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  1. #1

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    Distinguishing between Film Work and Digital Work.

    I like creating the heart of my shot, in camera, via film. When I shoot Super-8 film, I enjoy experimenting with time-lapse images. Once in time-exposure land, no matter how I think either a frame or a series of frames will look, I won't really know until the film has been processed and the either projected or when the processed film is transferred to video. The film to tape transfer colorist can make all kinds of adjustments to the electronic representation of the super-8 image. Once on video I can do real time color and luminence adjusting by using hardware color correction such as a sony component video color corrector or a Panasonic MX-50 switcher. The key is that I must recopy the video image from the master tape to a new tape to actually save the changes. Usually I use Betacam Sp as a videotape medium because it is of pretty good quality and easily holds up for a few generations. Regardless, the actual heart of the image already existed, and at the moment of its creation, I was just a curious witness.

    One underlying theme that many may not agree with is the notion that creating a digital still image has an advantage over shooting a film still image in the sense that one can shoot a lot more shots digitally and instantly view the result, but perhaps there are naysayers here to that position. A still film image can either be touched up when in the darkroom, or the picture can be scanned and altered in Photoshop, but at the moment the picture was taken, the photographer again is just a curious witness.

    If I view a newspaper photo and I can tell that objects outside of the intended target have been digitally blurred, is it still a news picture? It's one thing to crop a picture or adjust the color and contrast, but has a line been crossed if the newspaper actually adds blur effects and does not announce that the news picture has been digitally altered above and beyond the basics of contrast and color?

    Every now and then I create a Super-8 image that if I were to poll a hundred people probably well over 90% would assume it was either created or augmented in the digital realm. Without an actual separation of categories, it seems part of the achievement of creating an in camera piece of art is muted by the viewer if they were to assume it was viewed at the moment of creation, and then created or adjusted on a computer when in fact neither of those conditions resulted in the photo they are viewing.

    If the Tour De France no longer banned steroid users, and instead had two categories for their races, steroid users and non steroid users, then the guy who finished 30th but was the first person across the line among the non-steroid users would be treated with the same regard as the steroid laden winner.

    When it's all said and done, isn't what one can create with their imagination and the unknown different than what one can create with modern day see ot as it happens technology? I don't think it's an issue which method one prefers, I just think it would be a good thing if both methods could co-exist far into the future and that the viewer understood and appreciated the difference.

    If the day comes when art is no longer created under a wait and see environment, I think we all will lose something.
    Last edited by Alessandro Machi; 02-01-2007 at 01:11 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alessandro Machi View Post
    Every now and then I create a Super-8 image that if I were to poll a hundred people probably well over 90% would assume it was either created or augmented in the digital realm. Without an actual separation of categories, it seems part of the achievement of creating an in camera piece of art is muted by the viewer if they were to assume it was viewed at the moment of creation, and then created or adjusted on a computer when in fact neither of those conditions resulted in the photo they are viewing.
    What do you really intend to show with your stuff that's originally shot on motion-picture films? Is the super8-transfered-to-video still images your speciality in still photography? Or do you just want to show a few clips out of your final motion-picture piece on the Internet?

    I just checked one of your sites, and here's what I think: As long as you're using the VHS copy for creating your still images, you won't be able to solve the problem that you are trying to solve. Your audience is seeing exactly what you're showing them... the video!

  3. #3

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    What I meant was that a good video transfer shows film quality on any format you use for a copy, but creating video stills from a VHS copy like you did for photo.net (B&W) is never going to be any fancy; you are freezing a frame, originally a VHS video frame to make a new still image, and that's like the lowest quality...
    Last edited by firecracker; 02-01-2007 at 04:12 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by firecracker View Post
    What I meant was that a good video transfer shows film quality on any format you use for a copy, but creating video stills from a VHS copy like you did for photo.net (B&W) is never going to be any fancy; you are freezing a frame, originally a VHS video frame to make a new still image, and that's like the lowest quality...
    The black and white image was a job in which the director managed to give out some VHS copies to the crew before disappearing. I'm not quite sure why you are focusing on that one particular image when it is not a time-exposure image to begin with.

