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Old May 10th, 2006, 06:26 PM   #1
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Dark skin tones?

I've got our first African-American wedding coming up later this summer. The couple both have darker skin tones and I was hoping others with experience might have some tips.

I know that I should watch out for back lighting and I expect that I'll have to move in for closer shots and depend more on my on-board lighting during the reception. We shoot with PD-170s.

Any other suggestions?
Bob
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Old May 10th, 2006, 06:41 PM   #2
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pigment

putting more light on black skin is not the solution. black skin pigment reflects less light. light and shoot normal.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 08:39 PM   #3
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Although I disagree with the use of lights, and we shoot with pd150's...to each is own. But shooting people of color ie. dark skin.....you will most likely need to shoot one or so Fstop higher than you would if you were shooting someone caucasion. You may want to ask this question in another forum on dv info....maybe the independent film section or something similar.

There is a difference when shooting african american people....you do not treat it as normal.

If your situation is to shoot them with a dark background....all the better because if its the opposite ie shooting with a light background....you may end up blowing out the background slightly because you'll be exposing to their skin(which is dark). if you expose to the lighter background......they will look very dark...and thats not good.

If your subjects end up looking too dark.....all you will see are bright white eyes and teeth.....and thats not meant to be a joke.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 11:44 PM   #4
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I had a black wedding last year, and when it was assigned to me, the boss said "just so you know, they're African-American." My response was "So what?" He said "you've gotta make sure they're well-lit." I don't know if I'd say not to treat a black wedding as "normal," I'd say it was simply a different kind of normal, if that makes any sense. You must make sure their facial features come through. I shot this one with the old VX1000 and two 500w blue lamps w/diffusers, and it worked out fine.

When I did the guest interviews at this wedding, I had no trouble getting people to participate - they were actually lining up to grab the mic. I'm not used to that - white people are generally pretty mic/camera shy, and that wasn't a problem here. I had a great time, and I'm sure you will, too.
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Old May 11th, 2006, 06:17 AM   #5
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If you can, adjust the response curve on your camera for less contrast. Also, use the inverse square law to advantage and place darker complexions nearer to the lights, lighter complexions away from lights, when possible. Use specular reflections and highlights to model faces -- take a look at the Hip Hop's Dead video http://medialab.ifc.com/film_detail.jsp?film_id=471.
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Old May 11th, 2006, 07:22 AM   #6
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[QUOTE=Joe Allen Rosenberger]Although I disagree with the use of lights, and we shoot with pd150's...to each is own.

Here in New England, reception lighting is always dim and sometimes darker. Unfortuantely, using camera lighting is not an option even with a PD-170. Thanks for your suggestions.
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