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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old February 1st, 2006, 05:25 AM   #16
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I don't use any lights either, never had to and like some other people here, I tend to find them too intrusive. People always know where you are and won't act as naturally. I know the quality suffers but it is a matter of finding the right balance. I might change my mind one day, but at the moment, I like it the way it is.
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Old February 1st, 2006, 06:26 AM   #17
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without light, there is no picture...

if youre happy to degrade your imagine quality, then dont run a light, there are ways to run light AND be discrete
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Old February 1st, 2006, 07:29 AM   #18
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IN 2004 I did a wedding and at the reception I used a Bescor light with a 20W bulb-the room (a place I've shot many many times) has windows on the North and West sides and meet in the corner-delightful for a cocktail hour starting at 6pm in the summer. (said sarcasticly)
To make it short everything went fine. The couple was vey happy.
Fast forward to 2005-same room-brides is a cousin to the previously mentioned bride-the new bride asked me if I had to use the light because when I did her cousins wedding I didn't use one. I said I'll shoot it just like I did her cousins! (needless to say, I used a 20W light and everybody was fine with it)

Moral of the story-it's all a perception-ours and theirs-I have a general rule-if I'm indoors at a reception or a party I use the light-goes back to my days as a still photog, use flash when inside! Anyway like I sad-a 100watter would probably pi** them off but 20W with a softbox is hardly noticable especially in a room thats so dark you can hardly see where you're going BUT to each their own.
Don
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Old February 1st, 2006, 02:05 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juan Dela Cruz
What videolights are you using for weddings? Can you suggest a good videolight for less than $250.
The Frezi Mini Dimmer with Softbox is a handy tool though I think it's breaks your $250 budget. A cheaper and fairly good alternative is the Sony 10/20 light. It doesn't offer the smooth dimability as the frezzi but does offer you two settings (10 watts, and 20 watts). If you diffuse the Sony 10/20 with a small piece of diffusion paper it produces a much more smooth luminance, eliminating most of the hot spots you might get using it stock, right out of the box.
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 06:37 PM   #20
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Peter, Peter, Peter.

It is not "MY" image. It is the clients image. I discuss lights at every single pre-booking meeting and 100% of the clients request no lights. When I explain no lights means less than pristine image quality the answer is always "that's fine, I just don't want lights."

Now, if there is no way to get a useable image, light 'em up. I have yet to have that happen though.

Mike
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 12:48 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom
OR try this one by Bescor :Bescor AK7 Dimmer Light and Battery Kit - Consists of: MPL645 Light, MM7XLR Battery, BC500 Charger, Barn Doors
Its $235 from B&H with the battery-at 50W it runs about 75 minutes at lower wattage it runs up to about 110 minutes or more.
Don
Hi Don,
I am very interested about this Bescor kit. I pretty much never use lights at weddings as I have often been commended for my discreet presence and ability to make sure the guests and couple are at ease with the camera present. I have also been approached by folks who want to make sure I don't use lights because of their past experiences at other weddings where they were used..and I guess alot of folks got pissed off about being blinded.....blah blah blah.

Anyway, because of this, I don't really have a lighting system suitable for wedding use...at least for what I would want it for. I have a full studio kit that would blow out the venue....nix that. I also have a couple of smaller on camera lights, including the Canon 3 watt (which wouldn't do much for anything more than about 18 inches away - and the Canon 10 Watt -which I call my "Cops" light, because everyone in front of it gives that 'guilty' appearance you see on episodes of "Cops". Using this light bare is a complete joke in a wedding setting - and would piss everyone off beyond the telling of it. Even if I diffuse it with fabric or such, it gets complicated and I still don't have much control.

There was one location I shot a wedding in this past year that was a challenge for lighting. During much of the low light footage, I made do with some image tweaking and everyone was very happy with the results, except for one scene where the groom wanted included because he had prepared a speech where he thanked everyone for coming and for his new wife for loving him. It was a nice speech and well spoken, but not very crucial to the flow of the general video...especially since it happened long, long after the general toasting session. While at the scene, before I shot it, the day had run way overtime and the setting in which he was standing was very very dark. I told him that I'm really not going to be able to get an image on him unless I used a light. He didn't like the idea of using a light and asked me to avoid it. No problem....only during the scene, I couldn't even see him in the viewfinder, so it was pretty much a washout anyway. In the end, he was a little disappointed that it was too dark to see him.

