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Old May 28th, 2017, 10:17 AM   #1
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Horrible Day W/ The LS300

I went out to shoot part of my TV show promo down town Flint, MI. I under exposed the footage and it turned out horrible. I was shooting in Log outside with the sun out and I wanted to keep definition in the clouds and have good exposure of my talent. It did not work for me at all. I learned a valuable lesson yesterday.

To be clear it was not the camera's fault it was solely my mismanage of the exposure. I had the RED out shooting as well using it as cam A and the LS300 as cam B. Both were underexposed. On the JVC histogram I was peaking in the white and a low valley on the mid tones and peaking in the darks. I adjusted the aperture to have the white peaks to the right but not clipping to keep the sky information. Let's just say I bombed that session. I'm glad it was not a paid gig because it would have been horrible to explain to the client that we have to re-shoot over again.

Another thing that was plainly obvious is that I need a matte box on these cams when shooting outside.
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Horrible Day W/ The LS300-18745263_1914610432142651_1900209_o.jpg   Horrible Day W/ The LS300-18789808_1914610425475985_674771993_o.jpg  

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Old May 28th, 2017, 02:05 PM   #2
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Re: Horrible Day W/ The LS300

The sun in those shots is angling down from the left of the frame. A large off-frame reflector on the right side could fill in the underexposed backlit shadows.
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Old May 28th, 2017, 03:10 PM   #3
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Re: Horrible Day W/ The LS300

I had one but Im not sure if i was angling it right because I was filming, monitoring sound, and holding the freaking reflector. Again, all my fault.

One thing I notice is the ND gives off what seems to be a blue tint. Is anyone else noticing this with the LS300.
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Last edited by Aaron Jones Sr.; May 28th, 2017 at 03:44 PM.
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Old May 28th, 2017, 05:03 PM   #4
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Re: Horrible Day W/ The LS300

A matte box might help but this is the sort of situation that a single person crew will have lots of problems in. Direct sun is always a problem.

I filmed in a similar situation a year ago with a small crew (one audio person, one cue card holder) but not enough to assign anyone reflector duty. The shots required the talent and the background be clearly exposed. It happened to be a hazy day but not overcast so the sky was not deep blue but a bright blue grey. Back lighting the talent wasn't go to work as that underexposed the talent so I had to compromise with harsh sun on the talent's face but at least everything was in reasonable exposure. I played with color correction a little, applied a film grain filter and it worked out. I still wish I could have used the reflector but there was no way to keep it from flying away in the wind. Sometimes the sun is so strong that one reflector isn't enough to raise the shadows.
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Old May 28th, 2017, 05:11 PM   #5
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Re: Horrible Day W/ The LS300

What percent did you have your peaking level set to for the Zebras?
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Old May 29th, 2017, 06:59 AM   #6
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Re: Horrible Day W/ The LS300

At that location you'd have to shoot in the mid-morning to have the sun in the "traditional" lighting position for your subject.
There may have been other considerations or limitations that locked you into that time of day shown in your photos, but I always try to visit outdoor locations in the days before a shoot at the time of day that is planned.
If that general spot, direction and time of day were unchangeable, could you have backed up about half a block? I ask because the tall church diagonally across the street is casting a shadow all the way over the full sidewalk.
Looking at Google streetview, the only other high structure just to your left and behind you is the Arts Council building that may have been just tall enough to keep your subject out of direct sunlight.
As you've already mentioned, a good matte box for the lens is important. I'd also add having really good shade and hooding for your monitor or viewfinder is important. Sometimes you have to judge the mid-tones by looking at the best monitor you have by eye to see what really works and not let the histogram be dominant in your adjustments.
Good luck with your project!
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Old May 29th, 2017, 08:59 PM   #7
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Re: Horrible Day W/ The LS300

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Ritchie View Post
What percent did you have your peaking level set to for the Zebras?
I think it was set at 100 top 70 bottom

For some understanding here is the sample sizzle of the show to give my marketing agent a feel for the show. It was shot with the Sony FS100.

https://mediazilla.com/ronv8duo2

This is just a rough draft but does give the feel of the show. There are many technical things to work like lighting, shots and spelling in the opener, the last scene was mistake to add because I was playing with zooming in on 1080p and it looks out of focus, and so on...
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Last edited by Aaron Jones Sr.; May 29th, 2017 at 09:31 PM.
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Old May 29th, 2017, 09:04 PM   #8
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Re: Horrible Day W/ The LS300

