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Lighting for the DSLR camera and the out of focus background on 20/20 last week

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David SpeaceLighting for the DSLR camera and the out of focus background on 20/20 last week
by on Dec 20, 2011 at 4:34:25 pm

I wanted to put this in one of the Forums... I posted this in the DSLR form but I think it should go here because maybe Dennis was there when this interview took place and maybe he can shed a little light on what the thinking was! Last week (Thursday night 12/15) I was watching ABC's 20/20 program and I noticed that one of the interviews with Diane Sawyer and the guest was shot either with the Canon 5D or the Sony F3... might have been the F3; anyway, what I noticed was how out of focus the background was... like completely out of focus... huge circles of confusion! So... gee I got my legacy 50mm lens on the camera and I can choose f/1.4 and wallah... the background is totally out of focus... so much so that whatever setting this interview was conducted in was obliterated. I would think that it is important to reveal the setting a little bit... like if the person being interviewed is a doctor, author, or expert then you might see something in the background that shows this...by being only a little out of focus. Diane Sawyer and the guest looked like they were sitting with a foggy cloud in the background with only a hint of little color splotches here and there... it was like an effect going on in the background and to me, detracted from the interview. Choosing the depth of field that you want is important, but it has a definite purpose in the story telling process... this is especially true in film making, but for the television interview we should take care and make sure that how we throw the background out of focus has some meaning for the interview setting and the story being told! Just like there is motivation for good lighting, the same should be true when we begin to decide how out of focus the background is going to be!

Dave Speace
Producer/Director/DP
DZP Video

Windows 7, 64 Bit, i7 8 Core, 16Gb Ram, GeForce 4800


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