How To Get Perfect Exposure | HDR Lighting 101

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In this episode of 4 Minute Film School, Valentina is challenged with lighting an interior in order to expose correctly for the exterior. To do that, she has to use some powerful lights and camera filtration, all while making sure to achieve cinematic depth and a naturalistic look. We’re going to talk about high dynamic range, sun direction, reflected sunlight, and more.

We’re shooting a scene where a woman wakes up in a luxury downtown loft after throwing a huge party the night before. The look was inspired by films like Lost in Translation and Her. We chose the loft apartment location because we wanted to see the Los Angeles highrises in the background, but also demonstrate techniques to mitigate blown out highlights in the shot.

For our key light, we used the Aputure 600d Pro and shot it through diffusion to give ourselves as much intensity as we can for the interior to balance out the exposure from the outside. Valentina made sure to check false color to make sure that she wasn’t clipping in areas that were too bright or dark. We also used floppies to block out incoming light in the foreground because we wanted to have the light come from a different direction. For the foreground elements, we used an Aputure 60d and 300dII to light up the production design and give the scene more dimension.

We shot with the Canon C70 and Rokinon Xeen primes for a light camera build to be able to handhold the rig. Valentina used the camera’s built-in ND filters so that she could shoot at a shallower depth of field. She then auditioned pearlescent filters in front of the lenses to give the scene that special hazy quality. Finally, she decided to put on the Easyrig Mini Max to give her support while she was shooting handheld to couple the character’s state of mind with camera movement.

Let us know if you have any questions about the setup!

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Chapters:
0:00 - Intro
1:40 - Story/Concept
2:40 - Framing
3:38 - Negative Fill
4:48 - Key Light
7:36 - Fill Light
8:47 - Camera
10:03 - Lighting Breakdown
10:35 - Setup #2
12:14 - Breakdown #2
12:39 - Outro

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Summary:
Aputure's YouTube channel provides free high quality cinematography, lighting, and filmmaking educational content to help you take your film projects to the next level.
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