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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old September 8th, 2007, 12:09 PM   #16
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buy cheap led light (the ufo model) or simple 5$ torch, and put them everywhere you need. modify them to have diffused light (simply sandpaper the plastic window). It is cold, can stay on for hours, cost nothing , are very small (you can put 5 in your pocket). simply tape them or use magnet where possible. You can even put a sticker of you business on it and leave them as giveaway. look on ebay, from hong-kong it start from 2$, the battery cells you put in the lamp cost usually more than the lamp itself.
search on ebay for "UFO led" or "Led Lamp"
Some have a bit cold white, but there is nothing you cannot correct in post.
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Old September 8th, 2007, 03:49 PM   #17
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Giroud:

I had a look at those lights, Interesting.

Which one do you use? 24, 48, or 60? What sort of distance do they throw the light? How bright are they - stupid question :-) .

Do you have any photos that could illustrate how effective they are?
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Old September 8th, 2007, 04:10 PM   #18
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take the 48 led , it is ok
there is a guy selling them for video (150$ ea.), his excuse is that he changed the led, but while it is possible, it should be verified.
at least his web site shows a good video of the gadget.
look at that thread
http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?p=729132

the good ideas with leds, it is they do not give a lot of light, so it does not generate heavy shadow, unlike conventional on camera light.
they stay cold, the can be powered for hours on a simple pair of AA batteries.
you can slip them behind any furniture, into plants, behind curtains, over a table (if you put a white paper/plastic on it) and nobody will complain because it is soft light.
You could plan to spread the UFO model like mines (it looks like) on grass .
Frankly for about 15$ (includes shipment) you should really try one.
The concept with led light is not to throw light from one point to another, but simply bring it where it is needed

some other models (like the big torches) can be used as heavy light.
You treat them like regular light, except it can be installed in seconds.
just use a big plastic spring clamp (found for 2$ in any do-it) to fix them anywhere.

I am very happy with this model (i take 3)
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll..._promot_widget

just added a diffuser (sanded plastic)

There are 2 needs for lighting reception.
First you need to light the subject (what is in front of camera) and the background .
While the foreground can be done with conventional lamp, the background require usually heavy setup and is often not possible.
the drawback of lighting only foreground is usually it make shadows and it make the background even darker.
So the leds light are great to give you more light in the background (increase ambient light) without creating any disturbance.

Led light are usually cheap and bad quality (from the video point of view, too cold), but if the point is "poor light or no light at all" , the camera usually do not let you choose and again, a good correction in post will save your day.
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Old September 8th, 2007, 04:35 PM   #19
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Renton -
there is a thread over in the section under the V1U/FX7 that discusses the "ufo lights".

the guy who sells the upgraded one discusses his mods there - I believe he uses LED's of a specific color temp, which might be good.

I've got 4 of the 48 light model, worked great camping <wink>. the ones I got switch between 24/24/48 and give a wide dispersion, not a huge throw, maybe 10-15 ft., BUT you could rig an array of them and increase the overall light output. I contemplated setting up 2-3 on a boom of some sort so they are up above eye level (don't know why you'd want them on the shotgun mic, but I suppose... I'd rather not blind the "talent". The wide dispersion is a plus - no "hot spots" like with some other lights (my Sony lights need diffusion to be usable).

The stock Chinese ones are dirt cheap, not terribly sturdy (don't drop 'em), and DO heat up a bit from my experience, no where near what an incandescent bulb does, which is a big plus, you're not going to cause a fire most likely!

The color output is VERY cold, noticeably blue, BUT I switched my Sony WB presets to outdoor, and everything looked pretty close to "normal" - wouldn't mix well with normal warm indoor lights, and could play havoc with your WB... just FYI.

My regular light setup is a couple of the aforementioned Sony HVL20 type lights (some use F series batteries, others use the FM), with a Stofen diffuser and a couple knock off diffusers from India... I mount them on brackets to get them up and away from the cam a bit, again to reduce the stress on the "subject".

I'm happy with that setup, the UFO lights were an experiment, and may yet get used for some fill lighting in a studio setup I'm trying to dial in, but they were great while camping <wink>.
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Old September 8th, 2007, 05:41 PM   #20
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How would they work with a colour correction gel on them?
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Old September 8th, 2007, 11:18 PM   #21
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I use as much of the light in a room as it appears, just learn to set your gain,contrast and other settings for optimal low light. You can get some really beautiful shots that don't have people looking like deer in headlights.
I have a custom preset button on my GL2 for these situation specifically, set it up ahead of time. Practice shooting in a dark bar or similar situation. Work on minimizing any graininess your camera may inject.
The DJ can be your best friend, many have a spotlight ( which they only pull out on request)...also, tell your dj to go easy on the reds...
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Old September 8th, 2007, 11:47 PM   #22
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you could try it, would probably lose some throw - they are pretty "cool" temp wise, but I was surprised by how well the outdoor WB preset worked
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Old September 9th, 2007, 08:28 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
But the amount of light is reduced considerably by this 'double skin' of diffusing material, and I'm tempted to use a scalpel to remove the welded layer. Whaddayathink?
I think removing any layer and you'd have more focused light which is what you don't want. The Lumiquest works fine for me as is but the only times I use it is for short periods about 6 feet from the couple. Even 10/20 watts diffused will be annoying so I'm "in and out" and always moving. And I can't picture that thing being made specifically for the Sony 10/20 otherwise the velcro would be smaller.

