PauL Leeming’s Leeming LUT Pro Now Released for Fujifilm F-Log, LUTs for Eterna Cinema, Pro Neg Std and HLG for Rec709 Coming Soon

Cinematographer/director Paul Leeming of Leeming LUT Pro and Visceral Psyche. Photograph made by Karin Gottschalk with Fujifilm X-T3 and Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R then processed in Alien Skin Exposure X4 using Summer Blockbuster cinematic preset.

Australian feature film cinematographer/director Paul Leeming has released the first camera profile correction look-up table in his Leeming LUT Pro set for Fujifilm X-Trans sensor-equipped cameras, for Fujifilm’s F-Log logarithmic shooting profile, with Eterna Cinema, Pro Neg Std and HLG for Rec709 LUTs to come. 

This is a significant and long-awaited event given that Fujifilm has finally delivered on its longtime promise to radically improve its cameras’ video capabilities with the Fujifilm X-T3 and X-H1, with the coming X-H2 hopefully improving on the X-T3 as a moviemaking hybrid mirrorless camera in Super 35 format. 

Super 35 has long been the feature film format of choice for narrative and documentary production, and the arrival of improved video capabilities on Fujifilm’s X-T2 cameras was a relief after the disappointment of the X-Pro2’s video support. 

Leeming LUT Pro for F-Log on Fujifilm cameras with X-Trans sensors

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Still frame from sample footage of Leeming LUT Pro for Fujifilm F-Log in use with video from Fujifilm X-T3.

Even the recently announced X-Pro3 appears to have 4K Super 35 video features that may prove good enough in a pinch when more video-oriented cameras are unavailable.

The Leeming LUT Pro expose and correction methodology is based on exposing to the right aka ETTR followed by correction via camera-specific look-up-table files in one’s nonlinear editing suite or colour grading software of choice.

The ETTR method’s most vocal proponent was the late Michael Reichmann who was in favour for its use in photography and videography, and although he and many other photographers constantly lobbied camera makers for auto-ETTR in their Live View-capable cameras, to no effect so far.

Why camera makers continue to ignore the necessity of optimal exposure is anyone’s guess.

For that reason I am grateful that Paul Leeming has applied himself to solving the problem of correct exposure followed by correcting colour via Leeming LUT Pro, with the added benefit of making footage shot on a variety of affordable cameras usable in the same timeline without excessive shot matching work.

The ideal, maximum possible dynamic range and realistic colours, using Leeming LUT Pro and Expose-To-The-Right (ETTR)

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Footage with Leeming LUT Pro applied in nonlinear editing suite.

Uncorrected camera maker luma and colorimetry

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“Uncorrected manufacturer luma curve and colorimetry. Notice how the X shape is all distorted and not straight, and how it artificially lifts the mids to make them much brighter (a favourite trick of the manufacturers to make their images appear brighter than the sensor is recording them).”

Luma curve and colorimetry levels corrected with Leeming LUT Pro

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“Corrected luma curve. Notice how straight the X shape is. As an aside, you can also see the fixed colorimetry levels.”

In the light of camera makers’ tendency to fudge their camera’s video output as illustrated above, exposing to the right appears to make footage appear darker than one may be accustomed to, but Mr Leeming has made available other, secondary, LUTs to quickly and easily raise footage low values, as explained below.

As usual, the LUT will “darken” the footage, which really just means it will make the curve perfectly LINEAR. Examine the attached image using your waveform scope in your favourite editing software, and you’ll see what that means, with the exposure steps forming a perfect “X” shape in linear fashion. This is of course ETTR, so if you under-expose your image, it will look darker.

The LUT(s) don’t make the image darker. The LUT(s) correct the manufacturer luma curves to be linear. In most (but not all) cases, this results in the image “appearing” to be darker, but it’s not affecting anything, nor clipping anything, nor adding additional noise that wasn’t in the shot to begin with.

Don’t forget, you also have the Apollo Pro Quickies to use after the corrective LUT in case you want to brighten the image without clipping the highlights or adding any more shot noise. But when you can, please ETTR and save yourself the problems (and give yourself the cleanest possible log image to begin with).

