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Old October 9th, 2014, 08:31 AM   #16
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Re: Lights on stands at the reception

Thanks, Arthur. Stories like that are the reason I'm going to try very dim, focus-able lights high on light stands. At least for the formal dances, and if I'm lucky, for the grand entrance, cake cutting, and speeches.

If the DJ has interesting, colorful lights, I'll probably just rely on those for other fun dancing shots. But sometimes, the DJ has no lights. And then a guest, or the DJ, or a venue employee starts dimming the lights. That's gonna lead to a rather drab video, even with fast primes and large sensor cameras.
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Old October 9th, 2014, 09:50 PM   #17
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Re: Lights on stands at the reception

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Originally Posted by Max Palmer View Post
Art- I'm trying to discover better ways of lighting the dance floor at night because I also hate that "straight-on" light look in videos. Can you show a short example of what your type of technique looks like?
here's a screen grab. When you're backlighting and lighting off center, you're not going for the beauty shot because of the shadows but for shooting the dance floor, I find it adds more depth and energy to the scene.
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Old October 9th, 2014, 10:40 PM   #18
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Re: Lights on stands at the reception

Backlighting works great. Especially the hair light rim and adds drama. I used to do those things in the past but it seems my clients don't appreciate the artistic lighting results as they never gave me any compliments for it after all the work lugging around tripods and such just to make those effects. I even had a lighting assistant that places and adjusted the direction from them. So, since 2002, I haven't brought any extra lighting to venues on a regular basis. Sometimes it ain't worth it.
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Old October 10th, 2014, 08:57 AM   #19
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Re: Lights on stands at the reception

From 2000-2008 we never used any extra lights. Sure many many times the reception looked like a bunch of black cats in a coal mine, but no one seemed to really care.

In 2009-ish when I switched to HD I bought one of those dual 10W/20W on camera Sony lights and had amazing success with that little guy. I bought 2 more so my other shooters would have one too.

Then last year I took it up a notch and got 2 9' light stands and 2 Switronix Torch LEDs. They do great adding some extra light to the first dances and such.

But then, now, we're using a Sony FS100 and a Sony a7s, so the need to introduce light has gone down a lot.
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Old October 11th, 2014, 09:32 AM   #20
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Re: Lights on stands at the reception

I am Comer lights reseller. I can offer some discount to DVInfo members. PM me for the discount info.

I am also a wedding videographer. I mounted the comer light on light stand and placed near the dance floor. but make sure you put sand bag at the bottom. Too many kids and drunks running around dance floor.

I use the spot filter to create a spot light on the dance floor. It works great. also, increase the light output.

The side benefit is, I mounted a Zoom voice recorder on that same light stand as well and place it near the DJ's loud speaker. In that case, recorded a master audio track on top of the DJ's feed. Someimes DJ feed is too "dry" without any ambiance. I can mix and match. Sometimes the DJ sound completely screwed with hums and peaks. This recorder on lightstand near loud speakers save the date.

this is how that recorder sounds like. You can see it in the far back at the very first scene of this clip.

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Old October 11th, 2014, 11:47 AM   #21
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Re: Lights on stands at the reception

Years ago I shot a reception and the only, and I mean only light they had on was a "red cop'' light at the DJ's table and a couple of lights over the main table. I didn't have the lighting I had now, so needless to say, it all was dark.

That was enough for me, so I purchased some on camera lighting from Frezzi. As mentioned earlier, you can advise till you're blue in the face, but some clients won't understand lighting. They see the crap on hollywood and think that they can swing the same thing for a 5k budget. Nevermind that there's 40k of lighting at some of those platinum weddings or movie sets.

That being said, I shot an out door wedding that was after sunset, I advised the client to get event lighting but they didn't. So I put two of my frezzi lights on my two cameras and one on a stand and lit the whole ceremony with them. When I turned my lighting off at the end of the ceremony, you couldn't see the person in front of you.

My frezzi lights have been amazing and saved my can more than once at events where you're stuck with 'low lights' or no lights. Every once in a blue moon a client will say something about the lights. But that's to be expected when they didn't listen to you or don't understand the challenges of editing dark video.

If I went to weddings with proper lighting, even proper low lighting, then I could turn my lights off. But in my area, very little attention is given to proper lighting. Thus, my frezzis are a staple in my truck and agreement.

You can put the frezzie on stands, but as mentioned before, someone's bound to trip over them.
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Old October 13th, 2014, 03:39 AM   #22
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Re: Lights on stands at the reception

Sandbags are a must for your light stands - people still trip over the legs but then you are usually in a room full of chairs/DJ stands and band gear so you are introducing no more risk than is already there. I don't even bother discussing lighting with the couple as, on the times I have discussed it, it comes to nothing. On the few times I have introduced lighting for the speeches (just a little for fill) I get the over the top squinting and eye shielding so now I simply ask if the house lights can be turned up. Quite a lot of the time I get speakers spread across different tables so lighting them would be a logistic nightmare.

