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Old August 24th, 2014, 06:33 AM   #1
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DJ Light Problem

Hi all - I shot a wedding a few weeks ago and the DJ had these polka dot lights that looked truly hideous on video. I was using my new Sony A7s so I put it down to a few setting issues - last night however the DJ had the same lights and they rendered exactly the same way for my Sony EA50 - horrible bright spots of over exposed posterised nastiness - the thing is they don't look too bad to my eyes, the camera makes it look worse than it is! - has anyone had this?

Pete
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Old August 24th, 2014, 06:55 AM   #2
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Re: DJ Light Problem

Like that and even worse, the kind of lights and colors I come across, especially since led has made it's way to the dancefloor at venues, I have to deal with some horrible lights that make faces glow and take away all detail. The worse kind are those harsh red lights but also blue neon, absolutely horrific to have that during a first dance.
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Old August 24th, 2014, 07:14 AM   #3
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Re: DJ Light Problem

Hi Pete

I think you are stressing over something you have no control over. It's all part of the evening and let's face it, the LED lighting isn't going to go away either. Just film it as it is and leave it at that. It's not going to help one teeny bit trying to correct it or getting the DJ to turn the lighting off. It's also only a small bit of the wedding (I finish up after the first dance on all my weddings)

As Noa says the blue lights are even worse!!! The bride chose the DJ so it's really not your fault if he floods the people with strange coloured lighting ... that's how it was so let the bride have her footage exactly how it was on the night.

The only thing I do is keep my back to the light source and squirt a bit of my own correct light onto couples faces and leave it at that. In your example the bride will probably be delighted that the lighting was so cool!

Chris
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Old August 24th, 2014, 07:21 AM   #4
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Re: DJ Light Problem

The lighting last night was whizzing round quite fast - I wonder how bad the lighting has to be to render the footage unusable - I had my own on-camera light and a couple on the sides of the dancefloor but his were overpowering as you can see. As they flash on and off and move around quite quickly it also makes focussing difficult, especially as in a situation like this you are likely to be shooting wide open.

The posterisation makes it look far worse, plus a frame with a lot of these light spots displays more compression artefacts - I suppose a 10bit camcorder would handle it way better. My new Sony A7s can use the XAVC-S codec which is supposedly superior to AVCHS so that may make a difference - I'll try it next time.

Pete
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Old August 24th, 2014, 09:25 AM   #5
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Re: DJ Light Problem

As a DJ, I never once considered how my lights affected photo or video, until the past few years. I always considered how my lights fit the moment, so I never had the lights flashing, or those dot effects going during the 1st dance, or slow songs, for instance.

Now that I've seen it from this side, I only use par lights, with the solid colors that change with the music. When speeches or the 1st dance is going, my lights are white (or as white as RGB LEDs get). I also usually leave the house lights up more, until after the special dances.

You may not be able to control it, but you can still talk to the DJ about his crap, so you don't end up with the nonsense below. Fortunately, we got him to keep those lights off during the first dances.

skip to 13:37 for the lasers, in all their glory
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Old August 24th, 2014, 09:54 AM   #6
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Re: DJ Light Problem

Unfortunately the DJ had these lights whizzing all over the place during the first dance and father/daughter dance!
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Old August 24th, 2014, 10:01 AM   #7
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Re: DJ Light Problem

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Originally Posted by Peter Rush View Post
I suppose a 10bit camcorder would handle it way better. My new Sony A7s can use the XAVC-S codec which is supposedly superior to AVCHS so that may make a difference - I'll try it next time.
Higher bitrates codecs such as XAVC-S won't break up as easily with fast motion and high detail scenes compared to avchd which usually shows up as macroblocking but when it comes to displaying color correctly I think 10 bit codecs have a much greater advantage then high bitrate 8 bit codecs.
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Old August 24th, 2014, 11:02 AM   #8
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Re: DJ Light Problem

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Unfortunately the DJ had these lights whizzing all over the place during the first dance and father/daughter dance!
If politely talking to them in advance doesn't work, may I suggest a rabbit punch to the throat? Then turn down the sliders on their light controller. Problem solved!*


*until the police show up and arrest you.