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Massengill View Post
At that location you'd have to shoot in the mid-morning to have the sun in the "traditional" lighting position for your subject.
There may have been other considerations or limitations that locked you into that time of day shown in your photos, but I always try to visit outdoor locations in the days before a shoot at the time of day that is planned.
If that general spot, direction and time of day were unchangeable, could you have backed up about half a block? I ask because the tall church diagonally across the street is casting a shadow all the way over the full sidewalk.
Looking at Google streetview, the only other high structure just to your left and behind you is the Arts Council building that may have been just tall enough to keep your subject out of direct sunlight.
As you've already mentioned, a good matte box for the lens is important. I'd also add having really good shade and hooding for your monitor or viewfinder is important. Sometimes you have to judge the mid-tones by looking at the best monitor you have by eye to see what really works and not let the histogram be dominant in your adjustments.
Good luck with your project!
It was around 5:30 in the evening after work we decided to take the RED and the LS300 out for a stroll and see how it would look shooting the show. We chose that location because of the cityscape behind us. I know it was going against impossible odds but I was relying on the Zebra and Histogram to pull me through. I had a nice hood for the RED but have not gotten one for the LS300 as of yet.
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Old May 29th, 2017, 09:24 PM   #9
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Re: Horrible Day W/ The LS300

OK, keeping all this in mind here is a situation I'm going to encounter soon and I would like you fellas to chime in if possible. I'm directing a music video in a couple of weeks and I have a scene I want to pull off with the LS300. I'm using the LS300 because of the light weight. I got a car mount kit and I want to shoot the talent in a drop top old school driving. I want just a little under the windshield at the bottom of the frame and the beautiful clouds and sky in the background. I thought about green screening this but I want it more natural and for this scene the beautiful sky in the background sets the mood greatly. So keeping this in mind using a suction medium duty car mount kit (CAMTREE G-51 Professional Gripper Campod Car Mount Stabilizer) I'm going to mount of the front of the car with a slight tilt toward the sky to get the talent driving. I want both the sky and the talent exposed properly. How would you approach this situation?

IF on the day of the shoot it is bright and I can not get both properly exposed. My thoughts are this:
*The Dreaded Green Screen which I do not want to do because it limits me.
*Shoot the same thing twice once to properly expose the talent and once to properly expose the sky and do my AF magic and blend the two together. It will be more than one of each but for the sake of explaining...

I will be doing a side profile shot by mounting the kit on the passenger side door, a rear shot by placing the kit on the back of the car as well. Not too worried about the side and the back shot but the front shot is my money shot.
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Old May 29th, 2017, 10:57 PM   #10
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Re: Horrible Day W/ The LS300

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Jones Sr. View Post
I think it was set at 100 top 70 bottom
OK, Thanks. If I am quoting your settings correctly, this means your camera will be displaying peaking preview zebras from 70% exposure until 100% exposure, then not showing any peaking above 100%. This will be consistently underexposing you in JLOG1, leading to heavy fixed pattern noise if you try to raise any of the shadows or midtones. You should be able to safely expose your shots to 97% with zebras set to "Bottom 97%" with no blown highlights on the JVC in JLOG1.

I have my zebras set to:

(JLOG1)
Top: Over
Bottom: 97%.

This only shows peaking zebras for areas of brightness in the scene over 97%.

I used to have them set to Bottom 90%, and I still underexposed consistently. I lately have been using over 100% with good results, I only shoot in JLOG1. I haven't seen any blown highlights in the 3 color channels in my footage when Bottom 97% & Top set to "Over". I recommend you try it, and it may prove helpful.

A couple other settings I use on my flippy screen to help tremendously for LCD exposure (supposing you are not using a field monitor) are:

Main Menu -> LCD/VF ->LCD/VF Peaking +6
Main Menu -> LCD/VF -> LCD Bright +1
Main Menu -> LCD/VF ->1D-LUT: off

If you aren't familiar with JVC's idea of Focus Peaking, it is sharpening that is only applied to the viewscreen, extremely helpful in aiding focusing - it does not apply this sharpening to your footage, so there is no concern about artifacts or moire.

Your mileage may vary - but this configuration has tremendously helped me in gauging exposure and focus. Best luck!
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Old May 30th, 2017, 01:31 AM   #11
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Re: Horrible Day W/ The LS300

If you buy a matt box and rails, then your head might need upgrading too - you already have loads of weight very high, CoG wise - I'm surprised your head manages, to be honest.

