I got invited to shoot a behind the scenes [BTS] video for the ad agency Sterling-Rice Group for one of their upcoming commercial ad spots.
It was great to see an entire team working together as I floated around independently trying to be quiet as possible and not getting in their way. These ‘guys’ put in long hours away from their families, so I wanted to capture those moments doing what they love best – being creative. I thank them for the opportunity, and hope I represented them well.
While I can’t show you the video I did just yet, it came out well but I can tell you a few things I have learned.
I shot a ton of footage from the all day shoot at two locations. While the crew was somewhat stressed at meeting their deadlines they had set throughout the day I got to really kick back relax and watch it all unfold and what for the good shots.
Exposure for DSLR
What was really nice about being so relaxed I got to shoot them filming a scene over and over again. On many of the takes I would try different exposures for the same scene. This was a great exercise for me in calibrating my eye to the camera’s display. After 10 hours of shooting that day I really started to dial in the exposure by eye vs. using the meters on the camera.
I find that when shooting outside like with landscapes that trusting the meter is a good thing, but when you are inside exposing for talent it is a much different thing. With the Canon DSLR’s you don’t have the choice of 4 different metering modes as you do with stills, you are stuck with the
evaluative center weighted average metering mode which doesn’t work well in all situations.
DSLR’s don’t allow a lot of leeway for getting the exposure correct. I have found in some poor lighting situations just a 1/3 of a stop or one click on your dial can turn nice shadows in to muddy or blotchy shadows, or nice highlights on the face can turn in to clipped highlights.
For some of you that have followed my learning curve over the last year know I have tested many picture styles. I have given up on the flat styles, they are just too hard of me to get it right in post, so now I am using the neutral style with the sharpness one step for the lowest setting and the contrast one step for the lowest setting. I tell you this because if you are trying to expose for a flat picture style it makes it harder to get it right.
So get out there and practice getting the exposure right with lots of repetition and learn not to always trust the meter.
So keep an eye out for my BTS video also I am reviewing a circular polarizer and ND filter so subscribe if you want to know when that comes out.