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The sun is out, how do i deal with it?

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john shand
The sun is out, how do i deal with it?
on May 3, 2010 at 10:41:09 pm

Hi there,
I am shooting with a Canon XH A1 but i suppose this will apply to all cameras. It is really sunny at the moment here in Wales (not the norm) and when I'm shooting my subject trying to get the exposure right on their face without the sky becoming washed out seems impossible.

What tips are there for shooting in really sunny situations?
How can i keep the sky nice and detailed?


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Mark Suszko
Re: The sun is out, how do i deal with it?
on May 3, 2010 at 10:48:50 pm

A polarizer filter should be put on the front of your lens for a start. Many of us leave those on all the time, they are a cheap way to protect the front of the real lens from everyday dirt and scratches.

You camera should have a Neutral Density ( N.D.) filter setting, basically, sunglasses for your lens. There are aftermarket add-ons if you need more of that.

You can also reduce brightness a bit by adding more shutter, say 1/100, however, this can add temporal side effects to motion in the footage that may become objectionable, the higher you crank the shutter.

Use manual iris controls, always. And get some shade over the situation: when you have a crew and a good gaffer truck, you can fly a sort of large square frame of silk diffusion, called a "butterfly", that will cut the harsh aspects of the sun and bring the levels down a bit. IF you're of more modest means, any old thing like a patio unbrella clamped to a ladder could be pressed into service.

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John Fishback
Re: The sun is out, how do i deal with it?
on May 4, 2010 at 4:32:03 pm

Here's a tutorial by Richard Harrington that's about fixing exposure issues in post. It shows some of the problems that can occur while shooting outside with bright skys and how to improve the footage. Obviously, correcting as much as possible during the shoot, as Mark has explained, is the best idea.


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