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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old March 14th, 2004, 02:04 PM   #1
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Brides in Wedding

Well, I have always been told that closeups is what the client wants.

Just finished a wedding, not sure if closeup is what the bride wants. She had some cheapy make-up, that looked OK head-on, but from the quarter view super-closeup, it looked like a bad layer of dirt around her eye. Phew!

She would had looked better w/o any make-up (she looked good during the rehearsal).

Wished I hadn't done that many closeups. Can't see the problem while shooting, relying on the 2.5" LCD, and can't look at it personally up-close prior since she had been hiding in the lady's room until her music started playing (and I was in position).

Wonder if that occurs often. I can charge more to get a better class of brides, but then I would end up not doing that many weddings.

It's gonna be mostly half body shots from now on.
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Old March 14th, 2004, 02:45 PM   #2
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Ah that soft focus does us girls a power of good . . don't yer know!

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Old March 14th, 2004, 02:58 PM   #3
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"Soft is strong" the present day Picasso might have said.
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Old March 14th, 2004, 03:23 PM   #4
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Law, next time inspect the bride's face and attire, or her lack of. As a wedding videographer, you have to take some control and direction, and not be afraid to give orders.
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Old March 14th, 2004, 03:24 PM   #5
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Show the CU's to the Bride and tell here your thoughts in a diplomatic manner. Explain that you can also soften the look (make it more romantic) if she would like. Use a Gaussian blur and you're all set.
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Old March 14th, 2004, 04:33 PM   #6
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Thanks everybody.

Tried the blurr like you said, no go.

I guess next time, I am going to bang on the lady's (the door, that is) real hard, and demand to inspect the bride.

I would have done it too, but this was the strictest, cultiest bunch ever for me. The old man wanted me to put on a tie (said the bride should have told me which she did not), all kinds of rules about when to videotape, and where, etc. So, I was a bit weary of taking any kind of liberty, least of all breaking into the lady's. The guys there might not take too kindly, as they say.

Well, it will have to do. Hate to have to blame it on the makeup artist.
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Old March 14th, 2004, 08:38 PM   #7
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Honestly, with shooting a wedding, you have to give orders, otherwise good footage will be lost. With one wedding I did, I had to work 4X as hard because the bride and groom simply did not do as they where told, a nightmare; and then I had their family clowns get in my way shooting their own videos. Funny thing, only one clown gave them a tape---about 20 minutes of floor and ceiling footage, with a little nonsense in-between.
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Old March 14th, 2004, 08:53 PM   #8
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i'm curous, through the camera you couldn't tell about the eyemakeup?

i don't do weddings, but when i shoot i always do a extreme closeup to check focus/white balance etc. and it concerns me a bit to think that you could have something that bad and not make it out either in the viewfinder or the lcd?

what camera were you using? how far away?

maybe someone could makeup a list of suggestions that could be given to the bride/groom ahead of time which strongly suggests things that they can do to better get the video they want?

i know i'm getting married in august and we met with a still photographer and he gave us a great list of shot suggestions from his 25+ years of experience and a lot of it were things that we wouldn't have thought of having him photograph.

i know there is a wedding/event videographers association that is supposed to have a great message forum but its closed to non-members.

matthew
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Old March 15th, 2004, 01:46 PM   #9
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Of course leave it in! :)
You can't cut out only the parts with no importance that no one would remember you tape them! I remember once I caught a nice flight of the bride. You see, here we have an odd, antic, custom: the wife gets stolen at about midnight. Usualy this is done without notice. No one should see that the bride is being stolen. Usualy I let the bride and the close friends (they're the one that usualy stole the bride) know that I want to tape the event and they should warn me about it. At this wedding, as I knew the event is coming, I was taping the dance of the bride and the "thief". He decided not to go inconspicuous but lift up the bride and run with her... What a beautifull "lift off"!!!
Anyway, I asked the groom and parents if I should erase that from the tape. "no way!" they said! "could you rewind a litle so we can see what you got?" They laughed like crazy!

Oh, the fun at the weddings! :)
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Old March 16th, 2004, 09:38 PM   #10
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Have you considered cutting in some good stills (maybe from the still photographer, if he/she and the customer permit) as substitutes? If the end result is flattering and coherent, it's doubtful the bride would object. Another possibility is to ask if you can shoot some close up footage now that can be interpolated. I know this is off the wall coming from an amateur, but I just viewed a couple of weeks ago a beautiful dvd of a wedding done by pros about a year ago. When I commented about certain shots and how nice they were (the exchange of wedding rings among them), the groom said they were shot later. Some people will get angry that anything has to be redone, but most people would rather have it "right". Getting close-ups of the bride won't require restaging the whole wedding, just her getting dressed and made up again. Compared to what you say you have (especially if you show it to her), she may jump on the chance to do it. After all, when else do you get a second chance except in film a la Hollywood?
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Old March 16th, 2004, 10:40 PM   #11
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The gausian blur on a single layer by itself won't do it.

But here's what will:

Duplicate the layer and stack it one atop the other. Make the top layer transparent, about 30 to 50 percent. Then apply a gausian blur to the top layer only. You'll still see fairly crisp edges but the blurry transparent top layer will soften a lot of the details.

Hope this helps.
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Old March 17th, 2004, 05:11 AM   #12
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Dean,
I've heard of that before, but what difference does
it make? Have you tried getting the same effect
by just giving one layer a light blur? (Haven't tried
these myself, yet, just seems like one layer could
get the same effect.)
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Old March 17th, 2004, 12:53 PM   #13
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Dave...

The effect of using two layers gives the image a diffused glow. The major edges remain intact while smaller details, including wrinkles and blemishes, are diminished.

Blurring just one layer makes everything look like it's slightly out of focus. Blurring a transparent layer gives it a romantic look.

Interestingly, you can do it two ways: Put the blurred layer on top and make that transparent. Or you can put the sharp layer on top and make that one transparent. The results look identical.

Some programs, like Commotion, can do this with just a single layer. There's an option where you can blend the blurred layer with the original image and the result is the same as using the two-layer method. I adapted this technique from one I use in Photoshop.

What's nice about doing this in software, as opposed to using a diffusion filter, is the effect is controllable in post. It can be varied during the shot if necessary. For example the wide view can be clean and undiffused. As the camera zooms in for a close up, the diffusion effect can be gradually increased.

Dean Sensui
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Old March 17th, 2004, 01:19 PM   #14
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Thanks, Dean.
Sounds like something I really need to look into.
I have some footage that I took indoors where
grain is coming out. Would this two-layer technique be good for this so that the grain is diminished, but overall image quality
appears better?
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Old March 17th, 2004, 02:23 PM   #15
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"Would this two-layer technique be good for this so that the grain is diminished, but overall image quality appears better?"

It probably would as it generally reduces the overall detail. If nothing else, it will look smoother. The other effect is that it makes highlights glow. I think I've heard of some grain-killer software that might also help.

Dean Sensui
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