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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old July 14th, 2014, 04:34 AM   #16
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Re: Purchasing Equipment Imminently: Storage, Audio and Support

These are the sandbags

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I like them as I they are reversible, either black (ceremonies/speeches) or high viz (dark evening receptions)

The only down side is I can no longer carry all my gear at once to the car - the extra weight means two trips

Take into account Peter's comment about rain - shots of bridal cars arriving and leaving etc are a must for me, even if it's a monsoon, so I always carry a small 'Totes' umbrella just in case - I can film with one hand and hold the umbrella over my camera in the other. It's small enough not to blow inside out if it's windy - not ideal but at least I get the shots :)

Pete
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Old July 14th, 2014, 01:45 PM   #17
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Re: Purchasing Equipment Imminently: Storage, Audio and Support

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Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
But when listening to YouTube videos and the audio from the higher level mics, the sound is incredible?! I found audio to be something that I lacked with on my previous wedding... just really want to nail audio next time round and I've learned a lot about lav placement and settings, but I just need to figure out which lavs to go with... I've always steered clear of lesser known brands in the hope that reliability and quality will prevail... sense says to buy these though... I agree.

Elephant trap alert. The owners of high end expensive mics are more likely to know the ideal recording conditions and act accordingly. This might include specially designed recording booths / placement to avoid soundwave reflections / placement of soundwave absorbing materials such as blankets etc. And the residual recording device sound via preamps has to be very bad to be relevant at weddings because there is almost always desirable ambient room noise that drowns it out. As with photography there are lots of variables which can render well-meaning under-resourced limited-knowledge tests irrelevant.

But you've got your kit now and paying a bit more for peace of mind can of course help your own confidence.

A lot of audio equipment is over-engineered for wedding purposes. And its not helped that when a relative newbie posts a question in audio rooms often straight away it turns into a piss--- match between various audio professionals recommending solutions that are never going to see the light of day at weddings.

I'm not sure what your main teaching subject is, an analogy might be tanks in WW2. The Tiger was fearsome but over-engineered, far too heavy and requiring far too much fuel. The wrong tool. Only around 1800 were produced. Compared to over 50,000 "inferior" Shermans and I forget how many T34's.
Elephant trap alert made me laugh! :-) Thanks Pete... incredibly helpful as always... I think it'll help my confidence, and hopefully because it's a bit more expensive, I'll find that the equipment lasts longer too... I'm still amazed by how much gear accumulates to... of course, you could do it with a T2i and a tripod and a monopod with a few H1s and a few lavs... but I guess I'm doing what I always do and pursuing some Holy Grail and wanting to know everything about everything within two minutes, which of course, is impossible. Really appreciate everyone here for not treating me like a tool though and being supportive and helpful continually throughout the past six months or so!

Interesting facts with the tanks - great analogy! I teach 10 and 11 year olds (Y6) at the minute, but my degree is in Computer Science.

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Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
with both bags over my head and onto the opposite shoulder, the two tripod bags on my shoulders and my slider in one hand and my monopod in the other, I can just about carry the gear

Don't forget it rains a lot :- )
Hahaha yeah... maybe I'll just get wet... what are the common ways to transport equipment? The quick releases from Manfrotto are a Godsend. I am currently using 2 Billingham bags, 2 Sachtler Ace bags and I have a sling for my slider... that just leaves the monopod in my hands now... so I'll have a free hand for my umbrella, but also a bad back... I'm considering a ThinkTank or some other storage solution... are there any bag threads on here that you can remember??? Or do you have any tips? Fortunately, my GH3 & GH4 fit inside my bigger Billingham bag, whilst my OMD and other lenses fit into my smaller one. The only things I can't carry easily are my audio products, like the two TASCAM recorders and soon to be three M10s and lavs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
must have shots ..... It's a Chinese/Vietnamese wedding

Chinese connection weddings are at the easier end of the scale for Asian weddings. You are still likely to have guests crowding you out especially during the tea ceremony. And the tea ceremony tends to take place in smaller rooms or private houses so your space can be severely restricted. Other than that, in general there is a much greater reverence for older relations. For example there would be more emphasis on the grandparents including starting with the grandparents in the photo shoot. And the reception can last an extremely long time with multiple courses. There are some great shots to be had in the kitchens whilst the food is being prepared.
Food tip is genius! Thanks for this tip!!! And for the general overview... I'm going to try to find some Chinese weddings via the 'Best Wedding Videography' channel on Vimeo. I thought the bride was Vietnamese, but apparently not now... I'm sure they'd be similar either way if you're including them together!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
where did you buy the sandbags?

