Creative video editing is when you edit video clips in post. Are you a Videographer or a photographer that’s just starting out in the industry that struggles with exposure? We are here to help! Here at Nostairway Creative, we are experts at post video and post audio production. As a video production company in London, we use video editing software such as Final Cut Pro for all of our projects. This blog will take you through the basics and teach you about how exposure works for different videography and photography situations.
Basic manual settings for creative video editing
Let’s talk about camera basics.
Exposure is the amount of light a digital cameras sensor captures. Overexposed is when too much light is captured by the sensor, making images looking washed out. Underexposed is when not enough light is captured by the sensor resulting in very dark images.
There are three main cameras settings that contribute to the exposure.
Aperture – this is the size of the lense opening that allows light in. You can control shallow depth of field by opening the lens with a low f-stop number. A low f-stop number is a part of the lens diagram in which light passes through (aperture). This setting gives more exposure to the camera sensor because they represent large apertures. You can control wide depth of field by closing the aperture with a high f-stop number. This will give you less exposure because they represent small apertures.
Shutter speed – is the amount of time the camera shutter is open for. This refers to how long your camera spends taking a photo. Shutter speed will determine how your photos will look depending on how fast or slow you want it. When you use a low shutter speed, the camera sensor is exposed to more light for a longer. This creates motion blur. When you use a high shutter speed, the camera sensor is exposed to less light. This eliminates motion blur from objects that move fast such as birds flying or cars racing. Water droplets will be pin sharp and be captured mid-air.
ISO – is the camera sensor’s sensitivity to light. The higher your ISO is, the more sensitive it will be to light, making your photos appear brighter. The lower your ISO is, the less sensitive it is to light, making them appear darker.
All exposure variables work together to the brightness of a photo.
Fixing overexposed clips – creative video editing
Step one – open up a new project and import your exposed video clip. Once it is imported, drag the clip straight on to the timeline. If you find that your clip is too long, you can cut it into thirds and edit them individually if you prefer.
Step two – click new item in the projects window on the left-hand side and click on adjustment layer. A window will open with the dimensions of the adjustment layer. You can leave them as they are and click ok. The adjustment layer is purple and should appear in the projects window. Click and drag it above your clip.
Step three – drag it out if it is shorter or longer than your clip so they are aligned. Adding the adjustment layer is a good idea because it won’t make any changes to your clip if you aren’t happy with the results. Click on the effects button in the projects window and type in lumetri color in the search bar. Colour is spelt without the u in this process.
Step four – the effect is in the color correction folder. Drag the lumetri effect on to the adjustment layer. Above the projects window, you will see effects controls at the very top of Premiere Pro. In the effect controls you will see lumetri color. Underneath this you will see basic correction. Click the arrow to reveal all the basic corrections.
Step five- these corrections will change the look of your overexposed clip. Bring down the highlight, bring the shadows up and bring down the white contrast. It is all about trial and error with creative video editing so play around with your clip until you are happy with it. Once you are happy, you can click on the eye button next the adjustment layer to compare before and after.
Canon has a learning website where you can play and learn exposure in an engaging way.
This process will be pretty much the same for other video editing software such as Davinchi resolve. I will leave a link to videos that explain the same process for different video editing software.