Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Play time...

I'm starting to learn a lot about these tricky little DSLRs. They lure you in with their full HD and their great depth of field, then punch you in the face in post.

Actually, I'd say I'm learning more about myself than I am the camera. I had no idea until sitting down to edit this that I was so obsessed with making every shot a rack focus. Maybe that's why I was so enthralled with DSLRs to begin with. After all, that's their whole gimmick, isn't it?

Personal discovery aside, I learned the hard way on this adventure. My camera has no room for forgiveness when it comes to over exposure. Granted, it is my own fault to begin with, but since I was shooting snow I think I can one day forgive myself. It's just frustrating at the moment. I usually shoot under exposed if I slip up, so not being able to get an acceptable image even in post is upsetting.

In my previous post I said I wanted to go out and shoot when the snow got here, well the snow came at like 1:00 AM. Luckily it snowed all day, so I waited for it to really start coming down before I headed to the backyard. I had decided I was going to pair my video with the music from one of my daughter's toys, which wasn't super creative, but for me it was more about going out and doing it rather than making it perfect. Thinking back on it, I guess my biggest problem is going to be keeping track of my exposure when I change my zoom distances. Actually, I'm pretty sure that would explain both of my over exposed shots in the above video. Each was shot at a wide angle and preceded by a fully zoomed shot.

Oh well, lesson learned, and at the end of the day... well, actually two days... it's uploaded and I can go back to hoping for warmer weather.


  1. Everyone who shoots a DSLR for the first time knows your latitude pain. My first DSLR shoot had a main character in KISS style makeup. Specifically, his entire face was covered in white except his eyes were surrounded by black. You can imagine how much fun it was to get his eyes to read without overexposing the white face makeup. I wanted to pull what remained of my hair out. Exposure issues aside, I like your footage and choice of music.

    A word of advice: If you buy a brace/follow focus, don't waste your money on cheap shit. Save until you can afford the Red Rock. I tried to use the cheap ones. They are nightmarishly nonstandard and have all sorts of incompatibility issues with lenses and other basic camera support equipment. In the end, I rented the red rock and I was satisfied with the performance.

  2. @Justin Thanks for the advice. I actually meant to mention that I've bumped a follow focus up my list of needed accessories. Especially if i keep doing all these rack focuses. :D

    I've looked at the Red Rock before, and I agree about others looking sub-par. Especially the ones that try to make themselves universal by using bands instead of gears. They look like a middle school girl wrapped her Silly Bands around the lens.

    Speaking of Red Rock, what's up with the new Camo line of rigs? They have a military background or something?

  3. Same issue many photographers have with black/white subjects. Examples include snow and wedding dresses. The exposure system uses 18% gray as a good exposure. Hence why it blows out whites like snow when it says that it is exposed correctly. I usually underexpose a stop to get decent results.

    After all, it's much easier to pull details out of blacks. Blown out whites = no detail at all.

  4. @ Mospheric
    Yeah, like I said, I probably just didn't pay attention to my new iris setting when I zoomed out. I have my user defined style #1 setup to shoot around -1 stop of compensation as well. I know what you mean about the bridal gowns too. Exposing for a bright white dress in a horribly lit church is always a pain. One time I shot at a church where there was one window that shined directly on the bride during the ceremony. I kid you not, she was 3 stops brighter than the groom and priest standing next to her.

    Thanks for droppin' the knowledge on me, though. I didn't know it could trick you into thinking it was properly exposed like that. Makes me miss having zebra pattern like the HDV cams I usually shoot with.