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Steps to correct exposure?

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Kirk Lauterbach
Steps to correct exposure?
on Feb 12, 2013 at 12:53:23 am

What steps do you take when setting the exposure for a shot.
I have always kept the iso as low as possible, then I adjust the the aperture. I read once to keep the shutter speed around 1/120 if you are shooting at 60 fps. I usually shoot at about 30fps and keep the shutter speed at 1/120. Today I had friend ask me why i was so worried about keeping the iso so low and why i never adjusted the shutter speed. Would bumping it up to 1/350 or 1/500 be bad for video? I have been really focused on getting the best exposure so I felt like any noise was bad. With neat video you can get rid of most noise and im starting to think that maybe a little noise might look ....nice?

Anyway, I'm curious about what your priorities are for shooting shots outdoors.

What are the 3? 4? 5? things you usually focus on and in what are they prioritized?


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Steve Crow
Re: Steps to correct exposure?
on Feb 12, 2013 at 2:04:31 am

"I usually shoot at about 30fps and keep the shutter speed at 1/120."

Okay so the rule you want to remember is that the shutter speed should be 2x the frame rate, so in your example you should set the shutter speed to 1/60.

Here's my basic approach to getting a good overall exposure (I may bend those rules for artistic reasons from time to time but we're talking overall basic exposure here) and I normally go for between 1 and 2 stops "underexposed" according to my camera's exposure meter (there's an old rule of thumb called "protect your highlights" that made a big impact on my thinking)

1. Set Shutter speed to 2x frame rate and keep it there - "set it and forget it"

2. Make a creative choice on F stop/aperture to get the depth of field I want

3. Neutral Density filter - I can reduce the overall exposure by up to 8 stops with the ND Fader Pro which gives me a lot of flexibility in

4. Exposure compensation dial

5. ISO, I try to keep this as low as I can but if I have to live with some noise in the frame so be it

6. Add or subtract lights in the scene - could also use a reflector or if the problem is too much light then look for ways to reduce the light in the environment

Shooting outdoors is often, for me, the hardest. I can't tell you how many time I've struggled with blown out backgrounds because my desired shallow depth of field and ISO settings were allowing lots of light to hit the camera's sensor - you are supposed to set up "silks" and other diffusing materials in those situations to try and cut down on the sun's brightness but I don't have those pieces of kit

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media
http://www.CrowDigitalMedia.com


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Kirk Lauterbach
Re: Steps to correct exposure?
on Feb 12, 2013 at 5:39:50 am

Where did the "x2" rule come from? It seems like shooting a 1/500 would just provide you with a much crisper image of any movement going on in the shot right?


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David Eaks
Re: Steps to correct exposure?
on Feb 12, 2013 at 11:49:53 am

Hi Kirk, simply do a google search for: shutter rule

You'll find lots of information on what, where, when and why it should be followed.

One of the top results, nice explanation from here on the COW-
http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/325/939


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Rob Manning
Re: Steps to correct exposure?
on Feb 13, 2013 at 1:49:08 am

From the Edison era of film making, tested well for audience visual sensibilities (warm look/motion blur) also kept costs nominal for raw film stock.

The shutter on a camera/projector would expose on half then the other of each frame in (360)divided by 2 (180 degree) increments.

Good analogy here: http://tylerginter.com/post/11480534977/180-degree-shutter-learn-it-live-it...


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Steve Crow
Re: Steps to correct exposure?
on Feb 12, 2013 at 2:13:58 am

On a side note, I view exposure as a creative choice and so don't really believe in "the perfect exposure" - for instance right now I see tons of TV programs and Web videos (including tutorials) that keep the image dark dark dark.

Now frankly I really despise that look particularly when applied to educational type material- how many YouTube or Vimeo tutorials have I seen where the instructor/presenter is wearing all black, sis tanding in front of a black background, is showing off essentially all black camera gear and then they choose to light the scene with a weak flashlight...it's lazy and makes seeing what is going on (the whole point for a tutorial video) difficult.

Now shadows can be a fantastic lighting element when used creatively and artistically under the supervision of a talented DP (which I am not)

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media
http://www.CrowDigitalMedia.com


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David Rehm
Re: Steps to correct exposure?
on Feb 14, 2013 at 4:07:02 am

Everyone is speaking the truth. Make your shutter speed double the framerate. If your framerate is 30 make the shutter speed 60. If the frame rate is 24 make the shutter speed 50.

When I first got my DSLR (with the kit lens) I filmed a church sermon. I really didn't know what I was doing with the settings of the camera. There wasn't any extra lighting - just the normal lights of the room. Because my kit lens was not the best I had all kinds of funky settings. I just did what I could to make the picture appear brighter. The shutter speed was way off to my framerate. Luckily there wasn't much movement from the speaker but when he would wave his arm fast the motion blur looked very weird and unnatural.

David R.


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Kirk Lauterbach
Re: Steps to correct exposure?
on Feb 14, 2013 at 6:54:32 am

When I first got my dslr I was shooting at 6o fps since it was the "fastest" that I could shoot with the camera and I wanted to capture as much as I could.

Since then I have dialed it down to 30 or 24 fps but have always left it at 1/120 instead of bumping it down to 1/60 or 1/50. I really really appreciate all of the help guys!! I psyched to see what comes out of the camera next time I get out.


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