8 Replies Latest reply on Jul 13, 2009 12:49 PM by Ann Bens

    First Outdoor Video + Lighting Problems

    jatmraz Level 1



      History: Camera Used: Canon H10

      Media: SD card + onboard memory

      Location: Outdoors (6AM-9AM) Weather: clear and sunny


      Okay, shooting a workout video at 6AM in the morning, on top of Garret Mountain in NJ with the NYC skyline on the horizon, makes for some amazing footage, both through the eyes -> brain (live) and through the eyes -> off of PPro and Photoshop. The issue is when I EN to CD and watch on television - YIPES!! So much whiteness...the footage is viewable, but not CD/distribution quality material. help01.jpg

      As you can see above, there is a lot of darkness going on in that photo. However, when played on the television the top portion of the "GO Figure" merges/washes in with the sky line.



      I've been playing around with various effects, but it either swings me from one side of the bell curve to the other (washed out or too dark). Is there a way to tweak my video settings to emulate true television results or tweak PPro to emulate how it will look on a tv, so as I add effects I can see the results without having to burn to disc and be disappointed?


      This is my first "offical video" so I am not ill opposed at reshooting indoors, however if this footage can be easily salavaged then I will continue playing with it. Of interesting note - there is a stark difference between video captured to memstick and that capture in onboard H10 memory, I will chalk this up to a learning experience and go buy another memstick so my video is at least consistent.


      If anyone would like to see the footage, you can download it from:

      (Mpeg: 5mb and Avi: 29mb) www.angela-mraz.net/Videos/helpvideo.php


      What I did with the above videos is put together (2) 4 sec video clips - sunny tapped to memstick and sunny2 stored directly to onboard cam memory.


      Any help would be appreicated.




        • 1. Re: First Outdoor Video + Lighting Problems
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          First comment is on the shooting:


          Get some fill panels. I've got quite a few of these in various sizes, with many different clothes/inserts to attach, from silvered to gold, from translucent white to opaque bright white, and even black. My system came from Calumet Photo, and the kit was put together from individual pieces. The panels range from about 2' x 2', up to 8' x 8', with clothes to match. I have "feet" that snap onto the panels to hold them upright. I also carry a bunch of "ankle weights" to hold the units in a light breeze. For more than that, an assistant will be required, as these can become hang gliders in a hurry.


          Now, for your footage. I'd look at adding the Highlight & Shadow Effect. Do NOT leave it on Auto! Adjust this to bring up the Shadow areas a bit. Experiment with your footage. I'd look at a setting around 25 to start. Next (well maybe not "next" as you'll see), explore the Levels Effect, and not Auto Levels. Click on the little "settings" icon. and work with this. The preview monitor is not the ultimate, so you will probably want to apply, look at your Program Monitor, then go back to make adjustments. I wish that that little preview was better. Now, the reason that I said this might not be "next," is because the stacking of these two Effects can yield totally different results. If you drag Levels up the hierarchy, it will have a different effect than if it's placed below Highlight & Shadow. Again, try either order, and judge the results.


          Another Effect that can really help here is the Luminance Curves. Again, you will need to judge the results.


          I'd say that you can probably address your issues in post, but only you can be the judge of that.


          Good luck,




          PS I'd expect B&H Photo to have similar. Mine are PVC tubing. The material varies from cloth to metalized cloth.

          • 2. Re: First Outdoor Video + Lighting Problems
            jatmraz Level 1



                 Okay, I'll check out B&H and see what they have - thanks. Will also spend a little more time playing with luminace and see what I can come up with. Thanks for pointing me down the path.



            • 3. Re: First Outdoor Video + Lighting Problems
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              When bringing out detail in shadows, I also find that a bit of the Effect, Neat Video, will help eliminate the increased video noise for the operation.


              Good luck, and please let us know how the experiments go. As there are often many ways to address similar issues in post, it's good to see workflows, that worked for a particular editor's footage.



              • 4. Re: First Outdoor Video + Lighting Problems
                jatmraz Level 1



                I have to check out that link...What I did was just to apply "Auto Color" effect and it seemed to tweak it into an acceptable viewing range. Initially I was watching the end result (DVD) on my downstairs living room TV which is a Sony rear projector television. Watching it here gave me blown out whites/over exposure, etc. After reading something someone wrote I decided to take it and watch it on my upstairs bedroom TV (42" LCD) and the result was actually quite good which allowed me the ability to only add auto color to it to make it nice.


                Since this is a simple workout video, to be market/distributed from supplement stores in the Middle East I'm not overly concerned. We are in the beginning stages of our production "to do". Certainly I created something that shouldn't require fixing by 1) shooting video in direct sunlight 2) not using screens and 3) recording to a mem card and then on to the onboard memory chip. Lessons learned that should make post production a lot easier the next time around.




                • 5. Re: First Outdoor Video + Lighting Problems
                  Harm Millaard Level 7

                  Never use any AUTO effects, unless you really want to AUTOmatically corrupt and destroy your footage beyond recognition.

                  • 6. Re: First Outdoor Video + Lighting Problems
                    jatmraz Level 1

                    hmmm...for a novice, I'd admit the results were OK, but I am on these forums because I want to learn from the Pro's and do the right things. I'll scratch using Auto from this point forward!



                    • 7. Re: First Outdoor Video + Lighting Problems
                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                      The Auto functions only seem to work when everything else stays exactly the same. Should there be any change in the lighting, whatsoever, I find that about all of the Auto Effects will "pulse," and I hate that. The "pulsing" is why I always stick with a manual correction for things like Levels, Color and Shadow & Highlight.


                      For Color correction, I urge you to start with Fast Color Corrector. When you've got that one down, the full Color Correction is probably where you'll go for most of your work. Some use AE for their final color grading, on a calibrated NTSC (or PAL) monitor. However, if you're shooting HD material, things get a bit more complicated, with regard to the monitor used.


                      However, if you're satisfied with your results, save the manual Effects and Fast Color Correction for next time, or for practice in between shoots.


                      With some good fill-light panels, you should be pretty much good to go on the next shoot. You'll also find that you'll spend less time in post. Just be careful that a few assistants and the panels do not fly off like hang gliders. Your liability insurance rates will sail too!


                      For shots like your attachment, and depending on the angle of the Sun, you might consider shooting with a Circular Polarizer. These are trickier on Video cams, than on still cams, but can be effective. Check one out with your sensors and your viewer, to make sure that you do not have issues, before you buy one. Also, make sure that you can stand loosing about 2.5/f on your exposure. Again, the angle/direction of the Sun will be key to fully utilizing a Polarizer. Also, make sure that you try out a Circular Polarizer. It will cost more for good glass, but can really help distant backgrounds pop. You will definitely want fill with these, as the contrast goes up and shadows can get very deep in a hurry. Experiment.


                      Good luck,



                      • 8. Re: First Outdoor Video + Lighting Problems
                        Ann Bens Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        Premiere's levels are wortless no proper histogram

                        If you have After Effects do your colour correction there with levels or even with Colour Finesse.