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


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Old September 14th, 2006, 09:40 PM   #16
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I have two frezzy mini fill lights with dimmers and those things are great. I bought 100watt versions but I just use the 20watt bulbs from home depot because 100watts is just way too bright. The 100watt bulbs would have been handy at my last wedding where the bride and groom exited in the dark while I videotaped them from the deck high above them. I have been thinking about getting a softbox to help defuse the light a little. Overall, I think they are great lights. I also have the AB ulltralight 2 but I don't like it because you can not dim it unless you buy their $250 dimmer. I didn't realize how important the dimmer was when I bought it. I am going to sell it and buy a mini fill that has the power tap connector.

Also, I have never had anyone complain about the lights before. In my contract it specifically asks for permission to use extra lighting so that they can't come back and yell at me because the footage is too dark.
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Old September 15th, 2006, 02:04 PM   #17
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Bill,
I have to ask who paid for the wedding and did you show Mom what the video would look like with no light? I use a PD-170 and it still wants good light otherwise it's a brown grainy mess. BTW, I wouldn't put my company name on that movie either.

Other than that, we use the dimmable 35W Frezzi micro fill with soft box. Works fine and doesn't seem to bother anyone.
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Old September 16th, 2006, 12:15 AM   #18
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We use two vx-2000s and the sony 3 watt light i think. It helps out a lot and i feel it does not interfer with the reception to much.
Receptions are dark for a reason....becuase the people who paid for them want them dark. We always tell them that if there's no light the video won't turn out good. They understand what there getting into before we shoot.
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Old September 17th, 2006, 10:40 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Stemen
Receptions are dark for a reason....becuase the people who paid for them want them dark.
Really? I always thought it's because the banquet manager or DJ just say to dim the lights. :)

It's never been my esperience to actually have a couple request "low" lighting and I've heard of videogs actually putting tape on the dimmers to prevent this. (Or so they say).

- RT
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Old September 17th, 2006, 05:56 PM   #20
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I've had people get upset with the main Guy who shoots at weddings. They where upset that we kept the lights somewhat up at the cerimony so the cameras could see good.
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Old September 17th, 2006, 06:35 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noah Hayes
Do any of you use other types of lighting equipment like a Lowel Rifa or other heavily diffused light maybe over the dance floor if there isnt enough lighting? I shot a outdoor wedding which had virtually no lighting outside other than some Christmas tree type lights on a couple branches on the tree right above the dancing area, and even with 18+db on my FX1, it was virtually pitch black. I've been looking into some lighting gear for interviews, company training videos, possibly some short films, but I didn't know if anyone had any suggestions in regards to off-camera lighting for weddings.
If necessary I have around 3500 watts of AC lights on stands (all 3200 degree K or slightly above) that I can use if I am in a situation where the ambient lighting is poor. When I have to use this equipment I make sure everyone involved agrees it is necessary, and then try to bounce the light off of walls or ceilings for more diffusion and less obtrusion.

My equipment is home made from a collection of DJ spot light fixtures, construction work lights, painter's extension poles, home made barn doors, and diffusion gel holders, and carefully chosen 3200K light bulbs. I thought of buying "real" lighting equipment, but since the need to use them might happen once a year i thought it better (and more fun) to devise my own.

Make no mistake, any kind of carefully focused and controlled auxillary lighting equipment will always make a video look many times better. Integrating effective artificial lighting essential to video production into a social environment will always be a challenge!
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Old September 18th, 2006, 09:16 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Zlam
When I go on the ladder, it is 20 watts without the diffuser.
Ladder? Do you mean a ladder ladder?
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Old September 21st, 2006, 11:50 AM   #23
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yeah sometimes i use a lowel 3 piece kit... depends on teh situation and how much throw i need. if its outdoor in the dark, id raun teh 800w lowel tota ... soft nice white diffused adn reflected throw from a brella noones annoyed unless they look behind them and se the light directly...

also have a Lowel Mni (2 of these) which care focusable and u can mount filters and the like.. but i hadly ever use these... the smaller setupus (ive got 3 Luxmen video lights which run off 12v cigarette lighter batteries) and these work jsut fine... one is 35w, another is 75w, and another is 100w having all 3 saves changing globes and ive always got a backup unit. I usually run the 75w about 8 feet in the air and about 4 metres from the dancfloor... i run the 35w oncam as a fill if needed. Larger venues i hoist the 100w instead of teh 75... usually dont need more than that unless ur looking at a basetball stadium reception (whch ive done.. 2000 guests.. 4 cameras... NEVER AGAIN... lol )
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Old September 21st, 2006, 01:40 PM   #24
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Yes, I use a 3 step ladder to shoot over and into the dancing crowd.

