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Old June 28th, 2012, 11:44 PM   #1
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Light in my Eyes during speeches

Hi All

How do most of you contend with "I don't like that bright light shining in my eyes" during speech time at weddings. All our speeches tend to be done from one position and I usually have a high stand with a bunch of CFL's facing away from the speaker and bouncing into an umbrella BUT I still get the odd comment here and there!!

I was thinking about maybe having a boom stand alongside the lectern with lighting pointing straight upwards and either just bouncing off the ceiling or into an umbrella so it emulates normal household situations where the light is directly above the person and they are essentially showered from above with soft reflected light....speech makers tend to be nervous already and having a camera plus a giant softbox in front of them doesn't help at all.

What setup do you use to keep speech makers happy???

Chris
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Old June 29th, 2012, 02:27 AM   #2
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Re: Light in my Eyes during speeches

Hi Chris.

This somewhat supports Noa's contention in another thread, and one you argued against, that using additional lights changes the situation and it is best where possible to work with available light. I appreciate that it is sometime necessary to introduce light and if necessary I'll make that call if I consider it to be absolutely essential. I have now tweaked my HM700 to squeeze an acceptably bright image at +9db which has to a great extent allayed my previously voiced concerns about poor low-light recording, however I still do get situations such as a couple of weeks ago in a marquee on a very dark day. In these sort of situations I place two 160 LED light panels on stands about 2mts high, one at either side of the top table (speeches tend to be from the top table here). I flag the outside edge (i.e the one towards the audience) so that are out of anyone's eye line. The thin profile of the light stands seems not to attract any attention nor show up too noticeably in my wide shots and as a bonus I can clamp a CX550 onto one to get a view of the whole table, a very good safety shot.
For first dance I clamp or stand the panels on either end of the DJ's lighting rig, they then appear to be part of that lighting set up so nobody even associates them with me (except the DJ of course) . I wind them down to just the amount of illumination I need.
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Old June 29th, 2012, 04:38 AM   #3
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Re: Light in my Eyes during speeches

Hi George

Yeah I guess I'm two faced a bit here but when the situation requires it I do like to blast some light on the orator during speeches as it's not really an event that requires mood lighting at all. Sadly I do like my speakers lit well and they form part of the main camera footage for the speeches segment. Like a ceremony you do need good audio as well so I use two cameras during speeches..the roving cam just has a LED light on it that I use only if required but the speeches are normally lit well.

I tried LED panels and found the light incredibily hard!!!

Chris
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Old June 29th, 2012, 05:35 AM   #4
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Re: Light in my Eyes during speeches

Chris I realise I might have been sounding a bit pompous there, I didn't mean to accuse you of being two faced, though to some extent there's a lot of arguing both sides here on DVinfo (I include myself in this generalisation) because the situations we find ourselves in each time are unique to the event so there can be few if any hard and fast rules for us to play by. Even the same venue at different times of the year can have different lighting characteristics and DJ's have widely differing lighting set ups. Our accumulated experiences can't always prepare us for certain challenging situations so I guess we can be excused for sometimes contradicting ourselves, or back-pedalling our previous wise words.

I use the diffusers that come with the light panels which helps a little, but I don't worry too much about the quality of light, it'll be mixed in with the other ambient light anyway. I rarely find my lights are the only source of illumination, they just throw a bit to where I need it. I find the worst lights at many hotels to be those halogens that are embedded in the ceilings. They throw harsh pools of down-light that contrast sharply with the unlit areas outside of their spread
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Old June 29th, 2012, 05:44 AM   #5
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Re: Light in my Eyes during speeches

Chris,
I found the trick to using the LED panels is to soften them up. I use Tough Spun. I also don't use the supposed diffusion filter in the light kit. The light is much too harsh, so I use the tungsten filter with ToughSpun on it. Around here the speakers are generally lit very flatly with the house lighting which is 99% of the time tungsten (incandesant) so everything is pretty warm anyway.
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Old June 29th, 2012, 05:53 AM   #6
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Re: Light in my Eyes during speeches

It is the tungsten filter/diffuser that I use, without it the light is hard to colour match with anything and gives some very odd colour casts. The pinky one does seem to help where there is predominately daylight.
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Old June 29th, 2012, 05:58 AM   #7
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Re: Light in my Eyes during speeches

Hi George and Don

Not an issue at all..I WAS being two faced talking about not worrying with light issue in one thread then talking the next minute about football stadium lighting!!! I actually bought an LED panel and the light to me even with my own custom diffuser still looked harsh and cold!!! I still love the softness of CFL's and the very even illumination...pity they need to be plugged in!! I'm am trying to find someone who is using just a discrete amount of lighting for speeches ...I think I need to go in a lot closer even than I go now so just the head and shoulders are lit...in the old days I used to blast them from 20' away with a huge softbox filled with 55W CFLs ...gave an awesome amount of light but wasn't very user friendly!! Our venues don't provide a lectern spot light (I think one does) so it's up to you to light the speaker.

BTW Don : The Panny AC-130's were a total disaster for me! I sold them at the season end after shooting on 80 hours on each camera...absolutely nothing impressed me for wedding work at all!! I'm back with the 1/4" chip cams and my IQ looks like it should again!!

