(shooting) Into The Sun at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 16th, 2007, 03:42 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Ithaca, NY
Posts: 149
(shooting) Into The Sun

Yes, the thread name is a title to an old Grand Funk Railroad song, but that's not why I'm posting (as a musician I just cant resist a bit of musical reference)...

I recently shot a wedding at a facility that specializes in weddings and special events. In back of the building they have a nice landscaped space with rolling hills as a background. Very nice. There's a tent and a gazebo type building set amongst rocks/gardens/flowing "streams". This gazebo area is where ceremonies take place. The gazebo area sits on the west side of the tent and the wedding took place at 4pm. By now I'm guessing most of you know where I'm going with this.

I've been teaching production for 15 years and one of my big rules for beginners is to keep the sun to your back when possible. I attended the rehearsal the evening before and I anticipated the challenge I would have with lighting the next day. Sure enough, the day of the wedding was one of the brightest days of the year. So, I'm stuck withthe B&G under the gazebo (in the shade) with the glaring sun behind them (actually, the sun was still fairly high in the sky but still presented problems). I was shooting PdX10, PD170, VX2100. I also ran my XL1 (which has always hated high-contrast situations) as a backup wide shot and backup audio. I did what I could with ND filters and app settings. The ceremony looks pretty bad. I have since adjusted brightness, contrast, chroma withing Premier Pro and things look much better (at least acceptable), I know the client will be happy with it, but to me the video of the ceremony looks so much worse than the b-roll I shot for montages (where I had some control of light).

I am shooting another wedding in the same place next month. Does anyone have any thoughts/ideas/opinions on the best things to do when you HAVE TO shoot into the sun. I've already tried shooting as tight as possible to eliminate the sky as much as possible. The only thing I can think of to do differently is to get a tall pole to mount a cam on so I can at least have a wide shot looking mostly down that wouldn't be effected as much by the sun (a thank you to Patrick Moreau for this idea, I just haven't gotten around to getting that pole yet:). Any other ideas?

-Don B.
Don Bazley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 16th, 2007, 07:15 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
honestly I just had a similar situation. Outdoor ceremony half of the couple was shaded the other half not then the reception I flat got killed on exposure because of the way the sun poured onto the head table. If everyone sat it was fine as soon as anyone stood (toasters specifically) I got killed.
All I could do was what I knew to be right. Zoom in set the iris zoom out to frame and focus. As long as the skin tones are good forget everything else, not much you can do with it. Skin is the most important thing in my book.

Don
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 16th, 2007, 07:31 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 2,933
Depending on your angle with the sun, you could try using a circular polarizer to help cut down the glare and boost your saturation. If you're shooting RIGHT into the sun, it won't help.

As for the pole idea, I just today received a cheap camera head I purchased. I plan to put it on a lightstand to get my unmanned camera above heads so it won't get blocked anymore. It works well, but there is one issue. Stability.

Not stability as in "it might fall over". Stability as in "if it's breezy, the camera will not be perfectly stable". It was breezy today and I tested it out, the camera is affected by the breeze. I'm going to experiment with using a sandbag and a ratchet tie-down to see how much of the instability I can remove (when I get a chance). Anyways, just keep all of that in mind.
__________________
Black Label Films
www.blacklabelweddingfilms.com
Travis Cossel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 16th, 2007, 08:36 PM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 1,430
As wedding videographers, you'll come across many situations where you can't control the lighting and have to work with it. When I shoot straight into the sun like you do, I have a french flag in front/top of the lens. I go wide, then adjust the flag so it's just out of sight. When I zoom in and tilt down slightly to correct for headroom, the flag will shade out most of the flare.
Another thing I do is open the iris all the way or as much as I can. The reason is because if there is any speck of dust on your lens, it will show up like a beacon! The funny thing is that you can't see it in the viewfinder. It's obvious only when you go back to post. Opening up your iris throws any dust specks out of focus.
Lastly, I adjust my exposure for face and skin detail and let the background blow out slightly.
Warren Kawamoto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 16th, 2007, 09:02 PM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 1,961
You guys forgot the easiest solution. Stand on the other side of the gazebo. The best thing about outdoor weddings is that there is plenty of light and you don't have to worry about the "sanctity of the altar".
Marcus Marchesseault is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 16th, 2007, 09:51 PM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
problem with standing on the other side is that most often you can't due to some phyiscal impediment. In my case the other day a 30 foot drop off into a fast running stream that I'm sure was deeper than I am tall and even at outdoor weddings here in the warm sunny climes of Chicago there is an "altar" of sorts and there is still an officiant standing there so it's just not always possible to move there like it might be in your neck of the islands.
That however is ALWAYS my first thought but just never seems to work. :-(
Don
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 17th, 2007, 04:34 AM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 1,961
I use a monopod so I can raise the camera high enough to clear the shoulders of the officiant. I have stood on a wall that dropped to jagged rocks and the ocean, but it wasn't truly dangerous. I always prefer outdoor weddings as they are never an hour long and I get much better camera angles. Usually it is just on the grass or in a small gazebo. Often, the couple stand at the opening of the gazebo so they won't be so cut off from their guests. I usually put my camera over the best man's shoulder or poke it out of a flower archway.
Marcus Marchesseault is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 17th, 2007, 06:28 AM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
I agree it would be preferable but in my experience in most cases it's simply not possible for a multitude of reasons.
So it's back to shooting into the sun.
Don
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 17th, 2007, 08:55 AM   #9
Still Motion
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 1,186
For a slightly wider shot you could also grab acouple graduated ND filters and stack those up together. In these situations, I always find my middle cam which is a waist up type of shot is usually the worst angle. Getting very tight seems to help a lot so that even if it is blown out in the background, you see very little of it.

Other cameras, such as the Canon A1, also have very detailed custom preset option in the menu so you can work with those to really pull up the blacks and try and expose closer to the sky than you normally would, and then correct the footage in post. For your cams, I would probably have your middle cam shooting down as much as possible and two side shoulders up type of angle.

Patrick
Patrick Moreau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 19th, 2007, 02:57 PM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Ithaca, NY
Posts: 149
Thanks everyone for the input.

Marcus said: "You guys forgot the easiest solution. Stand on the other side of the gazebo."

That simply was not an option in this case. The "rear" side of the gazebo is a very steep (almost vertical) slope that is covered with a variety of vegetation. No place to stand at all.

-Don B.
Don Bazley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 18th, 2012, 07:12 PM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Seminole Texas
Posts: 45
Re: (shooting) Into The Sun

I have a wedding this weekend with about the same situation. Nice outdoor venue except the gazebo is about 5 ft. tall facing the east so I will have to contend with the sun. The only saving grace is there is a large tree behind the gazebo and the ceremony is at 6 PM so the couple will be shaded but not the entire wedding party. Also the 5 ft.gazebo will force me to use tall tripods but will still have to shoot upwards to some extent. My wife and partner is the photographer for the wedding so we are trying to figure the best approach to the situation.
James E. Thomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 18th, 2012, 10:18 PM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
Re: (shooting) Into The Sun

Well I'm 5'6" so a 5 foot gazebo isn't very tall. Regardless as long as there is the tree there try to stay centered on that and frankly don't worry about the bridal party. The bride and groom are the stars of the day and if I had to choose between not shooting the bridal party or shooting into a blazing sun, well, the bridal party loses. Oh wait, I have done that. More than I can to think about. You gotta do what you gotta do. Sometimes you have to forgo a shot or 2 to make sure the quality of the shot you've got is where you need it to be. Good luck, stay outta the sun. ;-)
__________________
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
Don
Don Bloom is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:12 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network