I would recommend boom arm counterweights rather than sandbags as the weight to volume ratio is much higher making them easier to transport. And potentially less messy. Search for counter weights on Calumet. You simply attach them to the lightstand / tripod near the floor. Easier to move the entire rig as well if you need to do that at short notice.

https://www.calphoto.co.uk/product/c...counter|weight

Pete
Thanks Pete... would I need one for each of the three legs, or would I just attach them to the central spreader on my tripod?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Rush View Post
These are the sandbags

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I like them as I they are reversible, either black (ceremonies/speeches) or high viz (dark evening receptions)

The only down side is I can no longer carry all my gear at once to the car - the extra weight means two trips

Take into account Peter's comment about rain - shots of bridal cars arriving and leaving etc are a must for me, even if it's a monsoon, so I always carry a small 'Totes' umbrella just in case - I can film with one hand and hold the umbrella over my camera in the other. It's small enough not to blow inside out if it's windy - not ideal but at least I get the shots :)

Pete
Thanks Pete - great tips!!! I'll bare this in mind... really hoping for two great days at these weddings, as I only have the one waterproof lens and body and it isn't a pro lens either... hoping to get the 12-35 and 35-100 next year if I get an increase in weddings... will see what happens.

I'm off to buy a Totes umbrella! :-)
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Old July 14th, 2014, 04:44 PM   #18
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Re: Purchasing Equipment Imminently: Storage, Audio and Support

You would use just one weight per tripod / lightstand except in extreme circumstances. It makes for a very low centre of gravity and is therefore far more effective than its weight alone might suggest. Some people use barbell weights looped on with straps but i think that can look naff. You should add a lightstand if you haven't already as these can go far higher than tripods - important for b-cams when standing guests would otherwise block your composition.

Vietnam connection weddings can be all sorts. Some are from what were very well to do and once powerful families in south Vietnam pre-war who are now very well to do and westernised in the UK and USA. E.g. I've shot for a senior guy at Goldmann Sachs. Others may have relations who have just flown over for the wedding and are fascinatingly non-western. I have felt a palpable hatred in my direction from elderly grandparents but thats only to be expected as I'm the generation that impacted on their lives so terribly. So Vietnam is a bit of a one-off, but there is a lot in common with Chinese.

Never mix up Chinese and Japanese. There can be very real antipathy.

Pete
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Old July 14th, 2014, 05:06 PM   #19
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Re: Purchasing Equipment Imminently: Storage, Audio and Support

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Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
You would use just one weight per tripod / lightstand except in extreme circumstances. It makes for a very low centre of gravity and is therefore far more effective than its weight alone might suggest. Some people use barbell weights looped on with straps but i think that can look naff. You should add a lightstand if you haven't already as these can go far higher than tripods - important for b-cams when standing guests would otherwise block your composition.

Vietnam connection weddings can be all sorts. Some are from what were very well to do and once powerful families in south Vietnam pre-war who are now very well to do and westernised in the UK and USA. E.g. I've shot for a senior guy at Goldmann Sachs. Others may have relations who have just flown over for the wedding and are fascinatingly non-western. I have felt a palpable hatred in my direction from elderly grandparents but thats only to be expected as I'm the generation that impacted on their lives so terribly. So Vietnam is a bit of a one-off, but there is a lot in common with Chinese.

Never mix up Chinese and Japanese. There can be very real antipathy.

Pete
Thanks Pete! I'll consider a light stand - any recommendations? Do you just set your aperture to like f10 if you're shooting with the camera so high? I made the mistake of shooting reasonably shallow when I hoisted my monopod to its max and missed focus a bit. How do those weights attach themselves? I'll buy two - one for each - thanks for the recommendation!

Really interesting, thanks for the info... I'm excited about shooting the Chinese wedding, which has somewhat of a Vietnamese connection to it... but they originate from Hong Kong and moved here a decade or two ago from what I can understand. I thought it was a Vietnamese wedding as the person who got me the gig is Vietnamese and she's a bridesmaid at the wedding... never make assumptions - another lesson learned.

Thanks again Pete... I still have loads of questions, but they're linked more to a ceremony. I might make another thread in a day or two that encompasses my possible difficulties with the following two weddings. Really excited to get my second and third underway though.

Appreciate all your help Pete!

Craig
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Old July 15th, 2014, 06:01 AM   #20
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Re: Purchasing Equipment Imminently: Storage, Audio and Support

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On this, can anyone recommend a good and small pocket recorder?

We were looking at Olympus units but come to buy and discontinued. Looked at Yamaha, same again, all discontinued and the replacements are huge.

We went with some Zoom H1's in the end just because we ran out of time but there huge. I just want something to slip into the grooms pocket to take a lav mic.

Previous experience with dictaphones is that they have audio drift so a unit which can record WAV would be ideal.

