Filmmaking 101: Mastering Exposure
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Exposure is probably one of the first things you learned when you got into filmmaking. Controlling the amount of light hitting the camera’s sensor is the key to having nice exposure. Exposure is a basic part of filmmaking, but there’s so much to learn about exposure beyond what the camera can control. Today on 4 Minute Film School we’re going to show you how you can use lighting to get perfect exposure no matter what situation you find yourself in.
In this video, Valentina from the A-Team will walk you through two very different setups and show you how to get great exposure in each one. First, she looks to see if there are any light sources in the frame that she can’t control. If there are, it might influence the way she lights the rest of the scene. Next, she makes sure the exposure on the subject’s face is good. This means balancing it with any other parts of the frame, as well as keeping it from being too bright or too dark. Next, she fills in the rest of the scene to establish an even exposure throughout the entire shot.
The main aspects addressed in this video are control, under exposing, and cameras. Control refers to being able to manipulate the lights in your scene. Having control of the lighting is extremely important for getting good exposure. Under exposing refers to lighting your scene intentionally darker than normal. There are benefits to this method over lighting the scene brighter than normal. The utilization of a camera naturally refers to relying on your camera (as a tool) in order to get good exposure. All cameras have limitations and lighting can go a really long way towards getting good shots.
You might think exposure is a basic part of cinematography, but you’d be surprised to see how easily good or bad exposure can completely change the way work is received! Bad exposure can make a professional look like a beginner, and good exposure can make the most inexperienced shooter look like a pro. So the next time you’re out shooting, pay special attention to the highlights and the shadows of your image so you can nail the exposure.
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