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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old May 29th, 2006, 07:28 AM   #1
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XL2 under horrendous lighting conditions.

Thanks to Ash, Greg Boston, and everyone else who has posted so many helpfull preset reccomendations.
I've been working for a wedding Photographer lately, doing a wedding a week.
last night I tried my new "low light" preset, and it worked very well (dancing under a tent outside at night with MINIMAL lights). The other condition I've had to deal with is etxreme backlight with the subjects under dark and shadows.
Yesterday, for example, the ceremony was outside in the late afternoon. The vows etc., were done under a portable wooden structure with flowers on top and around. I set up behind in order to get a direct shot of their faces during the ceremony.The second camera shot them comming from the house and walking down the aisle.He was able to shoot with the sun behind, and get decent exposure.
It was dark under the structure,but everything outside was flooded with sun light. In order to expose for the bride and groom, everything else outside was WAY blown out.
In the XL2 tour video (dvcreators.net) they show a similar example where two women are in the foreground against a real blown out view of San Francisco.
The video suggests lowering the setup and master pedestal, and pressing the black (I think). And then adding contrast in post.
I'd really like to hear from anyone with a good prest for this condition, or any other solutions( other than bring a lighting guy).
Thanks
Bruce S. Yarock
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Old May 29th, 2006, 09:14 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce S. Yarock
Thanks to Ash, Greg Boston, and everyone else who has posted so many helpfull preset reccomendations.
I've been working for a wedding Photographer lately, doing a wedding a week.
last night I tried my new "low light" preset, and it worked very well (dancing under a tent outside at night with MINIMAL lights). The other condition I've had to deal with is etxreme backlight with the subjects under dark and shadows.
Yesterday, for example, the ceremony was outside in the late afternoon. The vows etc., were done under a portable wooden structure with flowers on top and around. I set up behind in order to get a direct shot of their faces during the ceremony.The second camera shot them comming from the house and walking down the aisle.He was able to shoot with the sun behind, and get decent exposure.
It was dark under the structure,but everything outside was flooded with sun light. In order to expose for the bride and groom, everything else outside was WAY blown out.
In the XL2 tour video (dvcreators.net) they show a similar example where two women are in the foreground against a real blown out view of San Francisco.
The video suggests lowering the setup and master pedestal, and pressing the black (I think). And then adding contrast in post.
I'd really like to hear from anyone with a good prest for this condition, or any other solutions( other than bring a lighting guy).
Thanks
Bruce S. Yarock
When you have a high contast scene like that, you want to create as little contrast as possible in camera to compensate (especially with mini-dv which doesn't have much tolerance in the first place). Therefore, lowering the setup, master pedestal, stretching the blacks, and setting the knee to low all go towards flattening out the gamma curve. I'd even go as far as setting the gamma to cine mode since it also helps flatten the curve a bit.

When you look at the footage though you are going to say, "oh crap, this all looks dull and washed out." And that is exactly what you want because it means you have captured the widest dynamic range as possible. Now is when you add the contrast in post. And you can do that because you captured the details (especially highlights). While shooting, expose for the brighter areas of the scene. You can pull stuff out of the shadows in post, but you can never get back overexposed highlights.

-gb-
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Old May 29th, 2006, 12:07 PM   #3
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"When you have a high contast scene like that, you want to create as little contrast as possible in camera to compensate (especially with mini-dv which doesn't have much tolerance in the first place). Therefore, lowering the setup, master pedestal, stretching the blacks, and setting the knee to low all go towards flattening out the gamma curve. I'd even go as far as setting the gamma to cine mode since it also helps flatten the curve a bit.

When you look at the footage though you are going to say, "oh crap, this all looks dull and washed out." And that is exactly what you want because it means you have captured the widest dynamic range as possible. Now is when you add the contrast in post. And you can do that because you captured the details (especially highlights). While shooting, expose for the brighter areas of the scene. You can pull stuff out of the shadows in post, but you can never get back overexposed highlights."

Greg,
Can you tell me how much you'd lower the set up and master pedestal?(I want to save a preset for this type of situation).
I was under the impression that it was more important to expose for the subject than the back ground...
Thanks again,
Bruce S. Yarock
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Old May 29th, 2006, 12:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce S. Yarock
I was under the impression that it was more important to expose for the subject than the back ground...
That's true if you have to lose one of the other due to limitations. Naturally, you want to expose for the subject in that case. What I was suggesting was to help from blowing out the hightlights if, and only if, you won't completely black out the subject in the process. That's the purpose of adjusting the camera to flatten out the gamma curve as much as possible.

Of course, the best thing to do is create a high contrast scene like that at home and then tweak the camera to obtain a usable preset. Then you are armed and ready with it the next time that scenario presents itself.

-gb-
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Old May 29th, 2006, 01:26 PM   #5
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"That's true if you have to lose one of the other due to limitations. Naturally, you want to expose for the subject in that case. What I was suggesting was to help from blowing out the hightlights if, and only if, you won't completely black out the subject in the process. That's the purpose of adjusting the camera to flatten out the gamma curve as much as possible"

The bride and groom were Black,and she was wearing a veil.If I didn't expose for them, they wouldn't have been visible.
I'll try to recreate a high contrast scene like that at home. The only problem is that I use the monochrome viewfinder, and can't see anything related to color or wb if I'm outside.I guess I can shoot someone inside, in front of a bright window, and use my monitor.
Thanks
Bruce
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