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Old April 17th, 2012, 12:02 PM   #16
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Re: How do you handle BAD backlighting??

I had a wedding Saturday in a barn. The bridge and groom were positioned at the end of the barn, right by the open doors to the 80 degrees and sunny weather outside. The bridal party were very close on either side, on a platform about 4 feet up, which meant side-shooting was not possible. I had no previous experience with ML HDR (although I will be looking into it soon), and so the attached screenshot is the best I could balance. From what I'm reading in this thread, communicating with the couple about the location is about the best I could've done I guess (in other words, no other technical recommendations)?

The image hasn't been color corrected, although obviously there's nothing I can do with the blown out areas.
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Old April 17th, 2012, 12:08 PM   #17
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Re: How do you handle BAD backlighting??

Michael, you are absolutely right about informing the bride and groom about the hazards of backlighting. Your situation was pretty tough, for sure.
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Old April 17th, 2012, 12:59 PM   #18
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Re: How do you handle BAD backlighting??

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Originally Posted by Michael Clark View Post
The image hasn't been color corrected, although obviously there's nothing I can do with the blown out areas.
that's about as bad as it can get as you also have a whitebalancing problem combined with the strong backlight, . Not much you can do about that I guess. About ML HDR I just wonder if that will not cause any flickering in your image?
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Old April 17th, 2012, 01:04 PM   #19
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Re: How do you handle BAD backlighting??

Michael: You can use your NLE/ grading package to either;

A) put a gradient across the screen that has a lighter orange side on the left and transparency on the right to bring the blues into the realm of white (white balancing is pulling your whites from blue--sunlight to orange--incandescent light). The interior looks like it's well colored (although, you could throw a hint of blue over it to allow you to do a smaller correction on the left side). Make the angle of the gradient match the angle of the front row of people since that seems to be where the images moves from orange to blue.

B) Pull a chroma matte to isolate the blue areas from the orange in the image (you can push the saturation on this matte image to really emphasize the correct portions of the matte). Then, you can white balance just the blue side and just the orange side differentially with alot of control and without having to animate if that frame moves around at all.
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Old April 17th, 2012, 07:23 PM   #20
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Re: How do you handle BAD backlighting??

Hey Michael

So it's not only me that has stubborn couples????

Something that I did find which is awesome is that IF your NLE has an invert function (Sony Vegas has this as a plug-in) simply invert the image so the blown out areas switch to dark and then gamma correct it so the background is normal (it will only adjust the blown area) and then invert it again and you end up with just either the dark or light sections of the clip corrected..very cunning...the Vegas forum has a post from me there with how you can save footage here!!.

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Old April 19th, 2012, 05:34 PM   #21
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Re: How do you handle BAD backlighting??

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Originally Posted by Cole McDonald View Post
B) Pull a chroma matte to isolate the blue areas from the orange in the image (you can push the saturation on this matte image to really emphasize the correct portions of the matte). Then, you can white balance just the blue side and just the orange side differentially with alot of control and without having to animate if that frame moves around at all.
Interesting, I work with edius and there are some good tutorials online which show edius great potential as a colorcorrector. I realy must give it a try sometimes to collorcorrect just certain parts of the image as I don't have much experience with it. I always try to shoot with the right whitebalance to limit/prevent corrections in post but Michael's example is something you can't get right the first time.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 07:35 PM   #22
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Re: How do you handle BAD backlighting??

Something I notice at that venue is similar to a venue here that I work at!! You seem to have more bright light coming from the right hand side and there is a bush/shrub on the left...my venue always has bright sky right behind the bridal couple but by swivelling them just a tiny bit and moving my cam position to the extreme right I manage very well.

Now the point is, if the couple have a rehearsal it's always worth going to it and trying out different camera angles and even moving the couple a little bit so you get a balanced background and foreground...that image would have been so much better if the cam was positioned way to the right so it exposed on the couple and the foilage and the left....getting to a venue just before the bride doesn't allow you to discuss options (she's in the limo!!)

I really would have liked to see how much difference it would make if a camera was squeezed in between the guests and wall!!

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Old April 24th, 2012, 10:32 AM   #23
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Re: How do you handle BAD backlighting??

I personally try to use effects like sepia or black and white to mask the blow outs. Also tend to do closeups to concentrate on the faces of the bride and groom.
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Old April 28th, 2012, 02:36 PM   #24
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Re: How do you handle BAD backlighting??

