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Old March 1st, 2009, 08:41 AM   #1
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Mixed lighting - thorn in my side!

Hi Everyone...

So I've just shot another wedding reception where the drapes are open letting in lots of late afternoon daylight but the room is lit by very bright wall lights. I tend to colour balance for the top table (B&G) and leave the rest of the room to fortune but is that really the best way to go about it? In this instance the people on the top table were lit equally by very blue daylight and very warm tungstens. In this case half of someone's face was lit by daylight and the other half by a nearby wall light!

How do you all handle this difficult situation?

Cheers

Pete
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Old March 1st, 2009, 01:00 PM   #2
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B&W in post?

That's a tough situation, one option is to have an on camera fill light, and set WB to that, hope it's powerful enough to outpower ambient, or at a color temp somewhere in the middle... but the more light sources, the harder it's going to be to find "white"...
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Old March 1st, 2009, 01:51 PM   #3
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Hi Pete
Yes these mixed lighting situations are hard to handle as without big banks of lights things are tough.
I had a similar situation on a news shoot this week at a swimming pool... big windows, so daylight and tungsten lights...
Don't know what camera you use...I shoot on a Z1, which has a great WB compensation feature...I have set two assign buttons to the +/- WB setting... I played on this for each shot till it looked close in the LCD.

Then I used the colour corrector for each sequence in PPro CS4.. to try to even things... None of it was perfect but I think I got away with it not looking too wierd..

Cheers
Gareth
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Old March 1st, 2009, 04:46 PM   #4
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Hi - thanks for the advice

It is difficult in these situations unless you can fully control the lights yourself. I mainly use a Z1 and need to look at the WB compensation it allows but to be honest, sometimes the events of the day unfold so fast it's difficult to fiddle with the camera settings and risk missing crucial shots. I tend to play safe with a good 'average' WB setting and then tweak in post - not ideal I know

I'm fairly new to the wedding video business but have lots of experience in commercial documentary making. I'm quite taken aback at how the wedding day can be quite chaoitic and sometimes a bit of a 'rugby scrum' where you have to fight to get good shots - seriously I filmed a couple from Ghana getting married in the UK last week where I swear every single guest (including the kids) had a camera (and they were snapping constantly during the ceremony) - it was like trying to fight through the paperazzi for the rest of the day to get a decent shot.

Rant over - thanks for the advice

Pete
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 02:10 PM   #5
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Peter - one kludge is to select one of the presets (or a custom preset WB) so at least you've got a single target to correct from in post. Pick whichever preset looks closest at the time, and CC in the edit - removes some of the panic from the moment, which you've well described!

With all the cheap digital and throwaway cameras out there (not to mention the CELL PHONES!!!), you're always guaranteed a bit of competition for the "best angle" - this is where speak softly and carry a BIG camera does help somewhat - usually you'll get a bit more respect when you nudge in when you've got the biggest rig in the place <wink>! The other thing you'll learn is to co-ordinate with the DJ and ceremony co-ordinator so you're always one step ahead of the crowd - have them alert you to each event so you can run and stake your claim, most good ones will do it, the rest ignore it and you're on your own!
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