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Color Grading Rant: Why Protecting Your Dynamic Range Is Killing Your Aesthetic

Source: Noam Kroll Blog

Color Grading Rant: Why Protecting Your Dynamic Range Is Killing Your Aesthetic


As we all know, high dynamic range is one of the key ingredients needed to achieve a cinematic look. This of course is because most of us really equate “cinematic” with “filmic” (whether we realize it or not), and images captured on film traditionally have had far more dynamic range than digital footage… With the exception being reversal film, but that’s for another article. Until cameras like the Arri Alexa came out and proved high DR was possible on digital cameras, any sort of digital cinematography was always associated with low dynamic range, clipped highlights, and a low quality aesthetic. A lot has changed in the past 5 years or so, and now we can buy cameras for as little as $1000 (see Blackmagic Pocket Cam) that are capable of delivering dynamic range in the same ballpark as what you might expect of film. This has been incredibly liberating for filmmakers on a budget who desperately want to create film-like images but don’t have the budget to shoot on real film. At the same time, there has been one somewhat unpleasant side effect of this democratization of dynamic range… With such a premium placed on DR in today’s filmmaking landscape, many filmmakers are afraid to sacrifice dynamic range for style when it comes to the color grade. This is likely a result of being beaten over the head by camera manufacturers and marketing companies that preach that more dynamic range = more cinematic images. And I would argue this is…Read more at: Color Grading Rant: Why Protecting Your Dynamic Range Is Killing Your Aesthetic


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