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Old August 29th, 2013, 12:22 AM   #1
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What are you lighting your receptions with?

Im running into some ridiculously dark receptions lately. I have two comer LED lights that have been holding their own but I feel like they are too harsh/bright/directional off of my stands to the dance floor. Id love to be able to raise overall ambient with a real diffused source(s). Any suggestions out there? Does anyone blast light into the ceiling for bounce?
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Old August 29th, 2013, 12:54 AM   #2
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Re: What are you lighting your receptions with?

Hey James

Great idea BUT then you come to a venue with a black ceiling!! What I use for speeches works very well for me to provide both lighting that's not harsh and you don't need a white ceiling.

I have a BIG standing (actually a stedicam docking stand and then a 2 stage lighting stand grafted on the top so it can extend about 5 metres up.

I have a 9 socket CFL head that can swivel so I usually only use 4 x 45W 5000K CFL lights and the head bounces into a white umbrella which is right up near the ceiling and provides nice even lighting downwards without guests moaning about bright lights.

Chris
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Old August 29th, 2013, 01:20 AM   #3
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Re: What are you lighting your receptions with?

You must take a ladder with you ;p

That doesn't sound like a bad idea. I heard something about Chinese lanterns or something as well, never used them before.

Those CFL lights shouldnt be all that expensive eh?
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Old August 29th, 2013, 02:50 AM   #4
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Re: What are you lighting your receptions with?

Hi James

The stand is pretty compact still so it's easy to setup in a corner..I just try and place the head/umbrella as close to the ceiling as possible and tilt the head right back with the umbrella up against the ceiling so you have reflected light out of people's eyes.

CFL spiral tubes are cheap and one can pick up a kit off e-Bay pretty darn cheap ... I have seen also a very neat system that has a single head with a 105W spiral tube and brolly all in one for well under $100 ... that is pretty effective too!!

Chris
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Old August 29th, 2013, 03:02 AM   #5
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Re: What are you lighting your receptions with?

This is my setup I use which cost <70

Twin bulb socket with two 105W CFL bulbs, a lightstand and an umbrella type softbox.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Big-Bargain-...d_sim_sbs_ce_7
http://www.amazon.co.uk/PhotoSEL-ST2...ds=light+stand
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http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old August 29th, 2013, 04:12 AM   #6
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Re: What are you lighting your receptions with?

Low lighting at the venue can be a problem at times and I do carry a pair of small 160 led lights just in case. Where the light is dim enough to make it difficult to video, I find myself in a bit of a dilemma over whether the couple actually wanted it to be that dim, or whether it is the venue manager that has decided. It is usually the venue manager, so I am then faced with two choices, do I add my own lighting to raise the lighting levels sufficiently, which can then annoy some people who moan about the bright lights, or just simply ask the venue manager to raise the lighting slightly to bring it up to the same level that my own lights would. The latter is by far the simplest and most effective, as it only requires a small increase to be sufficient, it is unobtrusive and immediate.

I have had venue managers telling me that the couple require low lighting and I politely point out that they also require the events on video and the lighting is too low. I point out that my own lights would increase the level anyway but would be annoying to some guests. The manager invariably is happy to work with me, but on the rare occasion they have refused, I have a quiet word with the couple just to let them know that the light is too low for good video and they are at least aware and can make a choice.

Roger
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Old August 29th, 2013, 04:31 AM   #7
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Re: What are you lighting your receptions with?

I have six Z96 lights which I can rig up in pairs on light stands and these can work on full power for several hours using Sony batteries. But thats very much a last resort and its far better to get the venue manager or DJ to turn up the ambient lighting. They are usually happier if they know its only needed for shortish periods such as the speeches or 1st dance.

I prefer these standalone battery powered units over mains power as they are quick and relatively hazard free compared to mains powered units.

At this wedding it was too dark even to focus my stills cameras. And so dark that the speakers could not even read their notes! They asked me if they could use the continuous lighting they had seen me use to help shoot photos of posed groups in the same venue earlier in the day. I rigged up one Z96 on a lightstand. A friction arm would have been better but I didn't have all that stuff with me as I was contracted just for stills:

Ref 454-0129-03_bpps Ashton Lamont Photography, Copyright

p.s. that venue is where Henry VIII had the wedding breakfast with one of his 8 wives :- )

Couples have to be realistic and it helps to discuss possible issues beforehand. Recently I shot a couple of ballroom dancers who of course did an elaborate routine for their 1st dance. I made sure they made a point of not letting the DJ do anything too silly with the lighting - it was still a challenge though.

Pete
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Old August 29th, 2013, 05:19 AM   #8
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Re: What are you lighting your receptions with?

last wedding I done had a very dim venue for the speeches, I had a Sony HVL-LBPB LED on camera light running off a NP-F970.
Having reviewed the footage theres a tiny amount of noise visable, that was with the lights at approx 50% at about 10 foot away.

I heard some people complain that it was too dark in the ballroom.

Its a topic I'm going to raise with potential B&G's in the future.
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Old August 29th, 2013, 06:43 AM   #9
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Re: What are you lighting your receptions with?

With speeches, it's well worth while talking to the bride and explaining that just for the speeches you are going to turn up the lights just a bit, then ask the venue to raise the lights when speeches are about to start and explain that you already have the bride's consent. Makes life a lot easier for doing speeches and if any guests make a fuss also tell them it's only for the speeches, then they will be dimmed again.

Usually works 9 times out of 10 and makes your life a lot easier. At my pre-dinner drinks session last Saturday where I do interviews with the guests the bride was still out with the photog and I asked the venue to raise the lighting which they did with pleasure and also no-one complained. Never hurts to ask and also if they only raise them a fraction it still raises the overall ambience which makes your video lights appear less dazzling compared to turning them on in the almost dark room!

Chris
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Old August 29th, 2013, 07:02 AM   #10
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Re: What are you lighting your receptions with?

Even a small nudge up on the house lights can make a real difference - for speeches and the first dance they'll usually accomodate us, then turn it back down after the special dances.

Camera mounted LEDs, of course.

And 2 or 3 ReadyLite 20s up on stands. I even have 2 gorillapods and will attach them in interesting places instead of my own stand.
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