When you start to get serious about shooting great-looking video on your DSLR, you’ll likely begin to disable several of the automatic features on your camera. Additionally, you’ll likely be attracted to the more artistic capabilities, like a wider range of contrast and shallow depth of field. Of course, these artistic options can quickly become frustrating limitations without a solid foundation of knowledge combined with a good deal of practice.
Poring Over the Footage
While shooting in the desert outside Albuquerque, New Mexico, I decided to capture the sunrise. Although the mountain range provided some interesting shots, I was drawn to the local vegetation. The light levels were a little low because I was shooting at dawn. So, instead of worrying about contrast levels in the camera, I shot “flat.” Making sure the image was in focus and exposed for the middle of the histogram, I was able to capture highlights and shadows. In postproduction, by using a Curves adjustment (see Chapter 11, “Editing Essentials”), boosting the contrast was easy and added a more dramatic punch to the image.