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


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Old September 21st, 2014, 05:39 AM   #1
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And we moan about the DJ's LED lights...

...Well I just filmed in a reception venue (funily enough called 'the venue') that was a huge room that encompassed the bar, a stage, and meal seating for easily 200 people and was lit entirely with large banks of horrible magenta and blue LED lights - a true nightmare to white balance as also dotted around were LED downlights that blasted hideous pools of coloured light onto the tables. For the speeches at least my footage is underexposed, deliberately as any over exposure resulted a highlighted area of whatever colour happened to be on at that moment.

What goes through the minds of the people that rig these lights? What's wrong with trying to preserve a natural skin tone?

And then in the evening the lights stayed on but were joined by crazy lasers and swooping searchlights - it was a toughie for exposure and focus!!!

Pete
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Old September 21st, 2014, 07:01 AM   #2
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Re: And we moan about the DJ's LED lights...

Hi Pete

Last night I had a myriad of bright coloured dots (the size of a football actually) all over the walls and guests. Your exposure, of course goes up and down like a yoyo! The yellow ones are over bright and the dark green ones almost have no lumen value in comparison.

No use at all complaining ..the DJ is doing his job and competing with the other DJ's and, as they are nowdays just "tune players" their only ace card is to go overboard with the lighting! I also had lasers last weekend ... I always make sure I'm out of the line of fire ..I reckon that could easily destroy a sensor if it hit the lens directly.

You do realise that all your comments are falling on deaf ears with DJ's so just basically tell the bride " Don't blame me, blame the DJ"

Chris
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Old September 21st, 2014, 09:36 AM   #3
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Re: And we moan about the DJ's LED lights...

It wasn't the DJ Chris - the venue used pretty much exclusively LED lighting for the whole room.
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Old September 21st, 2014, 11:43 AM   #4
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Re: And we moan about the DJ's LED lights...

It is what it is. I just shoot without worrying about what is given. Hey, if the bride was shown the venue beforehand, I am sure she was given the inspection tour when she signed, lights and all. And she most likely said "WOW, that is so cool". She asked for it.
Venues are always trying to outdo each other in terms of the "look" this LED ambience thing is really going too far. Venues are struggling to get clients in so they must "look" better than their rivals. Just last year I was doing a wedding in a venue I haven't been at 2 years earlier. The bride and groom is introduced from a rising elevator from the floor below directly in the center of the dance floor. There was a huge laser show and bright spotlights supplied by the venue. Now this is also exasperated by the DJ's own laser and light show as well as his dual fog machines that engulf the entire area. They want that "in the cloud look". All I got in the opening dance was white smoke and star wars lasers. That was an Italian wedding in an Italian venue. And the place was dark as hell the entire night. Just so that the DJ looks good.
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Old September 21st, 2014, 07:17 PM   #5
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Re: And we moan about the DJ's LED lights...

Thanks Pete

Yeah I have had a few venues with much the same and you struggle to shoot in it. As Arthur says, the bride chose the venue and she thinks it's cool so we just have to shoot in the conditions and keep quiet.

At least we can have a bit of a moan here and vent a little!!

Chris
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Old September 21st, 2014, 09:10 PM   #6
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Re: And we moan about the DJ's LED lights...

Sometimes I get the feeling that the DJ convinces the bride to keep the lighting as dark and low as possible so his light show will really stand out. This was discussed recently with a wedding I did earlier this year where I went to the Matire D and asked him politely to raise up the venue lighting up a notch, not really that much but just enough so that people can see what's on their plate. The Maitre D replied that the bride went over his lighting scheme levels and could not do anything about it, "discuss it with the bride" he said. "if she OK's it, then that's fine". I has a very brief discussion with her and the result was negative. When she got the video, she did not complain a bit of the graininess. Before she left I asked her " how come you desired a very dark atmosphere. She said the DJ highly advised it for HIS effects. This scenario happens often enough that I don't bother or get frustrated anymore.
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Old September 22nd, 2014, 02:26 AM   #7
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Re: And we moan about the DJ's LED lights...

Yes it is what it is and we just deal with it but I find that environments lit by LED lights difficult to expose for properly - to the eye it can seem fairly bright but the camera sees it differently - over exposing makes it ten times worse so I deliberately under expose a little - I find even zebras struggle to be accurate in that situation!
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Old September 22nd, 2014, 03:07 AM   #8
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Re: And we moan about the DJ's LED lights...

What we do, if possible is turn them off.

If its a simple light doing a wall wash then fine. But if its like what you had where the coloured lights are the only real light source then we try our best to turn them off and turn on something else.

Notley Abbey is a beautiful venue but they have these nasty lights in the attic which illuminate the ceiling. They are the sort where they use multiple LEDs to create a particular colour and due to the refresh frequency of them it means that in each frame you get a different colour cast. Its strobing on a whole other level.

I have to get into the loft space, crawl to the control box and turn them off. Although, last time I was there they were still off. I did forget to turn them back on and it appears a year later there still off :)

If the colour is all over the place then don't try and white balance. IF the whites appear purple or red or whatever then just roll with it.
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Old September 22nd, 2014, 01:55 PM   #9
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Re: And we moan about the DJ's LED lights...

I encounter this problem all the time at receptions. I keep on hand some Lowel Pro Lights to light the dance floor, cake and toast area to balance out the color.
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