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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old July 16th, 2012, 02:04 PM   #1
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lighting for weddings

do you guys use lights at all? or use lights at the reception where most of the time the dance room are dim? How about the getting ready shots, do you bring lights to their home? if yes then which lights do you use?
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Old July 16th, 2012, 02:37 PM   #2
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Re: lighting for weddings

Hi Victor, just small on camera LED lights, they can be dimmed if needed or moved off camera and put on a stand if needed.
They give a slight green spike to the light, but a custom white balance solves the problem.
best wishes John
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Old July 17th, 2012, 02:13 AM   #3
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Re: lighting for weddings

which led lights do you use? I have been hearing good things about the switronix led. I also have heard amazing things about z96
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Old July 17th, 2012, 03:12 AM   #4
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Re: lighting for weddings

Hi Victor

I get way better results since I switched from multi-led on camera lights to ones with powerleds!! Mine are 6 x 3W LED's rather than hundreds of smaller ones and give me a much better light and also more wattage too. The Comer lights (considered the best) use the same arrangement.

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Old July 17th, 2012, 12:34 PM   #5
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Re: lighting for weddings

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Hi Victor

I get way better results since I switched from multi-led on camera lights to ones with powerleds!! Mine are 6 x 3W LED's rather than hundreds of smaller ones and give me a much better light and also more wattage too. The Comer lights (considered the best) use the same arrangement.

Chris
Chris, which type and where do you purchase?

Troy
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Old July 17th, 2012, 01:28 PM   #6
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Re: lighting for weddings

I don't like to use lights during the reception, I feel like I get a lot more candid moments that way. Typically the important moments of the reception (cake cutting, speeches, etc.) there is enough light from a window or house lighting where I can just use a fast lens and get enough light. Once it's just dancing is where I can run into trouble, but I've found that I can bump up my ISO, shoot with a fast lens and use noise reduction software to get footage I'm comfortable using.
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Old July 17th, 2012, 01:41 PM   #7
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Re: lighting for weddings

It is a must! I have on-camera lights for interview and reception. I also setup light on light stand placed on corner of dance floor.

I attended wedding where there is no additional light. Guests doesn't know what's going on. For weddings I did, when they introduce family member, cake cutting... all these, guests know where to look at.
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Old July 17th, 2012, 02:01 PM   #8
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Re: lighting for weddings

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Originally Posted by Taky Cheung View Post
I attended wedding where there is no additional light. Guests doesn't know what's going on. For weddings I did, when they introduce family member, cake cutting... all these, guests know where to look at.
That's an interesting observation. To be fair, I'm relatively new at filming weddings, but I haven't come across an issue where guest don't know what's happening or where to look.

Do you think people have trouble finding where to look when there is no videographer?
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Old July 17th, 2012, 02:07 PM   #9
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Re: lighting for weddings

That was my friend's wedding in a hotel ball room that I attended as guest . They dimmed down all ceiling lights. Just some uplights along the wall. Many times I can only hear the MC was saying things but can't see what's going on at the dance floor. When they introduce family members, I don't know where is that person.
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Old July 17th, 2012, 02:09 PM   #10
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Re: lighting for weddings

This is a video I did a while back. It shows the part where MC introduce family members. WIthout light, it's all dark.

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Old July 17th, 2012, 04:42 PM   #11
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Re: lighting for weddings

I don't think it has to do with guests not being able to see what's going on at all. Frankly IMHO it has to do with quality of footage/image. PERIOD. Why would I say that? Simple. When it's dark it's dark. I don't care if you kick the ISO up open your iris, slow the shutter, stand on your head, when it's dark...it's dark! Photo and video need LIGHT! Period!
I've shot well in excess of 2500 weddings as both a still photograhper (back in the days of real film) and as a videographer using video cameras not DSLRs. (that's another story for another day). The principle is the same. You need light to produce a quality image. If you don't have enough light in the room then you must add some. Whether you use a light on the camera or off the camera when it's dark it's dark and when it's dark the quality suffers.
If you've ever shot breaking news events (I have) you'll find that in many cases you end up using a light outside. Why? The sun is out and it's bright enough! Right, but depending an where the sun is at in the sky you might have people squinting or racoon eye shadows so you use a light. Why do you think most news stations use a light for the outdoor standups? Same reason you use one indoors. The lighting may not be enough, may not give good enough coverage, usually it's in the ceiling so you get nasty shadows, the reasons are endless.
I used to use a low powered light (well low powered in relationship to what else was out there at the time) the Anton Bauer Ultralite was my fav. that with a 30W bulb and a softbox and you didn't blind anyone and had good enough light coverage to be able to run at 1/60th shutter with iris somewhere between f/1.6 and f/2.4. Now it's LEDs so I use a small one (LP Micro) on the camera with 2 of the 160LEDs on stands by the DJs speaker stands which are usually about 5 to 8 feet from the edge of the dance floor and up about 7 feet in the air. They're both on remote control and depending on the general lighting in the room, I will adjust the level up or down.
Regardless of the type of light you use or where you place it chances are you are only fooling yourself if you don't use some sort of additional lighting for a dark(er) reception. And BTW, in all my years and all the weddings I've done I can probably count on 2 hands the number of times people have told me my light is too bright. People expect lighting. I don't disappoint them. I'm there for the bride and groom and they expect a certain level of quality and using some sort of additional lighting is the only way to give it to them.
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Old July 17th, 2012, 04:51 PM   #12
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Re: lighting for weddings

I was speaking on behave of a guest at the wedding. I was a guest. The reception is poorly lit. I didn't know what was going on except hearing MC voice through the PA.

We all agree it is fact that we need sufficient light to provide quality footage.

Funny I experienced a few times guests saying the light is too bright when I do guest interviews with on-camera light. And they are all female (not being a sexist). When they try to squint and use hand as shade, I noticed they were staring at the light thinking that's the lens. I have to remind them not to look at the light.
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Old July 17th, 2012, 05:16 PM   #13
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Re: lighting for weddings

Taky, I understand. My point is that if a venue is that poorly lit, then the managment of the venue need to be smacked on the side of the head. That is dangerous to have the lighting down that low. If some sort of emergency were to happen (I've seen heart attacks and fires) the guests would be tripping over each other. There is absolutely no reason for the lighting to be that low. Turn it down sure but leave enough to be able to see. If they want mood lighting then the couple should have hired a lighting company to come in and light the room properly.
As for the guests saying the light is too bright during interviews...well, hate to say it but you're right. It's more women than men. Even when I do interviews at a seminar I sometimes get that and yes, it's mostly women. Can't figure it out.
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Old July 17th, 2012, 05:17 PM   #14
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Re: lighting for weddings

I just don't understand why they have to stare at the light and complain it's too bright! Just don't look at it!
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Old July 17th, 2012, 06:30 PM   #15
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Re: lighting for weddings

That made me laugh. How true. Sometimes you gotta remind people to breathe! lol!
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