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how to blurr the background of interviews with ex 1r

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segun olorunnisomo
how to blurr the background of interviews with ex 1r
on Mar 2, 2012 at 11:39:26 am

Hi,
i shoot a lot of interviews at various locations and would like to learn techniques of burring the background of my shots. please i need instructions.


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Michael Slowe
Re: how to blurr the background of interviews with ex 1r
on Mar 2, 2012 at 4:35:31 pm

Segun, this is basic photographic principle which we learn at our mother's knee.

It's all about Depth of Field (DOF). The longer the focal length of a given lens the less DOF for the shot. Nowadays most people choose the focal length by zooming in and out but there are of course fixed focal length lenses (Primes). The issue is complicated by the additional factor of how wide open is the lens aperture (f setting). The wider the aperture (small f number) the less DOF. Therefore it follows that you will achieve the minimum DOF with your highest focal length lens setting at the widest aperture.

This is not always easy to do because if the light is bright you may not be able to set your aperture wide enough. That is why most cameras have built in Neutral Density filters (ND's) to darken the image. Also, you may be too near your subject to allow use of the full zoom. These factors have to be juggled in order to obtain the best possible settings in the circumstances.

I hope I haven't told you stuff that you already knew but shooting video is no different from shooting film, still or moving.

Michael Slowe


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Chris Babbitt
Re: how to blurr the background of interviews with ex 1r
on Mar 2, 2012 at 4:38:06 pm

In addition to this, move your subject as far from the background as possible.



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Bob Tompkins
Re: how to blurr the background of interviews with ex 1r
on Mar 2, 2012 at 5:05:54 pm

And it is certainly no different with an EX1r than with any other video camera.



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Craig Seeman
Re: how to blurr the background of interviews with ex 1r
on Mar 2, 2012 at 5:09:41 pm

Amongst small 3 chip cameras the EX1r has the advantage of having 1/2" chips whereas other small 3 chip cameras are often 1/3" or smaller. The larger sensor helps in creating shallower depth of field. Of course the new single chip large sensor cameras are best for shallow depth of field but, on the other hand, can be pretty bad if you like doing creep zooms during interviews.



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Andrew Wilson
Re: how to blurr the background of interviews with ex 1r
on Mar 3, 2012 at 12:11:54 pm

In addition to all that great advice, sometimes I'll use magic bullet looks. The spot focus and tilt shift filters allow some faking of shallow dof.

I recently added an F3 to my package and the dof control is much more pronounced than I had expected. I've done talking head interviews where their eyes are in focus and his shoulder is a little soft.

Andrew Wilson
WestView Digital Video & Design
http://www.westviewdigital.com


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Steve Kownacki
Re: how to blurr the background of interviews with ex 1r
on Mar 3, 2012 at 8:15:23 pm

Most of the time people use too much light with dv camera. With that, the camera will shoot at f5.6 - f13 and you get nearly zero DOF, especially if shooting wide angle. Your goal is to shoot at manual f2.4 - 1.8 to open up the lens.

Try this, put your subject 1/3 the distance from the background and the camera 2/3 from the subject - the further back the camera the better. The more you zoom in to frame up the more DOF you'll achieve.

Now turn on your lights. If things are over-exposed you need to reduce the light for proper exposure. You do this with dimmers (although than will change color temp), by using ND gel or scrims/screens. You can use the ND on your camera or external lens filters to cut the light as well. Another thing I'll do to "open up" is set your low gain to -3db.

It's a challenge (but certainly not impossible) to get the perfect framing, get the desired DOF and get the artistic lighting with a camera without prime lenses. Practice, practice, practice.

Steve






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Bob Mark
Re: how to blurr the background of interviews with ex 1r
on Mar 11, 2012 at 12:16:53 am

This is always a challenge. Some add a 35mm adapter like Letus or Redrock Micro. All the suggestions mentioned are helpful. If you have too much light you can also increase the shutter speed a bit, but be careful not to go too far. I sometimes do the shallow DOF in post, as mentioned, with a matte, that can be difficult if you have someone moving or waving their arms. :>)

Bob


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