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Old January 5th, 2016, 10:40 AM   #1
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How do you deal with WILDLY differing lighting in the church?

I'm curious how you guys handle churches (or anywhere) with impossibly differing brightness.

I'm editing a church wedding where I set for the VERY bright sunlight coming in the few windows, and so the rest looks... dingy and ugly.

I've also gone the other way and just exposed like I would and accepted that when the groom walked through the spotlight, he'd be blown out for 1.5 seconds.

What do you guys suggest?
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Old January 5th, 2016, 11:05 AM   #2
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Re: How do you deal with WILDLY differing lighting in the church?

I use videocamera's and they are either in automode wtih changing light conditions, like when sunlight appears and disappears during the ceremony, or I set the exposure manually and lock it but this only if the lightconditions don't change.
If it concerns a camera that I operate I always do the exposure manually, if the priest in in direct sunlight and doesn't move, similar to your example, then I expose for the priest if that was my main point of interest and let the background underexpose. If a bride walks through the aisle and lets say there are some small spots that are lit by the sun and the rest not I expose to the darker parts and let everything blow out when she passes the sunlit parts. It's no use to constantly change your exposure in such a case as it would be too distracting. How I expose always depends on what has the focus in the image.
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Old January 5th, 2016, 02:17 PM   #3
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Re: How do you deal with WILDLY differing lighting in the church?

I agree with Noa, always expose for the main focus subject.

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Old January 5th, 2016, 04:53 PM   #4
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Re: How do you deal with WILDLY differing lighting in the church?

I agree. If it's just glimpses of sunlight the average viewer just sees "Oh the sun came out", not "Oh, the brides face is overblown for 5-10 seconds". IMHO at least. If it's at the altar & it seems it's going to stay then I adjust my main cameras aperature. The 2nd I usually leave as is.
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Old January 5th, 2016, 08:01 PM   #5
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Re: How do you deal with WILDLY differing lighting in the church?

I agree, expose for what's important.

Also, accepting that it can't always be helped. One gig this summer, mid day, had a big tree right by the aisle. a nice checkered mix of sun spots and dark shadow littered everyone as they walked down the aisle.

There was literally no way to make it look good. Thems are the breaks.
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Old January 13th, 2016, 01:42 AM   #6
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Re: How do you deal with WILDLY differing lighting in the church?

Yeah, it's tricky. Had one recently were sun was belting through windows at one side of the church but not the other side. Meant the exposure was a lot different to cameras at either side of the church. Sometimes you just have to accept that you can do the best you can do and that's about it. As suggested, just expose for the subject as a central focus and leave the rest to fate :) I find I just can't trust the auto exposure so tend to set a manual exposure and leave it. If things look like they could change dramatically, I make sure that one of my two locked off cameras is accessible. Can also change the exposure via my phone if I've got myself together enough to pair it with one of the cams.
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Old January 13th, 2016, 08:32 PM   #7
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Re: How do you deal with WILDLY differing lighting in the church?

Thanks guys.

As a results, this week, I've gotten a lot better at adjusting brightness with a combination of levels, gamma/gain, and curves.

Here, my problem was both areas where the light was very bright, from spotlights, but very dark in the surrounding areas... AND shifting light. So the exposure that was fine for everyone else walking in, was suddenly dark when the bride walked in. What changed? Everyone stood up and she was in the shade. Everyone else had the sunlight flooding in from that side of the room. *sigh*
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