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

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Old August 4th, 2011, 03:41 PM   #1
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thoughts on Color temp vs brightness...

I've been using 50w halogen bulbs for sometime now to light up the reception for dancing and events. I usually put a few filters on top of the lens's to dull the strength of the bulb, and most of the time bounce the light off of the roof (if able).

The end result is still the same, no matter how dim my lights (two) might be, the guests still notice that I'm there.

The other night I shot a wedding where the DJ was using two of those LED smart DJ lights... It not only gave off the night club look but also left me without the need of having to activate my lighting setup.

I started thinking that perhaps its the color temp and not the output of the light thats obtrusive. The warm light to me gives off that "partys over, turn the lights on" effect. While the cooler light seems to give off of the opposite.

Anyone have any luck running cooler lights vs warmer?

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Old August 4th, 2011, 07:47 PM   #2
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Re: thoughts on Color temp vs brightness...

Hey Stephen....

I don't think it's a matter of light choices in your case.
But the fact of the matter is, the DJ is expected to do this..It's his job. So, in defence of the guests, it's understandable.
Proper lighting and guest consideration is an art, and there's too many factors to come to a simple answer.
But as far as your case is concerned, as long as you're not flashing "on camera" lights in their face, and so long as you're not changing the ambiance of the reception, don't worry about it..
Use what can give you acceptable footage..
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Old August 5th, 2011, 12:00 AM   #3
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Re: thoughts on Color temp vs brightness...

Stephen, we use two solutions, both of which meet what I believe is the simple criteria, that we don't impose or change the overall ambiance.

First is to use the backlight- eg colour washes or feature lights illuminating the walls etc. This might well produce a sort of silhouette effect but that can be very artistic and record intimate moments without anyone noticing. Pin sharp focus is essential so you need to make yourself an expert in focusing.

Second, illuminate the key players so subtly no-one will notice. We use 3w LED maglites, yes you're not seeing things! The lenses are heavily diffused (wet and dry on the plastic lenses, both sides), plus a straw filter to warm the light up a bit. We mount those on the three cameras. Unless you're directly in line with the lamps you simply don't notice but there's enough light on the subject to pick out the dress features, the faces etc. Again pin sharp focus is essential.

The results aren't perfect but they do mean you can capture the event without messing it up.

Finally, if you're bothered by noise, I recommend New Blue's Noise Remover - used very judiciously.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 02:53 PM   #4
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Re: thoughts on Color temp vs brightness...

Hey Philip...

I use neat video for noise reduction and couldn't be happier, def recommend this type of filter to anyone who doesn't have it.
I like the idea of the backlighting, I usually use the DJ's lighting setup when uplighting is put out... However I might be more inclined to set something up myself with what I have.

Hey Peter...

My post was more to state that possibly a cooler temp light disturbs the ambiance less then a warmer light...
a warm light such as the ones found at home aren't normally related to the party/nightclub scene.

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Old August 7th, 2011, 02:18 PM   #5
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Re: thoughts on Color temp vs brightness...

Much will depend on the sort of "ambience" in the room, and whatever you use, you probaby want to white balance carefully1

"Warm" and "cool" are trems used to define the frequencies of the lighting involved, our eyes compensate for the most part for whatever the ambient lighting is, but cameras and eyes BOTH will struggle if lighting sources are too far "off" from expectations. Having painted a room pink and walked out to an entirely GREEN envoronment until my eyes re-adjusted (they had been fooled into thinking the pink was "white"!), I can only say you have to be preparend to adjust to lighting and color conditions!

If the "house" lights are LED they will be cooler in temperature signature, and I think that's a major trend due to cost/ecological considerations... LED on camera lights are becoming cheap and more common than the older halogen based lights, and I should think would tend to blend better with a "modern" light canvas.
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Old August 7th, 2011, 09:24 PM   #6
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Re: thoughts on Color temp vs brightness...

Hi Dave

LED lights are the way to go mainly because if you try to dim an incandescent or halogen light the colour temperature drops with it. LED lights are pretty compact (I have seen pics of Philip's tiny lights nestled next to the on-cam mics and they do a good job) More often than not you really only need to lift the light on faces just a tiny bit to get a reasonable exposure and the multi-level facility of an LED light is great for that without destroying the room ambience at all!!

Even with LED you do get the guests complaining a bit especially if the ambience is very low .... so sometimes I will ask the co-ordinator to just lift the house lights a tad during an event (like the cake) and then return them back to their original setting afterwards. This way the guests are not going from almost dark to a bright camera light and you also need less light to fill in the smaller gap between ambient and ideal

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