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Old June 21st, 2015, 10:59 PM   #16
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Re: I hate these new led lights!

Our ideal is to create a cinematic gem but the reality isn't a movie set that we have full control over. The best you can do is try to anticipate these sort of things, educate the client so their expectations will in line with the end results. I come across this in theatrical performances. Well lit even lighting yields the best video but if all you care about is dramatic artistic effects that the live audience will appreciate so be it. Same here maybe the clients is more interested in dramatic lighting than what's optimal for video. Honestly it's unreasonable to expect a layman to understand the dynamic limitations of video and it's implications on what the dj might do if it's not explained.
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Old June 22nd, 2015, 03:22 AM   #17
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Re: I hate these new led lights!

Perhaps it's time to add that extra clause in the contract. We've always had the one about photographers getting in the way, family and friends blocking the shots, crazy venue lighting etc but perhaps it's time for :

"if your DJ does nasty stuff with lights your first dance will look crap and it's not our fault" type of thing!
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Old June 22nd, 2015, 03:52 AM   #18
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Re: I hate these new led lights!

I have a clause in my contract that covers anything outside my control. Are there really couples out there who are gonna sue for weird lighting in the 1st Dance, given they hired the DJ in the first place. Most only do a few twirls anyway and then grab the guests in for comfort and those who put a lot of effort in usually consult me beforehand. I find flashes from cameras to be more intrusive as at least the lighting was a deliberate part of the 1st Dance and not a side effect of people taking photos.

I am thinking of providing couples with a list of common issues, from phones and tablets blocking shots in the aisle, Church restrictions, Guests blocking shots and lighting. As long as you can prove the couple were fully aware of potential problems before the day, I feel I'm safely covered on the unlikely event they do make a fuss. Of course its annoying to see potential good footage not turn out as well as you'd hope, but frankly shooting Weddings fulltime, I've gotten use to such moments of disappointment.
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Old June 22nd, 2015, 04:00 AM   #19
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Re: I hate these new led lights!

I set up my own lighting for the 1st dance - I tell the DJ not to use the LEDs and most of the are pretty good but the venue always turns the lights down so I always have a backup
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Old June 22nd, 2015, 04:16 AM   #20
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Re: I hate these new led lights!

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I tell the DJ not to use the LEDs
If it only where that easy :) This won't work here, it's part of the show and they won't change that for the sake of the video, when I ask if they could alternate lights so I"m not constantly stuck with ugly red light that is about the most they are willing to do.
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Old June 22nd, 2015, 09:45 AM   #21
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Re: I hate these new led lights!

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If it only where that easy :) This won't work here, it's part of the show and they won't change that for the sake of the video, when I ask if they could alternate lights so I"m not constantly stuck with ugly red light that is about the most they are willing to do.
The punchline being that their lighting doesn't really even look good to the guests, either, though. I still remember a DJ, years ago, pointing out that all that lighting, all on the same side of the DJ, looks great... to the DJ. All the guests see are the lights themselves, and often a b&g in silhouette.

I will say that, when a DJ posted his 1st dance video gig log recently, and he was doing bad DJ lighting like that, pretty much every called him out on it.
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Old June 22nd, 2015, 01:41 PM   #22
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Re: I hate these new led lights!

I have to smile because you wedding guys are now discovering for the first time these kinds of problems. In the events world these things have been able to cause problems for a long time, and to help prevent it, we use proper technical riders, that get shared. It's very popular now to use lots of back light, facing the audiences, and these shine in the lenses of the cameras out front. So the Lighting designer circulates their plans, the video people look at them and choose appropriate positions, or talk to the designers and work these things out. where solving the problem will be tricky, the video people give the lighting people a monitor so they can work together. Now costs are coming down and the DJs can now have lighting effects they have never had before - and frequently their unique selling point is the lighting effects, that may well have been what the bride liked?

Of course, the DJ thinks they are the most important, and the photographer thinks they are, and the video people the same. In truth, they are all doing their best, as individuals. The wedding industry has not yet moved into interdepartmental cooperation, because they work individually, in separate and sometimes competing compartments. If the DJ has spent considerable money on HIS contribution, it's going to be difficult to convince him you want bright even light. He will want to do HIS best, which may well be at odds from YOUR best.

It is not reasonable to assume your own requirement out trumps his. In fact it may well do, but without the proper planning to put this things into print, who can tell. These 'horrible' lights are a fact of life now, and the bright blue and red washes they can produce will zap quite a few cameras that cannot cope. Perhaps we should blame the camera manufacturers for not making their products compatible, because we are discovering some makes seem to be quite awful with LED spike, while others handle them much better.

In the events world we're also seeing the controllers doing amazing things with strobing and blinders - and once the DJ people start replicating this the wedding video people are going to go mad! When you are in the room, the effect with the beams in haze is stunning. In the camera, things are quite different.

Weddings are going to start to have to get coordinated if they want these things minimised. The video is NOT the most important, unless the bride says so - and my view from outside is that the video is becoming less, and the actual live event more?
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Old June 22nd, 2015, 01:49 PM   #23
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Re: I hate these new led lights!

