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Old November 30th, 2010, 03:55 PM   #1
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Hard shadow treatment

Normally the way I handle hard shadows is in the color-corrector 3-way by bumping up the blacks and down the whites. Is there a better way? In a recent clip I filmed it dark to keep the detail where the sun hit the bride's face. Then in color-corrector I plan to just bump up the whites and/or mids. That seems like a shotgun approach. Thoughts?
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Old November 30th, 2010, 06:42 PM   #2
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The good (but expensive) way? Magic Bullet Looks, which allows you to adjust things like exposure settings after the fact. A very nice and complete package of possible tweaks, indeed.

Red Giant Software: Magic Bullet Looks 1.4

The free way? The Lyric Shadow-Highlight plugin is a very useful little tool that does this kind of correction pretty effortlessly:

Lyric Final Cut Pro Plugins
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Old December 1st, 2010, 12:12 AM   #3
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I'd agree with exposing for the face and bumping up in post. Bringing down contrast in post is tricky and tends to make the image look washed out. Getting it right in camera always looks better.

Added benefit of underexposing just a tad is that you'll bring out a bit of detail in the white dress rather than it being blown out. Colours will look richer as well.

Words of wisdom from Shane Hurlbut:
"You can always create contrast by stretching the image by pushing the whites and pulling your blacks down. Underexposure is a powerful tool with this camera, but the whole image cannot be underexposed. It will result in noise, fall apart quickly in color correction and just look muddy."

Color Correction: Put Your Best Foot Forward | Hurlbut Visuals
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Old December 6th, 2010, 12:22 AM   #4
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Of course, if you're talking about not fixing the image quality in post, Hurlbut is correct. The problem with too much underexposure or overexposure is that you are basically not recording certain kinds of digital information. You can never replace what you didn't correctly capture in the first place.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 06:21 AM   #5
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Shane is recommending if not "fixing" in post then tweaking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen White View Post
The problem with too much underexposure or overexposure is that you are basically not recording certain kinds of digital information. You can never replace what you didn't correctly capture in the first place.
Yes, but I think the issue is the limited dynamic range of digital camcorders and trying to overcome it. By underexposing just a hair you ensure you retain detail in highlights. IMO detail in the blacks is secondary.
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