Thread: Gemini not capturing blacks. Help.

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  1. #11  
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    Starlight, moonlight, streetlight, lamplight, light shining out from inside a window, car headlight, torchlight, candlelight, cigarette-lighter light, phone-light, television light, regular domestic-looking interior lighting...these can all be used to convey night-time.

    On an interior with no windows (underground or deep inside a building), day or night becomes ambiguous (like it is in real life) and other details need to be included to convey the time of day (clocks, clothing, activities).

    So funnily enough, it's the light itself that sells the idea of night just as much as it is the darkness.

    It's a creative thing too, so while there are common approaches and conventions (eg. blue highlights and black shadows for moonlight) there are no real rules for it.

    When it comes to exposure though, regardless of your creative lighting choices, you obviously still need to stay within the limits of your sensor.

    This is arguably most challenging when you're not actually using night-style lighting, but just making everything darker in-camera or by lowering your actual light level to suggest the darkness of night.

    When taking that approach, it's better to rely on darkening the image in post as much as underexposing, as underexposure alone can only get you so far before it starts degrading the image.
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  2. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by Les Hillis View Post
    Starlight, moonlight, streetlight, lamplight, light shining out from inside a window, car headlight, torchlight, candlelight, cigarette-lighter light, phone-light, television light, regular domestic-looking interior lighting...these can all be used to convey night-time.

    On an interior with no windows (underground or deep inside a building), day or night becomes ambiguous (like it is in real life) and other details need to be included to convey the time of day (clocks, clothing, activities).

    So funnily enough, it's the light itself that sells the idea of night just as much as it is the darkness.

    It's a creative thing too, so while there are common approaches and conventions (eg. blue highlights and black shadows for moonlight) there are no real rules for it.

    When it comes to exposure though, regardless of your creative lighting choices, you obviously still need to stay within the limits of your sensor.

    This is arguably most challenging when you're not actually using night-style lighting, but just making everything darker in-camera or by lowering your actual light level to suggest the darkness of night.

    When taking that approach, it's better to rely on darkening the image in post as much as underexposing, as underexposure alone can only get you so far before it starts degrading the image.
    All true, but could be said even more clearly. Put this image from the series "The Americans" on your waveform monitor:



    The image contains a fully dynamic range from white-white to black-black. The (luma) histogram shows strong peaks in the blacks and the shadows, but the histogram has information all the way from black to white. And it's the whites that make the blacks look so black. The beauty of projecting venetian blinds onto a blank wall is that they can give you the full contrast from highlight to shadow and then the rest of your image can be read against that range. You can then make choices so that the set reads as daytime or nighttime, and you're good to go. But using exposure alone as a way to convey time of day is worse than "challenging". It's simply wrong.

    Post-processing a correctly exposed image might get you there if your set and lighting is leaning in the right direction and just needs an extra push. But it's a nightmare to try to re-light a scene in post that wasn't lit right when it was shot.
    Michael Tiemann, Chapel Hill NC

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  3. #13  
    Senior Member Aaron Green's Avatar
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    Did you use the LL sensor setting for any of these?
    Aaron Green - Chicago, IL
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  4. #14  
    I’m confused as to what you wanted — you wanted the scene to be darker? You wanted it to be lighter? There are two separate issues, one technical and the other artistic. You pick an ISO level and a display gamma for the noise level, highlight retention, and contrast/saturation level you want. Then you light for the mood you want. So are you unhappy with the lighting or the noise/black level/contrast?

    As for a dark scene where no lights are on and there is no flashlight involved, you can go a number of ways, from the soft, flat, and dim ambient look to the shadowy, contrasty moonlight/streetlight look. Or a mix from room to room.

    One issue though is this is hard to do well in a room with white walls unless you’re willing to let the person go silhouette — the amount of underexposure that a white wall needs to look dark is much higher than what the subject needs.
    David Mullen, ASC
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  5. #15  
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    So well said David!

    I’m not seeing any camera issues here - mainly the notion of Contrast in Lighting.

    Personally I like to shoot night scenes or Low key scenes rating the camera between 250 and 500. The sensor still receives the same amount of light as rating it at 800 and things “look” darker. Thankfully this is also mostly a metadata setting when shooting raw.
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  6. #16  
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    Thank you for your help. Im shooting a night time city scene tonight for the last shot. Wish me luck.
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  7. #17  
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    This was from last night, it got better. I still felt like there is a lot of noise in the shadows in standard mode in some of the shots (not this one in particular) I donno. but all the information you guys gave me definitely helped a lot. I incorporated a lot of it. But in the second Photo at iso 800 the picture completely crashes without lighting. I guess we should have changed it to low light mode in this instance but my DP didn't. I just feel like in this same situation my Scarlet W wouldn't have looked like this. Anyways live and learn. I attached the files to drop box if you want to take a look, files starting with A004 https://www.dropbox.com/sh/tgww3rp00...HdGar305a?dl=0
    Last edited by Jason beaumont; 07-15-2019 at 07:53 AM.
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  8. #18  
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    completely crashes without lighting
    Duh. "I think we found your problem..."
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  9. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Gardner View Post
    Duh. "I think we found your problem..."
    Lol. well this low light gemini seems more light sensitive than my old scarlet w. All good those the pictures came out beautiful.
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  10. #20  
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    Damn...she hot!
    Who is she?
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