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-   -   Can anyone offer any suggestions on what I call, "EXPOSURE NIGHTMARE!!!!" (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/non-linear-editing-pc/73634-can-anyone-offer-any-suggestions-what-i-call-exposure-nightmare.html)

Jerome Niko August 15th, 2006 01:32 AM

Can anyone offer any suggestions on what I call, "EXPOSURE NIGHTMARE!!!!"
Hello there folks,

Well, I am a beginning videographer and I recently filmed a wedding where I totally blew out the background. If anyone can help me I would greatly appreciate it. I edit on Adobe Premiere 6.0 and I do also have After Effects but I have not used it myself yet. Please give me any suggestions if you have any helpful information on how I could darken the footage a bit and make it look more natural. I totally F'd this one up and I feel horrible because the couple actually paid me whereas all the good work I'd done had been for free. I have a few links here to some stills of the footage I took. Here they are:


Thank you folks and have an excellent week every week. Keep on shootin' for the stars!!!



Tom Hardwick August 15th, 2006 02:02 AM

Lars, you blew it. Over exposure is death to video in the same way as over exposure is white-out to transparency film. Once the information is lost to the white-out, it's gone.

You don't say what you did wrong, but I suspect you were using manual exposure and not taking much note of the v'finder image. Why not? Video v'finders are wysiwyg imaging devices, but maybe you had your v'finder brightness turned right down?


Glenn Chan August 15th, 2006 05:50 AM

Does your camera have a zebra function? It's a good tool in aiding exposure.

2- Unfortunately there's not that much you can do if the information is lost. You might be able to recover a little bit of information (0.3+ stops) if you have a DV codec that doesn't clip as much information in the Y'CbCr --> RGB conversion... the Sony Vegas and a few other codecs do this, although FCP is slightly better in that regard.

3- You can however make it look artistic. i.e. glow + diffusion effects...

Steven Davis August 15th, 2006 05:57 AM

Lars, for all of us that have done something like that, we feel ya. The advice above is some of the best you'll get. I would imagine you'll get it to a point that is enough to get some repreave. What Glenn said about making it artistic is a great idea. You could also mix in some stills to break up the 'so whiteness.'

Either way, I doubt there is a person on this board that has not had something similar happen to them, (mine was the opposite btw), so do as we all do, live and learn.

Take care.

Carlos E. Martinez August 15th, 2006 06:43 AM

Just for the record: what happens when you try to color-correct those images on an editing program?

Do you get anything on the clear areas when you darken them?

When working outdoors it's always better to underexpose than to overexpose.

Adjusting the viewfinder is a must, as the default for most of them is brighter than what it really is.

As it is now you still can probably get away with your shots, using what Glenn called the "artistic look".

Justin Tomchuk August 15th, 2006 07:30 AM

Lars, I can't help you on this one, this time it really can't be fixed. :( There really isn't much you can do to the background. Ah... I can feel your pain though, it's going to be a hard and awkward talk on the phone with them.

I really don't know what I would do. I might tell them about the mistake, and offer to complete it for them anyways for a major discount.

Or, like Glenn said, you can try and make it look artistic. And now that I look at it, it doesn't look half bad. It all depends on the clients, if they don't like it, offer half off or something.

This is what I have done and what you can do.

I have increased the contrast. I made a duplicate of the picture below and placed it on top, then put gaussian blur about 1/3ths the way down the bar. Then set it to hard light. This is in photoshop.

You should be able to do the same thing in your editing software, or achieve similar results.

I don't know man, that is all I can say, it can't really be fixed. It must have been stuck on manual, for events, I would just keep it on automatic as it is more about getting the shot than the control over it.

Good luck,

Dennis Khaye August 15th, 2006 11:04 AM

Not bad Justin, I like that. Looks like the wedding is taking place in Heaven.

Clipped highlights are death. There is nothing you can do about it. The video information is lost so there's nothing to fix. If it was me, I'd comp the whole shoot, do my best to make them happy with what I shot (like Justin's heaven location workaround) and pray they don't say bad things about me to other potential clients.

Best thing you can do is learn from it. Looks like a beach in Hawaii so next time use butterflys on the subjects, check your zebras, always check your zebras. Learn your camera like a Marine learns his weapon. And don't forget to check your zebras.

Did I mention check the zebras?

Michael Hendrix August 16th, 2006 07:26 AM

Lars, looks to me like you were shooting almost directly into the sun. The skintones are exposed somewhat decent. The only suggestion I would have is to explain to the client that exposing the beach properly would have underexposed the subject too much.

Dale Guthormsen August 16th, 2006 10:59 PM


have you thought about placing matts over to add to the creative effect?? perhaps you could use some overlays or other artistic methods.

Jerome Niko August 25th, 2006 05:34 PM

WOW, I never expected this much help! THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR THE GREAT ADVICE!!! I will probably do what Justin suggested because this couple was pretty laid back and they weren't expecting Spielberg or anything. I just hope that they're laid back enough to accept the finished product because I would like to go for the artistic look for my salvation. Anyway, I felt completely bummed about not trusting what I was seeing on my LCD screen and opting to second guess my better judgement. I thought that I'd get better shots trying to use my book-acquired knowledge and adjusting the settings manually. Unfortunately, when I used the Zebra Bars and turned it on to the first setting of 70 there was no indication of "Blow-Out" anywhere. When I turned it to the second setting of 100 only then did I see some indication of "Blow-Out" and so I thought that it would be okay and that what I saw on the LCD screen was only because the sun was beaming down on me. I think from now on I will probably go with the default settings until I know my camera better. (Or perhaps, take a camera hood out with me...hee hee hee.) Anyway, it's like Dennis said, I have to learn my camera like a Marine learns his weapon. You guys are AWESOME and I thank you all again for your kind advice! I guess you're right Tom, I really did "Blow" it, HA HA HA!!!! Oh Well, to Dale, Michael, Carlos, Steven, and Glenn your comments are great! It's a tough lesson hard-learned for this Video Guy but I hope to do better the next time I'm out there. God Bless y'all and take care!!!



P.S. Hey Justin...YOU ROCK MAN!!!!

Tom Hardwick August 26th, 2006 07:03 AM

Yes, a Hoodman is needed for the side-screen, and you'd better check in the menu that the brightness isn't set higher than normal. There's often another brightness setting too, so plug the camera into a well set up TV and make them match.

Be aware that when you use the 70 zebra setting you can 'pass through' this warning. So that if you have zebras displayed at f/4, say. then at f/2 they can all be gone and you might think it's ok to fire away.

That's why I always suggest people start with the 100 setting, treating this as a 'white-out' on TV. Also, approach the zebras from the smallest aperture for consistancy. Let me explain.

If you open the aperture from f/8 then f/5.6 then f/4 and see the 100 zebras at f/4, you'll find that if you start at f/2 then go to f/4 you might well find you have to go to f/5.6 to lose the zebras. In other words they've given you a different warning point.


Justin Tomchuk August 27th, 2006 05:46 PM

I hope it turns out for the better Lars. Good luck. :)

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