I've dealt with this type of situation using a handheld SONY DCR-VX2100. With the LCD pointing down, I held the camcorder high over my head to achieve the best angle of incidence. Having more ground and less sky in the frame minimized the harsh back lighting.
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Old April 28th, 2012, 03:47 PM   #25
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Re: How do you handle BAD backlighting??

LOL... you got all that Michael? Handheld, above your head, pointing into the light, fully zoomed in on couple, and turned sepia. Awesome stuff!
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Old April 29th, 2012, 06:13 AM   #26
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Re: How do you handle BAD backlighting??

Hi John

Actually part of it is still right... If you lift the cam on the tripod a bit higher than usual and do a small down tilt you will get in more of the floor and less of the sky ... I did an even worse one yesterday...due to the weather the venue decided to use their art gallery and it has an entrance way with two small side walls and the main wall is completely made of glass and looks out over vinyards but most of the view is pure sky and in the afternoon the sun comes straight in!!! Even exposing for faces the very bright outside light also makes a "backfill light" on the sides of the couples faces (Yep they refused to move position away from the glass window) What I did is exactly what our last poster says BUT no sepia!!!)

I put a GoPro on my big light stand and tilted it 45 degrees and then hoisted it up a good 20' ..... worked like a dream as it was almost an aerial shot!!! A very small portion of the window was in the frame only so the cam exposed for the people and the floor space and it worked out very well.

Even my B-Cam clips were blown out anywhere near the window so those were mainly cutaways to the side...it IS frustrating when the bride/venue absolutely refuses to compromise!!!! I've started using my GoPro as you say now and boy, what a useful little machine it is!!! Thanks for prompting me!!!

My mate Philip actually shoots on EX1's and has a GoPro clamped to each of the 3 EX1 tripods shooting a wider angle while the Sony's go in close!! Cos they are running all the time if you DID forget to hit record or the camera had a problem, you have backup footage too!!!

I take mine to every wedding now!!!

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Old April 29th, 2012, 06:40 AM   #27
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Re: How do you handle BAD backlighting??

does a gopro match up easily with cams like a EX1? I would expect that there is a noticeably difference in resolution?

Think it's a great idea having such a tiny camera clamped onto a tripod, you even could add it onto the hotshoe of the camera so you could have to simultaniously views from the same point, one wide and one closeup. Does the gopro work well under lower light conditions, like a dim church?
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Old April 29th, 2012, 08:51 AM   #28
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Re: How do you handle BAD backlighting??

Hi Noa

I don't have EX1's but Philip is certainly happy with the footage!! The low light performance despite the price and tiny size is better than I expected. I did a wedding last weekend in one of our traditional old Churches with the Gopro on the rear balcony and the IQ certainly was good. You have to bear in mind that my end product to the bride is DVD but then again I don't think bride's are so critical as we are about perfect resolution... as long as it portrays the day they are happy. In fact there is an update on the way soon to allow the cameras to shoot at 35 mbps!!!

Admittedly mine is used as a 3rd cam and certainly not primary footage but when you get situations when the photog stands in front of you or the MOB steps out in front of your camera..a cut away to the wide high angle footage saves the day..no-one can get in the way with a camera 30' in the air!!! I also find it's really useful to cut away to the high footage when the readers walk back to their seats so you can get a perfect shots from start to end. For me anyway, it's comforting insurance if something goes wrong and a very small investment too!!! Around here a complete kit is under $400!! As long as you appreciate it's wide angles only (choice of three) and fixed exposure I feel it's worth running during a ceremony!!

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Old April 30th, 2012, 01:29 PM   #29
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Re: How do you handle BAD backlighting??

Simply tell them clearly,'It'll look horrible!' To the bride and let her decide. If they'll play along, usually she's the one bitching to the groom to change.

Otherwise, polarize + nd filter + ev comp or expose or their faces.
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Old May 4th, 2012, 02:46 AM   #30
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Re: How do you handle BAD backlighting??

Unless you get in the way of something, why does where you film from matter?

Moving is the best way to avoid back lighting.

Of course, sometimes there's just no way of stopping it, so the best is to find an exposure that isn't over blown, but retain enough detail on the subject so that you can use a mask to correct dark exposure on those parts in post. If you go for this option, make sure you don't move or else, you'll be keying your mask as well... and we don't have the time for that!
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