    The color images are from super-8 to betacam sp and then a color 4 x 6 print was made, then scanned. The jpg's are very tiny files of under a 100K each, some are under 50K.
    My Super-8 Still Images
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    I purchase Kodak Film & Inkjet Paper but can't find Kodak Inkjet Printable DVDs.

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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by firecracker View Post
    What do you really intend to show with your stuff that's originally shot on motion-picture films? Is the super8-transfered-to-video still images your speciality in still photography? Or do you just want to show a few clips out of your final motion-picture piece on the Internet?
    I wouldn't mind posting actual moving clips but dropped frames seem to be the order of the day on the most well known sites such as YouTube or google, I think it completely changes the viewing experience. So for now I just pick out some of my favorite still frames and post them.
    My Super-8 Still Images
    Super-8mm.net
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    I purchase Kodak Film & Inkjet Paper but can't find Kodak Inkjet Printable DVDs.

    Small Format Magazine
    Super-8 Today Magazine

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alessandro Machi View Post
    The black and white image was a job in which the director managed to give out some VHS copies to the crew before disappearing. I'm not quite sure why you are focusing on that one particular image when it is not a time-exposure image to begin with.

    The color images are from super-8 to betacam sp and then a color 4 x 6 print was made, then scanned. The jpg's are very tiny files of under a 100K each, some are under 50K.
    Well, everything else look more like designs to me. I think they are nice and you're quite skillful and seem very talented for what you do.

    But this goes into a different area of discussion: Since the premise of APUG is, from what I understand, to shoot film primarily and present one's photo images in the way he or she would do traditionally. So that so much of the touch-up with the computer software that you've done would be appropriate only if you could find a way to prove that you could do the same or similar thing with the analog material.

    I used to shoot 16mm motion-picture film for fun and do some digital-movie video now, so I know some of the cross-genre thing that you're trying to bring. But if I would get into using all the digital effects, more like special effects to make the video look something other than what it originally looks, I would't be asking my questions here. I don't think this particular forum extends to that far end of the spectrum.

    But if I was going to shoot the motion-picture film of any format first, trasnfer to video to view and edit, show somewhere, and want to discuss with other fellows about all topics related to the subject of motion-picture film-shooting, I would hang out here. It is possible and sounds very nice as some people including myself have applauded.

    Otherwise, I agree with you that it doesn't matter what media one uses as long as the end product is something appreciative enough.

  7. #7

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    I'm not trying to give you a hard time, but I want to know what sort of guidelines there will be for the discussion. And I love to get back to shooting more 16mm motion-picture film...

  8. #8

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    hi guys
    i've never made movies so i can't understand a lot of what you are discussing, so please elaborate

    why would you want to convert a time lapse into a still image?

    why would want to use movie/video/super 8 to capture material that will ultimately be used for still presenation?

    doesn't 'movie' capture and presentation have it's own (what's the French expression) reason for being?

    thnx
    Ray

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Heath View Post
    hi guys
    i've never made movies so i can't understand a lot of what you are discussing, so please elaborate

    why would you want to convert a time lapse into a still image?

    why would want to use movie/video/super 8 to capture material that will ultimately be used for still presenation?

    doesn't 'movie' capture and presentation have it's own (what's the French expression) reason for being?

    thnx
    Ray
    I don't and I wouldn't except for when I need some still images from my little movies for maiking a flier or something. My movie-shooting experience is only 16mm film and 3CCD miniDV formats, and there's not much I plan to do with these formats.

    But some people do what they do in their special ways. I used to know a guy who shoots off a TV screen with a 6x6 still camera to record on film while he's running a VCR playing a video tape carrying his own video footage...

  10. #10

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    "One underlying theme that many may not agree with is the notion that creating a digital still image has an advantage over shooting a film still image in the sense that one can shoot a lot more shots digitally and instantly view the result, but perhaps there are naysayers here to that position."

    Yes, I'm one of the naysayers. This doesn't seem to me to be an advantage so much as evidence of indecisiveness and serendipity taking precedent over precision, vision and craft. Instant gratification seems to me to lead to disposability.

    Maybe, since you come from a motion picture discipline, the creation of multiple images within a span of time is the primary goal. Still photography's goal, at least in my jaundiced view, is removing and preserving a moment of time from that span. But I come from a background of still photography and admit to my ignorance of the motion picture discipline.

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