I know just enough to be dangerous and keep myself out of trouble
By Art Adams | August 10, 2014
Olympic codec rankings. AVCHD is the most accurate... pic.twitter.com/ncRykgBznq
— Shane Ross (@comebackshane) July 16, 2014
Everything I know about codecs could fit on the head of a dime. That's after compression, of course. Prior to compression I...
By Art Adams | June 05, 2014
Mark your calendar: Saturday, June 7th, at 2:45pm, in the Sherry Lansing Theater at Paramount. Adam Wilt and I will spend an hour discussing "The Sony F55: Swiss Army Knife of Cameras."
I'm hosting my second "Lighting for Faces" workshop at Mole Richardson in Hollywood on May 28th.
By Art Adams | May 15, 2014
Due to the success of last year’s lighting class Abel Cine has asked me to come back and do it again. So I am:
“How to Light Faces: Hard Light, Soft Light and Damage Control”
It will be held on May 28th, 2014 at the Mole Richardson Stage in...
Want to use a light meter to nail perfect exposures in HD? Think the Ansel Adams Zone System is too complicated? Try my method!
By Art Adams | March 03, 2014
I used to be frustrated by my inability to use light meters in HD the way I used to in film. A while back I figured it all out, and now I'm going to tell you how to do it too. In particular I'm going to tell you how to use the Zone System with an incident meter. That's right, not a spot meter, but an incident meter. Read on...
Ask me anything in the Filmmakers subReddit today...
By Art Adams | September 11, 2013
I'm doing an AMA ("Ask me anything") in the Filmmakers subReddit today. Stop on by...
Being called out by Jim Jannard in his final post to Reduser got me thinking: do I really have a problem with RED?
By Art Adams | August 29, 2013
It's a dubious distinction that I was called out by Jim Jannard in his final post to Reduser. It's true that I've been critical of RED over the years; while they've made my life easier in some ways they've made it harder in others, and I've been rather outspoken in...
Four words: Sony FS700, 4K raw.
By Art Adams | May 30, 2013
Come see Adam Wilt and I present a talk on the 4K-enabled Sony FS700 at CineGear: Saturday, June 1 at 2:15pm in the Sherry Lansing Theater.
4K TV is on its way, and it has the potential to change the way we shoot--especially when it comes to composition.
By Art Adams | February 15, 2013
On a recent visit to Sony Studios I saw a 4K monitor for the first time. For the first time ever I thought to myself, "I hope they hold this shot long enough for me to see everything in it!"
I'm teaching a lighting class in Southern California on March 2nd. Here's why you should come...
By Art Adams | February 14, 2013
Lighting is both emotional and technical: we use tools to create a feeling. Most DPs can talk about the emotional reasons behind a lighting approach, but very few can state clearly and plainly exactly what problems they were trying to solve with each light. Apparently this is something I'm good at, and I'm going to give you a chance to exploit this on March 2nd.
Raw is all the rage, but should it be? Log gives us 99% of the benefit of a raw file in a grade but with much smaller files.
By Art Adams | February 06, 2013
Years ago I wrote an article describing how log encoding works using Sony's S-Log as an example. Sony's S-Log2 is coming down the pike in a big way in their F5 and F55, so it seems like an appropriate time for an update.
First of all, I should warn you that this is a much, much...
In which I field complaints about my C300 matrices, and commit to fight anew...
By Art Adams | February 05, 2013
I've been getting sporadic complaints on Twitter about one of my C300 matrices turning reds a bit blue on some cameras. Time to take another look…
It's rarely a good idea to remind an actor to hit their marks. It's much easier to move the camera to adjust. Here's why...
By Art Adams | January 30, 2013
On a recent shoot a discussion arose as to whether it was better to move an actor or to move the camera to maintain a composition. The actor kept settling into a position that obscured an over-the-shoulder angle, and there are some who would simply ask the actor to not do that.
It's a thankless but crucial job. Be kind, and they'll come through for you when you really need them to.
By Art Adams | January 28, 2013
A lot of people are starting out at the top these days--just buying a camera and starting a career shooting. That's cool, but cinematography is a collaborative craft. You have to know how to work with others, especially those that work for you. Let's talk about camera assistants for a moment...
They said it couldn't be done. Maybe, but I got close. How close? You judge...
By Art Adams | January 26, 2013
I'm shooting more projects with the Canon C300 but none of the built-in looks greatly appeal to me. While trying to build my own custom C300 look at a local rental house I spied an Arri Alexa in the next stall over... and asked, "Can I put that next to this C300 for a while?" The results are really interesting...
Faster cameras means extreme low level lighting here to stay. Here are some examples from the days of (gasp) 400 ASA film!
By Art Adams | January 17, 2013
There's something amazing about shooting low light images with a wide open lens. Now that the average camera is rated at 800 or faster, we can take advantage of using smaller and smaller lights and even shoot scenes that look brighter on the monitor than they do by eye...
Bigger is not always better, but smaller isn't quite ready for primetime... yet.
By Art Adams | December 31, 2012
In 2011 I bought an iPad 2, and in 2012 I traded it up for an iPad 3. For 2013 I've opted to experiment with the first generation iPad Mini, and while this generation won't replace my iPad 3 I suspect--and hope--that the next one will.
Make the most of any camera's dynamic range by placing your mid-tones in the right spot...
By Art Adams | December 24, 2012
After years of looking at dynamic range charts I noticed that almost all camera gamma curves emphasize mid-tones within a consistent IRE range. What does this mean to you? Find out by clicking through...
In theory a DP should be able to light a set without a camera, using only a meter. But does that really work in video?
By Art Adams | December 20, 2012
My latest obsession is trying to match reflectance values with IRE values to create a "Zone System for video." This is both easy to do and impossible, so click through if you'd like to see how far I've gotten…
I see X-Rite Colorcheckers in every expendable supply store, which is strange as they really have nothing to do with HD.
By Art Adams | December 19, 2012
Most camera rental houses have an in-house expendables store, and during a recent visit to one such store I ran across a stack of X-Rite "Macbeth" ColorChecker charts sitting on a shelf. I'm firmly convinced that the only reason people buy these is because they think there is a reason to use them for film-style production... but if there is a reason I can't think of what it is. Let me explain:
The good news was that we shot on a nice sunny day. The bad news is that the sun moved. Here's how we dealt with that pesky annoyance over the course of a full shoot day...
By Art Adams | November 30, 2012
These days it's all about getting the most bang for your budget, and this promo for a new Kendall-Jackson wine pairing iPhone app had to look spectacular for not a lot of money. Fortunately the Canon C300, a sunny day and a great grip crew made this possible...
First, watch the...