Testing Out High Dynamic Range Imaging with a Short Film Shoot

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Cinematographer Daryn Okada talks to the ASC's Parallax View about shooting the short film "Emma" as a test of high dyanmic range imaging.

Says Okada, "Making 'Emma' was a way of figuring out the implications of HDR on set and in post. We had no way to preview the image, so I was just going by what I thought would happen. I lit with very simple lighting, knowing that we would have a deeper black and highlights that could stretch even further. I envisioned a sweet spot of exposure for areas of interest that was more like 5 1/2 stops than 3 1/2 stops. If it all works out, it will look just like how your eye sees and your brain perceives. Shadows, without DI correction, will look more natural rather than going muddy really fast. You can have an actor play dialog walking from shadow into bright sun, and it won’t look overexposed — it will just look brighter. There’s a lot we have to work out yet in terms of postproduction and tone mapping.”

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