weddings low light and GL2 - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 7th, 2004, 01:11 AM   #16
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Davenport,IA.
Posts: 111
Miguel,
Thanks for your input on your Frezzi set-up,it was very useful. I took a look at the other set-ups for the Frezzi, (NP-1, BP-90,5or4
pin XLR setup). Could someone tell me the advantages of one over the other. Miguel, I understand what you are saying and why you use that set-up. I am not to familiar with the XLR . Is that one the canon accessories, MA-300 XLR adapter. If so is that what XLR they would be reffering to? If not tell me what XLR I could use. Bob, thanks I will try a few practices first.That is definately a good idea. Once again thanks to everyone.
__________________
richard tamayo
Richard Tamayo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 7th, 2004, 07:20 AM   #17
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Litchfield Park, AZ (W/of Phoenix)
Posts: 502
<<<-- Originally posted by Richard Tamayo : Miguel,
Thanks for your input on your Frezzi set-up,it was very useful. I took a look at the other set-ups for the Frezzi, (NP-1, BP-90,5or4
pin XLR setup). Could someone tell me the advantages of one over the other. Miguel, I understand what you are saying and why you use that set-up. I am not to familiar with the XLR . Is that one the canon accessories, MA-300 XLR adapter. If so is that what XLR they would be reffering to? If not tell me what XLR I could use. Bob, thanks I will try a few practices first.That is definately a good idea. Once again thanks to everyone. -->>>

MA300 is for audio an uses the audio standard 3 pin xlr connector. This is a 4 pin xlr connector which I can only use logic here in thinking that they don't want you to mistake the audio and power sub-systems so they used a different connector. Since lighting is DC and that's simply a plus and negative power source, you really only need 2 wires or pins at the connector, since I've never seen a 2 pin xlr, the next choice was 3 but since audio uses that one, they seem to have opted to use 4 to keep things seperate.

XLR has an advantage over the cigarette lighter style in that is locks in to position. You can get a very secure fit with a cigarette lighter plug but it's never locked in so you stand the chance of pulling it out. I've never had this happen to me (YET) but there's always a possibility.

I also find that re-working a cigarette lighter connector is much easier as you can fix a broken connector with a quick trip to radio shack. The XLR 4 pin isn't stocked at the shack last time I checked so you may have a tough time in a pinch.

Finally you mentioned the battery options, BP90, NP1 all nice but expensive. I mentioned the 20 dollar battery pack / belt that I'm using because it shows that you don't have to spend 300 dollars for a nice power source as the camera stores want you to.

NRG and others make great professional battery systems that in many cases don't output any more power than what I have in my bag, yet I paid 1-10th the price. I can also call batteries.com and pick up a pair of 6v cells for about 10 bucks when the ones that I'm using go bad or even stop by Pep Boys on my way to a shoot and get a new pack, plug it in my power tap and charge it on the front seat while en-route. Yes the bright red pouch is not very pro looking but very cost effective.

Hope this helps.
Miguel Lombana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 7th, 2004, 04:41 PM   #18
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Davenport,IA.
Posts: 111
That was a good run down on what I am looking at thanks. Now that in mind can anyone tell me which xlr type or model I would order if I were going with the xlr type? I called b&h but they were
closed.Thanks
__________________
richard tamayo
Richard Tamayo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 7th, 2004, 10:21 PM   #19
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Litchfield Park, AZ (W/of Phoenix)
Posts: 502
<<<-- Originally posted by Richard Tamayo : That was a good run down on what I am looking at thanks. Now that in mind can anyone tell me which xlr type or model I would order if I were going with the xlr type? I called b&h but they were
closed.Thanks -->>>

There is only 1 XLR type Rich, Frezzi calls the XLR 4 and XLR 5 but the diffrence is 4 feet or 5 feet of cable, both are still a 4 pin plug. Just make sure that what you're using for power has that type of plug for a tap. Just bear in mind that you're gonig to have a harder time to get an off the shelf and low cost battery pack, XLR is considered more "PRO" and therefore more expensive.
Miguel Lombana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 26th, 2004, 12:48 PM   #20
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 18
Lighting and Speeches

I've been reading everyone's input on lighting and the GL2 and taking the shutter speed down to 1/30. This past weekend I did a wedding that had some pretty bad general lighting and I'm wondering if anyone can help me to shoot better since I've only been donig this a short while.

The problem I had is during the speeches. I have a 30Watt light and it was still not enough to capture the best man talking. They put the wedding party on the stage (with no lights on them, behind them or around them). It was like shooting into a black hole. Even turning on the 30Watt light made no difference at all! It was like the black hole just sucked it up and nothing changed with or without the light on. I was in frame mode with shutter speed of 1/30, gain at 12db (I hate to use this much gain, but without it, I really got black and nothing more) and f1.8 or 1.6 (Can't remember the fstop # exactly). I think the problem is that I needed to be much closer to the subject. I was actually about 10 ft. away. Luckily all the best man said was "I have nothing to say." -- Luckily for me, I hope the B&G won't even notice his little speech is gone.

