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Old September 30th, 2003, 11:30 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,483
Light Stand

This is an area I don't know much about. I'm looking for a light stand, about 13 feet high, to use at a wedding reception to light the dance floor. I plan to use about a 50 watt frosted bulb. Any suggestions as to brands/models I should consider? And what about the idea of using a higher-wattage bulb but with some type of soft-light diffusion material attached to the light stand's dome? I know most everyone uses just the on-camera lights, but I wonder if this might be an alternative? Any advice would be appreciated.
Dave Largent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 1st, 2003, 06:33 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
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Light stands like that can be found at most stores that carry professional gear, I.E.; B&H or Helix, but I have to question why you would want to do that, especially with a only a 50watt light?

I've been doing wedding for 20 years and have never needed to do that and even though I have heard of some folks doing that or more, lighting up the room with 500 and 1000 watt softboxs, omnis, etc, there is absolutely no reason to do so.
With the state of modern cameras today, meaning the low light capabilities, and a small 10/20 or slightly bigger on camera light,I have lit up the reception area I was shooting (specificially the dance floor or a table where the b/g are talking to people or whatever) with out a problem. I use a 50watt light with a softbox/diffuser that brings the effective wattage down to about 20 and works like a champ. Mind you, I'm not lighting up the whole room just the area I'm focused on and shooting. I also get in close and actually, 99% of the people forget about the camera and light after the first few minutes.

Your choice of course, but I think the bride/groom and other guest might be a little self concious and possibly even upset if you were to start hauling in light stands and lights.
Not to mention the fact, you have to plug them in and the liability of that OR heaven forbid, what if some little one running around knocked over the light stand and got smacked down by it.
I have a stand from my days as a still photog (many many years ago) that when raised up go to about 12 feet and I surely wouldn't want either of my grandchildren to get hit by it if it got knocked over.

Sorry about the long post but in my heart I know there are much better ways to cover a wedding than using stand lights.
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Old October 1st, 2003, 02:27 PM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posts: 8,254
I've only done one wedding, but second what Don says. An on camera light is the way to go. A light stand is going to be a safety issue, especially with a cord, plus that high up, one 50w bulb will do next to nothing for your picture. Check out on camera lights. A search here will yeild tons of info.
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Dylan Couper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 4th, 2003, 08:29 AM   #4
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 327
I wholeheatedly agree about the on-camera lights, and here's a few links:

Here's perhaps the coolest onboard camera light around, especially the HMI version:

Cool-Lux has been old reliable for ENG guys for a good long while now. The new soft/broad light is pretty spiffy, and inexpensive.

Anton Bauer also makes a very compact series of lights which can run straight off the power tap of an AB Brick.

Whichever on you choose, I'd make certain you had a mini chimera (softbox) or some sort of diffusion to put over them. Otherwise, your "talent" may look like a deer caught in a headlight. I'd also prefer a light that is dimmable, so you could go from a nice fill light in brighter conditions to a low, unobtrusive light in a dark reception room.
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Old October 4th, 2003, 08:11 PM   #5
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Scott, that Cool-Lux looks pretty interesting. Anyone here tried the Cool-Lux? Once you add the battery belt, the price does start to climb. Any alternative battery belt suggestions?
What seems nice to me is that it looks like you'd be able to get a broad light coverage (good for wide angle lens usage) but not be so harsh on the subjects' eyes.
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