I'm a little confused on your problem. It sounds as if you're exposing and composing your shots only by the histogram? I'm not trying to be rude - but did you not notice the under exposure on both your cameras when you watched the images? I tend to use the histogram to tell me what is wrong when the image doesn't look right - and after ramping up and down you notice the highlights blowing out or perhaps nothing in the shadows - and the histogram kind of confirms it. If you saw the problems but couldn't cure it, then clearly the shoot was a bust before you shot, not afterwards.

I'm amazed that you think that one person is able to do this many jobs -
Quote:
filming, monitoring sound, and holding the freaking reflector.
That is clearly plain silly. What exactly do you want the matt box for? It wouldn't have helped too much with your exposure problem? I have a nice one, and to be honest, it often gets collapsed out of the way, or not even fitted for many of my jobs.

Why not wait for the same kind of day, and take the cameras and no people and experiment on settings with no pressure - because in your list you missed out one critical thing you were doing. I bet you were also directing, talking to the talent and organising, and three minutes of silence while you tweak wasn't even a possibility. Been there. Done it. Too many times.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 06:30 AM   #12
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Re: Horrible Day W/ The LS300

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Ritchie View Post
OK, Thanks. If I am quoting your settings correctly, this means your camera will be displaying peaking preview zebras from 70% exposure until 100% exposure, then not showing any peaking above 100%. This will be consistently underexposing you in JLOG1, leading to heavy fixed pattern noise if you try to raise any of the shadows or midtones. You should be able to safely expose your shots to 97% with zebras set to "Bottom 97%" with no blown highlights on the JVC in JLOG1.

I have my zebras set to:

(JLOG1)
Top: Over
Bottom: 97%.

This only shows peaking zebras for areas of brightness in the scene over 97%.

I used to have them set to Bottom 90%, and I still underexposed consistently. I lately have been using over 100% with good results, I only shoot in JLOG1. I haven't seen any blown highlights in the 3 color channels in my footage when Bottom 97% & Top set to "Over". I recommend you try it, and it may prove helpful.

A couple other settings I use on my flippy screen to help tremendously for LCD exposure (supposing you are not using a field monitor) are:

Main Menu -> LCD/VF ->LCD/VF Peaking +6
Main Menu -> LCD/VF -> LCD Bright +1
Main Menu -> LCD/VF ->1D-LUT: off

If you aren't familiar with JVC's idea of Focus Peaking, it is sharpening that is only applied to the viewscreen, extremely helpful in aiding focusing - it does not apply this sharpening to your footage, so there is no concern about artifacts or moire.

Your mileage may vary - but this configuration has tremendously helped me in gauging exposure and focus. Best luck!
I will give this a go and see how it pans out.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 06:32 AM   #13
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Re: Horrible Day W/ The LS300

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
What exactly do you want the matte box for? It wouldn't have helped too much with your exposure problem? I have a nice one, and to be honest, it often gets collapsed out of the way, or not even fitted for many of my jobs.
The matte box is for using square filters and controlling flare. If the issue isn't flaring or lack of any filters, a matte box will be a zero sum game.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 06:42 AM   #14
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Re: Horrible Day W/ The LS300

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
If you buy a matt box and rails, then your head might need upgrading too - you already have loads of weight very high, CoG wise - I'm surprised your head manages, to be honest.

I'm a little confused on your problem. It sounds as if you're exposing and composing your shots only by the histogram? I'm not trying to be rude - but did you not notice the under exposure on both your cameras when you watched the images? I tend to use the histogram to tell me what is wrong when the image doesn't look right - and after ramping up and down you notice the highlights blowing out or perhaps nothing in the shadows - and the histogram kind of confirms it. If you saw the problems but couldn't cure it, then clearly the shoot was a bust before you shot, not afterwards.

I'm amazed that you think that one person is able to do this many jobs -

That is clearly plain silly. What exactly do you want the matt box for? It wouldn't have helped too much with your exposure problem? I have a nice one, and to be honest, it often gets collapsed out of the way, or not even fitted for many of my jobs.

Why not wait for the same kind of day, and take the cameras and no people and experiment on settings with no pressure - because in your list you missed out one critical thing you were doing. I bet you were also directing, talking to the talent and organizing, and three minutes of silence while you tweak wasn't even a possibility. Been there. Done it. Too many times.
It was a trial and error session. I was just amazed at the the under exposure. No worries you do sound rude but that is fine I have dealt with plenty of people like you that have all the answers as if you do not have issues. You seems to try and belittle my situation but if you would have read properly you would have seen it was not a paid gig I was out trying to get some time on my cam. All is well though.