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Weddings are going to start to have to get coordinated if they want these things minimized.
That will never happen in weddings, it's like you said more a individual and a competing world, you can only count on the goodwill of the DJ to provide you with some less challenging lightsituation and you can only hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

Although I hate certain color I don't mind that much as long as they keep the light intensity the same which didn't happen the last wedding and then the light color is not such an issue anymore but you are constantly battling in changing your exposure and I just don't like to shoot in auto exposure in such challenging situations.

I don't expect any changes in the future and expect it to get only worse, I guess this thread was a just a way to vent before I move on to the next wedding with equal problems :)
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Old June 22nd, 2015, 02:03 PM   #24
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Re: I hate these new led lights!

Paul, that's a typically smug non wedding guy point of view you have there. :) Do I think the video is the most important part of the day - of course not. On the other hand, delivering a Professional video is my trade and I have to look out for it on the day as frankly no one else will.

These new lights can be a problem and obviously is going to be discussed here. Most comments here seem to suggest it's not always the fact they're being used as such, its that they're being used badly. Co-ordination with the DJ in the manner you suggest is not always as easy as you imply in the Wedding industry and not without having to charge more to cover the increase work this would entail before the day. Frankly I'd live with the lights.

I've only had one evening Reception spoilt by lighting and that wasn't the DJ, but the venue's dimmed lights that caused these lines to run down the image; though only on the GH2s and GH3 - on the GH4 this was minimised to only a few shots if my camera was pointed up at the ceiling, so easily avoided. Like any event filming, there are challenges and frustrations to overcome, and yes people are going to vent this frustration here. I wouldn't read it as any more than that.

As for your last statement, I wish some of my Brides felt that video was becoming less important. I'd might get an easier time. :)
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Old June 22nd, 2015, 03:18 PM   #25
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Re: I hate these new led lights!

Not meant to be smug - but as an outsider, I do detect a continual kind of attitude, which I do understand, but as I have a foot in many different camps, I can see it from the outside as a bit unbalanced.

The last thing a lighting person wants is static lighting. It's boring, dull and doesn't stimulate or change emotions - which is what it's all about. If you add the fact that so many moving lights now build in programmes to let them cycle through colours, for the people there, it's very pretty. In fact, this week, I've picked up the job of lighting a 'second' (wedding is abroad, so this is more like a party for people who can't go) wedding reception in 'mood lighting'. So I'm planning on lighting the white ceiling and bouncing colour all over the place. Lots of gobos, beams and LED strings all over the place. At the moment, there are photographs but no video planned.

Steve - the lights are not being used badly, they are just being used in a non-flattering to video mode. This is the problem. If you are the BBC, doing Strictly, then you have two types of lighting, illumination - and effects, basically eye candy stuff with beams and colours, but you make sure you have face light. If you go into a nightclub, then you just have effects and no face light, and this is the type of lighting installation you get from many wedding venues, holiday centres and mobile DJs. Their entire system is not designed to do even whitish wash lighting, it creates strong colours, sharp beams and high contrast.

If the video people want even lighting for important things, then they need to bring in suitable lighting, or do some proper planning.

I also appreciate the bride may well think the video is perhaps even critical, but have no concept of what needs to be done to get proper pictures. Maybe in the initial discussions, these things just need clearing up?

I've said it before, but I have lost track of the number of times a video guy turns up at the last minute and demands (not asks for) changes to the lighting - that we may well have spent days setting up!

I offer the client the choice - light for the show and the 1400 people sitting there, or light for the video that they may sell a few of? I could have said we should light for the DVD, as it will be a permanent record of the brilliant show, and the static lighting wouldn't be noticed by most of the audience - and we can easily replot it while everyone is having lunch, if we work right through, and not add to the bill?

You can guess which will be my preferred solution?
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Old June 22nd, 2015, 04:02 PM   #26
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Re: I hate these new led lights!

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Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
. Maybe in the initial discussions, these things just need clearing up?
What he said. Again, the couple is shelling out a lot of money, and if you as an expert tell them that certain things are bad for what they are paying for, hopefully they'll address it with the DJ or let you do it. Either way, on the day off, my radar goes up when I see DJ lights and I'm having a conversation with him as I'm setting up for the reception. After all, if he blows out my video or photos or makes people look like they came from Venus, that is something many of them don't want.
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Old June 22nd, 2015, 04:30 PM   #27
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Re: I hate these new led lights!

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Steve - the lights are not being used badly, they are just being used in a non-flattering to video mode.
I"d disagree, not every venue I end up has an ugly light show, there are ones that manage to balance light better so it's more flattering on peoples faces and eventhough they use mixed lightcolours as well the variations and light-intensities are much more subtle. But once they start with harsh red, then harsh green, then harsh blue or pink etc..., that's just plain ugly and you don't need a videocamera to see that.

It's either the DJ that brings his installation or the Venue that has it preinstalled and they decide how it looks.

