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Exposure/ Keying for Close-ups


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#1 Rowan Green

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 07:04 PM

Hey, I was just wondering (this is a real newbie question):
In a traditional close-up shot, lets say an interior in a controlled lighting environment, lyou want to light and expose a human face so as to render the most detail (ie. "correctly" expose) in the face (on the side of the key light).

Is the idea that to render the key light side of their face correctly on film, you'd expose it to render as middle grey, in accordance with what the meter would recommend? I'm talking about not wanting a specific effect, like overexposure cause the person is next to a window or whatever, just the way to get the maximum detail onto the film in terms of their face.

I like to think of things in terms of the zone system, so would the idea be traditionally to expose the key-lit side of a person's face at zone V (middle grey)? or would cinematographers generally expose a stop and a half or a full stop higher?

When you guys light and expose someone's face, do you have a preferred discipline? Thanks a bunch for reading and answering
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 07:09 AM

I just use an incident meter, it's the quickest and rarely goes wrong, plus you can measure the lighting contrast ratio if needed.

If you're using a spot meter you'd have to allow for the degree of skin reflection if that's what you're measuring for your exposure setting, if you're using the mid grey (18%) that's all you need to measure, the meter should be calibrated to give the correct exposure using nothing else.
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