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Dealing With Contrasty EXT.


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#1 Brian M Smith

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 11:40 PM

Hello all,

I recently was shooting a student project on S16 250D film. I ran into a situation where the leads were walking on a sidewalk in and out of shade. My frame was pretty split even with sunlight and shade (I think I had a 3 to 3 1/2 stop difference). What I did was underexpose my shadows 1 1/3 letting my highlights go around 2 stops over. I figure that it would be easier to keep more info. in the shadows since film can handle the over and bring it down in post. I haven't gotten the dailies back so I just want to make sure I'm not up for any surprises.

This leads me to my second part is this how most deal with these situations is by splitting exposure. I assume with a budget you can use HMI's to bring up the shade to a more acceptable level but than its no longer shade and it will lose the natural contrast. Was wondering whats the best way to deal with this?

Thanks
Brian
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#2 David Regan

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 03:35 PM

Sounds like you've pretty much got it. I let my shadows go under by 2 stops, I've even gone 3 at times on 7205 with good results. 2 Stops over in your highlights should be no worry.

And yeah big budgets can do a lot, either fill up shadows, or tent large areas of an ext. with silk or nets to soften up the direct sunlight. The quickest solution without a budget, if you find yourself with contrast ranges beyond what you want, is plan your shooting in a location, and at a time of day when the sun is in a more favorable position. This might mean the whole sidewalk is in shade, or the characters are backlit etc...Earlier/later in the day is less harsh too, the sun isn't as toppy and direct.

So I think you should be ok.

Cheers
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