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Old December 22nd, 2012, 01:32 AM   #1
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Correcting lighting to match venue?

Do you guys bother correcting your on camera lighting or softboxes to match the venue lighting? I think I'm going to be using a softbox a bit more this year and I'm figuring I should be making an effort to gel over the 5k to bring it to whatever the room is at and then WB accordingly. Same for on camera lights. Obv it would look best corrected.

I'm also referring to when there is a themed light setup, such as purple lights all around the room, what do you tend to do then? I cant imagine correcting my lights to purple! lol

Thoughts on that?
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 06:00 PM   #2
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Re: Correcting lighting to match venue?

We *sometimes* correct lighting to match the ambient light, specifically if it's more tungsten. Nothing worse than mixed lighting for getting people's skin colour *and* the bride's dress the right colour ;)

However, I can't comment on your lighting scenes because in all the weddings I've done (in the UK), not one has had a professional lighting scheme! It's just not something we see here.

If they had to spend money on lighting.... well that would just be yet another thing meaning no budget for a videographer! Doh!

I really don't think you need to correct for lighting colours like purple though. All you'd be doing is adding more saturation on the purple instead of actually adding more usable light to the scene.

:)
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 08:14 PM   #3
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Re: Correcting lighting to match venue?

Hi James

Over here receptions are so dark and dim there is virtually no lighting to correct so the camera only "sees" the lighting you provide. Even at better lit venues I don't worry too much about mixed lighting as the white balance usually takes good care of it

Chris
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 12:00 AM   #4
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Re: Correcting lighting to match venue?

Tonight (just got home) I used my new 8 power led light for the first time on a paying job. It will probably be the last at least for receptions. For outdoor work or even talking heads on a light stand that wil certainly be in my kit. that sucker had some power however, I found it very hard to get a proper WB with the light be it manual or AWB. Regardless of the filter I tried, the "tungsten filter" was way way to yellow and I had a very hard time obtaining WB even after knocking the yellow out in the camera. I went without the filter and just used the diffusion and it was far to cool a look for my taste. Granted at this reception thye had basically turned off the lights for dancing and that bright white light really stood out even at just about the lowest power settings plus the weight of the light is far more than I could handle handholding.
So while I don't feel all that bad about spending the cash for a key light since that's mostly what it'll be used for from now on since when I do interviews (talking heads not MoS) I have the time to set the WB properly. I'll be going back to my 312AS with my trusty Bescor NiMH battery until I have the time and patience to work some more with this power led light to get the right filtratioh and WB from it. BTW, yes, I did play with it at home for a couple of days before putting it a real job and I WAS able to push through and can use the footage I have but it ws way more a hassle than any other light I have so until it gets sorted, back in the case it goes.
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 12:14 AM   #5
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Re: Correcting lighting to match venue?

Hi Don

I have three of the lights (2 x 6LED and 1 x 8LED) However I alwys let the camera do a WB before actually shooting and yes it IS cold but the cam corrects it after 30 seconds.

Once you get your EA-50's and superfast lens you will only need a small light!! Looks like you have made up your mind and Noa has already ordered and I'm on the brink of jumping ship from Panasonic ..probably after the silly season.

Hope you and the wife have a great Christmas and even better cruise!!

Chris
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 07:54 AM   #6
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Re: Correcting lighting to match venue?

Hey Chris, yeah, I let the camera do a WB and I did it myself and couldn't get the look I wanted but I did get it WB'd just not the way I liked. Perhaps the Sony will allow me to go back to my LP Micro? We'll see.
Thanks for the holiday wishes, back at ya and to anyone else reading this. We're going to enjoy this cruise as we always do with all of our family (kids and g-kids) and some other friends going as well. When we get back I will be ordering the camera regardless of what work I end up doing. I like it! :-)
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 08:48 AM   #7
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Re: Correcting lighting to match venue?

Thanks Don

Yep I have also decided on the EA50H ..the K has no power zoom and I like to do a slow zoom into the marriage certificate when they sign. I will need two as the HMC's probably won't match up so I'll get one after Christmas then get rid of the HMC's and grab a second one as a B-Cam

We can compare notes in early 2013!!

Chris
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 03:28 PM   #8
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Re: Correcting lighting to match venue?

If the wall lights are purple, and maybe the coving is lit yellow - it's not remotely important. The only purpose of white balancing is to make face tones look correct. Coloured backgrounds look great if they're designed well. There is no need to attempt to match the camera. I just look at what is illuminating the subject, and balance to that - and indoors it's usually 3 or 3.2Kish. If there are windows, then they're going to look blue, but unless s the light from these hits the subject, I'll probably not correct the lights to 5.6K - as in many cases, the loss in light level isn't wanted.

