View Full Version : difficult lighting question
08-04-2005, 05:33 AM
Hi- I recently taped a fashion shoot with the dvx using scene file 3. The issue was that as models walk down the runway they are in bright light, then in pretty dark light, then at the end of the stage in a bright spotlight.
I played with the footage in adobe premiere, which helped a lot, but when the models are at the end of runway, there's a lot of overexposure - it's too white, and a lot of color and detail is lost. Just wondering what sort of settings people would have used with a dvx100a? I don't know if I can describe it well enough for people to make a useful answer, but have fun anyway!
Also, I shot some interviews with models which came a little dark. I was able to lighten them a lot, but as I played with the contrast, a lot of 'grain' was introduced into the picture. Any ideas?
08-04-2005, 09:39 AM
I went through a similar situation with commercial piece I did that involved press conference on stage where a power-point presentation was being given. [Disclaimer: I don't own a DVX, or have any knowledge of its scene files, but I think what I'm about to tell you is universal and correct, but I could be wrong.]
The way they had the lighting initially set up, the human eye could see the person talking at the podium and could also see the presentation on projected on screen. But the camera could not do this. If I exposed for the person, the screen was blown out. If I exposed for the screen, the person was left in darkness. If you have no control over the lighting, you have to make a decision on what you want to expose for and live with the compromise. In my case, I exposed for the screen, and then had additional lights added to the podium until the exposure levels were roughly equal, allowing me to shoot both at the same time with decent exposure throughout the frame. Theatrical lighting folks (or event lighting folks I should say) light for the eye, and don't necessarily take video or film production into account. I think you really need to get to your location early so that you have enough time to work with the lighting designer to set up something that works for everyone.
As for the interviews, did you use your zebra bars to set exposure? Did you use a field monitor? I used both and am happy with the results. I find that you can't really trust how it looks in the viewfinder, you have to expose to zebras and and adjust the look by referencing the monitor.
Best of luck to you,
08-04-2005, 10:19 AM
thanks- I used zebra stripes, but I don't have a field monitor yet. Fortunately, I was doing it basically for the experience, and wasn't getting paid in money - they have some corporate clothing sponsors, so I'm getting paid in shoes :)
Also, the organizer had one guy there with a little palm camcorder, so they are still getting a very good picture from what they've had before.
I forget the brand name, but I saw somewhere on a little lcd monitor that I guess is fairly portable. Have any preference for these? brands, types, whatever? I'm desperately trying to get something like this, but as usual the money is tight.
08-04-2005, 01:15 PM
to throw in another comment, I do find the more I use the camera, the more I can adjust the settings, knowing how it'll look on a tv screen (like I'll know it'll probably look a little darker on the tv, so I make the picture in the viewfinder a tad brighter). Not a scientific method, but I suppose in the indie film world one learns to do, as I can't afford every gadget or expert dp I'd like.
08-04-2005, 02:16 PM
In the situation you describe, I would go for proper exposure in the bright-lighting circumstances. Underexposed video=dark, but overexposed video=poop. So make 'em look fabulous in the bright lights, and when the walk into the dark sections, well... not much you can do about that.
Obviously the proper technique would be to get some fill light for the dark sections. But if you have no control whatsoever, then go for what you can, and at least in the brightly-lit sections they'd look fantastic.
08-05-2005, 06:18 PM
Another thing to consider is being able to ride the iris. It takes skill and getting to know the camera, but I always advocate that. Know your camera backwards and forwards, particularly the iris and focus.
best of luck..