I attempted to recreate a scene similar to the one you have mentioned in your discussion, and I found a few key points:
- Do not use BLC or WDR. It's a low light issue and trying to compensate using BLC or WDR makes the background harder to "see", which is the original problem.
- Keep auto iris on, or use the highest (F1.2 or whatever it is) setting. Even though the lighting is intense, you only worsen your overall image by lowering the iris.
- IR cut filter off, or use monochrome. The contrast is much easier on the eyes, and colors looked washed out in my scenario.
For example, take a look at the 2 images below. One is in color, and the other in monochrome. You can more easily see the seimens star on the cabinet in the back with monochrome or b/w enabled as opposed to color.
Monochrome / B&W
Bryan, if you can supply us with more information on the camera, or a screenshot of the camera's image (with permission, of course), we can better emulate your scene.