5 Replies Latest reply on Jan 2, 2011 11:47 AM by the_wine_snob

    Editing DSLR Video from School Events


      I have been using a Canon DSLR to capture some home movies.  One of the movies was actually at a school choir event where you have a large stage with a black (or very dark) backdrop and bright light shining directly down on the students.  For those students with darker skin, all is well... but for those that are very light skinned... it appears that the faces are washed out.


      I am thinking that the information is lost and that there is nothing that I can really do to restore the original information (I had the same problem with my old Canon DC50 SD Camcorder at similar events) but was hoping that someone her could give me some tips.


      When I do try to decrease the intensity of the highlights... and when I get to a level thatI think is closer to the original... the washed out area forms very noticible borders and becomes unnatural looking.


      I am wondering if I would be better off to decrease the exposure of the camera when I am capturing this event... and then brightening it later in Premiere or then would I risk losing more detail in the process.


      While capturing, I was using a Canon 70-200 f/4.0L lens while near the back of the audience.  Of course... when I zoomed in so that only a few faces filled the screen... exposure was fine across the board.


      Any advice on how to fix this or how to improve future attempts is greatly appreciated!





        • 1. Re: Editing DSLR Video from School Events
          the_wine_snob Level 9



          Welcome to the forum.


          You could well be correct, that there is not enough data in the highlights, but I would look into using some of the Effects in PrPro, before you wash your hands of the footage.


          I would start with Levels, and adjust for the best total correction. Next, add the Highlight & Shadow, and uncheck Auto. Adjust that, and watch carefully. I'd do a lot of Rendering, and then playback. Note: you can set the WAB (Work Area Bar) to just that Clips, or section of a Clip.


          Do not hesitate to go back to Levels, and re-adjust, after working with H&S a bit.


          Also, Fast Color Corrector, Three-Way Color Corrector, etc., can do quite a bit too, but I'd start light, with Levels and H&S.


          Another Effect is RGB Curves (not sure of the official name in CS5), and it might be very useful too.


          Keep those others in the back of your mind.


          Ideally, one would be working with a calibrated NTSC monitor, but I doubt that you have one, so the Program Monitor will have to work.


          Good luck, and let us know how Levels and H&S work for you (be sure to uncheck Auto, and do not use Auto Levels). Others might also have a few "favorite" Effects, and exact instructions on what base settings, they like to start with. In the end, it'll be some trial and error, and testing.




          PS - some like to duplicate the Cliip, placing it a Video Track higher, and adjusting that, then adjusting its Opacity. I do similar in PS for stills often, but think that you can at least "improve" things somewhat, as per above.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Editing DSLR Video from School Events
            Frumrk_T2i Level 1

            Hi Bill,


            Thanks for your quick response.  And yes... I will try that when I get home.  One of the things that I am thinking about now to correct this in the future might be to zoom in and set the exposure on the camera and then... since I am using a constant aperture lens... perhaps it will retain all the information when I zoom back out.


            I don't know... sounds too simple but I will have to wait to give it a try. And since I cannot zoom in on Video footage on the DSLR... it will be difficult to tell until I get the footage home.


            I will get back on here with my results when I have them.


            Thanks again!



            • 3. Re: Editing DSLR Video from School Events
              the_wine_snob Level 9



              You are correct on shooting at the exposure of the participants, and on manual. Some cameras offer scopes, etc., to help you.


              Auto-exposure will too often factor in all the black field, and try to bring that up. Same for night shots, or just the opposite for shots against snow.


              THAT is the best place to "fix" it in the future.


              Good luck, and let us know how well Levels, and H&S work for you. Like I said, there are other Effects. However, in the end, only so much can be done, regardless of how much one tries, or how experienced they might be with the tools.



              • 4. Re: Editing DSLR Video from School Events
                Frumrk_T2i Level 1



                I tried as you said... and it does help a lot.  The H&S worked for all except

                the last row of students (there were a total of 4 rows each row about a foot

                higher than the last).  As I noticed the over exposed area in the lower rows

                change when using H&S, the top row appeared not to change at all.  But I guess

                that is just justification that the information is lost.


                Then I tried to color correctors... which really helped to bring on a more

                natural feel to the color in the shot.  I thought it was fine until I adjusted

                it... then I could see how far it was off.


                Thanks again,



                • 5. Re: Editing DSLR Video from School Events
                  the_wine_snob Level 9



                  For that "last row," you might think about duplicating the Clip, placing it on a higher Video Track, and then using a more aggressive Effect setting on that last row. So as to restrict it to just that area of the Clip, apply the Garbage Matte (will be hard edged), or perhaps best, a Track Matte Keying, to limit the display of that dupe Clip to JUST the last row. You can feather the edges of that Track Matte. It'll be some work, but is basically what one does in PS with Layer Masks.


                  Good luck,