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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old May 1st, 2006, 06:52 AM   #1
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Night Weddings

Weddings in my region (Brazil) tend to be at night. The wedding I saw last night was filmed with the aid of two assistants lugging a great 500w halogen light about (this is in the church). The altar was also lit by two halogen lights either side. Personally I thought it was all a bit intrusive but apparently it's normal here.

If \ when I go into wedding filming business I will be using my DVC30 with 20 or 30w camera mounted PAG light. Do you think this would be sufficient for a ceremony \ reception at night. Really, I suppose to answer my own question it depends on what ambient lighting the church has to begin with. I really dont want to go down the route of floodlighting the place.

I've read the many views on to light or not to light at weddings but at night is it really something I can avoid?

Thanks for your input
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Old May 1st, 2006, 12:18 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Burnap
Weddings in my region (Brazil) tend to be at night. The wedding I saw last night was filmed with the aid of two assistants lugging a great 500w halogen light about (this is in the church). The altar was also lit by two halogen lights either side. Personally I thought it was all a bit intrusive but apparently it's normal here.

If \ when I go into wedding filming business I will be using my DVC30 with 20 or 30w camera mounted PAG light. Do you think this would be sufficient for a ceremony \ reception at night. Really, I suppose to answer my own question it depends on what ambient lighting the church has to begin with. I really dont want to go down the route of floodlighting the place.

I've read the many views on to light or not to light at weddings but at night is it really something I can avoid?

Thanks for your input
First off, let me say that I also have the PAG C6 20w-35w light system, and love it.
Now after saying that, I have to say in my personal opinion, I would NEVER use a light at a ceremony. I find this too intrusive and inappropriate. Now it obviously seems that it varries depending on where you may be (other countries etc). but in my area of the U.S., it isn't done.

I have done daytime (indoor/outdoor), night time, candle lit etc. weddings, and have not used a light once to film. If the couple wants the atmoshpere to be dark and romantic for the ceremony, than that's how it will be recorded. I just let the couple know ahead of time, and ever one has been more than happy with the final edit. after all that is how the event actually occurred.
Now, I do have a bit of an advantage than you right off of the bat because I am using a Sony VX2100's (the 2100 and PD-170, are currently the king of low light recording right now) and you are using DVC-30's.
But, even when I was using my GL1's, which aren't great in low light, i still didn't light the ceremony.

Now as for the reception, I say fire away when needed. I don't record with a full light kit, but I do use my PAG light when needed, as well as a PAG C30 light on a tripod, bounced when needed. This is all that I have needed and I have shot events in a cave (literally).
Some don't even believe in using lighting for receptions, but even though my cameras can go down to 1 lux, i would rather have good color representation, that a muddy image.
I just can't bring myself to do it for the ceremony though. If at all however, I have used my PAG light to film the processional, as they enter ONLY, and then shut off the light for the remainder of the service (This was for a candlelight service). This was discussed ahead of time however.
Most venues, even outside, will have some sort of lighting in general, so there really isn't much of a need for additional lighting.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 02:59 PM   #3
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Augment the existing lighting in the church. If the church will allow 2x500 watt portable lights, then it should tolerate 2 500 watt lights set on stands and aimed at the ceiling or walls. Your on-camera light will probably be too far from the action to be of much use for the ceremony.
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 07:24 PM   #4
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If you are in a situation where you know you will need additional lighting, then DO IT! But do it with style. Don't use any more lighting than necessary.

"Inappropriate" is not a reason to avoid a technical solution to your issue It is simply a warning that says, "think this process through to its end". the rewards are worth the effort.

There is, however, the question which MUST be answered, which is:
"How do I do it?" That includes all of the "innappropriateness" issues.

My personal favorite approach is to use two 500 watt, 3200 degree kelvin spotlights positioned forward (or down stage) of the position where the bride and groom will stand about 30 degrees. The goal is to achieve an exposure of 1/60 @ f5.6. That may mean more or less lighting istruments.
Technical rehearsals are worth their weight in gold.
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