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How do I fix this shot?

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Anthony Haun
How do I fix this shot?
on Feb 14, 2018 at 7:53:54 am



Hi! I'm a beginner DSLR videomaker, and this is my first-ever forum post.

I'm trying to get this shot of me singing in front of a dark-purple backdrop to come out nicely exposed and not so grainy. I tried the exact same shot with both a white backdrop and the dark-purple backdrop with the same lighting setup and camera settings, and this is what happened:



The white backdrop shot came out fine in my opinion. My dilemma is that, with the dark-purple backdrop, the camera adjusts its sensory input so that my body and microphone become slightly over-exposed. I tried dimming the lights in order to compensate for this, but then the shot became very grainy. I think it may have something to do with my camera's focus settings, but does anyone have an idea of what the issue may be? It could be a simple adjustment too, I'm just not super familiar with how to use my camera yet.

On all of these shots, I'm using a Nikon D5100 with a DX SWM VR Aspherical lens (18-55mm) set to 55mm. The camera is about 5 feet away from me and I'm shooting in Manual mode at 30fps with a 1/60 shutter speed, f-stop 5.6, and iso 100 on all the shots. This is an indoor shot, but I used two highly-powered LED studio lights to illuminate it (one key, one background light), so I'm fairly certain that there's plenty of light to make this a clear shot without any graininess.

Thank you so much for your help, I truly appreciate it!

-Anthony


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Blaise Douros
Re: How do I fix this shot?
on Feb 14, 2018 at 5:27:07 pm

Whatever mode you're using, it's not Manual if the camera is adjusting exposure automatically--the definition of Manual is that the camera doesn't do anything automatically. I suspect that you have set the camera to Auto ISO by mistake--it would explain the graininess and exposure adjustment. Check your camera's manual to make sure you're using the correct ISO setting; it could be that when you have the white BG, the Auto ISO is setting itself to display ISO 100, but is then changing when you switch to the dark BG.

Thanks for the detailed info about setup, btw. You have no idea how many people don't bother with that when asking for help.


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Anthony Haun
Re: How do I fix this shot?
on Feb 16, 2018 at 1:07:57 am

Blaise,

Thank you so much for your quick feedback! I actually took your advice and checked out the manual for my Nikon D5100. There, I learned that, although the camera does have an Auto ISO feature, even if you disable it in Manual mode, the camera will still adjust its ISO until it deems the shot "properly exposed". I believe that this feature is referred to as "AutoExposure" by Nikon. It is possible to temporarily disable this feature as well by holding down the AE-L/AF-L button (AutoExposure-Lock/AutoFocus-Lock) while prepping photographic shots; however, I'm not sure how this same result could be achieved while filming video. Are you familiar with the AutoExposure feature or know how to get around this? I really appreciate your help, thank you so much!

-Anthony


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Anthony Haun
Re: How do I fix this shot?
on Feb 16, 2018 at 2:00:04 am

Update: After reading the manual a bit more, I discovered that by going into the "Customize Features" tab in the menu, it is possible to change the function of the AE-L/AF-L button to "hold" the exposure after the button is pressed once and then release it only after the button is pressed a second time. This would allow the user to essentially disable the "AutoExposure" feature while filming and adjust the parameters of the shot completely manually. Filming at 30fps with a shutter speed of 1/60, f-stop 5.6, and iso 100, I got this shot:



It is much less grainy and appears to be better exposed - I'd consider it a success!

I suppose the moral of the story here is to read the manual in detail when your equipment gives you trouble. ☺

Thanks so much again for your help! Happy filming!

-Anthony


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Blaise Douros
Re: How do I fix this shot?
on Feb 16, 2018 at 6:41:23 pm

Glad to help. I tend to advise people against Nikon for video--they are decidedly the absolute last-place finisher on the list of companies that have made video a priority in their cameras. "Features" like this are one of many reasons why.

Happy to hear you found a workaround--good luck!


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Anthony Haun
Re: How do I fix this shot?
on Feb 17, 2018 at 3:23:39 am

Blaise,

Good to know, I will keep that in mind when investing in equipment in the future. Thanks! ☺

-Anthony


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