Using a Fresnel for Soft Lighting

We got this arrangement from Bill Holshevnikoff, author of the Arri Lighting Handbook. Since we don't have Arri lights, we placed a Nanlite Forza 300 fitted with an FL-20G fresnel lens perpendicular to the camera and directed it toward a reflector, which then becomes our key light, creating a soft light with gentle wraparound and... Continue Reading →

HDR Quiz

1. On the HDR PQ curve, 100 nits is a. 10% of 10,000 nits peak level b. 25% of 10,000 nits peak level c. 50% of 10,000 nits peak level 2. The maximum pure blue in SDR is 10 nits. Maximum pure blue in HDR is a. 25 nits b. 50 nits c. 110 nits... Continue Reading →

BRAW vs ProRes RAW

Sherif Mokbel compares Lumix S1H Blackmagic RAW to Apple’s ProRes RAW, with results that may surprise you! Incidentally, Atomos just released a firmware update for the Ninja V enabling white balance and ISO/exposure offset adjustments in Final Cut Pro for the a7s III. The Ninja V currently brings ProRes RAW to over thirty different cameras.... Continue Reading →


In our long list of pet peeves related to HDR YouTube videos, obscenely bright specular highlights in the subject's teeth must rank among the most distracting. And as luck would have it, last night's shoot provides us with a perfect illustration. Peak highlights are brushing up against 400 nits, already several stops ETTR, but still... Continue Reading →

a7s III Skin Tones

While there are exceptionally few examples of actual living, breathing human beings in HDR YouTube videos, of the negligible number that do exist, too many suffer from one or more of the following: bizarre colors, excessive noise, outrageously intense specular highlights in teeth, eyes or jewelry and an obnoxious lack of tonality, hues, texture and... Continue Reading →

Sony a7s III: Exceptional Value

Since we picked up a set of Nanlite Forza LED monolights and started grading ProRes 4444 in DaVinci Resolve Studio 17, it's like we're dealing with a completely new camera altogether! Skin tones are the most accurate we've seen from any mirrorless camera and the image quality rivals that of cinema cameras costing thousands more.... Continue Reading →

Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM

I just picked up the Sony 50mm GM this afternoon. It's surprisingly compact for a lens of those parameters and feels reassuringly solid. The FX3, on the other hand (which I had a chance to play with at the shop), missed an opportunity: the awkward placement of the joystick, record button and on/off switch were... Continue Reading →

How to Shoot HDR: A Primer

The secret is to (a) shoot ProRes RAW HQ; (b) use the false color of the extraordinary Ninja V as a guide; (c) avoid the false colors bright orange and red; (d) transcode to ProRes 4444 in Apple Compressor; then (e) grade in DaVinci Resolve Studio. The shadow, midtone and highlight wheels of Final Cut... Continue Reading →

Ninja V False Color

There can never be too many blog posts on exposing for HDR! Ninja V False Color False color is a practically foolproof method for determining exposure for HDR. Avoid bright orange and red - colors that indicate overexposure. DaVinci Resolve 17 waveform before color correction. Although the tee shirt looks completely blown out on our... Continue Reading →

Tribute to Sony a7s III

For a long while now, we've been keenly aware that highlights in skin tones and light-colored fabrics have been difficult if not impossible to recover in post, leading us to re-examine our ETTR method. After watching a video by Gerald Undone, we tried using two zebra settings, aiming for an ETTR of only +1.66 stops... Continue Reading →

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