Anyway...I guess that is a long way of saying that I am giving alot of thought to this Bescor kit. I don't have any experience with anything quite like it. So I am wondering...it has a dimmer. Does the dimmer operate with 'notched' settings, or is the dimming completely variable - so that I can basically go from 0w to 50w or ANYWHERE in between depending the need - so that if I need a tiny bit of illumination just to get an image, I can dim it really low?

I have a dark venue to shoot in March where 'noticable' or 'glaring' lights won't be allowed so I am giving serious consideration to the Bescor kit you mentioned.
-Jon
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 07:40 AM   #22
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Jonathan,
Well let's see-OH, you're in CALI-see out there you've got all that nice sunshine and it stays light late and you do all of those outdoor receptions :-)

See here in cold dark Chicago if you don't use a light most times the reception footage looks like crap-gain goes way up-no noticable contrast-it just looks like s**t must be my days as a still photog years ago. Sometimes the receptions get so dark you literally can't see where you're walking.

The Bescor in question is not the light I have-mine is an older model that I'm not sure they even make anymore but regardless I believe the rheostat has a smooth movement to it so you can adjust to any wattage from 0 to 50. I have found that 20W works really well and when used with a softbox it's a fairly soft even light that is really not objectionable to 99% of people.
The battery is a lead-acid type which although is a bit heavy works well and as long as you charge it about once a month (if you're not using it) it can go long periods of time without use. Again the MM7 battery will power a 50W bulb for about 75 minutes but at lower wattages it will run longer. Although I don't use it much any more (I'm using an Anton Bauer UL 20W w/softbox) I keep it with me at all times and I know it's there when I need it.
BTW, if it's anything like the one I've got, I can change the bulb to a 100W and use AC power and now I've got a nice little kicker lite for certain applications.
All in all I've been very happy with the Bescor but I do recommend a softbox-perhaps Lumiquest and velcro it to the light OR a piece of Tough-Spun to soften up the light a bit.

HTHs
Don
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Old February 4th, 2006, 03:15 PM   #23
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Anyway...I guess that is a long way of saying that I am giving alot of thought to this Bescor kit. I don't have any experience with anything quite like it. So I am wondering...it has a dimmer. Does the dimmer operate with 'notched' settings, or is the dimming completely variable - so that I can basically go from 0w to 50w or ANYWHERE in between depending the need - so that if I need a tiny bit of illumination just to get an image, I can dim it really low?

I have a dark venue to shoot in March where 'noticable' or 'glaring' lights won't be allowed so I am giving serious consideration to the Bescor kit you mentioned.
-Jon[/QUOTE]

Hi Jonathan

Have you any experience of the IDX X3 LCD light. This is 100% dimmable, I also have been looking at lighting posssibilities for weddings and this looks interesting, but with some form of diffusion/softening.
Check it out at: http://www.ggvideo.com/idx_x3.htm

Cheers

Tony
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Old February 4th, 2006, 07:36 PM   #24
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It's a culture thing.

I think lighting up ceremonies and reception venues is a perfectly acceptable thing (in some places.) - the Philippines included, which I hazard Juan is from.

It's a non-issue here so guests are used to medium to big cans on lightstands in venues. Given that, we may still claim unobtrusiveness with the camerawork.

It will be more unacceptable to produce dim and grainy footage.

So Juan, If you would like to invest for the long term, get 800 watt Arris, If you can't afford it yet, get Ianiros. If you still lack funds for that, I know a shop along Gil Puyat Avenue where they sell China branded clones of Arris.

Cheers.
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Old February 4th, 2006, 07:43 PM   #25
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I never use lights at ceremonies but I always use an on camera light at the receptions and I've never had an issue with anyone because of it. But after reading a lot of messages on this topic, I might start putting my frezzi softbox on my light from now on.
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Old February 4th, 2006, 09:12 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom
Jonathan,
Well let's see-OH, you're in CALI-see out there you've got all that nice sunshine and it stays light late and you do all of those outdoor receptions :-)
Yeah..pretty much...most of the venues I shoot for weddings are outdoors, but unlike what most people believe about California, the Northern CA 'wine country' (sounds oddly similar to 'whine country') is 'blessed' with what they lovingly refer to as 'micro-climates'. Almost half of the summer weddings I shot last year involved some form of unexpected rain. It's really kind of nice to see how some of the clients who come here to have show-off weddings in exclusive 'upper-crust' venues still get knocked down a peg or two by mother nature. The setting I mentioned earlier involved a problem with the caterer serving the meal about 90 mins behind schedule-so it started to get really dark. The facility had a mountain of back-up lights available (really charming ones that evoke a 1950's Mayberry lampost thing), but the client insisted on "no lights" as they had paid a premium for the location due to its natural beauty and didn't want to mar it with esthetically displeasurable novelties - so they enjoyed their meal in nearly pitch darkness. As it was outside, there were no walls to help reflect what little light the table candles emitted.