If your shot after LUT application has its highlights not reaching 100% IRE, then you underexposed it. Use the zebras as per the guide to see where the clipping point is. Expose just shy of that and you’ll maximise sensor dynamic range and minimise shot noise.

If you HAVE underexposed or simply want a brighter image post-corrective LUT, try following it with one or more of my Apollo Pro Quickies, which are expressly designed to lift the shadows in a natural way without clipping the highlights.

Stills frames from feature film shot by Paul Leeming, ungraded then graded with Leeming LUT Pro

Settings for shooting video Fujifilm cameras for processing with Leeming LUT Pro

  • Pro Neg Std, Eterna Cinema, F-log or HLG
  • H265 recording format
  • DR100 for all profiles
  • Highlight tone 0
  • Shadow tone 0
  • Color 0
  • Sharpness -4
  • Noise Reduction -4
  • Zebra level 100%

Quick and dirty Leeming LUT Pro for Fujifilm F-Log tryout with Fujifilm X-H1 F-Log footage

I shoot documentary stills and video rather than make narrative feature movies, so often work alone under challenging conditions as in this example.

The Fujifilm X-H1 had a vintage Zeiss Jena Pentacon 50mm f/1.8 MC Auto prime lens attached to it via a Gobe M42-to-X-mount adapter with no neutral density filter, and I fudged on setting a custom white balance as I was more concerned with understanding the creative possibilities of this lens for video than in getting technicalities perfect.

An adapted 50mm lens on an APS-C/Super 35 camera equates to 75mm in the 35mm sensor format, which is one of my favourite focal lengths for documentary photography and video.

I have been throughly enjoying trying out this lens and its companion, a Panagor PMC 28mm f/2.8 wide-angle prime lens that Paul Leeming kindly gave us.

These sorts of vintage prime lenses are rare and overpriced here in Sydney, at least ever since camera stores like Foto Reisel with their secondhand gear cabinets closed down.

Fujifilm Super 35/APS-C hybrid cameras capable of shooting 4K and Cinema 4K F-Log video as well as in other picture profiles: X-T3, X-H1 and X-Pro3

Links

Help support ‘Untitled’

Clicking on the links and purchasing through them for our affiliate accounts at Adorama, Alien Skin, B&H Photo Video, SkylumSmallRig or Think Tank Photo helps us continue our work for ‘Unititled’.

  • Fujifilm XF and GFX CamerasB&H
  • FUJIFILM X-Pro3 Mirrorless Digital Camera B&H
  • Fujifilm XF LensesB&H

Photographer and Photography Teacher Grant Scott’s UN of Photography is a Must-Read, and His Book “New Ways of Seeing” Will Be Too

Grant Scott, by Matthew Halstead. Permission to publish this link has been sought and I am awaiting response.

When I was living and working in the United Kingdom I was located near the centre of a world of photographic creativity, photography education and commissioning photography the like of which I have never seen in Australia and most likely never will. 

I was constantly exposed to creators, critics, educators, publishers, thinkers and innovators whose activities made me feel alive and excited about photography itself as well as its associated fields of cinematography, design, publishing and exhibiting. 

I did not meet art director, editor, educator, moviemaker, photographer, podcaster and writer Grant Scott back then and I would have loved to have known him, but at least I have easy access to his insight and knowledge via his The United Nations of Photography website and the now three three books he has written. 

Grant Scott’s latest book is ‘New Ways of Seeing: The Democratic Language of Photography’, to be released on the 28th of November 2019, and I am very much looking forward to it.

Those born since the digital revolution, seem to have the hardest time re-imagining the role of photography in the world today. Thinking of photography as a visual language is the approach this book adopts to addresses this challenge.

Considering photography in this way develops the metaphor of ‘learning a language’ when attempting to explain what photography can be, and what it can give a student in transferable creative and life skills. This begins with challenging the pre-conception that successful photography is defined by the successful single image or ‘the good photograph’.

The book emphasises the central role of narrative and visual storytelling through a technique of ‘photosketching’ to develop the building blocks of visual creativity and ultimately to craft successful bodies of photographic work.

