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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old July 18th, 2007, 12:48 AM   #1
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filming skiing/snowboarding?

i use my vx2100 mostly for filming skiing and snowboarding. i have done a couple school projects and ive been very very pleased with the image i can get. however i am having some trouble getting a very good image for skiing, the snow sometimes makes it very difficult, and the image dosent seem anywhere near as nice as it was for my school projects.
can i get some help and tips on how set up for this?

also im pretty new to editing, one of my good friends has premire and he is great with it and he has done all my editing. right now im between switching computers and im getting final cut studio 2.
so my other question is, how much can i change the picture around with editing and color correction? should i plan on shooting pretty plain, normal looking footage and doing the rest in editing? or should i do most of the unique looks and everything on the camera?
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Old July 18th, 2007, 02:51 PM   #2
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Depending on your editing software, you can do a tremendous amount in post. I'd shoot everything as normally or "realistically" as possible and monkey around with it in the computer. You can always add weird stuff to a normal shot, but you can't de-weird any tricks you've done on your original tape.

You should have a "backlight" function on your VX that can compensate a bit for the bright snow in the BG. If not, you can crank up the exposure a couple of stops manually. The bright white snow will probably fool the cam into underexposing the subject, otherwise.
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Old July 18th, 2007, 03:16 PM   #3
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thats the problem, i can turn up the exposure and the subject will look good, but then the snow is way too bright like its glowing and it gets no detail
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Old July 18th, 2007, 05:27 PM   #4
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or would using something like a uv, or polarizing filter help? or could i do the same effect in editing.
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Old July 18th, 2007, 09:53 PM   #5
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A polarizer might help. I don't think a UV would do anything, as it's essentially clear. Even an ND would just darken uniformly, which isn't what you need.

If your snow highlights are completely blown out I don't think you can rescue them in post. You might be able to expose for the snow and then reduce the contrast and brightness in post to bring out some detail in your subject.

There are probably some Snow Pros out there who can weigh in with what they do...
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Old July 20th, 2007, 07:04 AM   #6
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Hi,

I have VX2100 and I have been using a polarizer in combination with ND and the exposure. To protect your lens, keep a screw filter always on, just an UV or a polarizer. It would be perfect if you can check you footage after the first shooting day via an external monitor or laptop or TV, so that you can make some adjustments for the next day. And yes there are lot you could do in the post, incl levels, highlights, mid tones, shadows etc.

Here are some examples from my stock footage.

http://www.revostock.com/FileCloseup.html?&ID=18516

http://www.revostock.com/FileCloseup.html?&ID=18708

http://www.revostock.com/FileCloseup.html?&ID=18679

Regards,

Margus
http://www.revostock.com/ViewProfile.html?&ID=5027
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Old July 21st, 2007, 05:14 AM   #7
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A silly question from me but here it is. - would a graduated ND filter upside down on front help if the camera operator took care to keep the snow in the darker range of the filter and the sky in the brighter area.

You could try to shoot 1 to 1.5 stops under and bring the brightness up in post which should wash out the image a little.

Shoot in early to mid-morning or mid-afternoon to late afternoon with sun behind the cameraman for best light return from the subject and less return from the snow surface.

And yes. Try the backlight function.

Try to keep camera position low when composition and circumstances permit to keep the snowfield as minimal an area of the frame as possible and the angle of incidence of relected light as low as possible.

Try to keep cam aperture at f5.6 and use ND1 or ND2 to control the light level. Add an optical ND filter on front if you have to go tighter aperture than f5.6. This may help to preserve truthfully what little colours you have in the shot.

Last edited by Bob Hart; July 21st, 2007 at 05:18 AM. Reason: added wordstuff
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Old July 28th, 2007, 01:17 PM   #8
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if i needed another nd filter would it be better to use that plus the other two on the camera, or just one really strong one?
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Old July 28th, 2007, 02:52 PM   #9
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If it were me I'd try a circular polarizer (one where you can turn it as needed to adjust for light angles) - they will strip the glare off glass and cut through "noisy" light conditions, and I suspect it's glare off the snow that's making life difficult in addition to causing the camera to struggle trying to adjust overall brightness. The built in ND filters should be sufficient, unless you're trying to force the iris open - but you still need to tell the camera to adjust overall exposure to compensate
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Old July 28th, 2007, 10:32 PM   #10
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I would favour a ND filter equal to each stage of the Sony's inbuilt filter stages to add one more increment. A polarising filter would not hurt and might go a long way to solving your problem.

Last edited by Bob Hart; July 28th, 2007 at 10:33 PM. Reason: error
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