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shooting natural outdoor settings with a canon gl2

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marglar
shooting natural outdoor settings with a canon gl2
on Apr 29, 2007 at 12:43:44 am

Hey everyone.

Ok, so I'm trying to learn how to use my gl2 to shoot video of natural features such as streams, waterfalls, etc. I've done a lot of audio recordings (binaural 3d audio) of natural settings but not any video..

So, here is what I got and perhaps someone could help me learn from my mistakes. I did some test shooting of a waterfall that had light playing off of it. But there are sections of the falling water that are completely blown out and have lost all detail. There are some shaded areas that have also lost all detail.

So, if anyone doesn't mind helping a noob get better at this, what should I have done (settings, etc) to get a cleaner shot? (any tutorials on shutter speed / exposure, etc most welcome - I'm still confused by all of that)




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Don Greening
Re: shooting natural outdoor settings with a canon gl2
on Apr 29, 2007 at 4:21:31 am

[marglar] "But there are sections of the falling water that are completely blown out and have lost all detail. There are some shaded areas that have also lost all detail."

Small chip camcorders like the GL2 don't have a lot of exposure latitude. There's always going to be trouble trying to capture detail in highlights and shadows when there's really high contrast. Cameras with larger imaging chips have more exposure latitude, meaning they'll have a larger f-stop range they can choose from to get the highlight and shadow detail properly exposed. With video your job is to protect the highlights at the expense of shadow exposure because blown out highlights contain no inofrmation and are gone forever. Video will retain some shadow detail even though it may look like there's nothing there. The shadow detail can be brought out in post later in your non-linear editor by reducing the black levels during colour correction.

So what to do when using your GL2? Use neutral density filters to cut down ALL the light coming into the lens. Your GL2 has one built in but it's pretty heavy duty, so you will need to buy one or two screw-on ND filters that are a lighter grade to use depending on if it's a sunny day or not. Learn to expose for highlights using your GL2's zebra bars. Set them to 100% when you're shooting scenery and back off the exposure when the bars start showing up in the highlight areas of your picture.

- Don





"Please take a moment to fill out your profile, including your computer system and relevant software. Help us help you."


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marglar
Re: shooting natural outdoor settings with a canon gl2
on Apr 29, 2007 at 10:58:28 pm

Hey thanks a lot! Thats exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping for. I'm going to practice exactly what you just described. I do have .6 and .9 ND filters so I can play around.

What would you think of using a polarized filter to try and cut the glare off of features like water? Would that be a good idea?



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Holsteins look ok anywhere
Re: shooting natural outdoor settings with a canon gl2
on Apr 30, 2007 at 6:34:09 pm

I


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Holsteins look ok anywhere
Re: shooting natural outdoor settings with a canon gl2
on Apr 30, 2007 at 8:33:39 pm

Removing glare from water and reflections from glass etc. are pretty much the work side of polarizers. A little experimentation will show you what you can and can't do. (Hint: sun angle vs. camera angle is important here. Try shooting outside in the sun on a clear day with a medium sun angle (let's say 10am) Set the polarizer to get the sky as clean as possible and then slowly pan 360 degrees. Watch what happens to that sky as the relationship between the lens and the position of the sun changes.) Water and air (read sky) both scatter a lot of light (back to physics class, that's why they appear blue.) Besides removing glare, a polarizer can dramatically deepen that blue. You can go over the top here but look at any travel brochure and you will realize that you have never actually seen a sky that looks like the one in the pictures. I personally like the effect but that taste is not universal. Not a polarizer issue, but if you are working outdoors the time of day you shoot is important as well. They don't call it "magic hour" (dawn & dusk) for nothing.

New to Cow but not to TV


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