New Ways of Seeing explains how to both learn and teach photography as a visual language, appropriate for both professionals and students working today.

When I was thrown into the deep end having to suddenly become a photography teacher while still a student, I had no mentor nor experience of being taught photography and thus no guide as to how to actually do it much less how to do it well.

Instead I cobbled together my own way of teaching based on my own life and experiences, and on my understanding of photography as a visual language, a way of seeing and a documentary medium.

The table of contents of ‘New Ways of Seeing’ is intriguing:

    • Introduction
    • The Narrative Eye
    • 1. How Did We Get Here
    • 2. Speaking in a Digital Environment
    • 3. The Basic Vocabulary of a Visual Language
    • 4. #Photosketching
    • 5. Building the Narrative
    • 6. Developing Fluency
    • 7. Speaking Out

    Meanwhile Grant Scott has made a vast quantity of thought-provoking material available on his The United Nations of Photography website and I highly recommend watching his feature documentary on the late Bill Jay.

I have just enjoyed reading ‘Do Photographers Need a Brief? Was Alexey Brodovitch Right?’ at The United Nations of Photography where Grant writes that “when Brodovitch commissioned photographers he used just two words “Surprise Me!” That was it. No written brief, no visual reference or complicated requirement was placed on the photographer. He trusted the photographer to respond to a situation and gave them space to be themselves. The work that was created was ground breaking and timeless.”.

That is exactly how I commissioned photographers when working in advertising, based on how I would have loved to have been treated as a photographer, and the results spoke for themselves.

Links

  • Bloomsbury Publishing PlcNew Ways of Seeing: The Democratic Language of Photography – “The book emphasises the central role of narrative and visual storytelling through a technique of ‘photosketching’ to develop the building blocks of visual creativity and ultimately to craft successful bodies of photographic work. New Ways of Seeing explains how to both learn and teach photography as a visual language, appropriate for both professionals and students working today.
  • Do Not Bend: The Photographic Life of Bill Jay – feature documentary movie about the life and work of British photography and photography education innovator Bill Jay, made by Grant Scott and colleagues.
  • Grant Scott Photographywebsite – “After fifteen years art directing photography books and magazines such as Elle and Tatler, Grant began to work solely as a photographer for a number of commercial and editorial clients in 2000. His images bring together all of his experience working with some of the greatest photographers of the last century with his graphic and journalistic talents. His aim is to create engaging photographic narratives from every commission. Grant is currently based in the South West of England.”
  • Matthew Halstead Photography – portrait of Grant Scott of The United Nations of Photography.
  • Oxford Brookes Universitywebsite
  • SoundcloudUNofPhoto: A Photographic Life Podcast
  • The United Nations of Photographywebsite
  • WikipediaOxford Brookes University

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fcp.co: An Overview of the Apple Hardware Ecosystem for Video Professionals

http://www.fcp.co/final-cut-pro/articles/2210-an-overview-of-the-apple-hardware-ecosystem-for-video-professionals

“In this article, Sam Mestman looks at each Apple product that can shoot or edit, indicates its place for filmmaking and also tells us which models he recommends. If you’re thinking of buying a new Mac, iPad or iPhone, this is for you!”

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Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max: “Featuring a Stunning Pro Display, A13 Bionic, Cutting-Edge Pro Camera System and Longest Battery Life Ever in iPhone with iPhone 11 Pro Max”.

Commentary

Expatriate ex-Wollongong moviemaker Sam Mestman and longtime contributor to Final Cut Pro website fcp.co recently assumed an editorial role there with the aim of stepping up his articles for the site after giving up his coalface role at post-production workflow company LumaForge.

Mr Mestman has been instrumental as an ambassador, educator and advocate for moviemaking for the people throughout the United States and shares invaluable insights in his articles.

I highly recommend regular visits to fcp.co to all moviemakers whether you use Apple hardware and software or not.

Links

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Cinematographer/Director/Producer/Screenwriter Emily Skye of shewolffilms Releases ‘The Erectors’ on Amazon Prime, Fun Fictionalization of How She Broke Into Hollywood

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Cinematographer/director/producer/writer Emily Skye of shewolffilms.

