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Creating "Cinema Stills" in camera

Discussion in 'Colour or Not' started by pixelpuffin, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    As the title suggests, has anyone attempted to recreate the cinema still effect in-camera. To clarify what I mean, the common look is often fairly high contrast, muted colours, slight vignetting and with a sense of heavy blacks...if that makes sense!!

    I love the effect and I'm pretty certain it can be achieved in LR, But as I don't yet have LR I wondered if anyone had used a custom setting to emulate the effect.in camera.
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I'd need to see an example. With Canon cameras you used to be able to upload custom picture styles to the camera. I played with it about 8 years ago. The picture style editor is not the easiest tool to use, and with DPP4 allowing colour editing there is less need for it, but it would do all the above except vignetting.
  3. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    I am not familiar with your camera but if it has feature to apply lens correction turn it off. That should automatically produce vignetting. Incidentally Elements - and probably most editors - have a feature to allow lens correction to go negative and this allows custom vignetting.
    Alternatively you might try using a B&W film in a medium format camera
  4. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    what camera is it?
  5. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    Panasonic GF1 & G2
    I now realise the GH4 has cinema style already within its menu.
    Don't want to even contemplate buying one of those - hence posting the question if anyone had attempted to achieve that "cinematic look".
    The Jason Bourne movies had the look I'm trying to achieve, I vaguely remember seeing something similar years ago in the French film "Three colours red" I love that style of cinematography. Yet it's only just occurred to me that given the somewhat unlimited scope to tweak the colour/contrast profiles, I may be able to achieve a similar look "in camera".
  6. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    The effect you're after can be achieved in Lightroom as you say, by changing the tone curve and using split toning to give the shadows and highlights a complementary colour (often blue for shadows and orange / yellow for the highlights). It's rather more sophisticated than that in actual cinematography and is achieved by lots of work doing colour grading, among other things.

    For the tone curve, you turn the standard diagonal into an s-like curve with straight ends.

    i.e. the left is how it looks by default, the right is what you're aiming for.

    Then in the split toning panel you choose a pair of complementary colours and work the shadows and highlights so it gets the look you want.

    I know you don't use Lightroom, I'm explaining the general process here in case other people know how to achieve it in other tools (obviously, Photoshop is easy, you can probably do it in GIMP without much trouble).

    I don't know of any specific cameras that include it, but some obviously do.

    The point is that the 'cinematic' look is often crushed shadows with some toning, clipped highlights with some toning, and then additional work on the tone curve to get the contrast right. It varies from movie to movie, depending on what look they want, but that's the general setup.

    I've used a little of this approach on this image,

    [​IMG]#49 by Tony Evans, on Flickr

    Which has blue in the shadows, orange in the highlights and work on the tone curve. However, the technique works best with good lighting in the scene (which I didn't have).
    beatnik69 and Catriona like this.
  7. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Don't forget lighting. You need stronger lighting than you might think. Then you can play with it in post processing afterwards.
  8. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Very nice!
    I see you made the same point about lighting that I've just posted (at the same time). :)
  9. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Yep - I think the magic of being a lighting wizard is that no one can tell you were there. Some of the most iconic 'cinematic' looks are not only very well lit, but they include a lot of light sources in the image.
  10. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    The Hollywood style was all about lighting. They had no PP.
  11. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    They had plenty of post processing. The whole film development process is post processing. Choosing the film is pre-processing (something digital photographers don't get to do).

    Yes, a lot of that style is from the lighting, but it's not really what @pixelpuffin was referring to (I think).
    Catriona likes this.
  12. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    The whole Film develepoment process is processing..not Post processing. Post processing literally means after processing.
    Film choice is pre-exposure, as is lighting, makeup and styling.
    Holliwood lighting is done 99% with large spots and some pups (small spots) to de wrinkle.
    Stills photographers also used large reflectors or flats.
  13. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    I simply meant that the term post-processing when talking about digital photography is analogous to the whole film development process, which as you say is processing, or post processing or whatever we want to call it. One exposure isn't the end result, the end result is variable based on loads of stuff after the actual exposure is captured. Yes, get it right in camera, but by getting it right we mean, give yourself as much leeway as necessary to get the result you want after all the other work happens.

    @pixelpuffin isn't talking about the Hollywood style - either film or stills, he's talking about the current modern cinematic style of crushed blacks, split tone processing, high contrast, etc.
    Catriona likes this.
  14. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Don't forget also the selection of developer / time which I think counts as PP
    Catriona and EightBitTony like this.
  15. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    If my interpretation of the "Hollywood style" - deep shadows and high contrast - is correct we are actually talking about low dynamic range photography. At the same time there is another thread running extolling the merits of high DR cameras and the juxtaposition of the two is definitely amusing
    Catriona likes this.
  16. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    My digital 'film' styles
    All had strong lightr sources. Careful exposure for those light sources (spot metering). The rest in PP
    film style 2.jpg film style.jpg film style 4 ap.jpg
    dream_police and RogerMac like this.
  17. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    Love the replies
    With the harking back to film....I really never want to go there again - yet it took me a long time to accept digital was here - pretty stubborn - I am that.

    I'd hate to be limited to 36exp rolls again, plus having to carry different ISO films, remembering which needed pushing later...arrgh!!

    At my sons Sunday soccer - I rattled off 706 pictures in 50 minutes of play time and that was on single shot mode!!

    As for the discussion of lighting for cinematic shots - thanks for the tip, I hadn't thought of that.
    I need to get myself s copy of LR2. I actually want the cd version. I reckon LR2 will be more than enough for me to get started with and my gear is fairly old technology by today's standards - am I right in thinking LR2 is ok?

    I'm pumped with the idea of getting this "cinematic" look, I'll use my family as my subjects on days out - candid street!!

    On a seperate note, why is it that the vast images of street are always in Mono! I love colour and B&W - but I'm pretty fed up of the never ending stream of mono snaps being labelled street photography. Just because they remove the colour, does not art create.
  18. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    If your main aim is a cinematic look, lightroom is overkill. There are loads of low cost / free products which apply standard filters to images, one of which will have a cinematic look. If you want Lightroom, then you're much better off with LR4 or later, because stuff changed quite a bit. Lightroom 2 is very old. I still don't have a problem paying £10pm or whatever it is for Lightroom and Photoshop. I get hundreds of hours of use out of Lightroom, and almost none out of Photoshop but it's still good value for me.

    A lot of street is mono, and I'm no exception to that. I personally find the colour distracting, and enjoy the look of mono, but it's personal taste. I guess there's a certain percentage of people who use mono because they feel it makes them more authentic, but if you look at a lot of modern street photographers who earn money from their craft, there's an absolute ton of colour.

    I'll post a street scene in colour if I think the colour is important or adds to it.
  19. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    There's a huge amount of dross under the "street" label - some people think that that label and B&W is enough. Luckily, there's plenty of really good street stuff too.
  20. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Mine included :)

    Mine not included :)

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