XL1 settings for snow scene at DVinfo.net

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Old December 2nd, 2002, 09:37 PM   #1
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XL1 settings for snow scene

Hello:
Can one of you experts tell me what settings I should use in the following environment for an XL1:

Cloudy and a bit dark...eastern US snow in foreground and background. Interviewing subject using only the XL1 mike with a windscreen ( so I will be up close). Have an NRG Varalux light on top of camera and a power belt for the light.
Time around 3:00 -4:00 pm, so it will be getting dark by the minute.

With such variables, I am totally lost as to what my settings might be as far as exposure and shutter speed. Which should I be on....AV or Tv? Manual is out of the question. I will be doing the shooting myself and the interviews, so I need to set and forget if possible. The interviews will be used on the web and nowhere else, so I will be shooting in frame mode.

Also can you give me some general idea for shooting in bright snow conditions and in cloudy snow conditions. I want my close up subjects to pop and not be lost in the grey undertones which is what seems to happen to me when I start shooting snow scenes.


Thanks in advance!
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Old December 2nd, 2002, 10:32 PM   #2
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A few tips.
Turn your Zebra strips on. Expose for the person, not the general setting. If using auto, MAKE SURE TO LOCK YOUR EXPOSURE.
Manually set the white balance, every 10 mins if you are shooting in the late afternoon when the sun is going down.

If bright out, get as little of the sky as possible, is it will look burnt out after you expose the subject. Keep the sun mostly behind you, but not so it could cast your shadow over the person you are interviewing (easy to forget).
If there is lots of glare from the snow, use a polarizer.
Bring a bounce card/reflector on a stand (or with an assistant) if you want to light up the subject and make him stand out against the background more, whether cloudy or bright.

I much prefer shooting on a cloudy day.

Don't set and forget. Check your camera often.
If possible, go out and shoot test footage days in advance so you get some ideas of what works and what doesn't.

So many things.... Don't drop your camera in the snow. :)
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Old December 2nd, 2002, 10:56 PM   #3
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snow scenes

I tried the zebra. Is it supposed to be sticky? Every time I go back to it, it is off.
Thanks for advise...any thoughts on whether I should be on AV or Tv. It would be easy to adjust the exposure as I am shooting...you see the effect immediately in the viewfinder.

Tim
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Old December 3rd, 2002, 10:22 AM   #4
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I'd shoot in manual. :)
I don't have a solid opinion between Av and Tv in this case, so I'll let some other people chip in.

Don't trust your viewfinder as far as proper exposure goes. Trust the zebra stripes. Mine stay on all the time.
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Old December 4th, 2002, 03:26 PM   #5
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It's actually cold and snowing here in Montreal.

What I do is to take a closeup "reading" on the face and then lock the exposure. Sometimes I would then close down by a half stop to not burn out the snow. I avoid shooting in the sun. Cloudy days are the best for me.
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Old December 5th, 2002, 12:54 AM   #6
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Don't you find that closing down results in grey snow. I've always found the XL's and all built-in meters to err on the low side which is why I always adjust to open up 1-2 stops
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Old December 5th, 2002, 05:01 PM   #7
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I usually notice that when I take a reading on a face in closeup, this tends to makes the scene a bit overexposed. Therefore I re-adjust by closing down only a half stop. Again this rule is not engraved in stone but again depends on the facial color, etc. As you shoot more and more in snow, you're experiences will tell you when to manually adjust.

Your mileage may vary ...
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