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Old January 25th, 2008, 06:04 PM   #1
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Reception Lighting

I have an on board light for my camera but, it will only last me for 2 hours with the battery pack(ac optional). Would it be better if I buy another battery pack or buy a dc to ac inverter hooked up to a 12v car battery to last for the whole reception. Thanks.
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Old January 25th, 2008, 09:21 PM   #2
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I believe purchasing extra battery packs would make more sense if you intend to rely on your on-camera light as the primary source of additional light. Voltage inverters, particularly the DC to AC variety, drain batteries at an extraordinary rate.

You should give some thought to additional AC light. I often use an umbrella diffused or ceiling bounced 750 watt quartz flood light on a light stand to provide a good amount of fill light which allows my on camera light to be used like a key light.

Using an AC quartz light requires careful thought about placement as well as safety, not to mention possible customer or party guest complaints. Once any issues have been resolved the additional light really improves image quality. Most important is integrating the extra equipment into your workflow. You can't have a value added feature become a distracting annoyance.
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Old January 27th, 2008, 03:05 PM   #3
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just out of curiosity, how much did your setup cost? for the umbrella,light, and stand?
Right now i'm using video lights that i sometimes mount onto tripods...
I try to keep my budget low since this is just a hoby and that i mainly do video's for my friends or friends of friends.
What is your usual feedback for setting up lights in a low lit room? I imagine if it's not set up right that the bride could become a little perturbed.
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Old January 27th, 2008, 11:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen J. Williams View Post
just out of curiosity, how much did your setup cost? for the umbrella,light, and stand?
Right now i'm using video lights that i sometimes mount onto tripods...
I try to keep my budget low since this is just a hoby and that i mainly do video's for my friends or friends of friends.
What is your usual feedback for setting up lights in a low lit room? I imagine if it's not set up right that the bride could become a little perturbed.
Last year B&H was selling a pair of Impact brand light stands with 36" umbrellas for around $100. That included a pair of adjustable clamps to hold the umbrellas as well as lighting fixtures. The brass fittings were tapped for 1/4" and 3/8" threads as well. A pair of 750 watt work lights at Home Depot ran about $40. I removed the wire safety frame from the work lights to eliminate the shadow they cast as well as lined the reflector with tightly crinkled aluminum foil to increase the light output. for safety, a variety pack of bungee cords for about $10 allows the flexibility to secure the stands to columns, stages, or any solid feature at a venue.

I've found the stands and umbrellas indispensable. I find new uses for them every week.

In reception venues with low ceilings (10' or so) I find it easier to bounce light off of the ceiling. Venues with 14' or higher ceilings need the umbrellas.

I always prefer to inspect reception venues well ahead. Over time I have been in most of the commonly used reception venues in my local area. In any case, I always contact the venue representatives and make them aware of my plans to use additional lighting and discuss any concerns. I also make my clients aware of my need for these lights. I make sure they understand the pros and cons. If they really object to the idea, the lights stay home.

Safety is a huge concern for me. I must feel comfortable about the placement of a light stand. If not, the stand gets moved to a safer location or doesn't get used.
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Old January 28th, 2008, 11:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver Ramirez View Post
I have an on board light for my camera but, it will only last me for 2 hours with the battery pack(ac optional). Would it be better if I buy another battery pack or buy a dc to ac inverter hooked up to a 12v car battery to last for the whole reception. Thanks.

When I first started out I rigged up something similar to what you describe. It worked, but was cumbersome. I found out that for me, the best way to go was to get extra batteries.

Mark
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