Shooting video in the dark on a budget
April 18, 2009 8:37 PM Subscribe
Please help me prepare for taking video in the dark next month! I know very little about taking video and I need help preparing for an event where I won't have any second chances for re-shooting.
posted by segatakai to Media & Arts (4 answers total)
I am going to an event at the beginning of May. It is an event to which I have been before, where people parade through the dark down a mountain path carrying paper lanterns, while chanting/singing. The scene is, IMHO, breathtaking, and I would like to record it, if at all possible. I have had some (minor) success getting some still shots, but it's video, really, that I most want here, as the bobbing and swaying of the lanterns in the dark, along with the chanting, is really magical.
What can I do to record this event? I don't need to get the whole thing -- if I can get even a 30 second stretch, I'll be very pleased (of course, the more the merrier), and I'm willing to try (the same or different things) over and over during the 20-30 minute event. I can't use any extra light source, as it will ruin the atmosphere for other participants. I will have a tripod, but often won't have time to find a spot to set up, as I'll be trudging through the dark on a sloped, rocky mountain path along with everyone else, but from time to time I can try to move ahead and get set up for when everyone comes past. I know I can use the "nightshot" feature on my video camera, but I'm not happy with the "space-video" look that results. I haven't tried it out yet, but I suspect the infrared mode will have similar odd-looking video, and probably won't carry far enough anyway.
What would a professional filmmaker do? Would they have a "million dollar" camera that would do this (in a way that my consumer model simply can't)? Would they do this mainly in post-production (if so, what kind of things would they do)? What are the important settings on my video camera in this setting: obviously exposure, but white balance? ae shift? wb shift? anything else? The camera is a Sony HDR-HC3. Know any good tutorials for making these kind of adjustments to exposure (etc) settings? Any and all suggestions most welcome! Thanks!