Skintone and Exposure troubles

akmeister

New member
Hello, I just reviewed some dallies of a low budget feature I'm shooting, and I'm seeing some issues with getting correct exposure on one of the leads, especially on exteriors. We're shooting with the Sony HVR camera in HDV 1080 60i mode, and it seems like the chips can't handle the constrast that well. The lead has darkly tanned skin and the other actors are all on the paler side. On interiors I've been trying to give him his own light, or flag off light hitting other actors, but this isn't an option outside. Also when there is a lot of movement inside, this becomes an issue as well as they move around the scene a lot. I don't want to restrict the actors by making them stay in one place or the other either. There have been several instances outside where I've needed to bounce light onto other actors as well as the lead, but because of the difference between the the skintones I have to stop down to expose all the other actors in the scene, and as a result the lead is very dark. On exteriors I'm not sure what to do because many shots involve long backwards tracks where bouncing from a flexfill will be seen as the grip walks along side. Frequently I need to bounce light on all the actors so I don't totally blow out the sky as well. I'm just a little confused on how to solve this problem, when it's not always practicle to give him his own light.

Thanks,

Aaron
 

MarkG

New member
If that's the Z1 then there are a number of options in the menus you could look at. There's a 'black stretch' option hidden away somewhere, and the 'cinegamma' options will also alter the contrast range in the recording... I've been shooting with black stretch on and cinegamma 1, which seems the best compromise to me. There are also some DSP functions you can enable for skin tones: I haven't tried them myself so I don't really know what they do.

Obviously the best solution would be lighting that the camera likes, but if you haven't already fiddled with the menus then it's worth a go.
 

akmeister

New member
Yeah it's the Z1, and those are my settings actually. I was playing with them before and had seemed to like type 1 cinegamma, I just can't get the lattitude I'm looking for. Thanks for the advice.
 
I can't see much alternative to exposing for the paler person to hold detail, and then using black stretch, maybe combined with an UltraCon filter to hold more shadow detail, and then in post at least you have more information to work with. If you can, try floating a net above the paler actor to bring them down closer to the level of the darker actor.
 
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