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Peter Ellner

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About Peter Ellner

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  • Birthday 02/24/1992

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  1. Shooting at night really shows the limitations of a camera and the amazing abilities of our eyes! Last week, I went up into the mountains on a camping trip and I brought my DSLR with me. Using an f/2.8 lens, a shutter speed of 1/50, and an ISO of 1600, I was unable to capture any of the stars in the sky... it all came out black. Meanwhile, I could immediately adjust from the brilliance of an iPad screen to the sky above and see the stars clearly. This got me thinking though: how in the world were shots like this one from Close Encounters of the Third Kind achieved using film (likely no faster than ASA 800)? evanerichards.com/wp-content/gallery/close-encounters-of-the-third-kind/closeencounters074.jpg I also recall shots in Lawrence of Arabia which clearly show stars in the sky. So what are they doing, shooting with the ultra-fast lens used in Barry Lyndon? Or is it all a special effect done through optical printers and compositing in post? Thank you!
  2. Edit: I think I just figured out the first one, it's due to the anti-reflection coatings on the lens, isn't it? But then if the light sources look blueish, why don't anamorphic lenses make everything look blueish?
  3. Also, I was gonna start a new topic for a couple of anamorphic lens questions, but maybe I'll just post them here and see if anyone knows: Anamorphic lens flares are characteristically blue...is there any known reason for this? Is it true to say that anamorphic lenses work by basically being hyper-astigmatic, in the sense that their horizontal focal length is shorter than their vertical focal length? If this is true, than how is it possible for an anamorphic lens to create an image that's in focus, since having a different focal length in each meridian of the lens would mean horizontal and vertical features would come to a focus at different points? Thanks for the insights!
  4. But what actually causes that ring in the first place? I can see how having uncoated lenses can contribute to its existence, but why is it a ring of light rather than just a diffused glow? It's interesting how the anamorphic lens actually projects a circular, rather than elliptical, ring on the film. Why is that, doesn't the anamorphic lens "squish" everything?
  5. I'm sorry, none of those links seem to work unless you're signed in to Flickr. Try these: Lens Flare Examples: Blade Runner Example:
  6. In professional work, I often see a type of beautiful rainbow-like lens flare that I never see in less professional work and have unfortunately never been able to create on my own with the tools I have. I would love to know what these types of lens flares are called, and how to purposely and artistically create them. The ones I'm talking about are different than simply reflected images of a light source, veiling glare, or light in the shape of the camera's aperture, but another type of lens flare in addition to those. It often looks like a sideways rainbow, but striped rather than continuous. Here are a few examples if you don't know what I mean: www.flickr.com/photos/12557378@N06/6171005435/in/photostream/ www.flickr.com/photos/12557378@N06/6171549378/ www.flickr.com/photos/12557378@N06/6171005535/in/photostream/ Also, in some films, but not all, light sources will have a circular halo of light around them as in this shot from Blade Runner: This is distinct from the diffraction sunbursts due to a small aperture, so I was wondering what this effect is called and what causes it as I don't see it in every film. Thanks so much guys!
  7. You pretty much hit the nail on the head! Fortunately I'm not paying too much, as I'm just at a community college getting some credits before I transfer to where I really want to go. But this guy is pretty bad. It's not just me, most students seem to either hate him, deal with him, or think his sarcastic, abusive style is entertaining as other students are humiliated. He makes it clear that students who do poor quality work or don't keep up with his fast-paced, breadth instead of depth teaching style will be humiliated in front of the class. I try to talk with him after class to get on his good side because it's clear that he is knowledgeable, but he still gets annoyed when I ask a question that could in theory be answered by me looking through a cinematography textbook. I think he's just cynical and bitter due to the reasons you stated but also because of the general lack of "quality students" who take his classes (it is a community college). Most of my classmates aren't really that interested or dedicated to cinematography, which sucks for the ones like me who really are.
  8. Out of frustration with the rolling shutter effects seen in my own footage, I looked into the cause and discovered that it's really just because the entire frame isn't exposed all at once but rather from top to bottom during the exposure period...this leads to the jello effect and other rolling shutter artifacts seen in DSLR and other CMOS sensor footage. But here's my question: isn't the way that film is exposed by the rotating shutter in a motion picture camera similar to that of a CMOS sensor with a rolling shutter? So why, with the same shutter speed and sensor/film size, would a CMOS sensor camera have rolling shutter effects while a film camera recording the same thing (say a fan or helicopter blades) would not? And while on the topic, I'm wondering what used to be required when film cameras shot scenes with TVs in the frame. Was it simply a matter of changing the shutter angle to equate with a shutter speed of 1/60? And even in that situation, since the frame rate of a film camera is 24 but the refresh rate of a CRT is 60, wouldn't some frames show an empty screen while others would show an image due to the fact that the frame rate doesn't match the refresh rate of the TV? I"m a little confused. Thank you for the help!
