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Old June 15th, 2010, 11:06 PM   #1
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Reception Lighting?

This is not your typical lighting question, but one I often ask myself and want to know what you long time pros think.

Most of my receptions are very dark, nightclub dark actually so you have got to light it or use some ridiculous gain.

I am really liking the Light Panel Micro, and Micro Pro. Thinking about going with 2 MicroPros on a lightstand side by side, and the Micro on camera but turned down to use as a fill.

My questions is do you ever hear complaints about all the light you are having to add? I do not want to be obtrusive but also want decent footage to give to the client. We all know clients want their cake and eat it too, wondering if I will ever be asked to turn down the video lights.

Even with video lights I often have to step the gain up to -12, even -18 at times. (Sony EX1r's)

I did have a wedding reception a couple weeks ago where I did not need a video light at all, what a wonderful change for me, believe I actually shot it at 0 and -3 gain.
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Old June 16th, 2010, 03:06 PM   #2
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The way to do it.

Denny, this is the way to handle it.

Their is a product out there called Reception Lighting. You can buy them off this guys website. They come with a 50 watt bulb, battery pack, stand, mount for the light and a wireless remote. They run about $500 a piece.

I ended up finding all the parts, but the wireless on/off switch. Added a cig lighter 6' adapter and two additional batteries for half the price. You can get all these parts on B&H. Check out my video down below. This was all shot with two reception lights.

The brides have never ever complained and photographers will always thank you.

Then I added a Comer light to my camera and turn it to a medium setting to act as a fill light and it isn't bright enough to blind people. The reception lighting doesn't ruin the mood and I go through two batteries per each light if I use them for the ceremony as well.

It has upped my production value. I plan on buying two more so I can cover the entire dance floor not just one side.

I have the Micro Panel Light and don't really recommend it. I like the dimmer option and the AA battery option but the neck it is too flimsy and feels like it can easily break and gels easily fall out. The bracket that holds the gels is flimsy as well. Get the Comer light and two reception lights and you'll be good. Just using the onboard light will create a spotlight effect and doesn't help you in situation like the flower toss or cake cutting when it's very dark.

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Old June 16th, 2010, 06:35 PM   #3
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Denny,

I have the Lite Panel micro but a couple of months ago it along with some other gear mysteriously disappeared. I didn't have the budget to replace it with another $300 light right now so I bought one of those $49 (including shipping) 126 LED camera lights off ebay.

The good news is that the light quality appears to be very comparable to the Litepanel Micro but brigher because more LED's. The bad news is that it has the same terrible shoe attachment that really doesn't tighten well so the light tends to move like my Micro did. I couldn't believe how great it is for the money. It has a diffuser that works well but an orange gel that is way too orange to properly correct from 5400k to 3200k. I solved that problem by cutting a piece of CTO gel and sliding it in with the diffuser. I am going to cut another piece to tape on when I don't wan to use the diffuser, only the gel correction.

Said all that to say my plan is to buy 2 the 168 LED version of this light that goes for $65 on ebay and to mount them to light stands to use exactly as you suggested. The two lights plus adapters for a light stand to camera shoe and panny clone batteries will cost me less than $200 total.

Oh, and one cool thing is that not only does this light run on 6 AA batteries but will use Sony of Panny batteries. Since everything else I have runs off Sony batteries just for a change of pace I bought a Panny clone battery and charge off of ebay. I tested the 2300mh battery and it powered the light at full power for more than 2 1/2 hours.
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Old June 16th, 2010, 11:31 PM   #4
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I also have LP Micro before and I would not even consider the Micro Pro. If you can have off camera light, I think the Cool-light 256 is a good investment. Of course I'm using Comer 1800 both on and off camera and I have great result using the 4500K color temp.

There're two popular inexpensive light we also carry.

Pro 126-LED Video Light | L.A. Color Shop
Pro 160-LED Video Light | L.A. Color Shop

You can get cheaper price buying off ebay. But we ship within the US (in 1 to 3 days compared to 2 to 3 weeks) and have domestic warranty coverage too. The problem for the lights are the weak shoe arm and the useless warming filter. Also, it's not recommend to use AA batteries that will cause the light flicker. Li-ion would be a better choice.

