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


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Old December 12th, 2008, 03:51 PM   #1
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Camera mounted light - Sony HVL-LBP

After filming a few low light receptions I'm thniking of buying a camera mounted light for one of my Sony Z1 cameras - a Sony HVL-LBP at about 300 ($450).

2 things concern me: one is that the guests may object to such a bright (although it can be diffused) light ruining the ambiance of the evening, and secondly will the resulting footage make the viewer suddenly 'aware' of the camera making the shots somewhat artifical and again defeating the ambiance. I hope you get what I mean!

I've read on this forum that some prefer lights and some don't.

Any advice (this is an expensive light) would be gratefully appreciated.

Pete
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Old December 12th, 2008, 04:37 PM   #2
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for My Nov wedding client it was darker than crap, and they told me it would be, but they were perfectly fine with me using my custom LED on camera light (~600 lumens). It ended up working very well. I shot a lot of footage just to get people comfortable with me being out on the dance floor.

As is typical (I think) with modern brides, the bride, groom, and their friends loved playing to the camera. IT always makes filming so much fun when they "dig" what I'm doing.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 05:48 PM   #3
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I use two of these reception lights: The Wireless Wedding Reception Video Light - HOME

Here they are in action:

The first clip shows the subject under the lights followed by a second clip of them walking outside of the lit area.

www.bluestarvideo.com/files/video/dragon.wmv
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Old December 13th, 2008, 12:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Rush View Post
After filming a few low light receptions I'm thniking of buying a camera mounted light for one of my Sony Z1 cameras - a Sony HVL-LBP at about 300 ($450).

2 things concern me: one is that the guests may object to such a bright (although it can be diffused) light ruining the ambiance of the evening, and secondly will the resulting footage make the viewer suddenly 'aware' of the camera making the shots somewhat artifical and again defeating the ambiance. I hope you get what I mean!

I've read on this forum that some prefer lights and some don't.

Any advice (this is an expensive light) would be gratefully appreciated.

Pete
Hi Peter,

I use the Z1, and their performance is greatly improved by adding light to dark receptions. I have been using NRG Varalux lights for 12 years. They have a dimmer as well as a 60% diffusion grid, which makes the light very soft. When I need to throw the light I will pump up the wattage, but when I'm up close to the subject, I keep the power pretty low. The negative to the NRG is it is powered with a battery belt.

I also have the Sony LED light. It's nice that it uses the same batteries as the camera and does not need a battery belt. It's balanced for daylight, so I added a CTO gel, ( I think that's what it is called), so it would match our other lights. The light is a little heavy, but it does have a dimmer, barn doors, as well as a built in diffuser and focuser.

In comparing the Sony light to the NRG light, the NRG throws the light much farther, which can be a big plus.

As far as ruining the ambiance of the room, you really have to be aware of how the light affects the guests. Even a small degree of light can really make a difference, which is why a dimmer is so important. We try not to use the on camera light when filming people during cocktail hour, but when it is dark, we always use light for the activities on the dance floor as well as cake cutting, toasts and exit.

For general party dancing we really watch how our light is received by the guests. If some of the guests seem to be annoyed by the light we will move away from them or dim the light down. Many times when people notice the light, they will play up to the camera during the dancing.

For the special dances, tosses and toasts, we also use a softbox, a Lowel Rifa, up really high near the DJs lights or speakers. We use a dimmer so we can control how much light we put out. The dimmer also allows us to slowly and gradually increase the lighting so it doesn't go from 0 watts to 300 watts instantly. A 300 watt light 10 feet in the air is a lot less annoying to guests than a 30 watt on camera light at 6 feet high.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 07:57 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mark Von Lanken View Post
For the special dances, tosses and toasts, we also use a softbox, a Lowel Rifa, up really high near the DJs lights or speakers. We use a dimmer so we can control how much light we put out. The dimmer also allows us to slowly and gradually increase the lighting so it doesn't go from 0 watts to 300 watts instantly. A 300 watt light 10 feet in the air is a lot less annoying to guests than a 30 watt on camera light at 6 feet high.
These seems like a good idea...

I've always somewhat envied the photographers. Their flash is bright but only last for mili seconds, and people are ok with that. I have filmed a dew weddings where I felt i was annoying the guests a little with my on cam light. Most though have gone great and people were understanding.
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