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Dealing with Clouds

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Gary from Texas
Dealing with Clouds
on Apr 23, 2007 at 5:11:46 pm

I've been struggling with shooting video outside on partly cloudy days. Since I'm a control freak, I like to set everything manually on the camera. On some recent shoots, I finished getting everthing set just right and then half way through the scene, a cloud rolls through causing portions of the scene to be under exposed. I've been correcting it in post but I'd rather find a way to resolve it during the video shoot.

I was wondering what techniques are used bey everyone to deal with this type of challenge? Do you re-shoot the scene or do you just set the camera to auto and hope it comes out ok?

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todd mcmullen
Re: Dealing with Clouds
on Apr 23, 2007 at 9:16:05 pm

Gary, there is no wrong or right way to deal with this. If you are so inclined to keep it at one constant exposure then you can, cut and wait for the cloud to roll over, manually adjust exposure to expose for what is most important or just keep shooting and hope the change is evident in the frame. Sometimes when we are doing scenes we will do it both ways. In the sun and in the clouds. Also we will shoot the master in any light and when we come in to do the close-ups we will set up a 20' or 12' by silk over the actors and throw in some supplemental light and it all matches well. However, since I have been shooting Friday Night Lights we just shoot day for day or cloud for cloud or sun for sun or sun for cloud or .... we take the documentary approach and if you have seen the show you get the idea.
good luck,

Todd McMullen
Flip Flop Films
Cinematography Forum Leader

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Re: Dealing with Clouds
on Apr 25, 2007 at 9:18:35 pm

I really dont know clouds

At all...

I just had to!


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