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Old October 17th, 2015, 10:08 AM   #1
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What gives with these lights

From yeaterday's wedding. The DJ had 2 banks of 4 X LED lights (big circular things) and they were the only source of light in the marquee, washing saturated blue over everything, I've never seen lights so intensly coloured like this before - I could not expose properly at all unless I went really close to the subject and blasted them with my own LED light.

What I found really strange was that when my camera thought the shot was correctly exposed, to my eyes it was way over, there was no detail in the guy's shirts - I had a little time so I hooked up my smallHD monitor and took a bead on these 2 guys - they both had white shirts on so I took the gain up until I saw zebras just coming in on the brightest part of the shirt (set at 95%) and in the montor all the detail had gone from the shirts - they were simply a wash of blue, so dialling down and letting the camera think it was about 2 stops under exposed I finally saw detail coming back.

Also I tried a manual white balance on the shirt - looked aweful and then dialled through the Kelvin scale and again - I could find no WB temperature that made them look vaguely human!

Putting my light on fixed things but is far from desirable as I had to get really close - nightmare - worst reception lighting I have ever encountered!
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Old October 17th, 2015, 10:49 AM   #2
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Re: What gives with these lights

Very similar experience I had with last year with them DJ's. They don't give a rat's a&# about the video and I had one that just did not limit his blue wash. I really don't get what they are intending to achieve with that particular color and the only guess I have is getting that "black light" look where everything that is white will really stand out. The one I had experienced with last year I solved the problem on the spot. I simply showed the bride a few clips of that garbage and told her that is what she will get and she immediately went up to the DJ and after a few short words all went back to normal for the rest of the evening. I really think that talking about the DJ should be mentioned or at least be part of the clauses in the contract that frees us from their lighting extravaganza being recorded. If the bride says it's OK and she prefers it that way, I would make absolutely sure I record her saying that when i bring it up at the venue.
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Old October 17th, 2015, 10:51 AM   #3
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Re: What gives with these lights

Seriously Arthur it was like being underwater!
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Old October 17th, 2015, 12:48 PM   #4
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Re: What gives with these lights

Was that shot with a sony a7s? I recall seeing shots during the dancing part where the camera had problems displaying blue led right. My camera's have similar problems with red led but not so bad with blue.
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Old October 17th, 2015, 06:34 PM   #5
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Re: What gives with these lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Rush View Post
Seriously Arthur it was like being underwater!
Please don't tell me you recorded the entire evening like that. If you did and the bride complains, I would be very quick to point out the fact that she hired bunch of incompetent clowns that had no regard for her video memories that last way longer than their few hours of their underwater display. I would imagine that it must have ben nauseating to the guests. Perhaps this is what she wanted and was her idea,
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Old October 17th, 2015, 08:30 PM   #6
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Re: What gives with these lights

Hi Pete

Those Colbalt Blue LED lights are the worst of the bunch! The only thing you can do is get in a close as you can and light couples with an on camera light ..of course the background and any wide shots will still be blue!

I have actually seen footage where the image posterises due to the lights. I haven't had any issues with red lights like Noa has ..only the blue ones.

However I have never seen it that bad! Maybe the A7S is just too sensitive in low light so it picks up every scrap of blue in the room?? Yeah, hopefully all the footage is not like that. That was one reason why I started dropping my packages from "end at midnight" to "end after the first dance" That way the DJ lights don't affect me but if you have the marquee lit like that from the start, there is not much you can do!!
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Old October 18th, 2015, 04:51 AM   #7
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Re: What gives with these lights

I ended up filming mainly near the door where people entered as more natural light was spilling in from there, and If I did enter deeper into the marquee I got up close with my own light which helped (I'm trying to upload an example jpeg but it won't let me) - but that leads to other problems such as people telling you to sod off or turning their backs or simply looking all self aware and embrassed - The reason I switched to the A7s was to avoid using an on-camera light and here I am again - back in the same position :(

During the dancing his lights switched from blue to red to green - all awful but the blue was the worst!

