David, didn't you mention a while back that you have a copy of Almendros's "Man with a Camera"? If you have read it, is it more about his life, or cinematography, or both?
I've been following this thread for a while and have been learning a lot. I appreciate an artist who is so generous with their time and knowledge.
I am shooting a short on Red in July that will be shot almost entirely in controlled interiors. The look I am going for is a cross somewhere between Todd Field and Antonio Calvache's work on "In The Bedroom" and "Little Children" and the work of a photographer named Gregory Crewdson.
Crewdson usually constructs his sets on sound stages and shoots with a cinematographer and lighting crew. I want to channel the darkness in his interiors and the way it's cut with the light from the windows while utilizing a few random practicals for highlights. I've attached one of his photographs below.
The question I have is concerning lenses. Right now I am looking at either getting a Zeiss super-speed set (18mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm) or four Zeiss Master Primes. I know I will need the T1.3 for the low light and the extremely shallow DOF but I am wondering which glass is going to give me the clearest and sharpest image in low light. I want to avoid grain and noise at all cost.
The set of super-speeds will cost me a little more than half of what the the four master primes will, but I am wondering if it would be worth the quality. I'd love any advice you might have. Also, if you had to pick three or four of the master primes to shoot interiors and close-ups with, which ones would you have on hand?
Thanks again for your time and this excellent thread.
Nine Fifteen Productions
If you need a sharp image at T/1.3, definitely use the Master Primes if you can afford them. I generally try and avoid opening up a Super-Speed faster than a T/2.0-2.8 split, because they get soft below that.
But if you don't mind softness, the Super-Speeds wide-open can be pretty.
Thanks for the quick reply. I think I will go with the Master Primes. Could you suggest three or four focal lengths you'd use for interior shoots?
18mm, 27mm, 35mm, and 50mm -- if you can live without a longer lens for close-ups. Otherwise add a 75mm to that.
Thanks so much for this thread. It continues to be edifying and inspiring!
My question is more about your process as an artist than anything technical.
I find that I am consistently disappointed by the things that I miss in my planning and on the day, and as a result I never feel satisfied with my pictures. I see all the things that are missing, or the opportunities that were not picked up. If the subject lighting is satisfactory, there is a flat wall somewhere, or an opportunity for foreground that I didn't think of. The missing eyelight or kicker that would have really popped the actor in an important scene... the realisation that if you had just tweaked the blocking a bit you could have incorporated another important or pretty element and taken the shot to the next level. The bump in the move, the flat background, the great idea thought of too late.
These things irk me to no end, and I'm never happy with my pictures no matter how anyone else feels. I love what I do, and I put all of myself into it so it's hard when it feels like it's not at the level it could be.
Does this mellow with age and experience? Or does it just slowly drive you insane?
I feel the same way you do every night when I get back from shooting.
:( I was afraid you would say that!
At least it is somewhat comforting to know that we, and others like us, are in the same boat.
I haven't used any IR filters yet.
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