Emily Skye of shewolffilms recently released her dramady series ‘The Erectors’ via Amazon Prime and she has a full slate of in-development and about-to-be released productions, an inspirational success story for this British-born former model. 

Those upcoming projects include a documentary series, other television series, feature films and no doubt more of the music videos with which she established her reputation.

According to her IMDB biography, “Emily Skye is an American screenwriter, director and producer. She began her career at an early age after being scouted by Wilhelmina Models. While working on multiple film and television shows, Emily discovered her passion for directing was greater than modeling. With multiple music video directing awards, Emily ventured into narrative supernatural, sci-fi fantasy feature films and TV series dramas.”

‘The Erectors’ is, according to Amazon Prime, about “two single mom’s trying to make it in Hollywood as filmmakers” while the next production soon to be out of the shewolffilms gate will be ‘Binders Stash’, where Ms Skye helps us “explore the world with Host Bill Binder, as he searches for the best whisk(e)y!  Meet legends that share new releases, unheard stories  and go off the beaten path to discover distilleries that are making incredible  juice!”.

Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Super 16/Micro Four Thirds mirrorless stills/video 4K hybrid camera, Emily Skye’s favourite small mirrorless camera for video production.

The Erectors trailer

Binders Stash trailer

The Devil She Knows trailer

Links

Help support ‘Untitled’

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SHAPE Panasonic GH5 Cage Kit with Matte Box & Follow Focus, used by Emily Skye.

Clicking on the links and purchasing through them for our affiliate accounts at Adorama, Alien Skin, B&H Photo Video, SkylumSmallRig or Think Tank Photo helps us continue our work for ‘Unititled’.

  • Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM LensB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • SHAPE accessories for RED camerasB&H
  • SHAPE Panasonic GH5 Cage Kit with Matte Box & Follow FocusB&H
  • Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens for Canon EFB&H

No Film School: Why I Switched to Final Cut Pro X After 25 Years of Working on Avid

https://nofilmschool.com/switched-final-cut-pro-x-after-25-years

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“I spent a quarter of a century editing on Avid and several years on Premiere Pro, so why did I decide to ditch them both and go with Final Cut Pro X? I’ll tell ya….

There’s a small but growing number of editors who have made the jump. The process is fairly predictable.  Surprise when we first hear a fellow editor rave about FCPX. Followed by a willingness to give it a shot.  And then two weeks of massive discouragement and frustration, because it’s unlike any other edit system we’ve used before. And finally, the lightbulb moment, the “NOW I get it” realization that comes with understanding the radically different workflow….”

Links

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Gerald Undone: Exposure Tips for the BMPCC4K & Why I Don’t Use ProRes

Discussing Blackmagic Pocket 4K exposure complications, ETTR vs middle grey, what Highlight Recovery does, and why ProRes isn’t good for low ISOs.

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Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K aka BMPCC 4K.

Commentary

With Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K being a reasonably recent release in short supply in many parts of the world, high-value information on how to get the best out of it also remains in short supply so Gerald Undone’s data on the two best ISOs is particularly welcome.

Instead of the more commonly used base dual native ISOs of 400 and 3200, Mr Undone recommends ISOs of 400 and 4000 and supports those numbers with a thorough set of tests.

Using these preferred ISOs on your BMPCC 4K in conjunction with the expose-to-the-right aka ETTR principles espoused by Australian cinematographer/director Paul Leeming of Leeming LUT Pro will provide optimum exposure and the most suitable footage for grading.

Links

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Clicking on the links and purchasing through them for our affiliate accounts at Adorama, Alien Skin, B&H Photo Video, SkylumSmallRig or Think Tank Photo helps us continue our work for ‘Unititled’.

  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K B&H

Paul Leeming: How to ETTR – Quick And Dirty Edition! [Video]

How to Expose To The Right (ETTR) to maximise your camera’s sensor dynamic range 🙂 I also create highly accurate Rec709 corrective LUTs (optimised for these ETTR principles) which you can buy from here: https://www.LeemingLUTPro.com

Commentary

Paul Leeming has made a quick and dirty video to show how to set your camera for ETTR – expose to the right – when shooting video.

