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


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Old June 19th, 2008, 10:56 PM   #1
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Patrick do you use alternate lighting???

I've been watching Patrick's work and have been noticing that the lighting conditions always look controlled. And by "controlled" I mean it seems to have been augmented to produce a more favorable image for the camera. Patrick, do you use alternate lighting throughout the day? Your footage looks great and i've been trying to see what I'm doing wrong and why mine doesn't look as crisp as yours. We are using different cameras, but I find myself having to gain up too much throughout the day due to low lighting. And, I also have been stuck in slow-mo mode for too long now which lowers the resolution greatly. I think i'm also over doing some of the color grading causing it to bring out the imperfections more...

does anyone use more than just an on camera light throughout the day?
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Old June 19th, 2008, 11:32 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Zach Stewart View Post

does anyone use more than just an on camera light throughout the day?
I usually toss this up at the reception
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...box_Light.html
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...4_Section.html
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Old June 20th, 2008, 12:13 AM   #3
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You hafta love thread titles with your name in them :)

For me the trick is more about understanding light, how it falls, and the best way to shoot it. For every shot we take there is an optimal angle for lighting and it is heads and tails above just setting up and shooting. For some things we do use extra lighting- such as speeches and the first dance, but all preps and ceremony are naturally lit.

In addition, we also have a photo side in the studio which is very much into off camera lighting, multiple flashes etc. You really get to know how the intensity, angle, and type of light will look on your subject and you get a much better idea of how and where to shoot it from.

In terms of what kinds of lights we use- we use anything from small battery powered handheld lights, to 300/600 watt lights with softboxes, to 600w lights on very tall lightstands as spotlights. They all work, the challenge is just in utilizing them properly.

Patrick
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Old June 20th, 2008, 09:02 AM   #4
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Thanks a ton Patrick - any word on the training material?
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Old June 21st, 2008, 04:49 PM   #5
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Okay, I'm very curious about setting up lighting at this point. I've dealt with my share of dark receptions for sure, but yesterday I did a wedding with a dark reception that took the cake.

Basically, on my GL2's at 1/30th shutter, wide open iris, and +18gain the image was still pretty much too dark to be usable. I tried to get the house lights turned up a bit but was declined because they didn't want the lighting to compete with the "centerpiece lighting" and destroy the "mood". Keep in mind the centerpiece lighting consisted of 2 very TINY candles, and in a room with 450 guests, a hundred or so of these candles was not doing anything.

How do you convince people to let you light something like the cake cutting or the first dance? Or do they just let you do it?
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Old June 21st, 2008, 06:52 PM   #6
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Hi Travis,
I to have had my share of gigs in no light situations, just last week i did a shoot with down lighting set to just on in the room. These cameras cant see in the dark i told the client and that the footage will not be useable without turning on the house lights. Footage came out crap and i cant use it.
This is the last gig i do without have complete control over lighting. and as for weddings its the same, i wont be doing them unless i can light the talent.

Simon
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Old June 21st, 2008, 07:23 PM   #7
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but all preps and ceremony are naturally lit.
I was wondering about your pre-ceremony stuff do you setup/instruct the groom/bride to get some of the shots?
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Old June 21st, 2008, 07:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post

How do you convince people to let you light something like the cake cutting or the first dance? Or do they just let you do it?
I tell them flat out it's just not going to look any good at all, that it's pretty much just going to be a black screen with shapes and music unless they let me put up my light. Everyone so far has understood and been happy with the end result and never complained about the light.
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Old June 21st, 2008, 08:05 PM   #9
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I've dealt with my share of dark receptions for sure,
How do you convince people to let you light something like the cake cutting or the first dance? Or do they just let you do it?
Last week I used a 20 watt light on my camera (been using a 3 watt light before on my sony vx2100) and one of the guests came up to me asking if I could turn of the light because it gave him a migraine.
Because there was some ceiling light I turned it off, but during cutting cake or first dance I used it anyway. If you don't use sufficient light your (dv) image will look very pixelated on bigscreen lcd's, that's the main reason why I switched to a bigger cameralight since some weeks now.

