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Re: NOW HDR, was 8K Samsung TVs

Re: NOW HDR, was 8K Samsung TVs

Geoff Boyle

/rant on


I think that barely competent cinematographers have been getting away with murder recently and HDR is showing who they are.

There is a series on Amazon that has really distracting highlights in nearly every shot and the day interiors have windows so bright that you can’t help but look at them rather than the actors. This is going to be far far worse in HDR.

Of course, as has been said, if people looked at the brightness of lamps and windows and balanced the shot, isn’t that part of our job?, there wouldn’t be a problem.

What’s the issue with putting ND gel inside shades on the side that face camera?

We’ve always known that the way to focus attention on a particular actor is to make them slightly brighter than everyone else. Your eye goes straight to the brightest one.

It’s just a case of doing your job. As for monitoring, well there isn’t an affordable solution at the moment and anyway you will need a controlled environment and time to adjust to it. The simple solution is eyes, experience and a meter.



Geoff Boyle NSC FBKS
EU based cinematographer
+31 637155076





From: cml-raw-log-hdr@... <cml-raw-log-hdr@...> On Behalf Of Art Adams
Sent: 11 October 2019 19:22
To: cml-raw-log-hdr@...
Subject: [cml-raw-log-hdr] NOW HDR, was 8K Samsung TVs


>So perversely, I’m now doing the opposite of what a lot of previous exposure doctrine lead me to do, that is to underexposure or expose for highlights, to try and protect them more, unless they’re windows, in which case I try and make them visually cleaner and that there’s nothing embarrassing out there that would have been hidden away in SDR.


The trick is that noise plays a bigger role now, as it’s more easily seen. Also, colorists tend to say that rich blacks are disturbing in HDR so they try to avoid them and leave a little bit of detail way down at the bottom of the curve, which is where noise lie.


The rule of thumb I’ve heard is to divide the EI by 2 to keep the noise down, but of course that robs your highlights.


>One other way to go would be to abandon lighting  and using pracs so much, treat it like we used to in the film days where pracs lights are justification for “real” lights and bring the levels up.  Seems perverse to work that way, that HDR needs you to raise the levels, to effectively LOWER the DR so that it all fits in a narrow exposure band.


This is what I’ve suspected for a while. Bright practicals in the frame are distracting, so making them less distracting means making them dimmer. A practical in Rec 709 is never going to be brighter than middle gray plus two stops because that’s all the standard will allow, but in the real world and HDR that’s just a white lamp shade exposed to be flat white. Any brighter than that and it starts to look like an actual lit lamp, but it also becomes distracting.


In the real world we tune that stuff out. Put a frame around the real world, though, and the distraction level increases. It seems that as we focus our attention, the things that surround that area of focus can get in the way of what we’re focusing on.


I’ve been waiting to see what happens to trends in lighting and lenses due to HDR, and I’m surprised we haven’t seen a shift in photographic styles yet. I do think it’s coming.


The big question is… it’s fairly easy to be abstract in Rec 709, in the same way that one could get away with quite a lot in NTSC and PAL. Limited dynamic range and resolution means one can use a broader brush, or a lighter hammer, to craft artistic and compelling looks. That becomes more difficult as the image approaches what we see in reality.


>I will say I LOVE the look of HDR.  It’s subtle, nuanced, colour perception is more discrete.  I think it’s a great step forward, much more so that adding more resolution.  But it’s a tricky one to come to terms with and I’m finding it challenging to work with, especially as you can’t really know what it’s going to look like till the grade….err…just like film :-)


It's a big leap forward, but such leaps come with learning curves. They also lead to massive opportunities in the long run.



Art Adams

Cinema Lens Specialist



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