Hotel ceremony with bright windows advice 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 31st, 2011, 04:53 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Norwood, MA
Posts: 252
Hotel ceremony with bright windows advice

Picking the brains of the experts on this one, hopefully I am ok this time but what about next time...

I just shot a hotel wedding where the ceremony left me no choice but to shoot straight on with couple in front of a strongly-sun-lit window. Reception ballroom also had big windows, but most of the time I could avoid shooting towards the windows until the sun set.

Is this something you typically have in your contracts and/or discuss in detail prior to wedding? Will any filters help?

Thanks all.
Darryn Carroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 31st, 2011, 07:56 PM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1,498
Re: Hotel ceremony with bright windows advice

I had a bad experience recently. The only way was:

1. Shoot a little wide (I tried to close up and it was worst!)
2. OR shoot from the side towards a wall as background hopefully instead of head on.
__________________
Firewerkz Films SGP
Sean Seah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 31st, 2011, 08:43 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 387
Re: Hotel ceremony with bright windows advice

Options:

1. Shoot from the side
2. Close the windows blind
3. Relocate the speech table
4. Beg to God he sends a dark cloud over the venue

Simple :)
Johannes Soetandi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 31st, 2011, 09:40 PM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 1,212
Re: Hotel ceremony with bright windows advice

Unfortunately we quite often encounter the situation you describe Darryn because we shoot with three cameras. Inevitably, if we're in front of a south-facing window, at least one camera's going to be shooting straight into whatever sun we have - happily for us in this instance, probably less than you!

Our usual set up is to have the two cameras at the front and sides of the room with eyelines crossing each other to the groom and the bride, the third at the rear of the room with an eyeline to the registrar (officiant). We find we get some relief by raising the back camera as high as possible, thus increasing the angle between the sunlight and the camera, though occasionally the situation's exacerbated by a shiny floor as well.

If the windows have curtains, even half closing them will help but of course anything you do in this area has to be subtle or meet with the approval of the couple and the venue. Sadly, getting married in front of the view is probably one of the reasons they chose the venue.

Beyond that it's just a matter of treating the shot as any into-the-sun shot and exposing for the subject and blasting the background out to white. Keeping as much of the frame filled with subject as opposed to window will also help. The final two pieces of advice would be to check that the lens of the contre-jour camera/s is/are absolutely clean - any dust will add to your problem - and if you have the option use a prime lens rather than a zoom because the prime will have fewer internal glass surfaces to cause optical flare.

Finally, in case the client objects to losing the view you can only explain that it's the view or them - it's a hazard of event video that the laws of physics remain immutable.
Philip Howells is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 31st, 2011, 10:06 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Philadelphia, pa
Posts: 705
Re: Hotel ceremony with bright windows advice

Phiilip:

In htis case how would you suggest that he white balance? Use an indoor or outdoor preset? Or would you suggest tring to white balance on the brides dress (if its white).
Kevin Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 31st, 2011, 10:25 PM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 1,212
Re: Hotel ceremony with bright windows advice

Kevin, in my understanding of the terms (and these things sometimes change over time so I don't want to misguide you), the question's a non sequitur because a white balance is just that, the camera/s colour alignment adjusted to a standard white object in the prevailing light, regardless of the source of that light (provided it's within the design limits of the camera).

On the other hand, if your gear limits you to presets then I'd choose the one that looked closest to reality but I'd expect under the circumstances the op described that would be daylight.

This second option seems very limiting, almost a throwback to the film days when you had two stocks balanced for daylight or tungsten. It made working under discharge tubes difficult not only because of the flicker but because discharge tubes give essentially green light. Happily most pro video cameras can return decent colours under discharge tubes with their existing WB controls.

Your comment about using the dress as the target reminds me that the detail in the wedding dress was something that film photographers used to pride themselves on getting right. Sadly since we all went digital that seems to become a lost art. Using the dress as the WB target would be my last choice, a) because it's not necessarily a standard white and b) waiting until the bride appears before you do a white balance is leaving it a bit late.
Philip Howells is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 31st, 2011, 10:28 PM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
Re: Hotel ceremony with bright windows advice

If you walk into the ceremony venue and see this kind of set up you have a few options. Some bad, some worse, one or 2 better. Since we're not talking about setting up 6 4k lights or whatever it would take to overcome this, let's stick to the OPs challenge of having to shoot straight on to the window.
BTW unless I misread this post it was the ceremony that was being discussed.
You should have at least a few minutes prior to the ceremony to get your gear hauled in and set up right? Take 1 minute of that time have someone stand where the bride& groom would be standing for the ceremony. Move to where you'll most likely be shooting the ceremony from. Have the person hold a white card facing towards the camera. Zip in tight set WB, then move up to the face. I have the person turn so she/he shows a profile, keep it tight on the face, set my iris then zoom out to a medium shot. Checking WB and exposure. Shouldn't change from what you set and if it is different, then it's close enough to be a fairly painless fix in post.
Shooting backite is a PITA but it's something we all have to live with and need to learn how to do it. Do I like it. Not on your life but when I have to do it, I have no fear or trepidation of doing so. I've literally shot directly into the sun with only the B&G blocking my lens and eye from getting fried by Ol' Sol.
As for which preset, don't use one. most every professional or prosumer type camera out there has a manual setting, at least every camera I've owned or used in the last 27 years has had that ability but if you do need to hit a preset use an outdoor preset. If the backlight is that strong then you're dealing with outdoor lighting and there isn't too much the indoor lighting would change.
As for closing blinds and drapes...many venues around my area don't have them, a lot of venues won't let you close them and even a lot of couples want them open for "the ambience"...I know, do you want ambience or quality video? Regardless, those are all great suggestions but sometimes they just don't come into play so you learn to deal with backlighting thru exposure and WB or you spend a whole lot of time in post trying to fix it or you produce a bad quality product. Options options options.
__________________
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
Don
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 31st, 2011, 10:38 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Philadelphia, pa
Posts: 705
Re: Hotel ceremony with bright windows advice

Great input as usual. Thanks all.
Kevin Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 31st, 2011, 11:29 PM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 1,430
Re: Hotel ceremony with bright windows advice

In a situation like this, where lighting isn't controllable, we just open up an extra stop, and shoot a little tighter so you see less background.
Warren Kawamoto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 10th, 2011, 10:53 PM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: binghamton ny
Posts: 82
Re: Hotel ceremony with bright windows advice

cant you lock auto exposure if you are using the canon xha1? focus on ground, away from windows, lock exposure and wallaa. Only downside is a bright background. At least Bride and Groom will be fine.
Victor Boyko 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 01:01 PM.


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