This is an old entry I did way back, but I figured why not share it here as the starting blog. This relies on having the addon Magic Bullet Looks installed. The addon is available for Final Cut, Premiere, Avid, and even Photoshop. What I like about the program is that it allows you to do gradient adjustments as you'll soon see.
Here I have an untouched 7D clip. The shooting conditions were horrible in the fact that the key was basically backlighting our subject. We had no choice but to shoot from this angle due to space constraints and the fact that there was a tarp that appeared on shooting date (blocking our shooting spot). Having it outdoors made it extremely difficult because we get no bounce from light hitting ceilings, walls, etc. The subject “virtually” (my new favorite adjective) silhouetted!
Now let’s look at the Looks process. What I did was add a gradient exposure in looks, which basically allows me to create an exposure shift in parts of the frame in steps. So I basically started slightly to the left of the light (in frame) and had it fill in everything to the left of it. There was an exposure shift of +2.4 stops. You can now notice we see some detail in the subject and it doesn’t feel too dark. I’m still not satisfied with the final outcome but it is I think much better than the starting image. What bugs me are two things. The noise that was gained from the exposure boost, as well as the lighting setup (which cannot be fixed in post unfortunately).
Final image (notice slight variation). Looks tends to have a varying preview from actual finished product. I opted for less exposure in return giving me less noise.