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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old January 13th, 2011, 10:59 AM   #1
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Needed, High Dynamic Range Camera

There is an unavoidable shot that I always dread; that is the shot facing the rear of the church when the bride enters through the front door in a daytime wedding. The 'ethereal' look where the outside is blown out and the whole camera is flaring from the dazzling light looks horrible. You can try to get more creative camera angles but it still looks bad. Wouldn't it be nice to have a camera that could handle an extreme exposure latitude challenge such as this.
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Old January 13th, 2011, 02:22 PM   #2
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Jim,

I saw some test shots from the new Red Epic. That were incredible. There's one that was shot from inside a barn looking out to midday sun that was quite something, I'll see if i can find it. It's probably a little more than you want to spend though.
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Old January 13th, 2011, 02:27 PM   #3
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I found it. Can you imagine having this lattitude...
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Needed, High Dynamic Range Camera-hdrx-barn.jpg  
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Old January 13th, 2011, 02:28 PM   #4
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Get in line, we're all waiting. On the plus side its all a matter of opinion, you could argue that the bright glow reveals the bride, if you tend to see it as a negative CMOS sensors handle flare quite well.
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Old January 13th, 2011, 06:29 PM   #5
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35mm film?

Seriously though, if you want that kind of ability you're going to need to pay some big money. My advice would be to work it into your images - make it appear as though the bride is coming out of the heavenly glowing light!

You can also position yourself around the door so that you are pointing the camera towards the sun (figure out where the sun is before you go inside) as much as possible, that way any trees/parked cars/people/fences etc directly outside will have their shaded side facing you, rather than bouncing all the sunlight straight back into your lens.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 01:19 AM   #6
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Jim, with great respect I don't think the example is even relevant of what I think I understand you mean and indeed in simple lighting terms the answer is straightforward - and at real weddings impossible. The photo shows the dynamic range of the Red but that's only applicable whilst the bride's outside in the sun - though I'd wonder if a white dress there might not burn out anyway.

My understanding of your "problem" is when the bride gets inside the church (ie in the darker bit of the barn). Now you want to expose her correctly and you open up to do so. That burns out the outside and the flare in most lenses does the rest.

IMHO for all the expense of a RED, a bride placed in the dark part of the barn would still basically be a silhouette. John's suggestion is, in my view and experience the only solution but even then I don't think we'd be properly happy.

As I said, the solution is to balance the intensity of the lighting inside and outside and in real weddings (ie not staged or studio shoots) that's not practical.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 05:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Diewert View Post
I found it. Can you imagine having this lattitude...
If you look at the object in the lower right hand corner, it's a silouhette...just like the bride would be.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 07:34 AM   #8
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That was one of the early posted example of HDR from Red.

The Scarlet will include HDR as well at an affordable price. Can't wait to buy one.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 12:01 PM   #9
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While a lot of response have been for more expensive cameras that can produce higher dynamic range the other solution is lighting. Bringing the levels in the church to a point where you can expose for the outside light and maintain exposure with interior lights.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 06:52 PM   #10
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While lighting is the ideal sotultion, it's just not practical. We're not just talking about filling in a few shadows on the brides face here, you would need to light up the entire rear of the church with daylight coloured lights in order to make it look natural.

Apart from ruining the mood completely, there will be a whole host of other challenges such as set-up time, power supply, OH & S/insurance, heat, etc. Plus as soon as she walks out of the lights she'll be a sillhouette because you would've had your exposure set for the artificially lit part of the room.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 06:56 PM   #11
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I would love to watch you try to convince a catholic priest that you need to set up a few million candle watt spotlights in his church for that. ". . . But father, there was this guy on DVInfo that said . . ."
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Old January 14th, 2011, 08:01 PM   #12
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I run into this problem in a practical sense waaaay more often as I shoot a lot of real estate videos. Shooting a room with detail and windows with a view in behind. There is little hope of competing with the sun (if it was a still, we could expose for the exterior and use a flash on a bracket).

Really, try to replicate the barn shot, and see what happens. To get that kind of detail in the interior, the exterior would be completely blown out. It's near impossible without lighting the heck out of the interior. And really the barn shot was intended to demonstrate the range of the red. In reality, if the bride were standing in the doorway we'd expose for her, lose some detail in the background, and solve Jim's original problem. All that being said, the likelihood of using a Red Epic, to shoot a wedding is major overkill for as many times as we need that shot to work (maybe the scarlet or whatever they'll be calling it - I think it's epic lite now)
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Old January 14th, 2011, 08:29 PM   #13
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Ken, I think the Scarlet is going to be your dream camera for that. HDR could solve a lot of your problems in real estate video. The barn shot was impressive, but the car interior really blew me away.

Lighting the church, good luck. I've never seen a videographer even use an on-camera light in a church, never mind anything on a stand. It would never be allowed.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 10:14 PM   #14
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Maybe you know this already but a beamsplitter rig has been used to produce HDR imagery. Don't know if that will be practical for just one shot at a wedding though.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 10:29 PM   #15
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You could mount two cameras in tandem with the lenses as close together as possible. Set the exposure for one camera for the outside portion of the scene that is visible through the open door. Manually track the exposure on the bride as she enters the church on the other camera. The footage from two cameras can then be aligned and composited in post. The light and dark portions would have to be masked so that only the desired part from each camera would be used, In 'real life' this is waaa-aay too much of a project to be practical for any wedding that I will be doing. It's a cute concept but there is nothing practical about it.
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