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anybody hear this "for digital, light up and stop down"?


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#1 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 02:28 AM

I have some night shoots coming up and am wondering how much less light than normal I can use and get good results. Typically, I like to have a small zebra (at 70 IREs) on a medium reflective caucasian face, which is what I'll be having for this job. However, if I go lower than normal with my light levels, I won't be getting that, epsecially in close-ups when the lens is all the way in and I'm at a 2.8

I have been editing some footage that I shot 2 years ago when I first got my HVX-200 and I was surprised at how well I could use the flters in Final Cut Pro to bring up some inadvertently underexposed footage that went from unsatisfactory to looking perfectly acceptable by using the brightness slider with the brightness filter under image control.


A couple of weeks ago, shooting with 7219, it was fun to light at levels that also looked right. However, shooting open with the HVX-200 the camera sensitivity is nowhere near that of the 500 speed film just mentioned. I was just testing some set-ups outside (it's kind of fun, all these lights on but no noise so my neighbors aren't disturbed) and the light levels that I need to shoot conservatively and protect the exposure are high enough to make the scenes look like a 70s
tv show shot at night with slower films back then. There's a point where the light level gives objects a brightness in the scene that makes the shot look lighted.

I'm shooting tomorrow night so I'll do whatever tests I can before then. I have found that underexposing a bit has always been the safer way to go with digital video.

I'm curious if the phrase somebody said to me about digital video, "light up, stop down" is a way of saying if you underexpose a bit you can always work to bring it up in post and if that's a saying that other people hear or go by.

Thanks.

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#2 Serge Teulon

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 10:29 AM

Hi Tim,

I too find that underexposure suits best the digital render. I hate the way digital handles brightness it always seems to look clipped.
When I do broadcast work I always shoot at -3db gain...this allows for more flexibility. I also find that certain light level does give a "lit" look to the image...
Would be great to see your tests if poss!

Good luck!
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#3 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 01:53 PM

Hi Tim,

I too find that underexposure suits best the digital render. I hate the way digital handles brightness it always seems to look clipped.
When I do broadcast work I always shoot at -3db gain...this allows for more flexibility. I also find that certain light level does give a "lit" look to the image...
Would be great to see your tests if poss!

Good luck!



Thanks Serge. I can probably posts some tests next Monday...and by tests I mean what I actually went ahead and shot!

I'm loading/prepping today but if I can I'll do some actual tests tonight.
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#4 Serge Teulon

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 08:40 AM

Great!
Look forward to it.
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#5 Robert Sawin

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 11:47 PM

I have some night shoots coming up and am wondering how much less light than normal I can use and get good results. Typically, I like to have a small zebra (at 70 IREs) on a medium reflective caucasian face, which is what I'll be having for this job. However, if I go lower than normal with my light levels, I won't be getting that, epsecially in close-ups when the lens is all the way in and I'm at a 2.8

I have been editing some footage that I shot 2 years ago when I first got my HVX-200 and I was surprised at how well I could use the flters in Final Cut Pro to bring up some inadvertently underexposed footage that went from unsatisfactory to looking perfectly acceptable by using the brightness slider with the brightness filter under image control.


A couple of weeks ago, shooting with 7219, it was fun to light at levels that also looked right. However, shooting open with the HVX-200 the camera sensitivity is nowhere near that of the 500 speed film just mentioned. I was just testing some set-ups outside (it's kind of fun, all these lights on but no noise so my neighbors aren't disturbed) and the light levels that I need to shoot conservatively and protect the exposure are high enough to make the scenes look like a 70s
tv show shot at night with slower films back then. There's a point where the light level gives objects a brightness in the scene that makes the shot look lighted.

I'm shooting tomorrow night so I'll do whatever tests I can before then. I have found that underexposing a bit has always been the safer way to go with digital video.

I'm curious if the phrase somebody said to me about digital video, "light up, stop down" is a way of saying if you underexpose a bit you can always work to bring it up in post and if that's a saying that other people hear or go by.

Thanks.


This can be an interesting challenge because digital sucks when it comes to latitude. Light in stops. Light your actor for normal and the rest of the sean at 4 stops under but no less. I say you can get away with 2 4ks and a 20 ft silk scrim. also get black fome core that works great for filling in the shadows with out destroying them. Like have the shadow side of his face at 3 or 4 stops under. soft light is key in shooting DV. layer your seen in stops. Say background 4 stops objects 2 or 3 stops and subject at key. this will help correct in post more evenly.

as for camera. always keep the lowest fstop and lock in your f stop then change your shutter speed accordingly. but lock it in through out the seen for continuity. Shoot at 60 p if you can. 24 p sucks. Film gets projected at 48 FPS.

trip...

Edited by Robert Sawin, 22 September 2008 - 11:52 PM.

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Tai Audio

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Visual Products

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Rig Wheels Passport

The Slider

rebotnix Technologies

Metropolis Post

Abel Cine

FJS International, LLC

Glidecam

Technodolly

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS