Presently working on a project in Premiere CS6 shot "live to tape" that was originally planned as "should not" need any post production work. But out of our control and literally in the last few minutes before the show started, the lighting was changed without consulting me, and there was no time to stop the start of the production. This last minute change obviously left a very unpleasing dark effect on the video and especially the podium presenters. Not being in our own studio in which I definitely would have control of the environment and out on the road, contributed much to this. This is a 5 plus hour production with speakers of multiple nationalities and skin tones and complexions with the Black and Hispanic speakers having the darkest skin tones. My question is something that I have not been able to find on any videos or even random web searches and it's very frustrating. And that is, what is the best way and how to lighten video which has people of the darker races and nationalities included in it. These races obviously would include Black, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, Indian etc. I added an adjustment layer and tried a Luma only correction, and also a Luma combined with brightness and contrast, and the latter of the two has worked the best so far, but I'm still not totally pleased. Thank you for any help that you can give.
Luma curve is usually pretty effective. The general curves controls can also help.
You can try adding a light effect...like, the spotlight effect. I've done this before in After Effects and had some success but never with really badly lit material.
To be honest - and not having seen your footage at this point - if the footage is badly lit, I'd feel comfortable saying that it might not even be "fixable" unfortunately. Usually when there is inadequate light in the original footage, the details are simply not there, and trying to recreate them is generally a tradeoff. You might be able to get the exposure up a bit, but you introduce a LOT of noise in the process that is probably just as distracting as a dimly lit subject.
If the detail is there and a minor tweak is all that is needed, there are many options. It also depends on your format - AVCHD, HDV and other long-GOP 4:2:0 formats are fairly terrible with these sorts of rescue operations. High-end formats are much more malleable.
EDIT - Be sure with curve operations that you remember that your subject is in the low tones - even if it RELATIVELY the lightest object in the picture. The curve levels are dictated by absolute brightness cutoffs, so making adjustments on the high end of the curve would likely solve nothing on dimly lit subjects.
Reading your post I remembered about this from Studiodaily. In the end the author plays with the lens flare effect.
Europe, Middle East and Africa