I normally monitor sound, focus, and the exposure at the same time. That is the norm for me. Because of the condition of the day I tried to see if the reflector would help with a little bit of light balancing on the face learning from my sample show in the link above. Again it was a trial and error session trying to get out and get some footage using the LS300.

The matte box would help with the sun glare in the lens.

I understand your point of view but I don't want you to think I was out trying to do a paid gig this way. But I was surprised at the under exposure I got on both cams. No I did not see the under exposure on both cams at the time of the shoot.,

I took probably 9 to 10 different takes trying different things. The sun was going in and out of the clouds creating different scenarios. I'm just trying to get the hang of the LS300 shooting in Jog1. I'm good in the shade and indoors, but I suck out in the the sunny day and I want to get the hang of this cam so I can master the different scenarios. If you see the link above I posted for the sample show you will see I filmed it with the Sony FS100 a lot better on a sunny day. Still needed some light to balance out the look but it was not as bad as my last shoot was. Again it is clearly my fault but I want to get better and master this cam.
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Last edited by Aaron Jones Sr.; May 30th, 2017 at 02:02 PM.
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Old May 31st, 2017, 12:41 PM   #15
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Re: Horrible Day W/ The LS300

I have been experimenting a bit myself with various degrees of success but have not had the time to do some quality tests.

here is a link to a good article on the subject if you haven't read it https://www.thebroadcastbridge.com/c...h-j-log-part-2

I myself picked up the Lumu light meter ($69 ball that plugs into an iPod touch or older iPhone) and running Cine Meter II from the App Store for aI think $29. It's a good incident light meter on the cheap that also has filter factor adjustments that you can set to match the built in ND on the JVC. I've only used it a little and got much more consistent results though I have not fully put it through it's paces. A Sekonic Cine Meter would be far better for $400-$800 as long as you have built in filter factors to make my life simpler. (avoiding the iPod going into sleep mode or staying on and running out of juice in an hour or so is what I mean by better)

That being said I think your shooting was probably just fine for Rec709, but for Jlog the mid tones should be higher. I also shoot at ISO400 not the recommended 800 since more grain shows up faster at 800ISO.

I expect once I or anyone else establishes a consistent shooting and post style that the light meter will tell you or me how we shoot and post work best.. then go backwards and reset the our high and low levels in camera to match a majority of our shooting. But if you can lay your hands on an incident light meter, even a photo one (no built in filter factors usually like the Sekonic 308) for cheap or borrow since you will want a better Sekonic going forward in career. and establish a more consistent baseline.

If the JVC shot raw or at least 10 bit Pro Res it wouldn't be as a big of deal, but it is.. especially if you are going to be playing with Red. I have to do the same thing with my friends Red Scarlet. So I have to figure out my method as well to be B camera to a Red Scarlet... Good luck and let us know how it continues.

Post Thought: Maybe I'm not seeing what your seeing, but I don't think your jpg images looked terrible.. I sort of think you got as good as you could get without a big bounce card or a fill light. I still say all of my above was valid, but I expect a gold bounce card to bounce some life into the face would have given you the latitude you wanted. That being said it didn't look terrible to me. I can see how the JVC had more noise in mid tones than the Red did... IF you had over exposed by probably 1 stop or at least 1/2 stop you may not have gotten as much noise, but I don't know if you could recover much of the sky.

I'm using FCPX (older version) and color Finale plug in that I love.. though latest version of FCPX (need to update laptop and FCPX and lose Color Finale till they do a patch) gives me a lot of pushing and pulling sky and ground. here is a link to my outdated tests to see how much I could push and pull with Color Finale if you are not using it. here is a link to 1 shot with adjusting in post the same image as to how far FCPX with Color Finale could push from a shot with original footage in box 1. http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/attachme...10minutesc.jpg IF I go outside and repeat some testing with my light meter and compare with my zebra I KNOW I could do a LOT better..

But yes... I think from what I saw you can do more Post work to recover the sky and lift a little of the face, but I would never say it was horrible... honestly it's better than a lot of I have seen on HBO and Showtime let alone network... and I do think if you had a reflector or at least fill light your shot would be easier. Unless you are seeing something I'm not.

But yes, hit us back with some updates when you have time to test. I'm out with an injury so I can't walk outside with a camera for another few days at least.

Last edited by Alex Humphrey; May 31st, 2017 at 01:05 PM. Reason: additional thoughts
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