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This weekly course covers the most common questions videographers encounter when shooting and editing with DSLR cameras, from choosing a frame size and frame rate to understanding moiré. Authors Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman will also help you understand the impacts of compression and the difference between cropped (or micro 4/3rds) and full-sized sensors in cameras, and much more. This continual FAQ guide is a handy way to find the answers to the questions that plague you the most.
Rich Harrington: We're out here on the beach. We've got a lot of different light going on right now Rob. We've got the open water. Robbie Carman: Uh-huh. Rich Harrington: We've got some shade here. But when I looked at the viewfinder, it's overexposed. Robbie Carman: Yep. Rich Harrington: And I could of course, we could take the aperture down, and go really small and control the light but that's not what we want. We want this filmic look. Robbie Carman: Yeah, and that's the thing that you're going to find when you go outdoors all the time, especially when you're shooting with a DSLR that you want to take advantage of those nice depth of field characteristics of the sensors and the nice fast lens, so you're going to want to shoot wide open. The problem, of course, Rich, is that when you shoot wide open, and in a bright environment like this, in a mix of exposure environment, you're going to get overexposed shots.
Rich Harrington: Yeah. Robbie Carman: And so as you say, we could step down the lens you know, go to, you know F12, F15, F16 or whatever it may be. But then we start losing that depth of fields, so a better sort of tool to use, would be the ND filter. Rich Harrington: Yeah. Robbie Carman: And the ND of course stands for neutral density. Rich Harrington: So I've got one here in a case, it's always good to keep them in their protective case so you don't scratches. Robbie Carman: Yep. Rich Harrington: And I just take that out, and it put it on the front. Robbie Carman: Right, there's two types of ND filters that you're going to find. A screw on type like the one that you have there. And if you're using, a more sophisticated rig, you might have a matte box. You might have a drop in ND filter.
But, these screw on types are very easy to use. You can see there, they just screw on right to the end of the lens. And what an ND filter does, is it reduces the amount of light coming into the camera. And you can buy ND filters at various stops. How much light they're going to cut coming into the camera. Rich Harrington: Yeah. Or we could stack multiple filters on top of here, although that's not ideal because you start getting a lot of extra glass in front of your glass. Robbie Carman: Yeah. Yep. Rich Harrington: So, we've connected it, and it's always a good idea, you make sure that it's clean. because even though it was in the case, there could be dust or spots. So I just. Robbie Carman: If you have fingers like me, you get oil on them and all the whole nine yards, right? Rich Harrington: Yeah, so we'll just brush that off.
And let's take a look at how the shot's doing now. Robbie Carman: Okay. Rich Harrington: Alright, it's looking a lot better. I could actually see that there's water and a skyline now. The meter says at F11, we're properly exposed. Robbie Carman: Cool. Rich Harrington: And let's queue our talent. Okay, Jason, why don't you go ahead and do a quick walk towards us. So I like as he's coming into frame here, Rob. Why don't you check the shot, see what you think. Robbie Carman: Sure, yeah, no. It's nice, I mean, this is a, and this is a situation too that you know, you have a gray sky, some gray water, we can always do a little more as well.
The point is that we want to get a proper exposure that we can work with in post when we go to, say, color grade and things of that nature. Rich Harrington: Yeah, we sort of have what I often refer to as the ugly middle here. We're not blowing up the highlights, we don't have rich blacks. But I know when you take this into color grading, you can make it pop. Robbie Carman: Absolutely, and the thing about these situations that's difficult and the reason that you're always going to want to go to the ND filters because you do want to sort of. Leverage that nice shallow depth of field. But of course when you go outside, shallow depth of field means overexposed, so using an ND filters can be a big saver for situations like this.
Rich Harrington: Alright, when we come back we're going to take a look at a variable ND filter which gives you even more options.
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