If it’s hard to make out individual people, objects, or landscapes in a dark video, it probably needs to be lightened.
If we think about it through the lens of black and white film, in particular, you want to see the distinct values of pure black and crisp white, with varying shades of gray coloring everything in between. If your black and white footage is primarily dark with a smattering of gray values and very few white values, you’ll want to increase the exposure to find a better balance between black and white—and to ensure every aspect is easily visible to your future audience.
The same applies to colored footage. If you can hardly make out the whites, light blues, soft pinks, and other light hues, you likely need to brighten your footage to see the full spectrum of color.
When considering when and how to brighten video clips, try running through a quick mental checklist to see where your footage may be falling short:
- Can I make out my visual point of interest?
- Is the background clear enough to establish the setting?
- Is important detail clear/readable to the viewer?
- Are movements clear to the viewer?
- Do visible shadows work with or against the image I'm trying to portray?
Visual clarity is crucial when conveying images and motion on film. Luckily, with Runway's intuitive tools, you can feel confident in your editing capabilities and make the most of your footage.