The Nikon D-100 was a very valuable tool for us to evaluate exposure and contrast during this shoot. Here are some instructions that we used. Some of them might be useful to you.
Select a KEY LIGHT position that looks reasonable and covers the action area.
Check the lighting on stand-in puppets throughout the proposed shot. Avoid positions where puppets cast shadows on each other very long.
Move the key light or puppet path to maintain reasonable lighting. Going through a shadow is OK but over exposure is NOT OK.
Add fill light if you need it. Wide shots and backgrounds need little or no fill.
Put shadows and/or trees in your background and foreground to break up areas of snow without features.
Measure and record your incident meter exposure to the key light.
Measure and record the fill exposure even if only reflected from nearby snow. (Shade the meter ball from key light).
Shoot a still with the D-100 on manual at the same stop as you plan for the Mitchell. Include the slate in the shot.
Use a tripod and lens a focal length longer than on the Mitchell to get approximately the same size shot. Remove the slate and shoot another for shot later reference and promotion.
Keep the D-100 on ASA 200, Tone normal, Shutter speed at 1/4.
To evaluate the D-100 still, look at the screen straight on.
Re-evaluate the amount of fill needed.
Does the overall exposure and contrast look good?
Move back wider and shoot a production still of your set up including the camera, rigs etc. If it is a unique shot have cameraperson add some light to the camera.
Have someone download and FILE the D-100 stills often.
© Copyright 2004 Ron Dexter. All Rights Reserved.