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Top Ten Video Mistakes: 3. Dark

3. Dark Faces

Amateurs often pay no attention to what is behind the subject they’re shooting.  Consumer cameras usually have an auto iris, which closes when the subject is bright and opens when it is dark.  The classic mistake is to place your actor in front of a bright background, like a window.  The iris closes to the point that the sky looks great, but your actor is now in the darkness.

A professional never uses an auto iris, and instead uses lights to balance the background brightness with the foreground brightness.  A simpler approach is to place your subject in front of a background that is the same brightness or darker than the subject is.  To make the subject more interesting, you can place a light nearby to softly light the face.

The nice thing about video is that what you see is what you get – so pay attention to your viewfinder.  See how the subject looks.  If he or she looks good on screen, they’ll most likely also look good on your finished video.

next tip – monday

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