The first Director of Photography to win three back to back Oscars for Cinematography, Emmanuel (“Chivo”) Lubezki has been hailed as a genius. He’s certainly amazingly good at what he does.
This interview with DP Review goes in-depth on the technology and what’s important to understand to get the image that you (or your client) wants. A long and difficult read to those of you not as deeply immersed in the world of digital imaging as we are here but understandable and fantastically interesting. We use 14 bit cameras for most of our work but also have a full 16 bit one for specialised shots. All our editing is done in ProPhoto colour space at 16 bit and we think it shows in the quality of the finished images. The mega-pixel race is pretty much over these days (our walkabout camera shoots at 42MP !) and the future lies with extended dynamic range.
Funny then that for The Revenant (his latest Oscar winner) Lubezki chose to squeeze the huge gamut into a limited range of muddy hues. I saw it on the best 8K screen I could find locally and found his decision exactly the right one – the feeling of “being there” was palpable. Amazing to think he shot faces without lighting, in Alberta (and Argentina), in the winter without blowing out the skies!
Our interiors photography uses a lot of HDR techniques and high end dynamic range cameras (12 stops) to produce amazing images more quickly and efficiently than previously was dreamed of. Along with tilt and shift, and focus-stacking, HDR is an essential tool in the modern digital photographer’s toolbox.