Most people are aware that any color can be mixed from red, green and blue light, and we make color pictures out of red, green and blue images. The relationship between modern color imaging and the human visual system was recently discussed by John Watkinson in his series on color. In this piece, we’re going to look at something that comes up often in modern film and TV technique: color gamuts. It’s a term that suffers a lot of misuse, but the basics are simple: a color image uses red, green and blue, and the gamut describes which red, which green, and which blue we’re using.
Almost since photography has existed, people have pursued ways of modifying the picture after it’s been shot. The “dodge” and “burn” tools in Photoshop are widely understood as ways to make things brighter or darker, but it’s probably less widely understood that they refer to techniques for exposure control that date all the way back to the earliest days of darkroom image processing. Bring moving images into the mix and consistency becomes a big concern too. Individual still photographs might be part of a single exhibition, but they don’t have any concept of being cut together in a sequence.
Dealing with brightness in camera systems sounds simple. Increase the light going into the lens; increase the signal level coming out of the camera, and in turn increase the amount of light coming out of the display. In reality, it’s always been more complicated than that. Camera, display and postproduction technologies have been chasing each other for most of the last century, especially since a period in the late 1990s or early 2000s, when electronic cameras started to become good enough for serious single-camera drama work.
The First Alliance Church (FAC) in Calgary, Alberta produces two distinct live video feeds of their services, each optimized for a particular purpose: image magnification (IMAG) to enrich the worship experience for on-site visitors, and online streaming to reach congregants unable to attend in person. Recently upgrading its production infrastructure to HD, FAC purchased four Z-HD5500 cameras from Hitachi Kokusai to capture high-quality video for both applications while accurately reproducing the church’s LED lighting effects.
Over the century or so we’ve been making moving images, a lot of improvements have been dreamed up. Some of them, like stereo 3D and high frame rate, have repeatedly suffered a lukewarm reception. Other things, like HD, and even sound and color, enjoyed more or less universal acclaim.
The Paramount Studios back lot was filled with new production gear and Hollywood pros, students and wanna-be’s alike who poured over the 2019 Cine Gear Expo.