It doesn’t matter whether you’re a seasoned cinematographer or you’ve just started dabbling in filmmaking - correct exposure can make your film look like a masterpiece.
Exposure refers to the amount of light being captured by the camera and is directly connected to the brightness or darkness of the image. If too much light is reflected into the camera the result will be an overexposed image. On the other hand, not enough light will cause your film to be too dark. Creating perfect exposure is not always easy to achieve, for example if you’re shooting under daylight, you obviously cannot dim the sun. Keep in mind that ideal exposure is subjective and different cinematographers will have different opinions. You just have to find the exposure that works for you.
There are 5 pillars of exposure:
- Aperture: the method of controlling how much light is let onto the sensor. A larger aperture creates a shallower depth of field than a smaller aperture – leaving a creative impact on what is in focus, and on what is not.
- Shutter Speed: the amount of time each frame is being exposed to light. Faster shutter speeds freeze action in the image where a slower shutter speed allows for movement within the exposure – leaving a creative impact on motion blur within a frame.
- ISO: the sensitivity of your film stock or digital sensor. The creative side effect of increasing the ISO is the grain or noise that will also be increased within the image – leaving a creative impact on the perceived clean or dirty look to the image.
- Neutral Density Filters: darkened glass that reduces the amount of light entering the camera lens. The creative side effect really lies in the ability to use aperture, shutter speed, and ISO however you want while controlling the amount of light with a filter.
- Lighting: the source of illumination that allows your camera to capture an image. The creative side effect depends on perceived light size and how close the source is to the subject.
That’s quite a lot of factors you have to take into account when filming. Here is where a light meter like Lumu Power will come in handy. You can use Lumu Power to always achieve perfect exposure of your videos. All you have to do is point it towards the object you wish to shoot, and it will provide you with the exact shutter aperture settings.
Open your Lumu Light Meter app and plug your Lumu into your iOS device. When the app menu opens up, select the “CINE/VIDEO” mode.
You will now be able to measure correct aperture for your camera settings. Before you start measuring, you have to determine the FPS (frames per second), shutter speed and ISO - tap on each setting and put in the values.When everything is set, all you have to do is point and measure. As you can see in the small pictogram on top of the screen, you have to use the dome side of Lumu to measure aperture. Place your Lumu Power close to the subject, make sure the dome is turned towards the camera and tap on the black button to measure aperture. All that’s left to do is to input the f-stops value into your camera. Voila, perfect exposure every single time!
But that’s not all! If you tap on the overlapping circles icon in the bottom left corner, you can set exposure compensation and calculate ND filters.
You can also take notes by tapping on the pencil icon in the bottom right corner, which is great for location scouting.
If you’re interested to see more about exposure and how Lumu Power can come in handy when filming, make sure to check out the following videos: