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how do you expose the sun?


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#1 Delorme Jean-Marie

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 04:37 AM

Let's say it's a suny day

if the sun is in your back how much over the key do you put it?
when the subject is back lit how much under do you rate him?

and for what style of image? (genre)
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#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 12:10 PM

Let's say it's a suny day

if the sun is in your back how much over the key do you put it?
when the subject is back lit how much under do you rate him?

and for what style of image? (genre)


If sun is to your back (behind the shooter), then it should be AT key. If someone is backlit by the sun, that'll always be hot so it's just a matter of how much detail you want in your actors' faces. I usually expose for the faces, but sometimes a little underexposure looks nice.

There are various threads on here about how to deal with the sun. Using methods such as placing overhead silks or scrims to soften or cut down the light falling on your actors. The sun can be really harsh.

Do a search and see, there's a wealth of information on the topic here.

By the way, your reel has A LOT of great exterior work...why are you asking this question?

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank, 23 August 2007 - 12:12 PM.

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#3 John Holland

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 12:21 PM

Sun over should flat boring what ever you meter says , i am talking film here neg , backlit the only way at least to stops over .
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#4 John Holland

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 12:25 PM

i will now to that correctly sorry . sun behind shoulder as meter tells you , backlit as i said only way film neg at least two stops over what meter said on boring flat front light .
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#5 Delorme Jean-Marie

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 12:38 PM

i'm curious on how the other do
some talk about over exposing to give a hot effect.... an so one
my point is to talk about something that look realy simple "ext day"
i'm not talking in this post about the quality of light but about the metering of the sun.
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#6 Chris Keth

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 03:14 PM

i'm curious on how the other do
some talk about over exposing to give a hot effect.... an so one
my point is to talk about something that look realy simple "ext day"
i'm not talking in this post about the quality of light but about the metering of the sun.


You mean how would you expose a shot OF the sun?
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#7 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 05:34 PM

i will now to that correctly sorry . sun behind shoulder as meter tells you , backlit as i said only way film neg at least two stops over what meter said on boring flat front light .


John did you have an aneurysm prior to typing this? ha ha! good stuff ;)
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#8 Michael Collier

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 07:22 PM

I always let the sun burn. up to 3 stops over sometimes. figure out the contrast range and make a decision from there about bounce and over/under and ratios. Sometimes it can be a 4 or 5 stop difference or more, if theres dark buildings/foliage behind the camera. Throw up some bounce around the camera. a little goes a long way. check to see how underexposed the face will be. A stop or two is fine, depending on the look your going for. use bounce for fill/modeling light. also trust your neg. First time I was in that situation on film it was a cloudless morning, 5 stop range and I had no choice but to trust my stock. I did use lots of bounce to bring the ratio inline, but I was very very nervous that I overexposed 3 stops on the backlight. Footage came back and it looked perfect. trust your negative, they're made to be trusted.
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Visual Products

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