The truth about cinematographery.


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Dec 15, 2015
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I'm not a fan of Shooting my video in LOG, Why is that?
Because First of all 99999% of the people shooting in LOG is trying to get the best exposures and color table in their footage as possible, But there is a CON to shooting in LOG, First off your
video footage has a min ISO you can shoot at mostly around 640 ISO, that I the lowest ISO you can shot at , 2nd of all when your shooting at 640 ISO your losing quality in your footage and also degrading your colors and creating noise.

No real cinematographer will ever shoot in LOG, not a real one.
When I said a real one I'm talking about Professional grade footage, like move productions.
Example, Paramount, Universal, 20th Century MGM all them you know stuff you see at the movie's like the hobbit, Start Wars, Lord of the rings.

These movie productions are very selective on who they use for a cinematographer.
Because cinematography is a skill and talent some one who is a cinematographer who might be considered to work for any of these big movie productions Have a degree in cinematography, they went to school for it.
They would never hire some wannabe who thinks they are a cinematographer, (Their Not)
A movie production has a wide scale of professionals, they don't use 1 or 2 people to do all the tasks, for example, A cinematographer, is in charge of operating the camera setting the exposures and all that and also holding the camera is not on rig.

A lighting engineer or Tech, is in charge of operating and setting the lighting to the scene, This also takes skill and training, Yes they have lighting engineers not just techs people with a masters degree in this, just like in any other production lets use a camera lens company, they got designers engineers and techs and a wide scale of a team, the engineers ware the ones who design and create the elements in the lens how they are placed all that complex stuff, the techs do the lesser complex stuff such is assembly and such.

So on a movie set the lighting engineers measure the lights scene and are the ones that set how many lights, how much power, what temperature for any given light unit, then the techs place them and set the dials to the specs the engineers state.

Then you got your sound professionals, they are responsible for making sure the sound is setup correctly and what to use to capture that sound.
Then you got the directors, and the KEY grips who assist the cinematographer's and the producers and then the actors and a bunch of other specialist.

They shot in Standard mode and they get the exposure and color correctly to begin with so there is no magic tweaking or using hardware to correct for the lack of skill.

To me all SHOOTING IN LOG is a fix for an unskilled cinematographer who has no idea what they are doing and trying to get the same look a real cinematographer gets.
If your trying to shoot in log then you are have no idea what your doing and can't produce the quality and look a real cinematographer produces period.

May be a bit harsh and blunt words but that is the reality of it and a fact, I have worked on major movie sets for Paramount for over 18 years doing various things and I can tell you first hands making a movie and shooting the footage is a huge cooperation effort a team of highly skill train people, you might find anywhere from 30 to 60 workers on a movie set to make this all work, this is including pyrotechnics fire arms experts, demolition experts and various choreographers to make the actors look good, Yes all these movie productions hire experts and highly skill and schooled people to perform these task, NONE of them are just wannabes.

Another example when an actor is hired for a part in a movie and lets say it's an action movie like Tom Cruise, if he is going to deal with firearms and weapons, they don't just say here tom take this gun and look cool shooting it, , it doesn't work that way..

Months before they start shooting this movie they send him to a trained expert for these weapons and Tom would receive training just like any soldier would get,. That includes martial arts and using swords and all that stuff they take classes and are trained by the best in this field before they start shooting.
Just like in any other profession in the movie business they want some one who knows what they are doing.
And also many times these weapons trainers are on the movie sets as well not just before to train the actor but to assist the actors with these weapons and many times are the ones who provide these weapons for the making of all this.
I'm talking military grade weapons stuff civilians can't get.

If you want to become a cinematographer you are going to need to take the classes like every one else, and learn this skill and pass these classes not every one makes it either.

Then these major movie production just might look at you to consider hireling you.
Of course when your new at this your not going to land a major 100 million dollar production like star wars or anything because they hire the top of the trade for that, you would most likely be hire for a TV series or small cheap movie..

Trust me Steven Spielberg is very selective on this movie production he is NOT going to trust a new cinematographer who doesn't have name under his / her belt with his multi hundred million dollar movie, he is even selective on the film company and what film he uses what color grades and all that, if you don't believe me look him up.

No you won't step foot on his set for sure I been doing this 18 years and he still wouldn't consider me for any of this tasks in his movie sets along with other major movie makers.
This is Just how it is.

If you ever go up for a job on a movie and tell the management who will hire you, you shoot in LOG they will roll on the floor laughing at you and say I'm sorry but go to school and them come back to me.

The entire movie crew is what it is, it's a crew of highly skilled professionals, and did you know a lot of these skilled people are in a union, that's right all these specific skilled people are in a union just like in a major company, writers, have a union, lighting crew, all them they are in a union, and to even become a member of these unions you MUST have a degree in what ever task your performing weather it's lighting, key grip , or cinematographer what ever the case may be you must have a degree in a acceptable cinematography school by the way not just any cinematography school either.

Like COLUMBIA COLLEGE HOLLYWOOD, Or NEW YORK FILM ACADEMY, or American Film Institute, or USC Chapman University, all these are acceptable schools, and you must get a degree in order to even step foot on any set what so ever or you might as well for get it, there is no such thing as getting juiced in because you know some one. Many of these movies are still shot in 9mm film you know what it cost for 9mm film for a movie ?
Think about it you go to cvs and buy a roll of 24 exposure film, it Will cost you anywhere form $5.00 to $7.00 movies productions shoot mostly at 24 frames per second, so it cost roughly $5.00 per second you think they will trust some idiot wannabe in just that situation alone? LOL NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Not to mention the risk of ruining their movie.