Since some of these venues begin pricing for half-day site usage at around $10,000 and up (not including any of the services at all) it makes me chuckle how some people 'get their money's worth)
-Jon
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Old February 4th, 2006, 09:18 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Goodman
Have you any experience of the IDX X3 LCD light. This is 100% dimmable, I also have been looking at lighting posssibilities for weddings and this looks interesting, but with some form of diffusion/softening.
Check it out at: http://www.ggvideo.com/idx_x3.htm
Wow, thanks Tony, that looks like a great little light. General form factor of the frezzi mini-fill, but the bonuses of LED. The no-heat light is a very nice thing for on-camera usage. What I really would like to have are the Litepanel LED lights they sell at dvcreators.net. Those look awesome...but these, as well as the IDX lights are a little beyond my budget. I don't actually have my next contracts paying off until mid-April and I have to be a replacement monitor in the coming weeks, so I want to get something that works well, has a few options and yet stays within a lower budget - and so far, the bescor kit just might do the trick. I will keep an eye on this IDX stuff, however. I do have some LED lighting for some other stuff, and I really like what it does. Thanks again.
-Jon
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Old February 7th, 2006, 04:49 AM   #28
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Don, thanks for you earlier info regarding your experiences with the Bescor lights. I still haven't finalized my plan as I continue to juggle budgets - however, I recentl read a post of yours from a few years back documenting your experiences with the Bescor lights, and you were discussing the attempts to set up a diffuser on it.

I was thinking that if I got the Bescor kit with barn doors, I might think about setting up some sheets of flame retardent fabric and sew some velcro strips on either end, with accompanying velcro tabs glued to the outer lips of the barn doors so that I can quicly and efficiently apply the diffusing material. (I am not yet sure about a workable softbox for these lights THAT I CAN AFFORD....so just how hot do the lights get?..I mean as far as trying to glue the velcro tabs to the barn doors....does the heat carry out to the tips of the barn doors prett extremely, making the glue unstable? Just theorizing at the moment because this looks like a light I can really afford. If it turns out that I will end up spending a bunch of extra money to make the light usable for my purposes, I might better off spending the extra for Frezzi or the iDX. Thanks in advance.
-Jon
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Old February 7th, 2006, 06:47 AM   #29
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Well I made the diffuser I used on that light and I can't find the materials anymore to make a new one but I did use velcro to attach it to the light and it seemed to work out OK since I've been using the system for more than a few years now BUT ALAS ALAS, my diffuser got damaged and is no longer usable so I took some TOUGH SPUN diffuser fabric and use gaffers tape and BEHOLD...It works just fine- so everyonce in a while I have to change tape-not because it melts but becase the end peels up and it annoys me-Of course I could have bought an inexpensive Lumiquest softbox for about $20.00 and done the velcro thing again but since I already had the Tough Spun just hangin around I opted for that. I guess I'm not really concerned about a light using no more than a 50W bulb starting a fire what with the bulb never getting close to the diffusion and keeping the tape or velcro off the vent holes. I figure I got enough to worry about :-)
Don
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Old February 8th, 2006, 03:56 PM   #30
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I've tried lights and no lights at events and weddings. It's pretty much up to your experience and the situation as to if you need them. If you can possibly get away with NOT using lights and then go into post and use a lighting "filter" to help out, then that would be best. I've found Sapphire's lighting effects work really well in PPro.

But, in totally dark, no-light situations where you need to grab an interview with the bride's cousin, sometimes ya just gotta use a light. No amount of "Super NightShot" or filtering will help you get away from all that graininess.

The LED light intrigues me. I may have to put that on my 'wishlist' for an upcoming birthday.....
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