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Old January 13th, 2012, 09:57 AM   #1
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Outdoor Ceremony Tips & Tricks

Hey Guys,

Have family going over to the states in a few weeks, so an opportunity to pick up cheap goodies .... rubbing the hands and liking the lips here ...

I've taken on my first outdoor ceremony later in the summer, so is it much of a transition from the traditional church wedding, and what should I be prepared for. In terms of the above shopping list, the only essentials that I think of, would be perhaps an ND filter, so that I can try and keep some control on that DOF, and also some wind shields for the zoom h4n's?

With regards to audio, anything I need to be careful of with my setting.

Cheers,

Joe
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Old January 13th, 2012, 11:36 AM   #2
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Re: Outdoor Ceremony Tips & Tricks

Winds screens first on the list. Maybe even a couple of furrys for the lavs depending on the day and wind conditions.
Yep, NDs are good. I shoot a fair number of outdoors ceremonys and while it might look awkward, I still use a tripod but collapse itand use it as a monopod until I make my move to the rear center aisle and then I open the legs up and level off the head. Since I generally have at least 1 other camera running I'm fairly confident that I've got a cover shot.

One thing about most outdoor ceremonys is the lack of restrictions put on the vid or photog. I always try to stay out of everyones way of course but I can do just about anything I want to. Hell, I was ready to bring in a small boom for one but opted out. Too much hassel for me.

I've worked venues that have nice concrete walk ways and others are nothing but grass or dirt but the wedding remains the same except they're a lot shorter. I've had 10 minute ceremonys and the longest was 25. Actually makes for a short day.

Have fun and good luck.
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Old January 13th, 2012, 11:52 AM   #3
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Re: Outdoor Ceremony Tips & Tricks

Unless you have a day with cloud free skies (unlikely in Ireland:-) you need to be on constant alert for changes in exposure. It was quite a shock to me when I moved back to the UK after 15 years in the bright sunshine of the South of France at how much attention I need to give to adjusting the aperture ring as the light comes & goes when filming outdoors.
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Old January 13th, 2012, 02:44 PM   #4
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Re: Outdoor Ceremony Tips & Tricks

What caught me out last summer was the extreme unevenness of the ground. Far more than the built in ball in tripods can cope with. So unless you're up for doing a lot of levelling and cropping in post processing have something - anything - you can stick under a leg to even things up!

Oh and lavs with windshields for sure as already mentioned.

Also, with outdoor ceremonies people seem inclined to wander about more so allow for that with your locked down unattended b cams.

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Old January 13th, 2012, 03:16 PM   #5
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Re: Outdoor Ceremony Tips & Tricks

I would definitely second what Nigel said about constantly changing exposure. Just be very aware and very careful when adjusting.

Also another thing to think about is who is speaking besides the bride/groom/officiant? and will there be a P.A. system. With the lack of podiums, and maybe even microphones, you'll need to think about how to pick up anyone reading or doing verses or anything like that.

We set up a Rode mic on a stand right up front with a furry, with a wireless kit attached to it so that the mic could be right in the middle of the action but we didn't have to be. It worked great. It was a day that was slightly windy, by a busy recreational lake and no P.A. system. You would never know it from the audio...not trying to brag, but very proud of how it turned out considering under the wind/location circumstances I was kind of panicked at the time.
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Old January 13th, 2012, 03:32 PM   #6
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Re: Outdoor Ceremony Tips & Tricks

If there is no PA then by all means mic the groom and the officiant at least. If possible put up something like and SM58 for any readers and cable back to the B or C camera or to a stand alone recorder.

Over the summer, I did one where they had a guitar player for music. He was at the back because thats where the AC was for his amplifier. The amp sounded terrible. I took an AT897 with a foamy and a furry on it, placed it directly in front of his guitar (an electrified accoustic) used my plugin transmitter and the music sounded great. I had the groom mic'd as well. Both of those mics went back to my A camera. I also had the officiant mic'd to a seperate wireless unit on my B camera which was manned. Luckily the wind wasn't too big a problem. All the lavs had foam windscreens and it worked out well. Also luckily the person running B cam had the wireless. My C camera also had a shotgun on it but of course it was usless since it was too far away from the people speaking.
I was a bit concerned at first but since I monitored the 2 mics thru my cans and I could hear the officiant quite well from the grooms mic I was really happy with the setup.
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