Sun light / dark shots....

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Dee
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Joined: Nov 19 2002

hi

a question to the gurus out there please..

I'm an underwater videographer, who quite often has to take shots above water. Someting I know very little about... Living on a boat doesnt allow for me to have film crew style mirrors / umbrellas or whatever it is you use to create the right lighting outdoors. Besides its real life situations I'm shooting so divers wouldnt appreciate being asked to pose or equipment cluttering the boat.... I have my camera and thats it [Sony PC100 ]. I have played with the white balance in order to clarify the subject when the sun is behind them (or close to behind), although this works in that the subject becomes less dark and clear, the background might as well be a white board. Is there another method that evades me - (I think that ideally I need to frame the subject away from the sun or behind me?) but this is not often possible on a dive boat trip. Also is the plastic tube like thing that resembles a lens (without the glass) supposed to hekp in these situations?

Jim Bird
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Joined: Sep 15 2000

Hi,

High you can add a background colour of you choice in post production, thus removing the white burnt-out over exposed area with some natural colour using chroma key and luminance keys.

This presumes you have NLE system available.

Jim Bird.

Dee
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Joined: Nov 19 2002

Thanks Jim

unfortunately, I tend to white out a lush green tropical Island, or another boat/yatch, so its not simply a case of replaces the white with a lesser evil I'm after. Just a hint as to what I should do to avoid the situation. and perhaps a clue as to the use of the glassless lens...

If my newbie video intellect is over shadowed by my common sense which tells me - you simply cant shoot in the suns direction, and an expert confirms this for me, then at least I can stop beating myself up - and live with the problem and or - stop wasting film and time, wait for the sun or subject to move :s

thanks again.
Dee

branny
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Joined: Nov 6 2001

Hi Dee,
don't know much bout the Sony cam you have, but if you check the handbook you should be able to lock the Iris to expose the subject perfect, test a few shots till you get the balance right background will be over or underexposed but its the subject that counts and providing the white balance is also locked your film will be 100% better

Do not follow, I may not lead. Do not lead . . . I may not follow.

Dee
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Joined: Nov 19 2002

Thanks Branny - I will look over my manual over Christmas - and if we get any sun light while I'm in the UK I will have a play....

does anyone know what this spare part in the box is for?? lens thing without the glass for the pc100???

[This message has been edited by Dee (edited 24 December 2002).]

Videoman
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Joined: Oct 30 1999

Sounds like a lens hood ?

For reducing refections off water you need a polarising filter (circular type)

Best wishes

Frank

Dee
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Joined: Nov 19 2002

Thanks Frank

is the lens hood a sun shield of a kind??

Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

A lens hood is a tube that fits around the lens, to stop light from the sides getting into the picture and ligfhtening it. It won't help you cope with high light levels that are already in shot (i.e, behind the subject's head). What tou're trying to do is to record a scene that has maybe 12 stiops of exposure range, using a camera that can record maybe 7 stops range. The rest is clipped in the camera (i.e. it goes up to peak white and clips).

One way you might have some success is with a polarising filter, you might be able to make the sky look darker without losing the forground. Cheaper, but more clumsy, is to use a reflector. Just a chunk of polystyrene will do, a few feet square. Use it to bounce the sunlight onto your subject's face, then you can stop down and maybe capture the background as well as the face. This is a standard trick in all parts of the photogtaphic industry.

Dee
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Joined: Nov 19 2002

Thank you Alan, most kind

I might be able to salvage 10% of shots with the 'hood', unfortunately - the other 90% is spur of the moment / real life grab the camera as someone has etc - besides quite often 2inches behind the subjects head is a sheer drop of 10 metres into 40metres+ of ocean

I havent yet played with the controls as advised above (we havent had enough sun anyway!) but many thanks to you fro coming back on the hood Alan, and to all for your advice.

Dee

[This message has been edited by Dee (edited 02 January 2003).]