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Old December 19th, 2008, 11:08 AM   #1
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Lighting at reception

Any advice on shooting a reception in low-light. I've used an external light on my camera but if i get closer than 6 feet it looks like a spot light and washed everyone out.
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Old December 19th, 2008, 11:15 AM   #2
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Hi Brett,

I usually bring 2 Tota Lights aside from a sun gun during receptions, but that's just me. Some videographers prefer shooting in available light or go for minimal lighting. Some venues would not require lighting but some really do, depends on the situiation.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 09:45 AM   #3
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I got two lights from about a month ago, but haven't had the chance to use them at a reception yet. But I did a lot of research and spoke with Darrell (the owner of quite a bit. He shows a lot of sample footage on his site, and I like the looks of everything. Also they're battery powered so you don't have to run cords and make tripping hazards.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 12:09 PM   #4
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Just a correction for the previous post: link is actually The Wireless Wedding Reception Video Light - HOME

I'm a fan of dimmable on-camera lighting (fill for close-ups/interviews/detail shots). In dark venues, a tall light stand with a Tota light (500 watt) and diffusion screen is my go-to setup. I attach a home-made dimmer and keep the level at about 30-50% brightness when the guests are coming in (so it appears to be part of the setup). Before the first dance, I'll bring up the light (slowly) to 100% (if need be) and then shoot at a right angle to the light for some nice soft rim lighting, adding fill with my on-camera.

The taller the light stand, the less 'intrusive' it will be. But if kids are present take PLENTY of precautions in placing the light stand and securing it properly. Bring a sandbag if need be.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 06:08 PM   #5
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I use two Reception light style setups and love the overall look.
I use 2 75w setups and have the lights lifted 10-13 feet high on opposite corners (45 degree angle) of the dancefloor.

I don't use Darrell's battery but rather 2 large Bescor battery belts, which weigh down the light stand base nicely (stable enough to not worry about tipping, but just light enough to move if needed).

I turn the lights on before the reception start so noone notices it, then run them until dinner, where I power them down. After dinner I power them up again and run until the reception end. I use my on camera light for fill lighting when needed.

I like the overall look a lot as you get nice depth of field to the dance floor due to the overhead lighting on both sides of the dance floor. Sometimes I won't run on camera lighting at all, but most of the time I do but dimmed to the lights lowest setting.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 11:49 PM   #6
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I saw this the other day and wondered about how it would work for video.

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Old December 23rd, 2008, 06:28 AM   #7
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does anyone use softboxes for the reception? Wouldn't these give a more complimentary look, or does it give off too much light as to wreck the mood. Also, does anyone use a dimmer? I'm thinking ideally a dimmer controlled unit could change the light gradually throughout the night so its less noticeable.

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