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

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Old May 13th, 2005, 09:11 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: griffin, georgia
Posts: 4
low light blues...

alright going on my third wedding shoot tomorrow, and i'm having problems shooting in low light situations.

camera: Canon GL2,

1st wedding, was outside under a big rental tent (nice white vinyl ones) and it started around 6:00pm a little over a month ago. i'm located in the southeastern united states, georgia to be exact. started out fine but the lighting progressively got worse during the ceremony (big house, facing west, backyard, eastside, big tent, candles, lots of shade, etc...). anyway near the end of the shoot (and almost completely dark on the lcd screen) i missed with the exposure on the camera as we also had two other cameras running. i brightened up the shot alot, almost like at the beginning of the ceremony. the only thing is everything turned grainy and when the big walk out occured i had alot of acid droppping trails streaming of the bride, groom, etc... same problem at the reception when they flee off to the waiting rolls royce (camera mounted light would have worked here, but the shot turned out really cool, in a hollywood, soprano, gangster, papparazzi style drive off...).

2nd wedding, fine, perfect, no problems except me forgetting to hit the record button on the bride and groom exiting the church and me losing the exit shot.

3rd wedding, tomorrow, a moose lodge bingo hall with very bad lighting, only to be helped by some can lights located above the stage.

-i need a few suggestions on working with the GL2 settings, F stop, exposure, etc...
-i'm also purchasing an onboard light for the GL2 for reception shots, also gonna fabricate some studio barn door style lights that accept gels for placing at weddings that permit, or warrant their use.
-tips, and suggestions on the purchase (type, and style) and use of a light meter.

i've been digging thru the whole forum for information and i've gained alot from it. any tips, suggestions, etc... are much needed and will be fully appreciated.

Jason Stowell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 13th, 2005, 09:30 PM   #2
Major Player
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Mariposa, CA
Posts: 200
Ahh... the GL2. Everyone here will tell you its not good enough in low light for weddings. Well, I moved to a GL2 from a XL1, and the GL2 is FAR better.

You should be running your camera in full manual mode. When it starts to get dark, turn of the ND filter and open up the iris. I personally dont like to turn the gain up past 12db because it looks really grainy at 18db, but sometimes you might have to. One important thing to remember is that the iris will close as you zoom in, limiting light in, so be mindful of that.

I have shot most dimly lit reception halls without a problem. I like to keep the shutter speed at 1/60 all the time, but sometimes I will even drop it down lower. In my experience, if there is not much motion (during toasts for example) you can get away with 1/30 of a second and get a lot of light in the process. But when things start moving it will get blury. During the dancing I will sometimes slow it down even more for an effect.

However I always bring along a set of lights for my GL2's just in case. Typically we use them during the main events of the wedding (first dance, cake cutting, etc.) for better picture quality.

Good luck!
Patrick Pike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 13th, 2005, 11:23 PM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: griffin, georgia
Posts: 4

thanx for the reply. i will definately start working on my knowledge concerning the f-stop, shutterspeed, etc., in low light conditions. also on the next low light shoot, i'll follow your recommendations.

thanx again,
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