On our blog we talk about the hinty gear having no wireless. Were actually about to buy them a wireless unit so they can start to tune into venue wireless systems.
Same here - I've been using Olympus WM311 recorders for 5 years but now only use them on the groom and lecturn and the occasional speaker who wishes to pace the room while making his speech! I want to retire them however as they are auto recording level only and not having to correct for the drift will shave a few minutes off editing time - Zoom H1 recorders are great but way to bulky

Any recommendations?
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Old July 15th, 2014, 09:06 AM   #21
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Re: Purchasing Equipment Imminently: Storage, Audio and Support

Lightstands are low price low tech stuff. You don't really need to spend more than a few quid.

Manfrotto do sets of three which clip together for easy storage and transport. You might use them for LED lights as well as b-cams.

I use several Cheetah stands. They are expensive to import from the USA. Their advantage is that the legs close automatically when you lift them so its very easy to reposition them in confined spaces using one hand. But the metal on metal does make a clatter so that may be a disadvantage in quiet ceremonies. I have three heavy duty ones that are also air cushioned, which means that they retract slowly when breaking down - good if you have heavy gear atop. I'm not sure if Cheetah do that still. You do need at meaty stand that can fight guests off. Make sure it has a standard 1/4"x20 screw at the top to take standard heads cams etc, or a larger 3/8 screw to which you can attach a 3/8 to 1/4 adapter.

Lightstands win over tripods in that they are far less intrusive in your compositions from other cams, they go high as mentioned, and they are far easier to step around in confined spaces which you might be sharing with a photographer.

Small lightstands also have their place as they are again even less intrusive so you can put them in alternative places such as on wide window ledges, on tops of fonts, and on tables.

These Calumet Backlite stands work well in small restricted spaces:

Calumet Backlight Stand

The three feet don't have to be equidistant apart so you can sit it on much narrower ledges than normal lightstands - which have rather a large footprint. The upright pole it comes with is OK at around 33" but if you need more height many cheap monopods will slot into the spreader instead.

You attach those weights using the lever which closes its jaws over any tube such as a tripod leg.

Pete
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Old July 15th, 2014, 06:26 PM   #22
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Re: Purchasing Equipment Imminently: Storage, Audio and Support

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Rush View Post
Same here - I've been using Olympus WM311 recorders for 5 years but now only use them on the groom and lecturn and the occasional speaker who wishes to pace the room while making his speech! I want to retire them however as they are auto recording level only and not having to correct for the drift will shave a few minutes off editing time - Zoom H1 recorders are great but way to bulky

Any recommendations?
I just picked up three of the Sony M10s... I can't say I know a lot about recorders, having only the TASCAM DR07 MKIIs, but I can say that they have amazing reviews online, great battery life (all day + more) and sound like the Holy Grail for a lot of audiophiles... but I'm sure that you could speak to more knowledgeable people around these parts than me (understatement).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
Lightstands are low price low tech stuff. You don't really need to spend more than a few quid.

Manfrotto do sets of three which clip together for easy storage and transport. You might use them for LED lights as well as b-cams.

I use several Cheetah stands. They are expensive to import from the USA. Their advantage is that the legs close automatically when you lift them so its very easy to reposition them in confined spaces using one hand. But the metal on metal does make a clatter so that may be a disadvantage in quiet ceremonies. I have three heavy duty ones that are also air cushioned, which means that they retract slowly when breaking down - good if you have heavy gear atop. I'm not sure if Cheetah do that still. You do need at meaty stand that can fight guests off. Make sure it has a standard 1/4"x20 screw at the top to take standard heads cams etc, or a larger 3/8 screw to which you can attach a 3/8 to 1/4 adapter.

Lightstands win over tripods in that they are far less intrusive in your compositions from other cams, they go high as mentioned, and they are far easier to step around in confined spaces which you might be sharing with a photographer.

Small lightstands also have their place as they are again even less intrusive so you can put them in alternative places such as on wide window ledges, on tops of fonts, and on tables.

These Calumet Backlite stands work well in small restricted spaces:

Calumet Backlight Stand

The three feet don't have to be equidistant apart so you can sit it on much narrower ledges than normal lightstands - which have rather a large footprint. The upright pole it comes with is OK at around 33" but if you need more height many cheap monopods will slot into the spreader instead.

You attach those weights using the lever which closes its jaws over any tube such as a tripod leg.

Pete
Amazing! Thanks Pete... really appreciate the help!!! I may add these before my next two weddings, or they may go to next year's shopping list.

Absolutely shattered, but hoping to make a thread about my next steps tomorrow... received a lot of gear today, but I'm sending the SANKEN's back, as they're black and not grey as I ordered. So I'm going to buy from a different company and get them in white. Tempted to get two of them now, and just add a TRAM TR50 in the mix, as a lot of people say that they're better for through clothing recording.
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