Avoiding Blown Out Footage

Avoiding Blown Out Footage

We’d like to address something we’ve been seeing more of recently. Blown out footage. We bring it up because we often get asked to fix it. To state it clearly, any part of the footage that is blown out cannot be recovered – just like with photos. This probably seems obvious, but we’d like to provide a few tips and resources to help avoid blowing out your footage. 

Trying to balance the highlights and shadows in camera when you’re outside shooting on a sunny day can be tricky. Compensating for one or the other could make it so some details are lost. One way you can save both the highlights and the shadows is by shooting in LOG. LOG footage gives you more control over the dynamic and tonal ranges. While perhaps a little more work in post production, the benefits of using LOG footage could out-weigh not using it. We go more in depth about LOG here so we won’t talk too much about it now, but we recommend giving it a look. 

Beyond that it’s really a matter of getting all your in-camera settings right for your lighting situation. We found the below video helpful in understanding how to get a cinematic look when you’re outside filming in the sun.

Quick summary of video:

Setting your exposure

– Shoot in 25fps and a shutter speed of 1/50 to help give the video a cinematic look. 

– Set ISO as low as possible to reduce noise. 

– The only way to make the clip darker is to adjust the aperture. To maintain a shorter depth of field and blurry background, use an ND filter. An adjustable ND filter can be convenient for all kinds of sunlight. Here’s an example

Setting the picture profile

– Choose a profile with low contrast. Doing so will help keep more details in the shadows and highlights. (This is what LOG footage does)

Soften the light

– Use a 5-in-1 reflector so you’ll be covered for all kinds of light, whether your subject is facing the sun or has their back to it. 


This was a very short and straight to the point blog post, but we hope this helped some of you! If you still have questions regarding blown out footage, please reach out and we’d be happy to get back to you!