DoF defined: Controlling Depth of Field

Controlling DoF (depth of field) is one of the most power tool sets of filmmaking. Selective focus lets he direct focus the audience’s attention on a particular part of the screen. But how DoF works and how to get shallow DoF can be confusing to the beginner. Here’s a great guide to controlling DoF.

When you focus on a subject part of the scene in front and behind it is also sharp. This sharp zone is known as the depth of field – or DoF – and understanding how to control the size of your depth of field is one of the most important aspects of photography to get your head around.

It’s useful to have lots of depth of field in landscape photography, for instance, because the aim is usually to have the entire scene sharp from the rocks in the foreground to the horizon in the distance.

In portrait photography, however, we often want to restrict DoF a little so that the person is in sharp focus, but the background is blurred. This makes the sitter stand out while the background is a little less distracting.

On some occasions it’s nice to have very limited depth of field so that only a small section of the image is sharp and a lot of it is blurred. This is a technique that is often used in fine art photography or to draw attention to the subject and inject a little atmosphere.

Let’s take a look at the factors that affect depth of field and how you can control DoF in-camera.

Digital Camera World | Read the Full Article

The First Time – Trailer

Dave is a high school senior who spends most of his time pining away over a girl he can’t have. Aubrey (Robertson), a junior with artistic aspirations, has a hot boyfriend who doesn’t quite understand her or seem to care. Dave and Aubrey meet one night at a party. A casual conversation sparks an instant connection, and, over the course of a weekend, things turn magical, romantic, complicated and funny as Aubrey and Dave discover what it’s like to fall in love for the first time.

Written and Directed by Jon Kasden and starring Dylan O’Brien and Britt Robertson. The First Time premiered at Sundance in January, 2012

Philip Bloom’s Documentary shot on Blackmagic Cinema Camera

Philip Bloom made this documenatry on the Ponte Tower in Johannesburg, South Africa shooting RAW (not advisable just done as an experiment) on the Black Magic Cinema Camera.

In a way, the Blackmagic turned out to be a great camera for this project. I didn’t need any slow motion at all (in docs you rarely do!) and this is the one of the most extreme dynamic range places I have ever filmed. Only an Epic with HDRx could have given me a much bigger dynamic range, and there would be no way I would have taken that camera into Ponte Tower! The joy of the £2000 raw camera! 

Had I shot prores or DnxHd to be honest it would have looked very similar. I didn’t use the extra resolution and I think the 1080p looks pretty much the same. The main difference with raw and these compressed codecs is whilst shooting I would have had to nail my exposure and decide on highlights or shadows then and there rather than have the lovely flexibility to choose in post!

This camera really is capable of achieving some of those filmic images I have seen out of a video camera, especially for the price. The closest I have seen video wise is an Alexa. That’s how good this image can look…remember the can here…seen some very video like stuff too! Especially if you sharpen the image a tad and push the exposure it brings out the grain and it looks very organic!

Philip | Read the Full Article

Ben Affleck: ‘Argo’ Shows ‘The Power of Storytelling’

It’s a real surprise how apolitical Argo is. There are parallels one could make from today’s headlines, but as director Ben Affleck sees it, the movie comes down to one key theme: the power of storytelling. Whether it’s from his own industry or the United States intelligence service, stories can make for a powerful weapon. In Argo‘s case, it’s to entertain. In the events the film chronicles, it was to save lives.

To make sure Argo the movie did its intended job, Affleck copied some of the all time great filmmakers of the 1970s and went through history’s finest classics to make the era come alive. The inspiration he got didn’t only come from Martin Scorsese or Sidney Lumet, but also from unexpected places, such as John Carpenter’s The Thing and Matt Reeves’s Let Me In. In many ways, Argo is a love letter to 70s filmmaking, and Ben Affleck clearly wore that love on his sleeve during a recent roundtable interview, along with his co-stars John Goodman and Bryan Cranston.

Here’s what Argo‘s Ben Affleck had to say about respecting history, why he prefers using effects as the film’s score, and how a camera can be more powerful than a rifle:

You basically combined two different movies with two completely different tones in this film, with representatives from both [tones] here. How did you talk to them about what you were looking for and how did you put them together so skilfully?

Affleck: Well, I wish I could say it was my skill. I didn’t really talk to them much about anything. They’re really smart actors, looked at the material on the page, and did me the favor of playing it honestly. Realistically, it kind of blended. If it hadn’t, I suppose we would’ve had conversations of how we were going to get the jigsaw puzzles to fit. All the parties — Bryan, John, and Alan [Arkin] — were pretty adept. They knew how to play it real, and that kind of saved my bacon.

Film School Rejects | Read the Full Article

Ridley Scott confirms Blade Runner sequel

Back in May Ridley Scott said he had an idea for a “Blade Runner” sequel, and that the original’s writer Hampton Fancer was in talks to write the script. In a recent interview with Metro he confirmed it will happen. He also talked about what compelled him to do Prometheus and traditional film compared to digital.

“It’s not a rumor — it’s happening. With Harrison Ford? I don’t know yet. Is he too old? Well, he was a Nexus-6, so we don’t know how long he can live. And that’s all I’m going to say at this stage.”

Metro | Read Full Article

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