I can bet that when booking a DJ 99.9% of brides never consider lighting - many in fact leave it to the venue to sort out. I have a clause in my terms regarding poor lighting and environmental conditions affecting the quality of filming, but I'm thinking now about raising it with them at the time of booking. I just need to work out how to word it without making it look like I'm apologising for not having the appropriate equipment to cope with advserse lighting conditions!
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Old October 18th, 2015, 06:10 AM   #8
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Re: What gives with these lights

This form of cour wash lighting seems to be becoming fashionable with DJs at the moment, a bit like the annoying dancing green lazer blobs.

My standard contract also has a reference to lighting beyond our control, so I have a simple policy of recording it how it is. If I don't like the music I don't try to change it, and the same with the lighting, it''s their wedding not mine, I'm there to capture it. The lastt couple of weddings have been washed with LED light changing from blue to red every few minutes, apart from making sure that the colors aren't posterising, I just film what I see and use a camera light if I want to show closer things in more normal light, especially during the first dance. Even adding quite low level white light makes a big difference, so you haven't got to blind them.

Setting white balance in these colour washes is pointless as there is nothing to balance to. Even if you get the colour temperature right it will still be blue (or red) :-(

Roger
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Old October 18th, 2015, 06:23 AM   #9
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Re: What gives with these lights

Not saying these blue led look fine on my camera's, they don't but they at least retain detail, red led's otoh make my footage look out of focus, if I in post switch to black and white all detail is back again. I have had parts of the dancing where I made it black and white, just because it looked horrible in red.

These colored led's are here to stay, I have seen them appearing the past years and it's something the couple has not much to say about, it either can't be changed or they don't think about that.

I often mention it to couples when we first meet and show them how bad red light can look and if they could ask their DJ or venue if they could limit the use of red light or if they just could add just white light but when the wedding is there it's as bad as it gets, even if I ask the venue or dj for some changes nothing happen so this year I just took it as it came.

Adding a videolight doesn't help that much, unless it's a strong one and you are shooting up close but that is not something that is appreciated on the dancefloor.
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Old October 18th, 2015, 08:13 AM   #10
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Re: What gives with these lights

Here's a shot from my CX730 with an LED-5080 light on full - still didn't make much inroad into the blue light
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Old October 18th, 2015, 12:07 PM   #11
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Re: What gives with these lights

But you can see that the cx730 deals a lot better with the blue light, at least it looks better from a distance but I might be wrong, I think it's a typical a7s problem that it can't handle these kind of blue led's well. The led lights are much more powerful then a videolight, you almost need to stand next to your subject for best effect.
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Old October 19th, 2015, 01:46 AM   #12
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Re: What gives with these lights

This is from the CX730 set to auto exposure but minus 1/2 a stop with no additional lighting from me - just the DJ horrible lights
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Old October 19th, 2015, 02:33 AM   #13
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Re: What gives with these lights

Still I find the blue with the a7s much more harsh.
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Old October 19th, 2015, 05:08 AM   #14
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Re: What gives with these lights

Pete I really think you are worrying too much about this. If you were making an independent movie about a wedding, then you would have it all scripted and lighting and sound carefully prepared. You are not though, you are making a record of their day to the best of your ability based on choices made by your client.

Unless the couple and their guests are actually complaining about the lighting, then you need to accept that they are happy with it. If the cameras can't give normal looking pictures in blue and red lighting, it's not a movie set, it's not your problem. The scenes will just look blue or red on the video, just as they did on the day- job done!

Roger
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Old October 19th, 2015, 07:18 AM   #15
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Re: What gives with these lights

Never encountered lighting conditions this bad, however I did have a couple of DJs with colour-changing leds or rgbs. When this happens, I usually add an extra fresnel or two to overpower their lights and make sure to shoot from the opposite direction (so any coloured light that's left only acts as back light).
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