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Old February 18th, 2008, 05:21 PM   #1
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Need advice: Hot church lights: will filter help?

We have stage lights set too bright, and no way to adjust them (the lighting co. didn't install dimmers!) Right now it looks terrible, like a bunch of yard lights shining down onto the stage.

I do everything I can to minimize blowouts, flares and the like, but no matter what I set iris, shutter, gain, etc. it looks terrible.

I heard somewhere that certain filters can 'expand dynamic range' of highlights, by white-balancing through a magenta or green gel.

You can see an example of my situation here:

mms://208.109.210.16/nccvideowin/ncc-02032008.wmv

We're trying to get the lights moved back 15' away from the stage, and somehow dim the lights a bit, without blacking out shadows...

I'm pulling my hair out -- it's either too hot, or nothing onscreen. Until we can fix the lighting, will filters help?

BTW, the video is shot on XL1's, fed via s-video to a Videonics MX100 switcher, and recorded onto a DVD recorder deck. Then I run it through WME for web...so it's been compressed a bit...
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Old February 18th, 2008, 06:38 PM   #2
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ND filter can help control too bright light. But it effects shadows equally.
Soft contrast filter can help reduce apparent contrast, but there are limits to its usefulness.
Visit for details: http://www.tiffen.com/contrast_filters.htm

There is no good substitute for proper lighting, and video likes a more evenly lit scene than is often used for stage productions due to a constrained dynamic range.
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