View Full Version : LED panels during morning preps
March 24th, 2012, 03:00 PM
Aside from turning off incandescent lights at the bride & groom's houses in the morning to get the most natural lighting condition, has anyone ever considered using LED panels or any other type of artificial light source when turning off lights is not a good option?
March 25th, 2012, 09:44 PM
I have never bothered!! I just open the blinds or whatever and balance the camera for the current lighting. Most indoor light settings should have plenty of light for bridal prep unless your camera has very poor low-light performance. There is always the option too of moving the bride (after she is dressed) into the living area where the light is better to do the little things like jewellery and veil shots.
I guess if the room is tiny and you have no other place to go or there is no room to shoot with the window behind you then an LED panel could easily be used but to be honest with decent sized chips in your camera you really shouldn't run out of light unless the room looks like a closet!! Just beware that LED light still isn't as soft as it's made out to be...if I had to take light into a bedroom for bridal prep I think I would rather rig a light head with a bunch of CFL's in it so I get the soft of soft light you would need for bridal prep shots.
Do you stuggle with the lighting at prep venues????
March 27th, 2012, 12:26 AM
Thanks for your reply!
Working in low-light isn't my biggest concern since my equipment can normally deal with it pretty well. But I'm just trying to avoid shooting in rooms that are lit with incandescent bulbs as much as possible to get the best-looking natural light and to avoid mixed lighting.
I do try my best to tell my couples that I'd really prefer to turn off the lights whenever possible and open the blinds instead. But I've had situations where some of my clients (or their friends and family) actually require to turn on the lights to do their stuff at home and I was therefore thinking that if I could bring a back-up LED panel or some sort of whiter light source that they could use instead of turning on their own light, it would make things look nicer overall.
So I was curious to see if anyone here have ever used any LED panels to light up their room when shooting morning preps before. I've thought of the CFL solution before but I wonder which way would be the easiest to setup.
Thanks for the idea!
March 27th, 2012, 03:18 AM
An LED panel would be way easier to set up especially on battery as with CFL's you need power cables and have to screw the bulbs in too!!! I have always worked with mixed light and turned on room lights too and simply done a white balance without any issues at all.
What cams are you shooting with??? Video or DSLR???
Judging by the lack of responses I guess everyone else uses available room light??
March 27th, 2012, 05:40 AM
I'll use available light every chance I get. I don't have the time nor the energy to be toting extra lights around and trying to squeeze them into a space barely big enough for the bride, the photographer and myself or worrying about people knocking it over or chasing after a bride from one room to another with a light. Not for me. Give me my camera and and on board light for a little fill if/when needed and that's it.
But that's just me.
March 27th, 2012, 06:21 AM
So I'm not alone then...Whew!!! I normally walk into the bridal prep with just one camera and haven't ever had an issue! (In fact I usually only pick up an on cam light at the reception but it would be in the car if I needed it)
Even with my 1/4" chip cams I still never had any issues!
March 27th, 2012, 07:24 AM
I am not a big fan of "available light" , i am trying to light the scene that it looks like it was shot with the one, always have LED light with me, not on camera though
March 28th, 2012, 02:01 AM
There's nothing wrong with incandescent light as it's nice & warm. Just get the white balance correct. Fluorescent tubes are another matter as apart from being cold they can add a green tinge.
March 28th, 2012, 02:10 AM
Over here incandesants have been phased out so you technically can't buy them. Most houses tend to have CFL's now or something that looks like an normal bulb but has a tiny halogen inside it. Most of our domestic CFL are either normal or warm colour temperature so you are looking at anything between 3000K and 5500K but I must admit I have never had a green tinge issue during bridal prep...I think only kitchens here might have the conventional fluo strip light but you are not likely to shoot in the kitchen. Upper market home seem to have halogen downlights in the ceiling and the colour temps of those are also pleasant. My cameras deal with all very well so I'm unlikely to have the pink bridesmaid's dresses showing as orange at the prep and pink at the ceremony!!
March 29th, 2012, 07:28 AM
My biggest concern is working with mixed lighting.
I'm curious to know how do most of you balance your color temperature when the blinds are open and the indoor lights are on? (Assuming the clients really want to keep the lights on and the blinds open)
I'm generally able to convince my clients that turning the lights off and opening the blinds will give a better result but I know some people just enjoy turning all the lights on and open all the blinds to get the brightest environment possible. This will give a very unpleasant mixed lighting condition to work in.