I have it in my terms and conditions that poor lighting levels may compromise the quality of the footage, and it is up to the couple and their venue to ensure adequate lighting levels. I'm quite happy to cast a little fill light if absolutely necessary but I'm not prepared to light up an entire reception room!

I find communication pretty poor sometimes between the couple and their venue, and even in the venue itself - yesterday for instance I asked the MC (who the bride was complaining about as being pretty useless) if a PA was being used for the speeches, no she replied, the're just going to speak from where they stand, just before the first speech someone passed a mic to the father of the bride who boomed his speech from the hidden speakers in the ceiling - unfortunately the level is higher than set on my H1 recorders so the sound is pretty poor - shame some people can't get their act together.

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Last edited by Peter Rush; October 13th, 2014 at 04:18 AM.
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Old October 13th, 2014, 01:22 PM   #23
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Re: Lights on stands at the reception

Just yesterday I was the photog ( I am photographer also ) of a middle eastern wedding where the video guys ( 3 cam shoot) used 2 light stands supporting 2 powerful lights to illuminate the large dance area. The stands were firmly taped down and sandbagged down to the floor.The lighting was really nice and even and there were lots of small children around ( they bring their children at the wedding regardless of age) that were running everywhere all night. Well, one boy around 7 or so tripped while running on the stand leg and fell face down to the floor. I will not describe the scene but the boy was taken away immediately as he most likely broke his nose.
The tripod did not fall down, he just tripped on it. It was located in a good spot far from the dance area.
This was not the first time this sort of thing happened in my many years doing weddings. Most likely there will not be any charges as these people are all like family including the band and the video and will consider it like a child scraping his knees. All I am trying to say is that anything can happen at any time. Had the venue raised the light level as requested, this may have been avoided. But...
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Old October 14th, 2014, 01:07 AM   #24
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Re: Lights on stands at the reception

I always take lights & Stands - but you're asking for trouble if you take anything other that LED's - you can't have a hot light on stand with guests around.

I have 2 300 LED lights & 1 600LED - both bi colour , dimable and battery operated - the only thing I haven't got is a remote. they last all night. with a solid stand & shot bags for EVERY one of them I don't have to many problems.

I mention lighting in an email to the bride and also to the venue. the only time I ever took a tungsten light to a venue was to prove a point - the coordinator refused to adjust lighting twice so I went in on the 3rd time, set up a 1k and turned it on - she got the point.

this is the sort of lighting I use
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Old October 14th, 2014, 08:20 AM   #25
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Re: Lights on stands at the reception

Paul, I was thinking more like 100W to 250W, not 1000.

Which LED lights do you use?
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Old October 14th, 2014, 08:25 AM   #26
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Re: Lights on stands at the reception

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Gannis View Post
Just yesterday I was the photog ( I am photographer also ) of a middle eastern wedding where the video guys ( 3 cam shoot) used 2 light stands supporting 2 powerful lights to illuminate the large dance area. The stands were firmly taped down and sandbagged down to the floor.The lighting was really nice and even and there were lots of small children around ( they bring their children at the wedding regardless of age) that were running everywhere all night. Well, one boy around 7 or so tripped while running on the stand leg and fell face down to the floor. I will not describe the scene but the boy was taken away immediately as he most likely broke his nose.
The tripod did not fall down, he just tripped on it. It was located in a good spot far from the dance area.
This was not the first time this sort of thing happened in my many years doing weddings. Most likely there will not be any charges as these people are all like family including the band and the video and will consider it like a child scraping his knees. All I am trying to say is that anything can happen at any time. Had the venue raised the light level as requested, this may have been avoided. But...
By this logic I assume you're against DJ's having speakers elevated off the ground because a child might run into them? Wouldn't that hold true for anything on or near the dance floor?

Maybe the parents are lucky the videographers don't sue for their kid running into their stuff :)
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Old October 14th, 2014, 05:55 PM   #27
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Re: Lights on stands at the reception

Well no, I am not against any DJ for having anything on the floor whatsoever. That is his/her problem if a mishap occurs. Hope they never get sued and have insurance That also includes the video light stands and such. Accidents happen all the time when one least expects it. I avoid the possibility as much as possible by minimizing on the equipment I carry and install/place. Many times I tripped on the venue chairs, the DJ's
tripods that support his speakers, the slippery bathroom floor, and also the time I twisted my ankle while walking to my car at night after the wedding caused by a pothole in the parking lot that I did not see due to the lack of lighting. I did not sue or get angry, I just accepted that as an occupational hazard. But, there are those that will go see their lawyer first thing Monday morning. Sometimes in our quest to offer the client the best possible product, we tend to overlook the consequences and possibilities of mishaps. Remember Murphy.?
Every business is a risk, true, and the more equipment is present the more that risk elevates. A camera mounted drone overhead on an outdoor ceremony is an accident waiting to happen.
I really prefer to travel light and watch where I step.
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