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Old May 30th, 2011, 04:06 PM   #16
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Re: Dealing with backlight

Don, that's where photographers have the edge, quite easy to combine multiple gradings in a still photo but with constantly moving light and the people moving as well it was a matter of trying to hit a happy medium. I don't charge enough to be able to got through grading it frame by frame; but then I am there to capture the day in it's reality and if that's how it is, that's how it is.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 04:38 PM   #17
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Re: Dealing with backlight

George, where photographers have the edge is with a professional grade flash unit, which all pros have. While the backlit scenario in this case would not be ideal for anyone, photogs included, the flash will give them a very usable photo, as long as they know how to use their equipment, which most do.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 05:42 AM   #18
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Re: Dealing with backlight

Jeff where they really have the edge is that they only need to achieve one good frame whereas we have to sustain both continuity of image and synced sound without any real means of control over a constantly changing situation; once it's underway we have to roll with it.

I've lost count of the times when a ceremony or speeches have started with flat overcast lighting only to suddenly have the sun break through and flood the room with strong light. I'm not one to halt the proceedings and move everyone around to suit the new settings. I just react with an internally thought "WT*" and start driving the iris.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 05:54 AM   #19
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Re: Dealing with backlight

Who has it harder, video or photo? Been beaten to death in other threads. I was referring to the specific scenario from the original post. In that scenario, the photog has flash, we cannot compensate in that situation, backlight was too strong.

Lighting changes affect us all. I was working with a rookie couple of weeks ago who kept freaking out when I ran my light for the cake cutting, because they didn't know how to deal with it. If they miss a moment they have nothing. If we have difficulty we can usually salvage something. Six of one, half a dozen of another, as they say. It's not easy for any of us.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 06:32 AM   #20
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Re: Dealing with backlight

Jeff once again the limitations of a written forum causes a misunderstanding of tone. My comment was not intended as a swipe at photographers, it was a continuation of an side comment made a few posts earlier by Don. My retorts, which were only intended to be light-hearted, seem to have been misjudged as an attack on photographers. Sorry if my contribution has moved the discussion away from the opening post.

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Old May 31st, 2011, 08:08 AM   #21
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Re: Dealing with backlight

Hi George, you did or said nothing wrong, and I obviously misunderstood you, and I apologize.

There is another thread somewhere around dvinfonet that is dedicated to the discussion of photographers and how hard they make life for us as videographers. If the discussion were concentrated on solutions, etc it would be fine with me, but they end up abusing photographers quite a lot, and it really got under my skin. I get along with and respect photographers and I'm (obviously) overly defensive of the subject for this reason.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 10:23 AM   #22
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Re: Dealing with backlight

In regards to the topic... backlight... the photographer can momentarily overpower the strong sunlight with their flash to get a viable exposure which the camera can then usually compensate for to get an effective capture...

The video guy OTOH would require a multi-thousand watt "mini-sun" offering continuous light... blinding or sunburning the "talent" to achieve the same "effect". or get close in with a lesser light, thereby becoming a distraction...

We deal with those "flashes", and know how they affect a few short frames (our cameras aren't "in the loop" with the flash trigger, so they can't adjust quickly enough, the way the still camera does). Those frames are the ones that are "properly" exposed to the photographer...

It's like anything else, you have to learn to use your tools - a photog has to learn to use both ambient light where possible, and "augmented" lighting when necessary. Same for the video dude.

Reframe if you're running auto so the camera re-sets exposure to get the faces in proper exposure, ride manual exposure to achieve the same end, or get close enough in to use a reasonably powerful "fill" light in a similar manner to a flash (with light falloff, you've probably got to get in pretty tight, but it's a possible solution).

The two disciplines aren't that "exclusive", we both still have to deal with lighiting, for better or worse, and it couldn't hurt to bone up on photographic lighting techniques as well as those for video - light is your friend AND your enemy, the better you grasp how to work with it, the easier your shooting life will be.

USUALLY a photog will actually appreciate your using a fill light, as it makes their life easier too... as long as you're not pointing it into their lens!
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Old May 31st, 2011, 10:41 AM   #23
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Re: Dealing with backlight

Dave, good points all. It's challenging for all of us; the remedies we have at our disposal vary in how we must implement them according to our medium.

Regarding fill light, most do appreciate it, but the occasional one hates it and doesn't know what to do with it. The more seasoned ones either don't care, or really like it, as you say.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 10:48 AM   #24
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Re: Dealing with backlight

In Greece all churches have an east-west orientation and the couple is always facing east.
When the ceremony takes place outside the church and as most ceremonies start between 3 and 1 hr before sunset almost every ceremony is with strong backlight.

The only thing that saves you is a good and clean lens that doesn't flare that much.
Expose for the face and let the background blow.
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