American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 20

super-high CRIs weren't always entirely
trustworthy, and many times - especially
with digital sensors - the colors they
generated could be very skewed.
Obviously, there was a problem.
Acknowledging the fact, in 2015 the CIE
released an official statement noting, "For
some types of light sources, the CIE General
Colour [sic] Rendering Index does not agree
well with overall perceived colour rendering." Some people were very outspoken
about the issue, but most seemed to sweep
it quietly under the rug, as there didn't
seem to be a viable alternative to CRI.
The fault in the original CRI
measurement methodology lies in the limitation of the color patches used for testing.
A mere eight pastel colors from the Munsell
color wheel were chosen for the test -
colors that don't necessarily represent
anything in real life or anything that we
traditionally photograph on a regular basis.

The spiky nature of the LED color spectrum
meant that there were some test patches
that had no representative spectral
response from the LED and others that had
sketchy response; the result was that a
fixture could score very high on the CRI, yet
yield very poor color fidelity when used
photographically, and vice versa.
In 2004, an update to the CRI -
called extended CRI - added six more
color patches: primary red, green, blue,
yellow, olive (leaf) green and light yellowpink. These additional patches gave the
measurement protocol more viability, but it
was still not sufficient for LED technology.
To fully understand the shortcomings of the color validity system, we need to
understand the physics of color, the eye and
the camera.
"White" light, specifically light from
the sun, is a combination of all colors of the
rainbow. When light from the sun travels to

Earth, it contains wavelengths of red,
orange, yellow, green, blue and violet in
various strengths, but in a smooth and
continuous spectrum. When those wavelengths of light strike objects in our world,
some are absorbed by the object and others
are reflected off. The wavelengths that are
reflected off become the color that our
brain interprets.
When we look at a strawberry under
white light, that delicious red color is the
result of the strawberry's skin absorbing
most of the green, blue and violet wavelengths and reflecting back a lot of red, and
some orange and some yellow, to our eyes.
If we deprive the strawberry of the light
that it 'wants' to reflect back by introducing
a cyan filter that stops red, orange and
yellow light from passing through, then
those wavelengths of light are no longer
present to reflect back to our eye - and
➣
the strawberry will appear black.

streets below.
"The common denominator with these," he adds,
"is that the locations were
"Heavy lifter" isn't offivery tight, much too small
cially defined, but in drone
for a full-size helicopter, yet
parlance it's generally taken to
we could safely get the
mean a UAV that can carry a
drone in there and capture
professional-grade camera
amazing footage."
with a cinema lens - as
Safety is paramount,
opposed to a GoPro or other
Kolias stresses. "As drones
compact action camera.
become more common on
Weight-wise, some define it
set, it's important to stay
as anything over 40 pounds
vigilant and avoid a complatotal, including the drone, its
cent attitude," he says. "The
payload, and batteries. The
equipment we use, our
FAA limit is 55 pounds; heavmaintenance regimen, our
ier setups require a waiver.
flight testing and verificaA Freefly Systems Alta 8 heavy-lift drone flies above the treetops.
Nick Kolias - a cotion, the preflight checks
owner, pilot and aerial coordiand status monitoring are all
nator at Aerial Edge - has recently been Alexa Mini with Super Speeds on a Freefly intended to ensure the safest drone operaflying heavy lifters on a slate of car commer- Systems Alta 8 drone.
tions possible."
cials. In one, he explains, "we start a few
"Another interesting setup was
For Kolias, knowing that drones have
hundred feet over a tree canopy, then flying through the urban canyons and alley- advanced from their scratch-built phase to
descend rapidly at a strategic angle through ways of the San Francisco financial district, proven, reliable, industrial-grade aircraft
small gaps in the trees, all while keeping the chasing cars for Lexus," Kolias continues. manufactured by respected companies
picture car in frame and leading it at just the "In that case, we had an Alexa Mini with makes all the difference. As he attests, "I
right distance. We've done that with a Red Leica Summicron-Cs on an Alta 8. We were literally sleep better at night because of
Weapon and Zeiss Super Speeds on a Freefly right in-between high-rise buildings at that."
Systems Cinestar 8 HL, as well as an Arri around the 10th floor, looking down at the
- PT

20

August 2017

American Cinematographer

Photo courtesy of Freefly Systems.

Pro Perspective
Nick Kolias:
The Heavy Lifters



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - August 2017

Contents
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - Intro
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 1
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 2
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - Contents
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 4
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 5
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 6
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 7
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 8
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 9
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 10
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 11
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 12
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 13
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 14
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 15
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 16
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 17
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 18
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 19
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 20
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 21
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 22
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 23
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 24
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 25
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 26
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 27
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 28
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 29
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 30
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 31
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 32
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 32a
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 32b
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 32c
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 32d
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 33
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 34
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 35
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 36
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 37
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 38
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 39
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 40
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 41
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 42
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 43
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 44
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 45
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 46
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 47
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 48
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 49
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 50
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 51
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 52
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 53
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 54
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 55
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 56
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 57
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 58
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 59
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 60
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 61
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 62
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 63
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 64
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 65
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 66
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 67
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 68
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 69
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 70
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 71
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 72
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 73
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 74
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 75
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 76
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 77
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 78
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 79
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 80
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - Cover4
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