This is a fact that I wanted to get across to all you people who want to be a cinematographer learn how to do it properly and not shooting in LOG to Conversate for the lack of skill you have.
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I thought log videos are intended to be color graded as part of PP.
I have a question. Why do videos shot in log look so flat and contrasty? I find them unappealing.
Because it removes all the dynamic range stuff from it, like Color Saturation, contrast, shadows , highlights all that to enable you to bring back most of the lost parts of the image in post, that you couldn't do not shooting in LOG
every camera manufacture has their own version of LOG, canon it's Clog, Sony it's Slog, Fuji is FLOG ect...
but they are all similar, there is a draw back to shooting in log, #1 you tend to get more noise rather then if you didn't shoot it in log, and also most camera manufactures require a min ISO of 640 to shoot in LOG meaning that is the lowest ISO you can use, rather if you didn't use log you could shoot at the base ISO like 100 or what ever that base ISO is for that camera, which in turn would give you an image with way less noise.

i always shoot in standard mode (NEVER LOG) LOG is for people who don't light their scene properly so they can fix a poor exposure in post that is all that is, basically a cheat to poor photography / Cinematography.

If you light your scene properly and have enough light then there is no need for shooting in LOG, most people will use LOG when out doors and there is harsh sunlght so they can have it a bit over exposed and pull down the highlights and shadows to make the image look like it was properly exposed LOL < for example at the beach where there is harsh sunlight and then major shadows at the same time..

Because strong sunlight over exposes the sky and background and also causes major shadows as well at the same time, so you get a **** exposure either way , unless you have lights to light up your subject so you can close the lens to bring down the over exposed sky and hard light,

so you need light on your subject to eliminate the shadows on them and also would cause your subject to be silhouette because you closed the lens to expose for the brightest part that being the sky and the background from the sunlight. The sky is 100 time brighter then a your subject outside so you need to light them up to have as much light on your subject as the sky is..

The Fact is nothing is a substitute for proper lighting, you need it both indoors and out doors just as much.

Shooting IN LOG also takes more time in post to bring back the image to look normal as well..
like i said LOG is nothing more then a tool for shitty photographers who don't know what they are doing or lazy people who don't want to take the time to light the scene correctly.

i worked for paramount for 10 years and can tell you they
wouldn't have any one on the set who needs to shoot log lol they would laugh at you.

especially where they have everything you need to get a proper exposure any place any time.

They got lighting systems that could light up an entire block radius, they don't use cheap battery lights that you buy at B&H photo they use light systems use 220 volts and they use generators to power everything on location.

and it's not 1 person controlling the camera it's normally 2 or 3 depending they got the one holding the camera one that will control aspects of it, and also one who pulls focus while the camera is moving or panning to keep focus, these
camera's don't use autofocus, it's manually done by a trained professional who knows exactly how much to turn the focus when moving forward and how fast and or backwards or side to side, they can do it in their sleep.

Shooting a movie is a team effort by over 60 or even 100 people on set all set to do a specific task.
1 person controlling the camera would never be able to do it.
people don't realize this, but this is how it works, and any one who would step foot on any given set would be a schooled trained professional, there is no on the job training for this, and any one on a major movie set has prior

experience in this field doing, maybe a tv series or a news room or a talk show, something like like that movie industry is very selective who is assigned to a task on a movie project with good reason, when you spend over one hundred million dollars on a project they are dam well going to make sure they got the best of the best on their team.
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I don't have a problem with people using log to substitute for poor or problematic lighting. After all, most people can't afford to use lighting as a Hollywood movie set would do. The problem I've seen with log though is that people apparently don't take the time to restore colors and contrast to make it look appealing. The results look bland and washed out. No snap.
I don't have a problem with people using log to substitute for poor or problematic lighting. After all, most people can't afford to use lighting as a Hollywood movie set would do.

The problem I've seen with log though is that people apparently don't take the time to restore colors and contrast to make it look appealing. The results look bland and washed out. No snap.

well that's because it's very difficult to bring back the colors to what it should be so that is the best they can come up with, another downfall to shooting in LOG LOL

for what most people shoot they don't need hollywood lights, i know people who are on a budget and spend maybe $300.00 to $400.00 on lights and they do very well with that.

Sure it's much easier and better if you have more lights, but it still works, it just takes a bit more work and creativity, that's all..
I see YOUTUBER's Blogging in their own home and Shoot in LOG, LOL that is a joke.
you can Blog for youtube with 1 or 2 decent lights no problem.
some of the more professional youtubers out there like Tony Northrup.
Matt Granger
Jared Polin,
Justin Phillip,

all them Never shoot their youtube blogs in LOG, because they know how to use lights.
it's as simple as that learn lighting, and you master it all, that is the key that is 100% of your image, light, that is where it comes from that should be
the first thing photographers learn, is lighting because with out that no matter how much you know no matter how long you been doing it, lighting is everything..

By the way, Justin Philip Works in the hollywood trade of video, he like myself has and still works on hollywood sets.

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