That's why I was thinking about a possible solution to avoid this kind of situation.
Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
March 29th, 2012, 08:36 AM
My Panasonics will normally auto WB on anything but the toughest situation where you might have strong internal light on one side of the room and then daylight streaming in another part so in fact the light just doesn't mix. In that situation (which is rare) I would simply stick to one side of the room only. In the usual scenario where you have say, a window with daylight and then CFL or halogens in the ceiling, the cam will either autoWB 99% of the time and if not a manual WB is necessary.
What cameras are you using for preps??? DSLR's might be trickier to balance in mixed light but they shouldn't have a problem.
I can seriously say that I have never had a situation with mixed light at preps where the camera couldn't handle it..first thing I do is open the blinds and turn lights on... skin tones are always perfect!! With most video cameras if you leave the cam on autoWB and simply point it at something pure white it will correct any mixed light situation
March 29th, 2012, 09:21 AM
Sorry I forgot to answer the question in your previous post. I'm working with dSLRs and manual WB
I guess it just happens more often to me that people get ready in rooms with a lot of mixed lighting (warm indoor and cool outdoor)
Here are some screenshots of situations where I had terrible results from working in mixed light
Feel free to comment and advise.
March 29th, 2012, 06:42 PM
Wow! I see what you mean!!! It looks like the balance is way too much on the low temperature in those shots. I'm not a huge fan of DSLR's so I don't use them at all hence it would be better to get advice on solving WB issues with your particular cameras from maybe someone you also uses them???
I would have thought that cameras like the Canon 5D and similar would have the same sort of manual (and auto for that matter) white balance routine as normal video cameras. Assuming the wall is white all you should have to do is tell the camera "This wall is white" ..adjust yourself!!
March 29th, 2012, 09:15 PM
I assume there a lot of tungsten type bulbs in the house lighting. The overheads, the table lamps etc. Obviously that accounts for the warm look but as Chris said if the walls were white or a shade of, then the camera got fooled by the incadesent bulbs so you get the result you have. Frankly I try to get the skin tones correct, if they're right then everything else is usually right or at least very close. Most people won't notice if the wall color is off a bit but they will notice a jaundice look to the skin. Mixed lighting is very tough but frankly I have never been able to bring myself to bringing in additional lighting for prep. First my lights are 3200 except for my on camera LED and that's only good for a short throw as an occassional fill so I good for skin tone and let everything else fall where it may. If I had the results that you have in the samples, I would do some CC in post to clean up the skin tones and let it be.
But that's me.
April 1st, 2012, 08:07 AM
The biggest issue I had was that if I manually balance my white to match the warm indoor lights, half of my screen will be way too cool and if I balance it to match the light coming from the windows, the other half would be too warm. It becomes more challenging when the subject's face is lit by both light sources, or if I have a group of people in the room and half of them are standing close to the window and the other half are standing by the indoor light. I get a bit clueless as to how to make the skin tones look normal in that kind of situation.
I know I can probably spend hours CC'ing everything but the result would still not be very natural and I would much prefer to find a solution for that can allow me to adjust faster when I'm shooting.
That's one of the reasons I normally try my best to turn off all the lights so I can simply balance with the natural light from the windows. But the problem normally occurs when there are a lot of people in the room and not everyone gets to stand close to the window so they don't always like the idea of letting me turn off their lights.
There came my idea of bringing LED panels so I can still turn off their lights and at least have something that blends well with the natural light.
April 5th, 2012, 10:52 AM
When you say that you manually white balance do you mean that you do a custom white balance (taking a photo of a white card or using an Expodisc or similar) or just dial in degrees Kelvin? We shoot with Canon DSLRs mainly & have been caught a few times recently with pink/magenta LED lights in receptions & such where we have white balanced to tungsten & then discovered when we go to edit that there is a terrible pink cast to the images. On the recommendation of a colleague I have just ordered an Expodisc & will be using this to custom white balance in future.
April 5th, 2012, 12:18 PM
I normally play with my Kelvin degrees on my dSLR to adjust the WB. I'm not very accurate yet at this point but I'm still working on it. However, my mixed lighting issue is still something I need to find a way to work around.
April 6th, 2012, 01:22 AM
Try setting a custom white balance. Altering degrees Kelvin is only part of the solution to setting the correct white balance as it does nothing for the green/magenta shift. Not so important for daylight/tungsten but very important when there are those wretched pink LEDs.