  9. Thanks David, super thorough and informative. You're great and I appreciate your deep knowledge and ability/willingness to explain things!
  10. My cinematography teacher isn't the most friendly, approachable or helpful guy, and he makes any student feel bad for asking questions, unfortunately :( Fortunately I've discovered this forum and the wonderful insights from professionals and amateurs alike has been very valuable. So thank you! Anyway, I have a bunch of little questions with simple answers that I'm very curious about. So instead of clogging the forums with a new topic for each little question, I was hoping to just put a list here and any answers will be most appreciated and will hopefully be useful to others as well. And sorry for the ignorance on display here, as you can tell, I'm trying to do something about that. Here goes: 1.) In the days before digital video, how was a live video feed tapped from a film camera? What allowed a Steadicam operator in the 1970's to see what was being shot on a screen in front of him for example? And even today, how is what's being shot on film simultaneously recorded and sent to a screen? 2.) What is the beep sound that happens right after the slate claps in outtakes on DVD extras? 3.) Getting exposure right can be very difficult, even today with a modern digital camera. So how did cinematographers know they got proper exposure before digital and the ability to check exposure immediately? What about with the 8mm cameras budding directors in the 1970's used? Did Spielberg or any of the countless others making 8mm movies use a light meter? If not, how else did they know how to get the right exposure? 4.) How is exposure changed perfectly during a single take following someone going from a bright exterior to a much darker interior? It can't just be the aperture because that would cause a noticeable shift in depth of field, right? 5.) How were films like Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later (shot on DV) converted from interlaced DV quality to progressive 35mm theater prints? 6.) How do you approach doing close-ups or extreme close-ups with a wide-angle lens? Minority Report, for example, was shot with no lens longer than 27mm and yet there were extreme close-ups that didn't have noticeable distortion. 7.) How were text and titles added to film before computers? I know that sometimes text was written on boards and those were just filmed, but in other films text was clearly fading in and out on the screen, and it wasn't filmed, and it wasn't hand drawn on the film either, so how was it done? 8.) If certain films or shows are designed to only be shown on TV's, were they always just filmed at 24 fps, or did they often shoot them at TV's rate of 30 fps? If not, why... wouldn't it be much simpler and easier? Thanks so much! I have some more, but I think this is enough for now.
  11. Thank you, I had suspicions about this, but it makes total sense. Thanks.
  12. I just realized another reason why this doesn't make sense to me: for larger formats, the size of the acceptable circle of confusion is actually bigger, therefore for any given projected image size, larger formats actually have a greater depth of field, not a shallower one. So the 5D should logically have a deeper depth of field, not a shallower one, but it doesn't...
  13. From my understanding, depth of field is not determined by format size, but rather by subject distance, aperture, and focal length. Given this, why do so many people claim that the 5D (VistaVision) has a shallower depth of field than the 7D (Super 35)? And I do have to agree, as it seems like the 5D has a shallower depth of field, even when using the same lens. Thanks, ignorance is not bliss.
  14. I often see scenes in movies where a car pulls up in front of the camera, or the camera is outside of a house right in front of a reflective window, and obviously due to the shot and the location of the camera, there must have been a clearly visible reflection that was erased. My question is what is normally done when it is known that a shot will show a reflection of the camera in order to minimize it, and if the camera's reflection is erased, how do they fill it in with what would be there otherwise so it doesn't look like they just erased a reflection? Before digital effects especially, how was this done? Thanks so much.
  15. On those projectors with 72 Hz shutters, does that mean that the film has to move faster through the gate, since there's less time between exposures? And I'm not sure if anyone knows this, but why do projectors use a two or three bladed or really fast moving shutter that projects each frame multiple times but for short durations each time instead of simply projecting each frame once for slightly less than 1/24th of a second and then quickly advancing the film in the remaining time? Seems like this would be better than having a high Hz flicker rate, no?
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