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


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Old October 18th, 2007, 01:07 PM   #1
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Need lighting advice for Wedding Day

I have a wedding coming up in a week or so, and am trying to figure out how I am going to have enough light. (I am using XH-A1's)

The Ceremony and Reception take place in a room called The Attic which is very dim and we will have to depend on interior lighting since the few windows will be blacked out. The only lighting there is are ceiling Xmas lights and a few dim incandescents.

We can bring in an extension cord and probably have the room to put up 1 light. Any suggestions? Here a few pics. The Bride and Groom are standing where they will be(there will also be groomsmen and maids). Note that it will be darker since the pic was taken in the summer, with a flash, with the windows open.

Somebody suggested a flood light. I have done so many weddings, but never brought any kind of light, since I prefer not to use them. Since this is so dark, I am making an exception.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 01:48 PM   #2
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Perhaps bounce a 500W off the ceiling from the ceiling beams? Bounced light won't blind the guests and may give you an extra stop or so of soft light. For the area where the round tables are, maybe you can ask the venue if they'll let you swap out the light bulbs with something more powerful. Although that's a stealth solution, it might be too much hassle. Have on-cam lights ready to go! Good luck with the wedding.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 01:51 PM   #3
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What kind of on-camera light do you suggest? I would probably have to rent one.

I never used one, since I generally don't like the deer in the headlights sensation.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 02:08 PM   #4
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50W dimmable should be good. If it has barn doors, you can clip on some diffusion on the front. I generally only use on-cam lights for the speeches during the reception. For the ceremony, I would suggest placing fixed lights so that lighting doesn't change as you move.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 02:16 PM   #5
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Your first step (if you haven't done this already) would be to discuss lighting with the B&G. You don't want to be bringing in lights if they don't want them.

This summer I had to shoot a reception in a REALLY dimly lit clubhouse at a golf course. I wanted to use my on-camera light but I asked the B&G about it first. After showing them the image in my LCD viewfinder they decided that they would rather have really grainy video than have me put a light on my camera. I was really glad I asked first.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 03:05 PM   #6
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Yeah, I know. It's good advice. I already talked to them.:)
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Old October 18th, 2007, 03:14 PM   #7
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Advise the B&G that they might want to atleast have lighting on the table. I would also, if you get a chance, show them a video shot of the venue, so they'll realize that without lighting, the video will be very dim. Camera light is a no brainer.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 04:00 PM   #8
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Any specific product recommendations for the Xh-A1 in regards to an on-camera light that you guys are happy with?

Thanks for all of this help!
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Old October 18th, 2007, 06:43 PM   #9
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I use a pag light 6, thinking of getting another one.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 07:54 PM   #10
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I use a Bescor 2-bulb light with a built-in diffuser and a 10W halogen bulb on one side; 20W on the other. The diffuser prevents the "deer in the headlights" look unless you really catch someone off guard, and 20 watts is enough for most short to medium distance shots. I used to use even brighter 50W lamps and rarely got any complaints - again the diffuser is the key.

In this particular situation some kind of room light could be helpful, even if it's just a standard lamp positioned in a corner.
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Old October 19th, 2007, 05:36 AM   #11
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Hi James,

Ditto lots of good advise above. If the B&G wanted several hours of video at the location, I'd probably put a few Lowell 800 watt Totas on C-stands and bounce the light off the white sheet rock (not the dark wood). And for the dark wood, I'd aim several Lowell 500 watt Omni up and bounce them off silver umbrellas.

But if you don't have this type of gear or it's short or spuratic shooting, then by all means use a 40+ watt on-camera - or better yet, hand-held if you have an assistant (remember, key light first towards subject, then camera on dark side of face, then fill light or reflector). For my XL-2, the Varizoom LED puts out up to 40 watts (uses Canon batteries) but for serious work to avoid grainy pix or long distance work something like the NRG 100 watt light is more of a workhorse - as was mentioned, just be sure to use diffusion, dimmer, or softbox so you don't make enemies.

Good luck, Michael
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Old October 19th, 2007, 09:57 AM   #12
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I have and use 3 different lights.

NRG Varalux (100w dimmable)
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ux_Pro_DC.html
I use this on my stationary camera, as it needs battery belt to use.

PAG C6 (35w spot focusable, not dimmable)
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...era_Light.html
As mentioned, it's a great light and the batteries are fairly light to attach to a belt on camera suport. I used to use this on camera all of the time, with diffusion gels attached to the barn doors. The light is small and lightweight, gives off nice clean light source, and the body stays relatively cool.

NEW ADDITION! Sony HVL-LBP LED
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ht_System.html
This light I love, as it takes long lasting Sony batteries (that you attach to the light). It gives probably the best throw of all of the LED lights as far as intensity. And being LED stays cool. The only drawback to the light itself is that it is rather large and with the large Sony battery attached, will make your camera front heavy.
I shoot camera supported all day long with a DVMulti Rig, so the added weight means nothing to me. But might to some if you are shooting straight handheld. The light comes with two barn doors and two flip down filters (Diffuer/spot focuser). The diffuser creates a nice light spread taht will soften your light on the subject (like all diffusers do) and the Spot focus filter will narrow your light source and let you get extra light throw (about an additional 2-4 feet). The light is daylight balanced so if you want to avoid yellowing of the background when shooting under tungsten lighting, then I would suggest picking up a daylight to tungsten (1/4 orange) gel and mount it on your diffuser.
http://www.adorama.com/LE206.html
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