I hate to say it, but I'm starting to seriously consider trading in my GL2 for a Sony VX2100. I'm mostly worried that I will find a church that is really dark and I that I won't be allowed to turn on a light.

Any advice would be appreciated!
Anita Hu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 26th, 2004, 01:19 PM   #21
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Gwaelod-y-garth, Cardiff, CYMRU/WALES
Posts: 1,215
Short of a night-vision camera, nothing is going to be able to produce good video under those situations. People really do expect too much from their cameras as far a low-light shooting is concerned...

Robin.
Robin Davies-Rollinson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 26th, 2004, 01:32 PM   #22
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 18
Thanks for your response, but telling the Bride and Groom that the camera just can't handle capturing their big day is not going to cut it. I need to find a solution that WILL do it becuase I know that plenty of other people and their equipment CAN do it.

If anyone has any information on how to make a GL2 perform better in low light I would really appreciate any help. Right now I am looking into getting a Sony VX2100 because I have seen that it works much better in these situations. Before I spend the money though, I want to ask the people here because there is alot of great knowledge floating around in these boards.
Anita Hu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 26th, 2004, 02:45 PM   #23
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Gwaelod-y-garth, Cardiff, CYMRU/WALES
Posts: 1,215
Re: Lighting and Speeches

<<<-- Originally posted by Anita Hu : They put the wedding party on the stage (with no lights on them, behind them or around them). It was like shooting into a black hole. -->>>

..and I say again, under situations like that, any camera - short of unacceptable amounts of gain - is going to struggle.
The cameramen who do "pull it off" will have rigged some extra lighting beforehand very likely...

Robin.
Robin Davies-Rollinson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 26th, 2004, 03:59 PM   #24
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Somerville, MA
Posts: 360
Anita,
It's very unusual that a facility would keep lights too low for your GL2 especially during the best man's toast. In any case, if you know in advance that the reception lighting will be very low, you have a couple of options. I would have first warned the B&G that the quality of their video will suffer if lighting is dim. BTW, this should also be in your contract

I always scout the facilities and if I learn that lighting will be dim, I'll ask (and sometimes insist) that the lights be raised for the toasts. If that doesn't work, move closer to your subject and tape from around a 45 degree angle. Your 30W light should be enough from around 7 to 10 feet max with the aperture wide opoen and 12dB of gain. You should get a good image with bright colors.

I've never had a church wedding where I needed artificial lighting but maybe I've just been lucky.

Of course, if you want to spend more money for lower lux, then the vx2100 or pd170 might be the way to go.
Bob
Bob Harotunian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 26th, 2004, 04:06 PM   #25
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 18
Bob, thank you very much for your reply. I did scout the facility before shooting there and that is how I purchased the lights. I've only done a few weddings so far, and they have all had lighting that the GL2 could handle.

I do have a blurb in my contract excusing me from environmental conditions such as insufficient lighting blah blah blah.

I really like the advice about shooting close to the subject at a 45 deg angle. I'll give that a try next time.

As for spending more money. I don't really want to go that way but I don't want to lose anymore sleep over questionable footage. I surely do not want to have to tell a couple that their wedding video didn't come out especially since I will be shooting some friend's weddings in the next few months.
Anita Hu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 26th, 2004, 10:13 PM   #26
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Lafayette, CO
Posts: 46
Inexpensive lighting solution for Weddings

First of all, I am new to this forum, and have had my new GL-2 exactly one week tonight. I am planning to get into the wedding business as well, and am enjoying this thread immensely.

I am a theatrical lighting designer, and also am a bit more experienced with video than just the last week :). I spent a summer shooting weddings in the mid-1980s with a guy that had a Lowell Omni kit for me to play with. One approach we made to dealing with dark rooms was to set up the Omnis off to the side in the reception hall, aimed upward at the ceiling. Unless the ceiling is 20 feet, and the room really huge, the ambient light provided by the bounce off the ceiling was sufficient to give a reasonable image wherever in the room we were shooting. It brightens the scene, but not in a way that annoys or interferes with the party.

