the politician and a suitable location, I started sketching the photo in Photoshop and building the props needed for the photo.

A long nose was a tricky prop. At first I thought I could use some kind of latex nose from a costume store, but then I figured out that Styrofoam could do the trick — it’s easy to shape and after coating it with a water-based paint, I sprayed a little bit of lacquer onto it to make it bubble to create the illusion of skin pores.

The lectern was simple — it was made from a glulam tabletop that I had, and because I knew from which angle I was going to shoot the photo, I only needed to make it whole from one side.

The only other props that I needed were some blank paper and posters that I could finish in Photoshop by adding the “campaign” photo to them.

Because of the time we had in the location, both models were photographed separately. That way I didn’t need so many lights and could work quickly and efficiently. The lights I used in this photoshoot were two Godox AD360s, a Godox V1, and a Nikon SB-24.

The politician was photographed with the three lights with rectangular softboxes, one with a honeycomb straight from the top, one from the right, and one light on the left side of the model.

I wanted the cleaner to be a bit in the shadows so I used two softboxes (right behind and in front of her).

After the models were photographed, I took a couple of shots from the scene with one flashlight in different places around the scene.

The last task in the location was to take the “campaign” portrait of the politician, and then it was a wrap. The whole photoshoot was done in 2 hours.

In post-processing, I made the politician’s nose longer, removed lines from the floor, combined the shots into one, and added little details like sawdust on the politician’s jacket, campaign posters to the walls, and papers on the floor.

Here’s a short behind-the-scenes video:

Here’s the finished photo:


About the author: Juhamatti Vahdersalo is a commercial photographer. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Vahdersalo’s work on his website.

PVC’s Black Friday 2019 best deals: Black Friday season will be over soon

PVC’s Black Friday 2019 best deals: Black Friday season will soon be over

We pick some more deals for this Black Friday season, as we approach the day itself, November 29th. Here are some of the best deals for videographers and photographers. Come back for more, soon.

Technically, Black Friday is only on the Friday, but the truth is that deals have started before, and some will continue until Cyber Monday and even beyond that date. Some of the deals, though, and Adobe is an example, end on Black Friday. Check the dates if in doubt. As for predictions, Adobe Analytics predicts that online shopping will “hit new highs” over the holiday season in general, with an expected increase of 20% over 2018.

Black Friday. Going, going, almost gone

Adobe also has a Black Friday special deal, and it ends Friday. Yes, that Friday, The Black Friday. So, if you want to get up to 40% off the next generation of Creative Cloud and Creative Cloud for teams, there is no better time to subscribe then now. NOW, means NOW! Because  Friday is just round the corner. If you happen to be a filmmaker or photographer that is also a student, you can save up to 70%. But hurry, because, as Adobe states, “Black Friday. Going, going, almost gone”.

The deal? Well, you can get a all apps subscription for $29.99 per month, instead of the regular $52.99/monthly. Get all 20+ creative desktop and mobile apps including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, and XD. But the deals ends November 29th.


PVC’s Black Friday 2019 best deals: Black Friday season will soon be over

Cyberlink: up to 40% off

Cyberlink’s Black Friday sales run until December 1st, so if you want to get your hands on some of the software from the company, the time is now.  One example? PowerDVD 19 Ultra, the optimized media player with new 8K, 4K, and HDR video playback, able to play & cast virtually any type of disc, video, photo, audio & ISO files is available for $59.99 instead of $99.99.

The Director Suite 365, PowerDirector 365, and Photo Director 365 subscriptions are  also available with 30% off, while promotion continues. Apparently, the perpetual license options at Cyberlink get no Black Friday deals, suggesting the direction the company wants users to move. Visit the website for more information and deals.


PVC’s Black Friday 2019 best deals: Black Friday season will soon be over

Filmtools: the Black Friday sales continue

Black Friday sales at Filmtools continue, and you just need a code to get 50% off: FTFRIDAY, Among the many products available you’ll find the LaCie 10TB 5big 5-Bay Thunderbolt 2 RAID Array, with a price of $599.50 instead of $1,199.00 , or the Oyen Digital 16TB Mobius 5-Bay Thunderbolt 2 External Hard Drive Array with SoftRAID, at $574.50 during this period, instead of the usual ​​​​​​​$1,149.00.

The deals do not stop there, and you can also get the Chimera Quartz Plus 1 Bank Large, NO 8444​​​​​​​ for $583.02 instead of $1,166.04. Or the Litepanels Astra 2X EP Bi-Color LED Panel​​​​​​​, available for $522.50 when its regular price is $1,045.00. There are more deals at Filmtools, so pay the website a visit before the promotions end.


PVC’s Black Friday 2019 best deals: Black Friday season will soon be over

Lightworks Pro 14: the best deal of the year

Buy a Lightworks Pro 14 Outright license today and save 50%.  The discount is valid through Sunday 1st December, so don’t wait until tomorrow. The package includes Lightworks Pro Outright with 50% discount off the list price and Boris FX AND Boris Graffiti is also included free (value $599). The license, which will never expire, is valid for all version 14 software releases. Use code OUTRIGHT2019.

If permanent licenses are not your thing, the Lightworks team has got something nice for you too: buy a year’s license of Lightworks (including Boris Graffiti) and get the second year free! The license is valid for all V14 software releases and the 50% off Code is BOGO2019.


ON1 Photo RAW 2020 special price

If you’re looking for a powerful yet easy to use all-in-one alternative to Photoshop and Lightroom, try ON1 Photo RAW 2020, a professional-grade photo organizer, raw processor, layered editor, and effects app that gives you the control you need to fully express your creative vision. Use the Black Friday savings deal to get your copy of the software, plus bonuses, for $79.99 instead of the regular price of $194.95.

ON1 Photo RAW 2020 is available for Mac or Windows, and it can be installed on 5 computers. The new version, launched recently, includes ON1’s new AI-powered Auto Tone and AI Match, powerful new presets and filters like Weather, Channel Mixer, Color Balance and Sun Flare. What’s more important, if offers speed and performance gains that photographers need for faster workflows. The promotion is limited, so act now.


Zylia: Black Friday deals

Zylia’s products are all on sale until November 29th, with up to 40% off. If you want to   revolutionise your music creation workflow and explore a new approach for 3D music recording, explore the catalog available from the company.  You get 20% discount on Zylia Music, 30% on Zylia Music Pro, 40% on Zylia Studio Pro Plugin or Zylia Ambisonics Converter.

Zylia Music is the world’s first portable recording studio that allows you to record an entire 360-degree sound scene with 19 microphones placed in one device ​plugged directly to your laptop. You can AUTOMIX tracks with just one click or have fun mixing them on your own. Spearheading the softare section, you’ve ​ZYLIA Studio software, a desktop application for MAC, Linux and Windows, to record, mix, and store your recordings,  extract individual instruments into separate tracks, and more.

These Black Friday deals from Zylia are only available until November 29th.


More PVC’s Black Friday 2019 deals coverage

PVC’s Black Friday 2019 deals: Black Friday on the horizonPVC’s Black Friday 2019 best deals: best prices, limited timePVC’s Black Friday 2019 best deals: the countdown to Cyber MondayPVC’s Black Friday 2019 best deals: three days before BF

The post PVC’s Black Friday 2019 best deals: Black Friday season will be over soon appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.