The 300 Effect

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300 hasn’t made it to Ireland yet but I started seeing blogs talking about it yesterday. Most are reviewing it but Photocritic looked at recreating the same style of photography that appears in the film with the help of graphic artist Jason Niedle.

Last week’s Time magazine has a two page spread on the movie. It was interesting to read that because of the high tech CGI used in the film, the only “real” things in the movie were the actors and little else. They had to use their initiative too as the film was almost completely shot inside a studio against a blue screen. I’m looking forward to seeing it!

The trivia page is full of interesting, err, trivia. Yay, they used Linux too!

Ten visual effects vendors contributed to the film, spread over three continents.

The filmmakers used bluescreen 90% of the time, and greenscreen for 10%. They chose blue because it better matched the lighting paradigm (green would have been too bright) and because red garments (a la spartan capes) look better when shot over blue.

There was one day of location shooting, which was for the horses that were shot for the ‘approaching sparta’ scene.

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Two very different reviews of the movie: The Star offers a serious look at brutal Spartan society while Kevin Costello says, “I’m not nearly as straight as I often claim” after watching all the bare male skin and asking, “Is there any man in this film with less than a washboard stomach?”

Film Nostalgia

If you’re nostalgic for the days of film read the comments on Why not scanned film? by Mike Johnston. Plenty of people are still shooting film, developing it and scanning it in and doing it well. Film has some advantages over digital in capturing certain aspects of light, but so does digital. I can’t remember what those are, but I think film is better at recording highlights than digital, while digital, well, I don’t recall. It all has to do with exposure curves or something!

I went from a point and shoot film camera to the relative freedom of a digital compact camera and never looked back. I can certainly understand why people love the feel of negatives and chemicals and a process but I can’t see the point of it. Why do you shoot film and scan it in? Why not shoot digital and skip the tedium of scanning? The comments on Mike’s article have several varied and very good answers.

The recently held National Shield competition brought out a huge number of high quality entrants and at least some of that talent has been facilitated by the rise of digital capture. The barrier to entry has fallen and the world changed.

Ade: Buggrit. Maybe my highlights are blocked to hell and the process is tedious as owt and I’m wasting good shooting time that could be spent filling the card on my DSLR before wrestling with monochrome conversions in Bibble. I’m never going to use or care about a traditional darkroom and I don’t yet prefer digitally-captured B&W. So what, I like my inkjet prints from scanned negs. I just need another four hours in the day.

Later… if you must use a scanner, or are in the market for one, then the advice here may be of use to you.