10 Tips For Shooting HD

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10 Things to Remember When Shooting HD
by Blain Brown

  1. Never overexpose high def. There is no process that can bring back burned-out highlights; that information is lost forever.
  2. Control highlights: HD has trouble with them.
  3. Avoid using gain whenever possible.
  4. Nail exposure when you can, but if not, err on the side of underexposure, not overexposure.
  5. 23.98 fps is the most frequent choice for narrative storytelling.
  6. 29.97 fps is usually preferred for sports.
  7. A potential problem is too much depth-of-field. This is not a problem with full frame HD cameras as they are roughly the same DOF as 35mm film cameras.
  8. Another problem is seeing too much detail in things like makeup, sets, and wardrobe.
  9. Shoot at 23.98 or 29.97, not 24 or 30. This is important for audio sync.
  10. There are times when you will need to shoot actual 24 or 30 fps; consult with your editor.

Excerpted from
Cinematography: Theory and Practice, Second Edition: Image Making for Cinematographers and Directorsby Blain Brown, © 2011 Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved

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