Only on these important moments when they turn off almost all the light I actually don't care anymore what people think, I just switch my cameralight on.
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Old June 21st, 2008, 10:50 PM   #10
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I have been shooting 1/30 shutter 12db of gain wide open on my A1s and not really needing a light until they turn Off the lights. When they turn off the lights, I use my canon Vl-10i that I've used forever. It works people. I had problems before the a1s (with the vx2100 I don't like that washed out high gain low light stuff) but I have been very happy with the low light performance I've gotten from them this year.
Bill
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 09:54 AM   #11
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I use the vl10 also. I find it great for these moments house lights go down unexpectedly.
I actually have 2 light sheets of white cloth covering the bulb attached with velcro. Basically it takes the direction out of the beam and softens the light.
If theres not enough light i strip away one layer of cloth.
If I'm far away (on a tripod or whatever) ill strip away both pieces of cloth.
Works for me.
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 01:33 PM   #12
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I always wanted to ask Patrick about the use of lightings in his video. Those lights always look so good and ample. Great post Zach. Over my side, the bride make-up session normally starts at around 6am in dim lighted room whereas sunrise is at 7am. I'm currently using an on camera led light to light up the bride's face. Any recommendation on what kinda of lightings is good for covering bridal makeup?

Btw Patrick are you holding any videography workshop since Amina had a photography one recently. Would love to attend if there is one although I stay worlds apart from you. :)
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 07:35 PM   #13
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Kenny - mind i ask what on camera LED light you use? I've used the LitePanel Mini for sometime now (renting it) but since the Micro is out I've been thinking about trying it. I have a few of the small little cheap but extremely bright Sima LED lights (found at best buy and such) but they are so bright and to much of a spot light that i tend not to use them much at all but for lighting things in the background. I'm afraid to use big tripod based lights and would prefer for everything to be battery powered without a huge beltpack, and so hopefully in the next month I'll rent the LitePanel 1x1 and see how that holds up next to a big 650w arri w/softbox.
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Old June 23rd, 2008, 12:20 PM   #14
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Kenny - mind i ask what on camera LED light you use? I've used the LitePanel Mini for sometime now (renting it) but since the Micro is out I've been thinking about trying it. I have a few of the small little cheap but extremely bright Sima LED lights (found at best buy and such) but they are so bright and to much of a spot light that i tend not to use them much at all but for lighting things in the background. I'm afraid to use big tripod based lights and would prefer for everything to be battery powered without a huge beltpack, and so hopefully in the next month I'll rent the LitePanel 1x1 and see how that holds up next to a big 650w arri w/softbox.
Zach, I'm gonna chime in here.
If you have been using the LP Mini for a while I think you will be disappointed with the micro.

If you are looking at a self powered LED light them I would opt for the Sony HVL-LBP LED light over the Lightpanel Micro. The only advantage teh Mini has over the Sony HVL light is that it's smaller and lighter.

Besides that the Sony wins hands down,
1. Better build (LP Mini plastic, Sony HVL metal)
2. Better throw (No comparison, the LP Micro will be more of a spot and the Sony will give a much better spread for widescreen shooting. Also, the mini will only give you good throw from close range 10 ft. or so, while the Sony HVL can give you great light distribution, even diffused at 15-20 ft.)
3. Better battery run times. I can use a Sony battery and run all night long at a function.
4. Built in flip down diffuser and spot enhancer (this will enable you to throw a spot beam across a dance floor)
5. Even though the Sony is a stronger dimmable (like the LP Micro) light, it's not as hard on the eyes when looking directly into it. No to say that the Sony wouldn't be hard on the eyes as well, but the LP mini is much much stronger to look into. Maybe it;s the configuration of the LED diodes.

And BTW, the Sony light is only roughly around $200 more than the LP Micro (which is overpriced in my book).

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ht_System.html

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ro_LED_on.html
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Old June 23rd, 2008, 12:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Grant View Post
I have been shooting 1/30 shutter 12db of gain wide open on my A1s and not really needing a light until they turn Off the lights. When they turn off the lights, I use my canon Vl-10i that I've used forever. It works people. I had problems before the a1s (with the vx2100 I don't like that washed out high gain low light stuff) but I have been very happy with the low light performance I've gotten from them this year.
Bill
What custom presets (if any) are you using Bill? I have been reluctant to shoot with more than 6db of gain on my A1s. I tried a couple of "low light" presets but they look awful (washed out, soft). I am shooting 24f and will go to 1/24 when necessary. When I do that the low light performance is OK (not quite PD170 levels, but acceptable).
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