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hdv for documentary night shooting

damolaadewole's picture
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 04/09/2011 - 11:04pm

hi im kind off new here but i just decided to take the leap and post this anywway hoping ppl willl respond
mmmh im working on a documentary right now...and i kind of need tips concerning shooting at night with hdv..its majorly in the market with lots of lanterns and all so..you can understand my dilemma
with a gain odb ofcourse how can i still get the best quality footages


vid-e-o-man's picture
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: 02/06/2010 - 4:20am
Plus Member

Perhaps some more information about the project might help the posters here with some suggestions about equipment or techniques. Are you shooting at night in the field or under street lights etc. Do you need this to look like a night time scene (shoot in daylight and make it look like night in post)? Does everything need to be portable (carry your own power supply)? etc. etc.


damolaadewole's picture
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 04/09/2011 - 11:04pm

thanks for ur resp..well in the documentary im going to have to capture various activiteis in the market,during the night so its not a case of day for its night for night ..im carrying all my supplies on my own it has to be portable

the shoots are majorly in diffeent locations some places are close to areas where they have street lights in the area reflecting on the vendors while some places are in the open field where the only light sources available there are the illumination from the lanterns used by the vendors apart from moving cars and all.

for sound im even considering just using the camera mics cause any heavy sound gear or even a shot gun might intimidate the market ppl hope i wont have much problems with that in post though.

so as per the sony hdv im using sony hdr-fx1 styel blends are somewhat

fly on the wall video diarish cinema verite a blend between all.so any advice on how to set my camera to be able to avoid grainy footage,crisp and clear images ,should i rely on lantern lights in the market would that sufficer willl i be able to work around it in post or should i bring along some sort of light along


CraftersOfLight's picture
Last seen: 1 year 2 days ago
Joined: 02/17/2009 - 5:42am
Plus Member

 You have a pretty good idea about the enironments you will be shooting in. What about doing some pratice runs in those enironments where you are not rushed to get the shots you're looking for. Lighting issues can be checked out by recording a walk around the building you live in at the time of night you are talking about.

For sound, in camera mics are not the best so you do want to test this as well. Get with a few friends and have an "interview" with them to get a sample of what to expect. If there is a headphone jack on the camera, use it. This will tell you if you missed a quote or if that car going by out did the person you were recording.

Then try them out in your editor to see what touch-ups need to be done.

Life is not a guided tour nor a destination.
It is a journey. Take the time to enjoy your family, friends and surroundings.
Build memories. Share experiences. Travel at sight speed not light speed. (C)


Julie Babcock's picture
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 08/17/2009 - 3:02pm

I would have to agree with CraftersOfLight; relying on the in-camera mic for your main source of audio is not the best option. And really, it should never be considered an option in a professional setting due to the poor sound quality. Additionally, if you are shooting in a busy market area, you are going to have some difficulty picking up the desired audio clearly, because in-camera mics tend to pick up everything. You can get a better result by moving in closer to your subject, but I would imagine a mounted shotgun mic would be less intrusive than sticking a camera directly in your subjects face. Not to mention it would give you more flexibility in framing.

In regards to lighting, relying on the location lighting to be adequate isn't advised. A small camera mounted light can help you achieve proper exposure, without all of the graininess that comes with boosting the gain. Below you can find links to our articles on lighting tips and reviews...

On-camera light reviews:

http://www.videomaker.com/article/13697/

http://www.videomaker.com/article/14457/

tips for night lighting:

http://www.videomaker.com/article/12922/

http://www.videomaker.com/article/9333/

http://www.videomaker.com/article/13540/

For more information you can visit these pages...

http://www.videomaker.com/learn/production/lighting/night-lighting/

http://www.videomaker.com/learn/production/lighting/on-camera/articles/1/

Hope that helps!


Julie Babcock's picture
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 08/17/2009 - 3:02pm

One more tip: Never rely on "fixing it in post". Be kind to yourself and get it right during production.