Film School: Camera Assist Tools

Exposure Tools: False Colour (via wolfcrow) Exposure Tools: False Colour (via wolfcrow)

A roundup of tutorials on how to capture the best possible image, technically.


A quick guide to the exposure triangle and other basic camera settings:

Camera Tools

As part of an introduction to a longer course, Matti Haapoja gives a brief overview of tools used for getting correct exposure on set (starting at 1:04):


If you’ve ever adjusted Levels or Curves in Photoshop, you’ve worked with the histogram: a representation of how the range of tones, from dark to light, are spread across an image. Spread too much to one end or the other, means the image is either under- or over-exposed, and therefore losing detail. It’s also crucial in still photography – more on that, and the example below, from Shutterbug:

An example of a histogram (via Shutterbug)
An example of a histogram (via Shutterbug)

Zebra Pattern

Most often used to indicate where the image is being overexposed (or where detail is being lost). Wolfcrow suggests setting a second zebra pattern to indicate lighter skin tones…

Exposure Tools: Zebra Pattern (via wolfcrow)
Exposure Tools: Zebra Pattern (via wolfcrow)

… and here’s a roundup of discussions about lighting black and brown skin tones:

False Colour

In Depth Cine offers a handy one-minute explainer on false colour and how to use it:

Scopes: Waveform + Vectorscope

Here’s a three-minute explainer about the Vectorscope, which is crucial in colour correction (via LensProToGo):

Further Viewing

Scopes figure prominently in post-production – so here’s a roundup of tutorials of scopes and colour correction:

Beyond getting a basic exposure, visual storytelling really begins with how contrast is managed:

The IRE system used in false colour measurement doesn’t directly correlate across the aperture range. Ed Lachman ASC developed a response to this, in his EL Zone System:

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