New idea. Please post your favorite crappy DJ setup or lighting. I'm going to cut together a 90 second clip to post on the DJ (and maybe bride) message boards.
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Old August 24th, 2014, 04:30 PM   #9
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Re: DJ Light Problem

Guys please remember that the DJ has a job to do too and frankly was hired because of the ability to pack the dance floor and put on a show. They aren't there to please you or even work with you unless you're all from the same company or like Robert are doing a husband/wife combo. Some things just aren't in your control, quit stressing about them or you'll end up with an ulcer. It is what it is and you know what? The bride and groom know it.
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Old August 24th, 2014, 04:33 PM   #10
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Re: DJ Light Problem

I'd expect that on a DJ forum there will be a post like this
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Did a wedding yesterday and the bride's mother (the client paying the bill) especially requested my new Acme laser system she'd seen at another wedding, and didn't mind the extra charge I had to make - as she thought it worth it for the effect. Then the video guy came up and said it spoiled his shots of the first dance so wanted me to turn it off. Why is it they think their video is more important than what we do? My job is to make the room moody and exciting, and the last thing I want are those horrible white lights. I want the dark and the contrast my coloured lights and lasers looks so good in. My new laser creates amazing streaks of light on the dancers, and they love the mode it creates. The video guy got all the big white lights on and ruined everything the bride's parents are paying me to do!
What constantly gets me is why wedding video people don't include these requirements in their contracts, so the people paying know about specific requirements so they can decide which is more important, and has priority. It could be the video, or the photographs but it could be the DJ's needs.

I'm not supporting the DJ, I'm just questioning the lack of proper planning weddings seem to have - considering how much they cost!

Personally, I thought the lasers looked pretty good, and the bright bits lacking in atmosphere.

What is certain to happen is that the cheaper end of the DJ market now has access to equipment that will annoy video people a great deal because of the ability to throw lots of saturated light. I provided lighting and IMAG for a music event, and finding lighting states that were camera friendly was very difficult, and the decision was made to make the live audience the priority - so the IMAG on solid blue stages was sparkly and fuzzy. Tough!
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Old August 24th, 2014, 05:19 PM   #11
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Re: DJ Light Problem

Naw, you guys are right to complain. On the DJ boards, when DJs post videos where we can see them using effect lights, or having their lights flashing during the 1st dance, it's standard practice to point out that is a No-No. It just looks tacky, nevermind for photos and video.

And Don, please stop giving DJs so much credit. A HUGE section of DJs, maybe not a majority, but a lot of them, are kind of awful. Many are chosen entirely on price. We know this to be true because they have no website, no video of them in action, and no pictures of their setup. We've all worked with capable DJs, and probably a decent number of good or great guys, but don't give the knuckleheads credit when they don't deserve it.

One note about those lasers: you are not allowed to place them where they will hit people's eyes (it depends on how powerful they are). As a DJ, the only reason to set them up, unless you really like those dots everywhere, is if you use fog/haze so you can see the beams. A good example: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...er_effects.jpg

As a DJ, I really will say, it's OK to talk to me and let me know if you have any requests or requirements. Of course, I'm the guy who probably came up to you, first, and introduced myself, and asked if you need anything, and lets you know before anything interesting happens. Heck, last night I asked the B&G to repeat a dip/kiss when the clinking happened, for the sake of the photographer, who missed it. *Just to be clear, it's not that I think I'm super-awesome. I think that's how we should all treat each other.
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Old August 26th, 2014, 11:41 PM   #12
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Re: DJ Light Problem

I guess I never really had any issues with it. I always had the mindset that i am there to document the day, not direct it. if they have funky lights and that was their choice then that's what I document for them.
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Old August 27th, 2014, 12:06 AM   #13
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Re: DJ Light Problem

Hi Rob

I guess you are right too! The awful DJ's are not that good at their job so they have to impress the bride and groom with a dazzling display of lights.

I think DJ's also tend to get over technical like we do! We love to get fancy rigs, sliders and such to make a more impressive video and the DJ goes to the specialist store and is equally wowed by all the latest lighting heads and effects so he buys them and naturally wants to try them out!!

Like Dan I don't have an issue overall with them. Sure they mess up the video but that's the DJ the bride chose so that's what I film ... there isn't really anything we can do expect film the day as it happened. I work in well with DJ's (especially if they are the MC as well) so I wouldn't want to get on his bad side. If I'm doing my video guestbook inside the venue which happens sometimes I know I can ask him to drop the background music level a little while I get my live audio and he is always happy to comply

Chris
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Old August 27th, 2014, 01:52 AM   #14
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Re: DJ Light Problem

Them dazzling DJ lights are so primitive and tacky, you would think that they would come up with something novel to add with the music other than the same ol' light show ad nauseum ?
Come to think about it, I think we are truly the creative minds behind the lens.
Anyway, I just capture everything the bride paid for, including them disco era polka dots.
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Old August 27th, 2014, 07:25 AM   #15
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Re: DJ Light Problem

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Come to think about it, I think we are truly the creative minds behind the lens.
Anyway, I just capture everything the bride paid for, including them disco era polka dots.
My point was, often the B&G didn't pay for them, or don't know to expect them, and the DJ just does it because... um, reasons, I guess. Just nicely asking them to lay off is your right, and of course, some of the not too great guy will ignore you. Then we just deal with it.
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