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Old May 27th, 2004, 09:01 PM   #1
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Some tips for shooting with the HD10 and HD1

Use A LOT of lights! I looked at some of my footage and some other short films recently, and I noticed areas with light shadows can look flat and, worse still, has tons of chroma noise.

Anything with darker, more contrasty shadows didn't seem so bad.

Light it like film!

Oh, and if anyone else wants to add tips here, GO FOR IT!

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Old May 28th, 2004, 11:25 AM   #2
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Try not to bounce the camera around while shooting. I've gotten these weird breakups in footage when the camera is bumped. Anyone else get these? It's blocky streaks that last for a second....and it's always the second you want. :(

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Old May 28th, 2004, 11:35 AM   #3
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No whip pans, either!

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Old May 28th, 2004, 11:44 AM   #4
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I'd like to preface my remarks with the fact that I don't have much experience as a professional photographer and I don't claim to be one. My observations about using the HD10 vs. Canon GL1 are:

Indoor Tungsten lighting seems to work better as compared to using daylight. I notice that color in daylight images seems washed out and flat, while well lit scenes indoors seem to have richer more saturated color. A ND filter seems to help alot, but I think the only way to get really good results is to not shoot in direct sunlight or do it under a butterfly. I haven't done alot of shooting outside.

Poorly lit indoor scenes seem to create alot of chroma noise, especially in dark shadows. I've used 3 or 4 lights to light interviews with pretty good results.

Presently I use an Arri 650, and Arri 1000 and a 3 light JTL Everlight Softbox kit. I like to use a combination of a 'hard' key light and soft fill - they seem to produce the nicest images.

My setups are usually right out of a text book. I keep the key light high, angled down at about 30-45 degrees and keep the fill light pretty much the same height as the subjects face, or lower to get rid of shadows (and noise) under the chin. Sometimes a piece of white foamcore on the floor, angled up helps get rid of those, without producing too stark or flat of a look.

I really try to avoid flat white walls as a background and always use a backlight or a kicker. Alot of times I will use a 4th or 5th light to light the background. I use a homemade cookie that I made out of a window screen with bits of foamcore taped to it. I also use the softlights with a foamcore cookie taped right to the softbox.

Indoors, I have gotten the best results with the shutter set at 1/60 second (or sometimes 1/30) with the autofocus turned off. I manually white balance to a '105%' white piece of paper mounted on a card. I'm going to try a manual white balance using a very light blue piece of paper to see if I can get a warmer look.

I'm not going for a 'film' look. I really like the look of High Definition Video. Has anyone seen the tonight show in HD? I really like the lighting there (though it seems very flat sometimes) and its the kind of look I'm trying to get.

I also use a field monitor (one I bought on ebay for $20) and light each scene one light at a time until I get the result that I want. The monitor makes a WORLD of difference. This one has a blue only button that really helps to show blown out whites, since this camera doesn't have zebra stripes. It also helps me get good focus.

When focusing I like to use the autofocus to hunt down the proper focus, then turn the focus to manual. I notice I can get OK DOF if I'm far away and zoomed in, vs up close and wide.

I'm sure the pros out there will think thats a slow way to get it done, but I've been able to get some really nice results that way.

Someday I will post some small clips, but I don't have a play to host them on. I'd really like to get some opinions from other people.

I also avoid panning at all. I never shoot handheld, always on a tripod, and only pan very slowly, and very very sparingly.
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Old May 28th, 2004, 11:59 AM   #5
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I showed my students at the film school some stuff and they loved it. One wants to shoot with my HD10, but most of his film is at night.

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Old May 28th, 2004, 01:04 PM   #6
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Bill/Heath,
Do you have any good books that you can refer me too? I am a beginner to lighting and need help.
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Old May 28th, 2004, 01:09 PM   #7
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I have this book: http://www.rbookshop.com/engineering/a/Automation/Lighting_for_Digital_Video_Television_1578201152.htm

Lighting for Digital Video and Television - this on is excellent.

Another good one is: Film Lighting, but Chris Malkiwitz <sp> and still another is Cinematography bt the same author.

But the BEST way to learn about lighting is to LIGHT things. Just grab your camera, a model, and spend a little time experimenting.
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Old May 28th, 2004, 01:40 PM   #8
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One more thing - this book by Arri is a pretty good start also:


http://www.arri.com/infodown/light/b...ok_english.pdf
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Old May 28th, 2004, 02:00 PM   #9
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Thanks for the links, Bill.
I will definetly check these out!
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Old May 28th, 2004, 02:50 PM   #10
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Here is what I have found. Always shoot with shutter priority set to either 1/30 or 1/60 (your preference for the look you need.) In anything other than low light conditions, use ND; I actually prefer the two polarizer trick for varible ND. I increase the ND until the aperature is wide open, then increase it a half stop further. This will give headroom before luma clipping and it allows for some light variation without shutter changes (poor mans manual control.) This under-exposed shooting is easily corrected in post. The downside is the darker shoot enhances chroma noise, then you will need a chroma noise filter (I wrote one for Aspect HD users which seems to do the trick.)
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Old June 4th, 2004, 01:31 PM   #11
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David,

Where might said AspectHD users get that chroma noise filter? :)
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Old June 4th, 2004, 02:36 PM   #12
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One day will will put in the official release (it was intended to go in Aspect HD 2.3.) Anyway you can download the chroma noise filter from here :
http://www.cineform.com/downloads/fl...oiseFilter.zip

Unzip this file and copy it into your ../Program Files/Adobe/Premiere Pro/plug-ins/../CineForm/ directory. Then launch Aspect HD.
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Old June 6th, 2004, 02:56 PM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by David Newman : Here is what I have found. Always shoot with shutter priority set to either 1/30 or 1/60 (your preference for the look you need.) In anything other than low light conditions, use ND; I actually prefer the two polarizer trick for varible ND. I increase the ND until the aperature is wide open, then increase it a half stop further. This will give headroom before luma clipping and it allows for some light variation without shutter changes (poor mans manual control.) -->>>

If you set the shutter to 1/30-1/60, how can you then tell when the aperture is wide open? I would guess you turn the outside polarizer until the LCD image begins to darken?

Another disadvantage to the poor man's control is you forfeit control of depth of field.

Put another way, it seems that with the included modes for shutter/aperture priority, the exposure dial and polarizer pairs or ND filters, you can achieve control over exposure, shutter, aperture and depth of field...but not at the same time.

The benefits of full manual control seem to have been lost on the designers.
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Old June 6th, 2004, 09:32 PM   #14
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I totally agree.
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Old June 7th, 2004, 07:30 AM   #15
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If anything it gives you a nice education in 'primative photography'. I actually think its alot of fun to play with this stuff!
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