It is possible to purchase theatrical lighting equipment that would serve this same purpose, and quite inexpensively. PAR 64 Cans, with a 500W or 1000W MFL lamp in them should provide a whole lot of light if used in this manner. The equipment costs anywhere from $50 to 80 per instrument, and the lamps are about $30.00 on top of that, and will last almost forever. The light is pretty warm, but if you white balance for them, they should work fine. I would never aim this equipment directly at the subject in a shot (there's a reason the good stuff costs a fortune!), but indirectly or through diffusion, it works pretty well. The cans are pretty big, but the lamp is hidden from direct view, especially if you position them off the ground, or out of sight.
Brian Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 27th, 2004, 10:30 AM   #27
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 205
I may soon try to post some video frames of my recent wedding shoot (last week) if anyone indicates an interest. During the rehearsal shoot I could see I NEEDED MORE LIGHT for the wedding. Rather than spend hundreds, I went to the Home Depot hardware store and bought two more of those ugly dual halogen utility lights on the bright yellow stands. Since they would be placed on either MIDDLE SIDE of the church, one light of each unit turned toward the mid back (to give good light to those comming down the aisle) and the other light of each fixture turned toward the mid-front (to give good light to the front where the bridal party would gather, each light having two aimable beams). These lights would not be in the video for the most part since they would be on the middle sides of the chapel against the walls. To me this was a great idea, as I had lost some sleep thinking about light positioning for the wedding. Side lighting would be less harsh on the seated guests also. The bummer was that these lights are only 6 feet tall. I knew when everyone stood up to receive the B&G much of my lighting would be lost. So I hijacked three chairs for a make-shift platform for each light, raising the buggers to at least 8 feet. Then, to make SURE, I placed another 9 ft tall dual halogen Home Depot light (ugly as hell) on the mid left of the front wall to shine down the aisle into the faces of the wedding party as they walked down the aisle. On the far right of the front wall I used a 500 watt Smith Victor on a 7 ft stand with barn doors (to block the light from reaching the seated guests) aiming toward the left to catch both the singers and the B&G as they took their vows. I placed both of my gl2'S on the front right corner of the aisle and let one run at wide angle, aimed down the aisle, and the other for close-ups as they came down the aisle toward me, passing by. I would pan this cam as necessary. Both cams were in arms reach together, while a third Panasonic PVDV953, positioned on the right side of the chapel to get a side shot of them as they came in was running by itself. Later when the processional was over I would move one GL2 behind the preacher for a front shot of the B&G during the vows, leaving the other GL2 in its place but turned around 180 degrees toward the B&G to get a rear full shot of them as they took the vows. Both GL2's were running on battery power. The PVDV953, plugged into the mid-side wall, would also later be swiveled toward the front to get the preacher talking, zoomed up.

So all in all I had about 7000 watts of halogen lighting blazing away, enough to easily blow a fuse on some of the smaller churches I've shot. (I have learned to always turn on all the halogen lights before the wedding to see if any overload problems will occur) So with one fell swoop I destroyed what some would consider about a half hour of precious "ambiance", sacrificing it for a DVD of well lit video, having informed the B&G of my intentions before hand. And you know what? Not one complaint from anyone at the wedding. I was even wondering if I had enough light during the shoot. I may post some video frames of the dimly lit wedding rehearsal to compare to the actual wedding itself if anyone posts interest. I for one will not stand for a below par quality video for my customers if I can help it. The quality of the GL2 is SUPERB with proper lighting but simply looks like a home video without it, even with white balancing and other adjustments. I simply cannot put it any plainer than that. That goes for any cam in my opinion, not just the GL2.

One final point is that it depends on what group of folks you are shooting. I suspect Catholics and other religions are more sensitive to lighting than Black Baptist/Pentacostal folk (who definitely need more lighting due to their dark skin tones anyway). They don't seem to mind extra lighting in my experience and really appreciate the high broadcast quality that the GL2, if not handicapped by marginal lighting, can give. I am not one to saddle a thoroughbred race horse with a 250 lb rider and expect it to win.
Bill Hardy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 27th, 2004, 10:45 AM   #28
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 18
Bill and Brian,

Thanks for your input. I guess the way to go is to use some external type of light source, not just the dinky on-camera lighting.

I would be interested to hear any other ideas as well. Keep them coming.

Thanks in advance.
Anita Hu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 27th, 2004, 11:05 AM   #29
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Somerville, MA
Posts: 360
Anita wrote: "I'm mostly worried that I will find a church that is really dark and I that I won't be allowed to turn on a light."

Anita, if you're sure the church will be dark then my advice is to not worry and just politely walk away from the job. There are plenty of well lit churches with daytime ceremonies and big windows out there. I for one don't believe in artificial ceremony lighting and in New England, it's just not acceptable. Remember, it's a wedding first and video second.

Bob
Bob Harotunian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 27th, 2004, 11:32 AM   #30
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 18
Bob,

Does that mean that you always scout out the location BEFORE you take the job? So far, I've been ACCEPTING the job AND THEN going to scout the location. I like your process and your thinking. You must have alot of experience.

I agree with your comments about not wanting to interfere with the event. I would prefer to kind of be a "fly on the wall" but on the otherhand, shooting a bad video is just not something I want to do. I guess it is a delicate balance when it comes to lighting -- ambiance or good memories.
Anita Hu is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:46 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network