This is a video shot with 3 Comer lights on and off camera.

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Old June 20th, 2010, 11:48 PM   #5
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Taky,

I sent an email to you.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 11:37 AM   #6
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Hi everyone,

Just wanted to ask a follow up question based on the OPs post.

How is it that having lights on stands don't bother the B&G who have, maybe, spent a lot of time going for "ambience" at their reception only to have a videographer light up a room? I would really like to be able to do this, but I fear the reactions of the couple, guests, etc...

Thanks!
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 11:43 AM   #7
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I have a total different take on that.

I attended a wedding few weeks ago (as guest). They have LED uplight and GOBO lights. The ceiling light dim down. However, when the MC was talking or playing games, nobody knows what's happening or where to look at.

I finished a wedding Sunday. It was a similar situation. But with my video light on stand, it casts a spot light on the dance floor and the head table. The video light doesn't light up the room but it gives a focal point of where the event is taking place. It works really well during first dance, cake cutting, and when the MC introduces family members. The video lights give an instant glamor to the bride and groom. It makes their dance floor like a stage. It looks great there and the video looks great too.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 11:59 AM   #8
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The attached images show the difference the event without any video light, and the event with video light.
Attached Thumbnails
Reception Lighting?-videolightwithout.jpg   Reception Lighting?-videolightwith.jpg  

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Old June 22nd, 2010, 01:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Hammond View Post
Hi everyone,

Just wanted to ask a follow up question based on the OPs post.

How is it that having lights on stands don't bother the B&G who have, maybe, spent a lot of time going for "ambience" at their reception only to have a videographer light up a room? I would really like to be able to do this, but I fear the reactions of the couple, guests, etc...

Thanks!

Mike, I have never had an issue. I consult with the B&G before hand that we bring these in to avoid a poorly light / grainy video. They all agree. We don't have them on all night either. Just for special events and the first half of dancing or until we have enough footage.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 01:29 PM   #10
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I wrote in my blog before as there're concern about using video light at wedding reception. Check it out =)

Concern of Using Video Light at Event | L.A. Color Blog
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 01:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Langerak View Post
Mike, I have never had an issue. I consult with the B&G before hand that we bring these in to avoid a poorly light / grainy video. They all agree. We don't have them on all night either. Just for special events and the first half of dancing or until we have enough footage.
This is probably the key, no sense in video coverage of all the dancing, just makes editing harder in the end.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 02:24 PM   #12
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Here is my philosophy, When the lights go down, my lights go on. We run Frezzi dimables on our cameras and our clients know we will use them as needed. Since we are there to preserve the day on video, it should look the best it can vs spendind hours on cc only to still have grainy video.

Besides, most photogs appreciate our light, we can do some cool dance effects with them.

I love my Frezzi lights.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 02:28 PM   #13
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Yeah, almost all the photographers appreciate the lights. They love the lens flare and also not having to flash straight to people face. In fact, a lot of photographers are using video lights for stills too.

This is a video showing people having fun knowing I'm right there taking video while they were dancing.

YouTube - Gloria and David Wedding Reception
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Old July 1st, 2010, 10:27 AM   #14
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I think the real trick to reception lighting is to either have the lights on dimmers and bring them up slowly or have them on for a while before the dance or speeches etc.
There is nothing worse than realising the first dance is about to take place and suddenly flooding the dancefloor with light.

Switch them on or bring them up slowly and people won't even realise they're there.

I usually try to place them near the DJ lights to try and blend them in as much as possible.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 11:21 AM   #15
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Andrew you must have some very agreeable DJ's in Cornwall. Here in the Midlands the first thing a lot of wedding DJ says is something like "You won't be using lights will you" or "I don't won't the atmosphere ruined".
Okay. maybe not every one, but I do get that quite often. Often I think it's a bit of spraying their territory. I usually say something like "Only when I need them", I don't like to fall out with people at weddings. Only once I've suggested that he take it up with the bride; he didn't but did complain that the reason he couldn't fill the floor was the lights (not his choice of music).
I do agree that setting them before people start to get on the dance floor or slowly raising them on dimmers does help, but it can be tricky getting the balance between keeping the atmosphere and getting good useful footage, which after all is what I'm there for.
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