Friday, April 5, 2013

Kuleshov Effect

  For this project we had to utilize clam shell or glamour lighting, and we had to try to create the Kuleshov effect. This is an effect were the subject of the film keeps a neutral expression, and the viewer infers emotion through whatever the subject seems to be looking at. I tried to do something a little different with mine. For a more detailed description of the Kuleshov effect click the link below:

       Kuleshov Effect - explaination

    For the original Kuleshov film, click here:

       Kuleshov effect example


Clamshell Lighting

    For this lighting scenario (if you can understand the diagram) we had to light our subject from above at about a 45 degree angle, and then use a  lower light or reflector to remove the shadows underneath. The lower light or reflector should be about 50% of the intensity of the above KEY light. For this project, we had to use an additional hair or back light on our subject.


Tascam DR-40 vs. Zoom H4n

    The first project where I attempted to record external audio was for the Rayo del Alma project. I borrowed a Zoom H4n, which I set on an additional tripod off camera. The H4n is a great product and I highly recommend it. I was amazed by the quality of the audio that it recorded, especially through the expensive Sennheiser headphones that I was using at the time.
     Since I would be recording primarily with a DSLR, I realized that I was going to have to eventually purchase one of these digital recorders. I did some research and I decided that the most reasonably priced competitor for the zoom H4n was the Tascam DR-40. Both have similar features and recording patterns, especially since the firmware update for the DR-40, but the Tascam is anywhere from $50-$100 less, depending on where you purchase your gear. I purchased the DR-40 and it didn't disappoint.
    I'll start with the aspects of the DR-40 that I like better than the H4n. First, the X and Y patterns of the DR-40 have a more distinguishable sound pattern. When in the X  pattern the Tascam picks up noticeably less noise from the sides than in the Y pattern. The Zoom's mics stay in an X position and rotate from a focused 90 degree coverage pattern to a wider 120 degree coverage pattern; however, I still picked up a lot of side noise with the zoom in the 90 degree coverage position. Second, I felt the Zoom picked up a lot of unnecessary high frequency which I had to remove in post. I'm sure this is a good recording feature in some situations, and that it's also purely preferential, but I prefer the range of the DR-40.
    Both devices are geared towards musicians and I've been told that the Zoom has more internal mixing and recording features, but since I always adjust the audio in programs like Adobe Audition, this point made little difference to me. As I said before, the Zoom H4n is a great product, and I'm sure that many people prefer it, but I love my Tascam. The only way to truly know which is right for you, is to try them out for yourself. Good Luck!

  DR-40                   H4n 

 Picture by

UPDATE 05-07-2016!!!
Warning!!! There is a flaw with the Tascam DR-40 that I had the misfortune of experiencing. After a while, the power button just stops working. Mine faltered right after my year warranty expired. After checking online, quite a few people have also experienced this. I still stand by what I said about the DR-40 and it's performance, but buyer beware.