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maintaining proper light exposure

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estevan horta
maintaining proper light exposure
on Sep 12, 2018 at 5:14:09 pm

Hello friends! I am a new filmmaker and hoping someone could offer some advice on this issue I'm having. I'm still confused on how to maintain proper light exposure while filming outdoors for projects such as documentaries. I can generally get the arrow of the light meter in the middle but as soon as I move I'm either way underexposed or vise versa. In "run and gun" situations how do you have continuous shots without having to constantly adjust the aperture of the lens? As soon as I change direction or even zoom in the light exposure changes pretty dramatically. How do you make this less of a headache when constantly having to move around, and not have to record the actual compensation on footage you want to keep? Maybe I'm over thinking this but its something that's causing a lot of stress for me while out filming. I currently am using the canon c100 mark ii. I'm sure this is a rookie question but I'm new so be easy on me. :)


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Blaise Douros
Re: maintaining proper light exposure
on Sep 18, 2018 at 8:11:12 pm

Normally, you'd adjust the aperture on the fly--true video lenses have a stepless aperture that lets you slide seamlessly between exposure values without the clicking you get in DSLR lenses.

One other trick is using a variable ND filter that you can ride to change exposure on the fly. Makes dark situations tough, but works well when you have enough light.


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Richard Swearinger
Re: maintaining proper light exposure
on Sep 24, 2018 at 6:36:30 pm

I have that same camera and when I'm in constantly changing light situations, I take it off manual and use Canon's automatic iris. It definitely does a better job than I could especially when panning across a big scene. You will have to pan a little more slowly than usual to allow the camera time to adjust the exposure, but it works. You can also keep pushing the "auto iris" button on the side of the camera as you notice the waveform getting too hot or too dark.


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Richard Swearinger
Re: maintaining proper light exposure
on Sep 24, 2018 at 6:41:24 pm

I believe that the only way to really do it manually is to spend a few years working with really old guys who have honed their skills over 40 or 50 years and learn their secrets so that you too can look at any scene and know exactly when to change your iris and by how much.


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