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04-20-2011, 11:15 AM   #1
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Ol good read from the New York Times

Just came across this article from the NYT about a Steven Soderberg movie called The Good German, which was shot in the old style of the Hollywood golden era. He talks a lot about the difference between modern film making and the way things used to be done. I thought it was really interesting and pretty impartial; not singing the glory of the good old days, nor saying that new is better than old. I found this on another forum in a thread about the rising trend in shallow DOF, that the OP was saying is from DSLR video. Bt i would argue that the trend has been happening in Hollywood for quite some time, which might be why the DSLR video revolution was so strong and rapid. Everyone has wanted that look, and it was finally affordable. Might make for some good discussion. What do you guys think about shallow DOF in video? Overused? Depends on how it's done? Not enough wide/establishing shots these days?

Here's the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/12/movies/12kehr.html?pagewanted=1&_r=4&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1303322543-Jv0ioUF0l7K7Ib3Rint4Dw

Cheers,

Ben

04-20-2011, 02:21 PM   #2
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I think that shallow DOF hits us a certain way. I can show images to people who know nothing about photography, and who would have no idea what "DOF" meant, and they'll pick as compelling the ones (mostly) where the subject is isolated by DOF over ones with busy backgrounds. I think that has driven both Video DSLR sales and hollywood's aesthetics.
04-20-2011, 08:24 PM   #3
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I totally agree. People think it's cool. But if it get used to much, will it just become normal? I think what people are attracted to is whatever looks more unique or special than whatever they're used to. One thing i realized a while back was that, in terms of average non photographer viewers, what they find "cool" is whatever they can't do with their p&s or crappy camera. Ultra wide angles, shallow DOF, dramatic off camera lighting, HDR, and so on. And now that we have droves of new users getting into DSLR photography, what is everyone going after? All those thing. The more unique and unusual something looks, the more it is attractive to people. But I the more it gets used, the less special it becomes. With all the DSLR images and footage popping up, I think a lot of what makes it so appealing may lose it's charm. I hate to say it, but I feel like a large part of what has always separated the professional devote of photo and video from the amateur sector was the ger they had acces to, and therefore, the looks they could create. it'd be nice to say that it was just raw inspired talent and vision that was responsible for the separation. But let's face it, amateur film makers didn't have access to the visual aesthetic of hollywood until recently. But now with dslr's, fast lenses, cheap sliders and cranes, a lot can be done done for pretty cheap. But again, all these thing that used to be regarded, even if subconsciously, as special Hollywood stuff is now becoming more commonplace. Will it become less appealing or hold it's production value? Hard to say, just thinking out loud here...

Cheers,

Ben
04-20-2011, 09:21 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by FullertonImages Quote
I totally agree. People think it's cool. But if it get used to much, will it just become normal? <snip>

Cheers,

Ben
I suspect that it's "cool" because it mimics most closely the way we see things IRL. Our brains excerpt things from their environment, and we perceive them as definite "objects" in space; DOF is the only clear means of providing that same experience on film, I think. Does that mean it can't "get old"? I dunno. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

You mentioned HDR, and several other 'fads', but I think it's not that HDR 'got old', per se; it's that people started putting it on lifeless images of their mailbox or piling on tone mapping to images of their kids on the slide at the park. If you don't have a good image to start with, effects have a hard time "saving" it, particularly once the "wow" factor is gone. But I still see, every now and again, an HDR/tone-mapped image that really makes me go "wow'.

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