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Exposing for late afternoon or evening shots

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clyde villegas
Exposing for late afternoon or evening shots
on Feb 16, 2019 at 10:26:33 pm

I'm using a Panasonic GH5 with v-log. I've read that I should not underexpose to prevent noise (actually, I also get noise with any other camera when I shoot underexposed). How do most professionals expose for late afternoon shots, or evening shots when you should always shoot with optimal exposure? Do they light the scene to brighten up everything (like it's day time) and then turn down exposure in post to make it look like evening? Many thanks in advance. God bless.

ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus


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Gary Huff
Re: Exposing for late afternoon or evening shots
on Feb 18, 2019 at 4:29:31 am

Noise is an inherent quality of log gamma, given the the whole idea of log gamma is to give you enough headroom to protect your highlights. If you're not going to protect your highlights, you shouldn't use log.


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clyde villegas
Re: Exposing for late afternoon or evening shots
on Feb 18, 2019 at 6:07:01 am

Thanks Gary!

Not talking about the noise or log this time, what do most professionals do to expose/light a night time or late afternoon scene? Do they light it so the subject is at optimal exposure and then turn down exposure in post?

I see a couple of day to night effects tutorial on Youtube. So I am having the impression that cinematographers light the subject at perfect IRE so they get the skin tones right, then adjust exposure later in post. What do you think? Thanks!

ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus


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Bouke Vahl
Re: Exposing for late afternoon or evening shots
on Feb 18, 2019 at 6:27:51 am

Define 'professional'
A pro newsshooter exposes so the footage can be used without any effort. If that means he has to turn on his ugly on cam LED blaster, he will do so. He'll grab a flashlight if needed.

A pro feature shooter lights the scene to his liking, and probably avoids outdoor shooting as ther is very little time where the conditions are all the same for all the shots needed.

So, if you can shoot the way you want it to look, do so. As Gary stated, do NOT use Log.
If you need to gain more than you want to avoid noise, you need lights.
If you want some extra light to make it better, by all means, do so.

It's quite simple, if it looks good, it is good.
Getting the work done in time and put your effort where it belongs is really 'professional'.

Bouke
http://www.videotoolshed.com


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clyde villegas
Re: Exposing for late afternoon or evening shots
on Feb 18, 2019 at 7:36:02 am

Thanks Bouke. I completely understand what you mean and I agree with you. I just want to know what most others are doing, specifically in short films (usually low budget) and TV commercials (usually of higher budget).

ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus


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Gary Huff
Re: Exposing for late afternoon or evening shots
on Feb 18, 2019 at 3:49:16 pm

You've given so little information that other cinematographers can't really answer it. It depends on the context of what you're filming specifically. Outside of that context, the only advice is to film tests and see what you like. That's definitely something people who make money with their cinematography do.


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Chris Wright
Re: Exposing for late afternoon or evening shots
on Feb 18, 2019 at 5:39:18 pm

log is just a word. its how the bits are spread out over a logarithmic curve. in terms of precision, the highest quality point on the log graph is where the curve is exactly 45 degrees(pure linear). this is also where you get the most precision with white balancing. (this is why native white balancing rec. 709 used to be 90 but log is 50, also known as white balance compression)

a good rule of thumb for vlog :Exposure for VlogL is 55 IRE for Caucasian skin tones, and 80 IRE for highlights.
whenever you deviate from this, you are losing bits, in the shadows or in the highlights, you have to decide which is more important. always try to get it exposed right in the camera, then grade in post.

you can light some scenes a certain way, but that is the way they will end up, with less wiggle room. back in the days of film, they did this right the first time as film was very expensive.

one modern trick with CMOS sensors is that they love 5000k over 2000k lights for less noise, even the RED camera does.


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clyde villegas
Re: Exposing for late afternoon or evening shots
on Feb 18, 2019 at 11:36:10 pm

Chris Wright, you completely solved my problem. Thank you very much!

By the way, what do 90 and 50 mean here?

[Chris Wright] "this is why native white balancing rec. 709 used to be 90 but log is 50, also known as white balance compression"

ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus


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Gary Huff
Re: Exposing for late afternoon or evening shots
on Feb 18, 2019 at 11:48:22 pm

[clyde villegas] "By the way, what do 90 and 50 mean here?"

I will leave that for others to describe, but if you have to ask this question, you really should not be filming in a log gamma.


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Chris Wright
Re: Exposing for late afternoon or evening shots
on Feb 19, 2019 at 5:03:33 am

another IRE. I should have made that more clear.


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clyde villegas
Re: Exposing for late afternoon or evening shots
on Feb 20, 2019 at 7:31:08 am

Thanks Chris. God bless!

ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus


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