I had the chance to attend a seminar hosted by Sony a few days ago led by director of photography, Alister Chapman. The discussion was on getting the most from your Sony F55 and FS7. A lot of this related directly to exposure on the specific cameras. We went into great detail of the technical side of things, dealing with waveform monitors to measuring your correct values of middle grey. We talked a lot about LUTs, and to be honest, I didn’t really know much about them going into the session. But I now realize how important they are in properly exposing your footage. My big take-away from the day was one simple quote that can be applied to any filmmaker, no matter what camera or lens they are using. Alister Chapman summed up exposure quite well: “There is no right or wrong exposure, the right exposure is just making the footage like you want it to”. I thought this was fantastic. Yes, the higher end cameras have so many tools to judge and measure your exposure but at the end of the day you don’t need to set your exposure according to the textbook. You are only required to set your exposure to fit the creative piece that you are working on. This can apply to just about any aspect of filmmaking. There are rules and strong guidelines in place for editors, screenwriters, etc. Those rules can be broken provided they serve the story and genre of the film you plan on creating. This is an aspect of filmmaking that many people tend to forget. We all tend to get caught up in the gear and the technical side of things that we sometimes forget the creative vision we originally had for the project.
I learned a few other tips and tricks during the session and was encouraged with how I was already using the camera. I may have another blog post on another thought from this session but we will see when I get around to it.