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


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Old March 5th, 2006, 10:15 AM   #16
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Location: Cape Town, SA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Goodman
Jeremy

Your brides must be different over there!!!

Cheers

Tony
I wouldn't like to think they are different but none like bright lights in my discussions with them, I always make it clear that low lighting will have an effect - no matter what the camera and I have never yet had a complaint. They all understand that we have only one shot at this (I also don't tell them that SA's got one of the highest divorce rates in the world :) )

What I have noticed from past posts in this forum is that our average lighting levels for receptions seems to be much lower than in the States if I take into account different cameras used for receptions and what people gain from them. The B&G's here LOVE the dim and low lights which obviously makes life for us a tad more difficult.

I light for the occasion and with the two 1000's with softboxes I always get good results and the B&G loves the finished product. My work is only from referrals so I must be doing something right. In fact, quite a bit of my work is for UK brides getting married in SA which is the latest trend due to the exchange rate.

Again, have your discussions and evaluate each situation. I doesn't mean to say that I will always use my lights - only if the situation calls for it. There are a few very popular venues here which are notoriously badly lit - and I always chat with the co-ordinators as well so as not to spoil the mood they want to set for the day. But then again, I invariably drop a dvd at the co-ordinator after the edit as well so they can showcase their work too!

Cheers
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Old March 5th, 2006, 10:22 AM   #17
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Jeremy

My comments were meant to be 'tongue in cheek'.

The bride is the STAR and everyone else, including the Groom is supporting cast to a greater or lesser degree. That's all my 'spotlight' comment was meant to say.



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Tony
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Old March 5th, 2006, 10:31 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Goodman
Jeremy

My comments were meant to be 'tongue in cheek'.

The bride is the STAR and everyone else, including the Groom is supporting cast to a greater or lesser degree. That's all my 'spotlight' comment was meant to say.
Point taken and I didn't take offence. STAR - hmmmmm - bridezilla is the word that comes to my mind :) I must add that the UK brides are generally the easier ones to work with - they normally have a fairly good idea of what they want. The locals tend to let us call the shots.

Cheers
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Old March 5th, 2006, 10:42 AM   #19
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Jeremy

Once had a bride that complained I had made her look fat...she was 5ft 1" and about 190lbs!!!!!!!

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Tony
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Old March 5th, 2006, 11:07 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Goodman
Jeremy

Once had a bride that complained I had made her look fat...she was 5ft 1" and about 190lbs!!!!!!!
Now if someone would come up with a plugin that solves this problem they will be a millionaire overnight!!

Cheers
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Old March 5th, 2006, 12:30 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Trubac
lights at the wedding?

I can see this going the same place the mic on the bride thread went.

I'm sure there is a way it could be done "unobtrusively" but would the bride or church see it that way? It could be suicide for your wedding business.
As one who participated in the "mic on bride" discussion and as one who believes additional lighting should be used during ceremonies, here are my opinions:
OK, I am pretty sure we all know most television shows, commericals, and feature films use artifical lighting to achieve the look the producers/directors want. The use of carefully focused lights will really make video images pop! The question, or challenge for wedding videography is... just how does one use lights without adversely impacting the event and still make the job cost effective?

My answers are:
1) Do a site inspection well beforehand and don't do it if not absolutely necessary. It really adds to production time and cost.
2) Don't do it unless you can position the lights so they either are not visible or if visible, are quickly forgotten. Everyone's attention has to be on the ceremony, period.
3) Make sure the lights have dimmers.
4) The most one can hope for is to bring up the lumen level at the actual ceremony site a few notches. The light has to diffuse evenly into adjacent areas.
5) Try to convince church officials to install quartz PARS in place of incandescent PARS. They will get a brighter looking altar. You will have 3200K to work with, and can forget about needing extra lights.

In ten years I have used additional lighting only five times for wedding ceremonies, and never without first identifying the need and securing the agreement of the wedding party. Four were in dark environments where lights were necessary. One was planned to be candles only in a really dark church. It was clear (no pun intended) to everyone candles alone would not work. Careful focusing and dimmers made the ceremony look natural. Another involved floor to ceiling windows behind the altar, but the church was actually quite dark. I was actually told by the minister to bring extra lights. I had to see this place to believe the light was really that wierd. The last was a dark Victorian hotel ballroom which need a little help.

In all of these situations I have found what I call "almost side lighting" to be the best compromise. The lighting instruments are positioned safely to the side and in front of the ceremony site at an angle of about 30 degrees. This flat projection angle significantly reduces the frustration ministers have because the lights really aren't their direct field of view. It also evenly fills the ceremony site from two sides with a minimum of shadows, which can be worse than having no light at all. They are usually spotlights projecting a difffused edge, ideally having some downward tilt. My light stands can extend to 9'. I don't feel that is really enough height, but with the equipment I currently have going any higher causes safety concerns.

My favorite system for overall ease of use and portability is the Lowel ViP Pro Light, although the stands Lowel provides are flimsy to the point of being scary. I also use a collection of PAR 38 and PAR 30 lamps with a variety of clip-on type sockets for odd situations. I even have a set of four significantly modified 750 watt contractor work lights. I've used them once for a very non-traditional ceremony in a dark restaurant. Another dark romantic place, this time with a gold leaf ceiling. Just aimed the lights up and forgot about it. The reflection off of the ceiling added just enough punch to allow me to have good light levels everywhere in the room without being annoying. Since then, I've spotted a few gazebos where they could be useful on a summer evening.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 04:13 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Goodman
Once had a bride that complained I had made her look fat...she was 5ft 1" and about 190lbs!!!!!!!
Just out of curiosity, was she eating a donut as she was complaining?
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Old March 5th, 2006, 04:36 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert M Wright
Just out of curiosity, was she eating a donut as she was complaining?
Robert

No, she hadn't quite finished her chicken wings!!


Cheers


Tony
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