Sometimes I use it for the ceremony, when the tripod is at its full height of 9 feet.
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Old September 21st, 2006, 03:37 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Richard Zlam
Yes, I use a 3 step ladder to shoot over and into the dancing crowd.

Sometimes I use it for the ceremony, when the tripod is at its full height of 9 feet.

Hey Richard, not to be silly, but serious, could you shoot a pic of that ladder, I wanted to know what you're using. I'm curious that this may be something neat to do.
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Old September 21st, 2006, 07:55 PM   #26
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Yes, I use a 3 step ladder to shoot over and into the dancing crowd.

((umm.. why not stand on a chair?? or if theres a stage.. shoot from there... ??
Thats what i do and i dont have to lug shit around.. I can se how a 3rung ladder comes in handy though.. i use one when taking stills and large group shots..

"Sometimes I use it for the ceremony, when the tripod is at its full height of 9 feet."

((What camera are u using? If its got an LCD screen, can u not flip the screen down? I also run a cam at this height and on a dolly, it hits about 10 feet or so, usually i set focus (zoom in focus, and then pull out) and then control zoom via LANC, but its safer and less obstrusive to flip the screen down and look up as u preview ur shots.. Just a thought.. ))
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Old September 24th, 2006, 12:46 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noah Hayes
Do any of you use other types of lighting equipment like a Lowel Rifa or other heavily diffused light maybe over the dance floor if there isnt enough lighting? I shot a outdoor wedding which had virtually no lighting outside other than some Christmas tree type lights on a couple branches on the tree right above the dancing area, and even with 18+db on my FX1, it was virtually pitch black. I've been looking into some lighting gear for interviews, company training videos, possibly some short films, but I didn't know if anyone had any suggestions in regards to off-camera lighting for weddings.
I have recently started using floodlights on stands around the dance floor to increase the available light so I don't have to increase the gain on my Canon cameras to +12db. I made my own system out of contractors work lights (mostly for the challenge and the learning experience). Next year I will be purchasing a system to save weight and size. My method is to bounce the lights off of the ceiling. That will probably evolve into something different. My initial thought was to use the lights for the traditional dances and then turn them off, but I am finding the bounced light is not generating complaints so I am keeping them on throughout the reception. Most of the venues I work in have rather low ceilings and do not accomodate more than 120 guests. The photographers I work with love it. One has decided to buy her own system so she has decent focusing light when we don't work the same events.
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Old September 24th, 2006, 09:17 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Waldemar Winkler
I have recently started using floodlights on stands around the dance floor to increase the available light so I don't have to increase the gain on my Canon cameras to +12db. I made my own system out of contractors work lights (mostly for the challenge and the learning experience). .

Waldemar, do you have a screen shot of his setup?
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Old September 24th, 2006, 10:34 AM   #29
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Waldemar,
Stands around the dance floor? First thought that comes to mind is personal injury to guests especially after 10PM. Also, where on earth do you have the time to carry and setup all this equipment? I assume you must have assistants.

I use to work with GL2s and I had to use 12dB all night. Converted to PD-170s in 2004 and have never had to go beyond 6dB with Frezzi micro-fills on board.
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Old September 24th, 2006, 10:55 AM   #30
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Hey, here is a pic of the ladder. My boss uses a black 3 step and I use a white. I like white better because of the fact it is easier to see. I don't want people bumping into it by mistake. My coworker uses a 2 step, but a 3rd step better in my view.

To me the ladder is a must. When a tripod is too high I don't want to stare up at it, so I use a ladder. I also get more range with the tilt because I am up higher and can point down without strectching my arm. And it is more comfortable in viewing the LCD screen and having a bird's view of what is going on.

Chairs are good if you are in a hurry, I use them too, but a ladder is taller and more professional IMO. Nobody wants to sit in a chair a vendor has been standing on with potentially dirty shoes, so I use them sparingly. Plus. a ladder is taller than a chair.

As for having too much too carry in, it is what is, and it doesn't bother me. All I carry in is my green bag (camera bag), blue bag, tripod with shoulder mount attached, and my ladder. It is fairly easy.

I use a pd170 with a bogen 521 lanc.
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