Sunday, October 07, 2007

Why I shoot on Fuji (Transparency) and Ilford (B&W)

That and after a few years of shooting on Kodak's Portra (160NC) the grain finally overwhelmed any joy in the tonality. Astia gives me better results with less grief.

Picking up on some of the Kodak 'toys', I was talking to someone, somewhen (ambigious enough?) about an idea - some of which might or might not exist or be in development.

The already existing concept of HDR involves multiple exposures with varying exposure settings being combined digitally to increase the tonal range of the image. Basically it makes it possible to have full detail in the deepest shadows as well as the brightest highlights - something that is technically limited with film stock.

Dependent on the speed of the inbuilt processors and shutters as well as any dynamics in the scene being imaged it should be possible for the camera to shoot all the varying exposures required (a few stops up and down in halves for example) in very quick succession and automatically digitally combine them. A seemless experience rather than something that involves a lot of post.

This same concept could be applied to focus and depth-of-field. Imagine shooting a scene with a small object in the foreground, a group of people in the mid-range and buildings in the background. Multiple shots with varying focus points could be automatically digitally combined to create an 'impossible' depth of field. I seem to remember seeing something about a university doing something similar a few years back.

Where it gets truly exciting is the idea of this set of images being somehow packaged together and accessible in post. I like the idea that you could 'dial' the focus/depth-of-field you wanted as well as expand/contract the tonal range without complicated masking and fudging.

Obviously if the scene has a lot of movement then the speed required would have to be quite extreme.

I have seen some interesting experiments where people have been doing time-lapse work using HDR so maybe HDR-DV could be the next big thing!

Truly beautiful.

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