Contrast

Telecine reproduction of a film will often result in a television image wherein contrast appears higher than in the image seen in direct projection. This is due partly to inherent limitations of the electronic devices which convert the projected image to a television signal, partly to the optics of the telecine system and partly to the subjective effect of the smaller, brighter television image. The chief effect of this increase in contrast is a loss of shadow detail. Darker areas in the picture may appear plugged up, subtleties of mood lighting are lost, and story points or critical facial detail in dark scenes may be obscured. Again it is important to note that not all of the loss is in the telecine reproduction of the film — only a small proportion of home receivers will be carefully adjusted and viewed in a darkened room to accurately display the full range of the transmitted signal.

This increase in contrast requires that the cinematog-rapher use more fill light than would be used for theatrical presentation only, and particularly that the approach to the more extreme moods or effects be limited. The use of underexposure, forced processing flashing and low fill-light levels to produce a realistic or "available light" look may be quite effective in direct theatrical projection but plugged up and ineffective in the typical home viewing situation. This is not meant to imply that television photography should be "flat." A wide range of moods and effects can be successfully reproduced on the typical home receiver, but the darker elements or areas of the scenes must be more fully lit and exposed if they are to be displayed effectively.

Higher lighting ratios can be employed for effect, and night scenes are best approached by adjustment of the lighting ratio rather than by shooting "day-for-night" or underlighting scenes and printing down. The ideal night effect photography for television would result in prints which have the same density range as fully lit scenes. The use of little or no fill light on the key position, sketchy background illumination, lighted windows, etc., all create the effect of a night scene without the necessity of printing down.

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