Underexposed performers due to bright background - ideas? at DVinfo.net

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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old February 15th, 2009, 08:44 PM   #1
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Underexposed performers due to bright background - ideas?

Can anyone please suggest some ways to configure an XH-A1 to properly expose subjects on a bright stage? We had a shoot today and we experimented with various aperture settings but I still think we could have done better so I'm going to the mattresses so to speak here on DV-Info.

The camera was about 100 feet away from the subjects on stage. There was a wall of windows no more 4-5 feet behind the subjects with sunlight streaming in. So the subjects appeared dark in the frame even though the background was very bright.

I don't think turning the natural density filter on would have done anything - or would it have?

Is there a technique I can use to raise the light on the subjects without brightening their background?

We also had some moire patterns appear on a side camera that was 4-5 feet away from the stage. Is there any technique we can employ to prevent this type of unwanted artifact? Would the ND filter have helped?

Thanks in advance...

Chris
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Old February 16th, 2009, 04:42 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Benes View Post
Can anyone please suggest some ways to configure an XH-A1 to properly expose subjects on a bright stage? We had a shoot today and we experimented with various aperture settings...
I have the somewhat newer A1S and have seen widely ranging results from circumstances like you describe when shooting 100% auto-everything.

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Originally Posted by Christopher Benes View Post
The camera was about 100 feet away from the subjects on stage. There was a wall of windows no more 4-5 feet behind the subjects with sunlight streaming in. So the subjects appeared dark in the frame even though the background was very bright.
So in terms of percentage of the frame, it sounds like the subjects (people? how many?) would have been anywhere from 20-50% of the frame?

That would seem to indicate the camera was reading the reflected light from the subjects based on the direct light falling on the camera from the back lighting.

Generally speaking, you can get that same effect anytime your back light intensity is disproportionate to your reflected light....it's the nature of "the eye that never blinks".

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Originally Posted by Christopher Benes View Post
Is there a technique I can use to raise the light on the subjects without brightening their background?
Artificial light on the subjects seems to me like one obvious answer.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 05:19 AM   #3
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You could not have done a lot more than expose for the subject and let the windows blow out ie over-expose.
The situation sounds like a bit of a nightmare ie massive contrast.
Presumably you were there to record an event and any creative issues were not high on the list of priorities.
The basic situation ie having sunlight streaming from behind the subjects, is not conducive to obtaining a successful picture.
If you were doing it again, and getting it to look decent was important, you should try to improve the lighting.
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