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Shooting Televisions


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#1 Cole Webley

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 03:37 PM

Just wondering, when you are shooting something on a television how do you expose for it? Two examples:

1.The television takes up the whole frame.
2.The television takes up only a part of the frame.

How do you expose for example one and how do you expose for the ratio in example 2 with the normal ambient light compared to the exposure of the television.

Thanks.

Cole
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#2 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 03:45 PM

1.The television takes up the whole frame.

i use my slr camera or a spot meter. make sure the image on the screen is "medium grey" or make an intelligent zone system guess.

2.The television takes up only a part of the frame.

i light by eye and expose for the ambient light.

/matt
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#3 Michael Nash

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 05:32 PM

Lighting by eye can be tricky when the subject is "luminous" such as a TV screen. Your eye is easily distracted and deceived by the image on the screen. In general, TV screens are actually much brighter than they appear to the eye. You'll usually want to reduce the contrast and/or brightness on the TV display.

Spot metering usually works, although different colors and the "flicker" can sometimes fake-out some meters. I've never been bit, though.

A simple trick/cheat is to view the screen and set on the film camera's video tap. If the exposure balance looks reasonable on the tap image, it won't look any worse on film.

And of course TV's are close to 5600k, and scan at 59.94 Hz. But that's another issue.
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#4 Cole Webley

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 12:23 AM

great, thanks gentleman.

-Cole
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#5 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 03:22 AM

Lighting by eye can be tricky when the subject is "luminous" such as a TV screen. Your eye is easily distracted and deceived by the image on the screen. In general, TV screens are actually much brighter than they appear to the eye.

true. a constrast viewing glass helps.

/matt
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#6 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 09:26 AM

Lighting by eye can be tricky when the subject is "luminous" such as a TV screen. Your eye is easily distracted and deceived by the image on the screen. In general, TV screens are actually much brighter than they appear to the eye. You'll usually want to reduce the contrast and/or brightness on the TV display.

Spot metering usually works, although different colors and the "flicker" can sometimes fake-out some meters. I've never been bit, though.

A simple trick/cheat is to view the screen and set on the film camera's video tap. If the exposure balance looks reasonable on the tap image, it won't look any worse on film.

And of course TV's are close to 5600k, and scan at 59.94 Hz. But that's another issue.


Consumer televisions vary considerably for color temperature. Likewise, you have control of the white level (contrast) and black level (brightness) used for setup. Some sets allow changing color temperature either with several presets, or by adjustment of the setup controls. Bottom line: measure with a good meter, and run tests.
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#7 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 10:22 AM

This is kind of a generic answer but I know from shooting many television sets that usually the set
has been adjusted correctly when the actors in the scene say that it looks "too dark". I always have to
tone televisions down with brightness and contrast controls.


Most of my experience shooting with television sets in the shot has come from video, in which it's been
easy to check the productin monitor. With film I've used a spot meter.

Michael Nash is right on that t.v.s are generally much brighter than they appear to the eye.
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#8 Michael Nash

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 04:46 PM

Consumer televisions vary considerably for color temperature. ... Some sets allow changing color temperature either with several presets, or by adjustment of the setup controls.


True, but I've never met one that comes even close to 3200! ;-) 5600 has always been a good starting point.

But you're absolutely right, you can't just assume it's a certain color. Meter, adjust, test.
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