Lately though, I haven't been using it and mostly just stay on the tripod. Getting too fat and lazy.
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Old September 10th, 2007, 01:55 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
Rick - have you thought about this? My Lumiquest diffuser has a welded insert panel to give extra diffusion to the area of the lamp fillamants themselves - it's just as if this Mini Softbox was expressly made for the 20-DW2 lamp.
tom.
Tom
In there site there are 3 types of softbox, Softbox, sofrbosII and mini softbaox. Do you have the mini sofrbox for the Sony 20-DW2?

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Old September 10th, 2007, 06:54 PM   #25
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I use two different approaches, both of which I first get approval from the person that hires me.

My preference is to use one or two 750 watt contractor's work lights on light stands to provide an even fill light in a specific area. My back-up is a 10 watt, diffused, Cool-Lux Mini Cool 12 volt on camera light. It is 20 years old, works fine, so why fix it?

Regarding the contractor's work lights:
1. They are either bounced off of a ceilng or bounced off of a standard 36" wide photo umbrella. The idea is to increase the overall light levels in a very uniform and non-directional way. When the reception is taking place in a tent I simply bounce the light off of the ceiling fabric, which is usually white. The light diffuses everywhere with no shadows. Photographers love them, as they significantly improve focusing ability in otherwise dark environments.
2. They are on an in-line dimmer. I use an old Radio Shack "Plug-n-power" system that wirelessly controls light levels. In-line cord dimmers are also available. Watch wattage loads carefully.
3. The lights themselves demand secure attachment to walls, columns, stages, etc. If I cannot secure them safely, I do not use them. No one needs a lawsuit for negligence.

Regarding on-camera lights:
1. Modify, if you can, the mounts so the light is about 10" above the camera lens. This improves overall lighting and removes the issues of red-eye as well as complaints. Always diffuse the light, but allow for a way to quickly remove the diffusion for distant subjects, i.e., 10' to 20 '.
2. A particular brand is irrevelant to me. One learns how to use the tools at their disposal. Some brands are easier to use than others. The end result is the same.

Bottom line is virtually all event shooting situations will need some kind of additional lighting at some point. The challenge is to figure out a way to get the need met quickly and economically.
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Old September 10th, 2007, 11:16 PM   #26
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Any advise for a Newbie?
Yes. Control your environment. Don't depend on outside sources for lighting. If the catering house lights are sufficient, great. If not, it should not affect your lighting. You have to have enough light for all conditions. A large windowless, candle light environment with dark walls and drapery will not have the same lighting characteristics as a catering hall with large picture windows and light walls. You have to be prepared for both extremes. Skin color can also make a difference on the amount of lighting needed.

No matter how well lit the hall may be while setting up, expect a drastic change once the reception begins. Have extra lights on hand, ready to go.
I use a 50w xenon light with diffusioin paper. The light can be turned up toward the ceiling with a soft glow cast by the diffusion paper for those low light shots where I don't want to mess up the DJ's light show. For a distant shot I simply lift up the difussion paper and I have a near spot light with excellent throw.

I still carry a light kit with remote controls or use a lighting assistant who holds a battery powered remote light that can light up any scene no matter how far from the camera without blowing the hall up.

Your first responsibility is to produce great video. Sufficient lighting is as important as good composition.

That 3w light has no place in your bag of tricks.
Allen W

Last edited by Allen Williams; September 10th, 2007 at 11:19 PM. Reason: spelling error
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Old September 10th, 2007, 11:36 PM   #27
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If, despite your best efforts, you come away with bad film, you can do a lot with black and white and even make it look intentional. Another thought is to show multiple clips simultaneously to avoid grain.

Allen - great idea about using the ceiling so-as not to interfere with the light show. I'm going to try that. Most of the venues here have very high ceilings though.
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Old September 10th, 2007, 11:53 PM   #28
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BTW, Allen, would you elaborate on your lighting gear for receptions. I really want to get away from direct light, and since my wife and I film together, perhaps we can help each other with deflection.

We use Sony HVL-20 (20 watt) lights, but would love to find a way to deflect or diffuse the light. Is there something I can attach to these that would do the trick?
http://www.abelcine.com/store/produc...2&cat=0&page=8

Also, Waldemar, where would I find a mount for my FX1s that would raise my lights up 10"+?
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Old September 11th, 2007, 01:42 AM   #29
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Yes Stelios - it's the Mini Softbox that fits the 20-DW2 lamp so well.
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Old September 11th, 2007, 03:50 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Dana Salsbury View Post
BTW, Allen, would you elaborate on your lighting gear for receptions. I really want to get away from direct light, and since my wife and I film together, perhaps we can help each other with deflection.

We use Sony HVL-20 (20 watt) lights, but would love to find a way to deflect or diffuse the light. Is there something I can attach to these that would do the trick?
http://www.abelcine.com/store/produc...2&cat=0&page=8

Also, Waldemar, where would I find a mount for my FX1s that would raise my lights up 10"+?
Dana -
You'll find quite a few guys use a Sto-Fen diffuser - that's what I've arrived at myself, just stick it on the front of the light (can't recall which model # is the right one, but I think its the OM-EZ).

Then mount the ol' HVL20 on a flash bracket, you can swing the light up and to the side depending on the type of bracket, or a fixed bracket buys you some distance. I like the brackets that allow me to orient the light horizontally (look for "flip" type brackets) so the light throw is sort of "wide" rather than "tall". Depending on the bracket you choose, it will provide a nice extra grip to help stabilize the cam too! For the FX1, you might look at the Stratos brand - they have 8 and 10" extensions in their series - have an 835 myself around somewhere, a bit heavy for the FX7, but would be about right for the FX1.
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