Chris
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Old June 29th, 2012, 09:07 AM   #8
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Re: Light in my Eyes during speeches

My default action is to ask the venue to turn the lights up just a bit more just for the speeches.

I shot the speeches recently where the light level was so low that the speakers could not see to read their notes! I was not booked to shoot video, just stills, but I did have some Z96's with me and at the request of the couple I put one of these on a lightstand just to illuminate the area in which the various speakers would stand. It worked very well and actually improved the "easy on the eye" factor.

Pete
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Old June 29th, 2012, 09:17 AM   #9
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Re: Light in my Eyes during speeches

George, yes I noticed that as well. The "daylight" diffuser really played havoc with the color and it was way to cold for my liking. As soon as I went to the "tungsten" filter with a bit of diffusion I got back to the color look I preferred.

Chris, Wow, you were that dissappointed in the 130s? Didn't know that. I guess that might make my decision a bit easier for next year (provided I keep shooting). I'm really looking hard at the EX1Rs and may very well just bite the bullet for a pair next season unless something else comes along that strikes me.

Lighting at weddings can be very problematic as we all know. Everyone want's a "romantic" mood so the house turns the lights all the way down, now you have to kind of depend on the DJs lighting (if they have it) which is, around here, more and more, colored LEDs. Chris as you know, I have that 160 LED wired for a remote which I put as close to the dance floor as I can, usually by the DJs speaker aimed at the dance floor and use my on camera light at a much lower level. So far it seems to be working well. No one has complained about bright lights ruining the "mood" while dancing.
As for toasts (speeches) I use my on camera light and really don't care if they don't like it. Light 'em or lose 'em I say. Again luckily in most cases the house lights are pretty much up until the dancing starts so it generally isn't too much of a problem.
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Old June 29th, 2012, 09:42 AM   #10
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Re: Light in my Eyes during speeches

Thanks Don and Peter

Yep that's my first port of call..make friends with the co-ordinator and they usually will lift the house lights for the speeches...I often have levels where I don't need any lighting but then again some will tell me "the bride wants the lights to stay dimmed' ...then I have no option. I could use the on-camera light for my main cam too Don, I just was working on the premise that one cam is only on the orator and I really only need to tweak the lighting on their head and shoulders, so the closer and more concentrated the light is, the better the ambience in the rest of the room and I only need to use the absolute minimum!!

Are you going to shoot handheld Don?? I would tend to gravitate towards the EX3 then as it can easily be used handheld AND more importantly seems to be the only camera apart from the HMC80 that uses a EVF with a full size LCD inside...once you have used the LCD/Loupe combination you will never want to use a tiny EVF again..they are truely awesome!! I did a buddy shoot for the Climate Change commission here using a hired EX3 and they are well worth the extra money. They work as a shoulder mount camera perfectly without the excess weight!! At nearly $9K here they are out of my range!!

Chris
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Old June 30th, 2012, 07:02 AM   #11
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Re: Light in my Eyes during speeches

2 diffused Z96 led lights, set on stands, 1 at each end of the top table. But as mentioned earlier, always get the house lights turned up first, if possible
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Old June 30th, 2012, 03:01 PM   #12
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Re: Light in my Eyes during speeches

I never experience problem with lighting during speech at reception. I have on-camera light as well as a light on light stand. Usually it is positioned at the rear corner of the dance floor.

The only time I have problem complain about my on-camera light is during guest interviews. They will be staring at the light and complain it's bright. I told them to look at the lens but not the light.
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Old July 5th, 2012, 11:23 AM   #13
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Re: Light in my Eyes during speeches

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Hi All

How do most of you contend with "I don't like that bright light shining in my eyes" during speech time at weddings. All our speeches tend to be done from one position and I usually have a high stand with a bunch of CFL's facing away from the speaker and bouncing into an umbrella BUT I still get the odd comment here and there!!

I was thinking about maybe having a boom stand alongside the lectern with lighting pointing straight upwards and either just bouncing off the ceiling or into an umbrella so it emulates normal household situations where the light is directly above the person and they are essentially showered from above with soft reflected light....speech makers tend to be nervous already and having a camera plus a giant softbox in front of them doesn't help at all.

What setup do you use to keep speech makers happy???

Chris
I try to point the light on the side of speakers face. Also since you said it is usually done in one position, it could be done in any position you want. No other vendor would care or know where should the speaker should stand but you are since you are the video. The speech part is one of the most important part of your film. Just tell them politely to be where they need to be.
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Old July 7th, 2012, 11:23 PM   #14
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Re: Light in my Eyes during speeches

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Originally Posted by Sigmund Reboquio View Post
I try to point the light on the side of speakers face. Also since you said it is usually done in one position, it could be done in any position you want. No other vendor would care or know where should the speaker should stand but you are since you are the video. The speech part is one of the most important part of your film. Just tell them politely to be where they need to be.
That's a good point. If you politely/quietly nudge the speaker into a position, no one is going to notice/remember. Or, to look at it the other way, they WILL notice/remember if your video looks bad -- so it's surely worth the moment to gently suggest a good spot.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 05:09 PM   #15
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Re: Light in my Eyes during speeches

I placed the light in the rear corner of the dance floor at reception. I also mount a voice recorder on it so it pick up sound from the loud speakers.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10318178/Comer5500Reception.jpg
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