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Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
If the video people want even lighting for important things, then they need to bring in suitable lighting, or do some proper planning.
It's a wedding Paul, not a theater show, you might want to shoot a few so you know what the difference is :) You can bring some lights but they are no match to counterbalance those powerfull lights like I have encountered at the last wedding and getting your own powerfull DJ light set to dictate the lightconditions during the first dance doesn't fly here, the venue or the DJ would not allow that. You can use a camera videolight directed towards the DJ so you have some fill light on the dark side of the dancefloor and then just stay on that part but I have encountered once that a DJ came up to me asking to turn the light of because I was blinding him and he couldn't see what he was doing :D

The past 2 years I don't bother anymore and just shoot like it is and now and then come to this forum to complain, it doesn't help but it makes me feel better there are others that feel the same. :)
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Old June 22nd, 2015, 05:13 PM   #28
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Re: I hate these new led lights!

In my experience lights are often dimmed to set the mood for first dance. Because I'm an old school non-dslr kinda guy I wouldn't show up to the reception without an on camera variable light even though dslr people look down on it. My view it's better to have options. Whether it's enough to over come whats being discussed here I don't know but it might be the difference from getting something rather than nothing. Those high end wedding trailers hide a lot of the ugly that an average wedding has. Its a fine line between letting anything happen and turning in sub par results to a client and getting involved in the event instead of covering it. I've always heard that reality tv is heavily scripted because if it wasn't it just wouldn't work.
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Old June 22nd, 2015, 05:35 PM   #29
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Re: I hate these new led lights!

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Not meant to be smug
It was a jest comment hence the :) at the end; mind you, your lack of experience with Weddings doesn't half show.

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Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
The last thing a lighting person wants is static lighting. It's boring, dull and doesn't stimulate or change emotions
Actually I favour interesting lighting to non lighting. Don't assume we Wedding guys share identical views on what is acceptable. I had a conversation with a guy who works for me and basically with DJ lighting, what he dislikes I actually don't mind and in some cases prefer. I'm afraid I'm a bit JJ Abrams in loving the lens flare and will actively use the DJ lighting to bounce off my lens for effect. However that is part of my preferred style and others will of course view things differently. I'm also not afraid to see people turn different shades of colour like blue, red, green if the lighting reflects this. As long as my camera captures as it is, then I'm happy. It's random artefacts like camera flash and the weird lines that run down the screen I do hate. However so far not a result of the DJ.

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Steve - the lights are not being used badly, they are just being used in a non-flattering to video mode.
And this conclusion is based on what evidence - comments here, a few photos? I film 50 Weddings a year and I've seen the same set up used well and the same set up used badly. It's the badly side of things that can cause issues for me and the guests and couple. Do you think the DJ is spared criticism from those booking them - not a chance. Like all vendors, not all come with equal skills and standards. I've had the pleasure of working with some great DJ's and the displeasure of working with some pretty crap ones too.

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Originally Posted by Pete Cofrancesco View Post
Because I'm an old school non-dslr kinda guy I wouldn't show up to the reception without an on camera variable light even though dslr people look down on it.
I use DSLR like cameras - GH2's, GH3 and GH4, yet have 2 strong lights and a rotolight - the latter always on my person. It's true that with fast lenses we rarely need to rely on it and just as well; it can be intrusive and annoying to the guests - I say this from 1st hand experience. However even with fast lenses, good lighting is good lighting. You can't beat getting great skin tones from proper lighting to near blackness and I use my rotolight nearly every Wedding, even if for fill light for table decorations and cake. However I'll also use it on the dancefloor under the right conditions, even with an f1.2 lens attached.
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Old June 23rd, 2015, 01:48 AM   #30
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Re: I hate these new led lights!

It's the same thing that I get with some lighting designers who just feature certain traits, and often the very one that gets them the job. One is heavily into magenta - and some DSLRs really can't do magenta - Pentax DSLRs are a good example on the newer ones, I take stills not video with Pentax - always have, and like them, until I bought a new one, and taking pictures of one designers work showed that they can do red, and they can do blue - but the mix that should produce magenta just gives a weird red.

The non-flattering thing is that lighting an entire dance floor in vivid red or blue can look really good - in a context. It depends on the room, and light location, but its not going to do faces much good. Luckily, few DJs like green, but if you ever find somebody who decides to a Wicked section - then a green LED wash will kill you. Black skin takes it very, very badly, and goes a kind of strange grey colour, that no tweaking in post will fix.

Keep in mind that many club DJs now don't do lights, they have somebody dedicated to the mood creation element.

All I'm attempting to do is explain a point of view that doesn't have much video in it - video needs are very different. Carrying your own kit means you have control. Finding a receptive DJ is luck, unless it's explained before - that is all.

How many of you give the DJ a monitor so he can see what his lights look like to the camera? In theatre, this is the ONLY way we do it that guarantees what looks good to the eye makes it to the video. First dance lighting, to the DJ will look dreadful, same as his does to you?
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