I have lots of issues in theatre with mixed 3K and 5K+ discharge lighting - and this can be adjusted out with some moving lights, BUT only when we're involved in the lighting design process. Going into a pre designed show is never going to get all the cues modified to add in colour correction. It means some reds end up slightly pinky/magenta, and the greens look a bit odd. All I want are faces to be the correct colour - if they turn left and go pink and turn right and go blue, that looks horrible - and this is my main problem.
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 10:14 PM   #9
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Re: Correcting lighting to match venue?

James,

In theory you are absolutely right. I am afraid in actual situations, it will be far more of a nightmare than you anticipate. Where you are concerned, rightfully so, about the color temps being used, you are probably the only one who will be there that will know everything else in the room is a jumbled up mess. There will be times where you walk in and everything is lit in tungsten and then your thoughts are dead on. Then there will be those with a mix of tungsten and fluorescent where those can be just about any temp. The ones that will drive you nuts, the LED floods or light banks that immerse everything, in their path, in color.

I think you should go ahead but go in with a realistic attitude that at times, you just won't be able to get it 100% dead on.

Good luck with it !!!
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Old December 24th, 2012, 07:52 AM   #10
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Re: Correcting lighting to match venue?

The pink & magenta LED uplighters that are now so popular at wedding receptions are instruments of the devil. It is literally impossible to WB properly as there is such a pink spike that the cameras react to. Add to that they are low voltage & run off transformers that are a different frequency to our 50Hz mains so there is often a shimmering effect that cannot be removed either. The only way to fix this is to flood with our own white light. It doesn't matter whether it's tungsten or LED as long as it overwhelms the ghastly pink glow. Speeches aren't too bad as you can shine a lamp on the speaker but wide views of the whole venue are still going to be suffused in a magenta glow.

Happily a lot of wedding receptions here in the UK are held in marquees that the venues erect as temporary structures to avoid planning controls although some of them are pretty substantial & nothing like the glorified camping tent the word marquee implies. During the wedding season of spring & summer the timetable is generally to have the ceremony around lunchtime then the wedding breakfast is late afternoon around 4-5pm which means in these marquees that there is plenty of natural light. It is generally flat tinted the colour of canvas & not very flattering but at least it's not pink.

There is a good example of the ghastly pink lighting in the video of the wedding of Jen & Neil at Finchley Synagogue on our video portfolio page Alice Barker Images - Cinematic Wedding Video & Photography - Video Portfolio
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Old December 28th, 2012, 12:39 AM   #11
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Re: Correcting lighting to match venue?

Thanks for the input everyone, looks like reception lighting will always be a bear to deal with, but it should be manageable enough.
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Old December 28th, 2012, 06:21 AM   #12
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Re: Correcting lighting to match venue?

I'm a bit amazed to be honest. The purpose of white balance is to make sure the critical elements of the picture appear to be the colour they are in real life (whatever that is!) If the room has up lighters in a vivid green, so what? the room should be what it is!

If the bride has a white dress it HAS to appear white when she is at the table. Same with white tablecloths. If the up lighters spill onto the dress then if you want accurate colour rendition you need to provide white light from somewhere, and white balance to that. The rest of the coloured items in the room won't be correct if they are lit by different sources - and nothing you can do about that. Don't even consider changing the camera white balance to match these - it wrecks the entire thing. LED lighting in these venues is often RGB colour mixed. It uses PWM to adjust the perceived colour by mixing the red, green and blue - and this means that in effect, that unlike ordinary tungsten lamps, to get a half blue, but full red effect, the blue is pulsed on and off. This is what the camera picks up as flicker - and it gets worse with higher shutter speeds.

When shooting in venues with different colour lights - just concentrate on the ones that light faces - balance to those and ignore the rest if they are out of your control.
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Old December 28th, 2012, 10:49 AM   #13
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Re: Correcting lighting to match venue?

Paul, I agree 110%. As long as the dress is the right color (white-provided of course it IS white) and the skin tones are correct, I don't really care about the rest of the room lighting. The magenta, red, green, blue and whatever other color they have going doesn't matter to me. I'm not there to shoot the lights and if they're off slightly, no one has ever noticed or at least said anything to me about it.
If I'm doing a corporate job such as a seminar, I throw a white card up on the podium, and anywhere else on the stage I think the speaker is going to be at have the stage lighting on and set it from there.
There's only so much you can do. I want proper skin tones first, everything else comes second!
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