Magazine article American Cinematographer

Mixing Unilux and Tungsten to Control Image Sharpness

Magazine article American Cinematographer

Mixing Unilux and Tungsten to Control Image Sharpness

Article excerpt

In previous issues, we discussed some of the differences between Unilux and conventional light. Knowing the difference between the types of light becomes important when the two are mixed together.

Why mix light? By mixing sources, it is possible to control the degree of sharpness that is recorded on the film.

Each strobe pulse is 1/100,000 second long. If an object is in motion and the strobe is your only source of light, that object's image will be frozen on film by removing motion blur. By 'adding continuous source light, usually tungsten, you can put some of the blur back. By selectively reintroducing some of the blur to the image, you can make the product look more natural while maintaining image recognition as a result of the strobe.

If tungsten is mixed with the strobes, the exposure "sequence" starts when the shutter opens and begins to expose the frame. Halfway through, the sharp "stamp" of the strobes is recorded when they fire and freeze the object. After the strobe is extinguished, the tungsten continues to expose the frame until the shutter closes. The tungsten that is mixed in will expose before and after the pulses of the strobe and will record some of the motion blur. …

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