Using The Video Histogram To Keep Detail in the Highlights

Just another reason to love Magic Lantern on a snowy day.

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I made a couple of fun videos of my kids sledding this past weekend. Last year’s video of the kids sledding I totally blew out and clipped the whites in the snow because I was exposing for their skin and their dark jackets, this time I wanted to try exposing for the snow.

Exposing in the snow is hard, as a rule of thumb I usually have to over expose by a full stop.

This time I wanted to protect the snow so I still had detail and then in post use my level adjustments to bring back some of those detail lost in the shadows.

On Saturday I used the lowest contrast in my Canon T2i 550D setting to help me get more latitude in this high contrast situation. But because it was overcast and snowing, this setting was a little too extreme, so on Sunday I put it back where I normally have it at one step below at -3 and it worked much better.

There are so many things to love about Magic Lantern. One of them is the real time video histogram and waveform monitors that display on the screen as you film.

Update: it looks like Alex over at Magic Lantern made an adjustment to the histogram after watching this video:

Also, on the histogram there will be warning dots whenever a color channel will be clipped. This was suggested by Redkite Bart from Scarlet user manual (p.40), and fine-tuned after watching the latest video from Dave Dugdale.

It takes a second or two for the histogram to appear, but once you see it you can move the exposure over to the right just before it clips, as you can see here I am going up and down until I get the snow peak on the right just before it clips. I still don’t own a view finder so having this feature is just plan great because even in bright conditions you can still see the high contrast histogram really well.

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Product Used in this Video

Canon T2i 550D

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