Ryan E. Walters, Cinematographer

Cinematic Excellence at 24 Frames a Second

The Power Of Camera Filtration

As a cinematographer, one of my responsibilities is to craft the image to reinforce the story I am helping to tell. While lighting, framing, and camera movement are often the first tools that come to mind, an often over looked tool at our disposal is camera filtration. Unfortunately, with the rise of the digital age, and the power of our grading software, filtration at the camera level is not as popular as it once was. While I can appreciate the fear that some directors and productions have of baking in a look, here is why I think in camera filtration can be a powerful tool, and why you should be considering it for your production.
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The Great ND Test Of 2013 (Or is it really Neutral?)

The Control Frame for the ND Test
Neutral density (ND) filters are supposed to be devoid of color shift. Ideally they only affect the amount of light entering the lens, not the color balance. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to produce an ND filter that is truly neutral. This is why I set out to test four sets of filters. I wanted to see how neutral they really are. For this test I used ND filters from Schneider, Formatt, TruND, and the internal ND filters of the Canon C100. The results may surprise you, just like they did for me. Continue reading to see how these filters stack up, as well as to get access to the downloadable frames.
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