ETTR also applies to obtaining optimum exposure and thus optimal image quality for stills photography and is best achieved with zebras rather than blinkies.

Now if only all digital camera makers would equip every camera with fully programmable zebras for photography and video.

Fujifilm, I am looking at you!

Links

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Brian Durkee: The Ultimate BMPCC 4K Handheld Rig ft. Physics | Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

I wanted to share my handheld rig for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K (BMPCC 4K) with the world. If you have any questions about anything let me know below and I will get back to you as soon as possible! Enjoy. Blog Post containing slightly more information: https://bit.ly/2vQLzot

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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro standard zoom lens and mini-XLR-to-XLR audio cable for attaching XLR microphones, mounted on Benro Aero 4 Video Travel Angel Tripod Kit. Mini-XLR cable is made by Blackmagic Design for their Video Assist monitor/recorder but is also great for connecting XLR microphones to the BMPCC 4K, product code HYPERD/AXLRMINI2.

Links

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Photoism by Mastin Labs: Which Film or Preset Should I Use? A Guide by Mastin Labs.

https://www.mastinlabs.com/photoism/articles/which-film-or-preset-should-i-use-a-guide-by-mastin-labs

Mastin Labs’ Kodak Everyday Original is now available for Capture One Pro. Will Mastin Labs’ other film simulation preset packs also be migrated over to Capture One Pro, one of the most popular top-quality raw image processing applications?

“Film is a 127-year-old medium with many contributors throughout its history. Unlike digital capture, film stocks were not made to accurately reflect reality, but to offer different aesthetic choices to the photographer.

Factors such as the culture where the film company was located and who was available at the time as test subjects greatly determined the characteristics of each film stock. This is one of the reasons that Kodak films render colors differently compared to Fuji films (for example.)…

PLEASE NOTE: Any film can technically be used for any subject or lighting condition, but if you pair the right film with the right subject, you’ll get ideal results….”

Commentary

I follow either of two essentially different paths when processing my raw stills photography files, based on available time and emotional effect.

If time is of the essence and I must quickly process a collection of selects from a project, in effect a set of proofs ready for client viewing or social media, then I always choose to apply film simulation aka emulation presets through software like DxO PhotoLab and its siblings DxO FilmPack and DxO ViewPoint, Alien Skin Exposure X4, Capture One Pro equipped with film styles from 1style.pro, or several other such options including film emulation look-up tables aka LUTs.

My choice of host application and film emulations depends on what films are available which combination and it can vary a great deal.

If there is plenty of time for slower, more thoughtful processing and experimentation with a range of possible looks, then I will spend some time in products like Skylum’s Luminar and Aurora Pro exploring their many highly original, unconventional filters and controls to follow in entirely new image processing directions.

Most of the time, though, time is of the essence and I would rather be creating new images rather than editing older ones.

Capture One Pro is one of the two raw processing applications I am most likely to turn to when time is limited, beside DxO PhotoLab and its plug-ins, and it is good to see film simulation presets specialist Mastin Labs supporting it now.

Kirk Mastin’s presets are rather pricey compared to others, but I have read nothing but praise for them from photographers working digitally as well as in analog photography.

I have yet to try Mastin Labs’ first collection for Capture One Pro, Kodak Everyday Original consisting of presets based on Kodak Ektar 100, Kodak Gold 200 and Kodak Tri-X 400 as well as tone profiles, custom white balance settings, and 35mm and 120 roll film grain simulations.

The analog films upon which this set is based are not necessarily my first choice though I shot Tri-X film in 35mm, 120 and sheet film formats for many years during my magazine editorial photography and corporate photography careers.

The Mastin Labs presets I am more likely to want to use these days are included in their other collections – Fujicolor Original, Fujicolor Pushed, Ilford Original, Portra Original and Portra Pushed – so I hope that we will see these collections released for Capture One Pro in future.

Meanwhile, there are other ways of achieving acceptable analog film simulation or something similar in a number of host applications including Capture One Pro itself, and the list of links below points to some of them.

Links

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  • Phase One Capture One Pro B&H