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Reducing contrast outdoors - need help

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garyh357
Reducing contrast outdoors - need help
on May 23, 2006 at 3:02:26 am

I have a very busy, multiple location shoot coming up in a couple of weeks, mostly indoors. There are a couple of shots that I have to do outdoors in a park with children playing. Because of not having much time for setup, I'm hoping to find a way, on camera, without huge scrims, to reduce outdoor contrast. I'll be shooting with a DVX-100, not sure if it's A or B. I don't have much outdoor shoot experience, and what I do have, I've handled it with large silks or similar. I've heard of others using lens filters to achieve my goal, but I don't know which filter.

Any help will be greatly appreciated!
Gary


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garyh357
Re: Reducing contrast outdoors - need help
on May 23, 2006 at 3:12:11 am

BTW, I'm not looking for the blooming effects of a pro mist. Also, I'm not looking for a film look as this needs to be used with the indoor video that I'm also shooting. I just want to reduce contrast.

Thanks,
Gary


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Steve Wargo
Re: Reducing contrast outdoors - need help
on Jun 1, 2006 at 10:56:05 pm

I know I'm going to catch hell for this but, in a pinch, you can use a roll of plastic such as what you would buy at Home Depot, which comes in a 10'x25' roll and build a frame out of simple electrical conduit with corners. This is a very inexpensive type of diffusion which works remakable well. It does make noise in the wind, however, but hey, cheap is cheap. You can use it in a single layer or double it. Good luck.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona

It's a dry heat!


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cowcowcowcowcow
todd mcmullen
Re: Reducing contrast outdoors - need help
on May 24, 2006 at 12:40:47 pm

Gary,

The ideal situation would be to shoot the exteriors either later or earlier in the day, when the sun is not so demanding. If you have no control over that then I would hope for the playground to be under some trees or a canapy of sorts. If not, throw on a polarizer and get a few good wide shots of kids playing, then go in for controled coverage. Maybe even use a few nd grads if you have alot of sky to deal withon the wide shots. Other than that, you are forced to light your kids to match ambiance to controlo your contrast. When I mean light I also mean you can use a bounce or a shiny board, 6x6, 12x12 grif. I think you mentioned these already. When the sun is really brutal I have used a 12x12 black over the subject and lit it with my own lights.
This works great but you need a crew and a little time.

Todd McMullen
Flip Flop Films
Austin
Cinematography Forum Leader


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bruce alan greene
Re: Reducing contrast outdoors - need help
on Jun 25, 2006 at 9:26:52 am

in the dvx menu, try setting the gamma to "cinelike D". This setting offers a little bit lower contrast and brightens the midtones that get dark as you close the iris to hold the highlights.

Other than that, I would use reflectors to fill in the shadows if you can.

Also, make sure that your camera set-up is not crushing the blacks with a pedistal setting that's too low. I seem to recall that when using the cine gamma settings that the ped be set to something like -6 to make black expose at 0 IRE. If you're ped is set to zero, you're probably safe from crushing any blacks, but they might not be the blackest the camera can record. For your high contrast scene this may be a good thing.

Of course, test this out before you shoot.


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