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Old February 10th, 2008, 08:38 PM   #1
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PROBLEMS that go bump in the NIGHT

I recently shot a night scene in an interior setting. I had the room lit well, some quarter and half stop CTB's on three 250w open face tungstens, and had the iris rolled up or down (not sure which is which here) to 9 on a Sony PD-150. The LCD on the camera showed the scene looking good, the CRT moniter showed the footage looking good too. We shot it, then upon importing we found out the tape heads were screwed up. What footage we did see showed up darker than on the monitors though, and way underexposed. We now have to reshoot, and I'm wondering if anyone has any tips on how to make this shoot perfect.
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Old February 10th, 2008, 09:11 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Andrew Mesin View Post
I recently shot a night scene in an interior setting. I had the room lit well, some quarter and half stop CTB's on three 250w open face tungstens, and had the iris rolled up or down (not sure which is which here) to 9 on a Sony PD-150. The LCD on the camera showed the scene looking good, the CRT moniter showed the footage looking good too. We shot it, then upon importing we found out the tape heads were screwed up. What footage we did see showed up darker than on the monitors though, and way underexposed. We now have to reshoot, and I'm wondering if anyone has any tips on how to make this shoot perfect.
[This is not the correct forum. Photon Management is for lighting discussion: your comment is camera related only.]

The on-camera LCD in not calibrated; in fact, its brightness is often boosted to increase visibility in bright environments.

To get the best results from any digital camera, expose as brightly as possible without blowing any of the channels, then darken it in post. That will yield the highest contrast image with the least noise. To do that, use zebras or RBGL histograms.

Also, f/9.0 is probably past the diffraction limit, even for the large pixel size on the PD-150; I wouldn't recommend going past f/5.6.
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Old February 10th, 2008, 09:21 PM   #3
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Learn to use the zebras in your PD150, and expose caucasian face highlights to at least 70ire. If you search the PD150 forum on "zebras" there should be lots of information on this.

Not sure why you're using the CTB gels? If you're looking to just go a little blue, you can do that with post color correction, or, adjust the look a little colder in the Custom Preset menu in your 150.

It's far too easy to turn up the brightness on LCD or monitor - this will fool you into thinking you have good exposure when you don't. For a rough brightness setting:
1) turn on the colorbars on the camera
2) Referring to the attached image, look at the lower right of the bars.
3) The left-most, marked 0%, should be black.
4) Adjust brightness to make the 7.5% bar black as well, indistinguishable from the 0% bar.
5) the right-most, marked 10%, should be barely brighter than the other two, a very dark grey.

Your monitor is now roughed-in. This will change, depending on ambient light, so it's a good idea to check this when you light.

There's a lot more to a full setup of your monitor, but the above should keep you from gross under-exposure. Even still, you can't trust it -that's what the zebras are for.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 09:59 AM   #4
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The scene was only to be lit by "moonlight". That's why we used the CTB gels. I guess I should have mentioned that because this does sound only camera related. What's the best way to make a scene look as if it was only moon lit?
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Old February 11th, 2008, 01:12 PM   #5
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The scene was only to be lit by "moonlight". That's why we used the CTB gels. I guess I should have mentioned that because this does sound only camera related. What's the best way to make a scene look as if it was only moon lit?
Here's the article you are looking for--shooting video day-for-night:
http://www.videomaker.com/article/10368/
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Old February 11th, 2008, 06:59 PM   #6
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Searching this forum is easy enough, there's lots of good info here.

I'll repeat - don't let highlights on caucasian faces go down below 70. Shooting day-for-night you still need good exposures, but usually that's going to be key only, no fill, lots of shadows that you allow to go black.

Blue can be added to lights, to camera white, or in post. Some experimenting before you get to the shoot (or the re-shoot) can be very good in clarifying what look you're going for and how to get it.
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