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hold incorrect exposure or correct in middle of shot

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Rich Rosen
hold incorrect exposure or correct in middle of shot
on Jun 27, 2005 at 5:27:07 pm

during run and gun I'm constantly faced with being a stop or two under or over when a shot starts, but then having to make a decision to correct or leave it as is. What would you guys do? Thanks.


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john sharaf
Re: hold incorrect exposure or correct in middle of shot
on Jun 27, 2005 at 5:49:29 pm

Rich,

You keep coming up with good exposure questions!

Obviously at the "start" of each scene/shot you should adjust the exposure to an optimum setting. Sometimes of course as you move around, into and out of the light or from from frontlight to backlight the exposure will change, and you should make smooth adjustments to the iris just as you do to the focus. It helps to anticipate these changes by looking with your other eye as you move about and time the change of the iris to match the change in light. Over time and with practice you might be able to do this so it's not noticable; a good camera operator can certainly do this better than the auto iris! I can tell from your question that you are sensative to the problem of making the adjustment at the wrong time and ruining the shot.

JS


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Rich Rosen
Re: hold incorrect exposure or correct in middle of shot
on Jun 28, 2005 at 3:36:49 am

I usually get the correct exposure a second or two (or more) into the shot. When things are moving fast it's hard to be dead on at the very beginning. I hate to continue with less than the optimal exposure, but I know going up or down a stop or two a few seconds in can make it hell in post.


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Peter DeCrescenzo
Re: hold incorrect exposure or correct in middle of shot
on Jun 28, 2005 at 3:28:14 pm

Gradually adjusting the iris manually during a shot is often appropriate, and it usually beats taking a chance on using a camcorder's auto-exposure feature (as you know, the auto-exposure won't always deliver the desired result.)

On a related note, apparently some camcorders have an "iris window" feature which enables you to pre-program the area of the frame the auto-exposure mechanism uses to detect exposure. For example, I haven't yet received my on-order Sony DSR-450WSL, but according to its user manual its iris window feature can be adjusted to (among other settings) detect a fairly small area in the center of the frame. I don't know yet how well this works, but it'll be interesting to test before using it on a real shoot. My preference would be for its "detection area" could also be set to just left of center, or just right of center, because that's usually where my actual subject is located for framing purposes -- but this cam doesn't offer that capability.

I suspect setting the iris manually on-the-fly will be the most reliable and flexible approach. ;-)

All the best,

- Peter

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Rich Rosen
Re: hold incorrect exposure or correct in middle of shot
on Jul 5, 2005 at 2:10:46 pm

well I sorta limited the hot spots by turning down the AE shift on the VX-2000 and went FULL AUTO. I know the pro objections, but at a glaring racetrack it made the exposure adjustments much smoother than I could have. Think I'll stick with it for most of the run and gun.


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