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


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Old September 24th, 2006, 06:32 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Davis
Waldemar, do you have a screen shot of his setup?
No I don't. Never thought to take a photo of it. Hower, visit Martin Welk's article in the article section of DV here on DV info. It's called "Home Depo Lighting".
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Old September 24th, 2006, 07:05 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Bob Harotunian
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.
Bob
I probably wouldn't want to convert to SONY 2000/ PD 150-70 series cameras, even though nothing beats their low light capability. I like the Canon color rendition as well at its awesome sound quality.
Safety is always a concern for me. When I shoot outdoor weddings I secure my electrical and audio cables to the grount every three feet with garden staples to keep the unwary guest from tripping fnd falling.

In this case a ceiling support column was right next to the dance floor. The light stand was placed next to this column and strapped to it. At about 6' off the floor a small piece of wood about 8" long was secured to prevent any wallpaper damage from the heat of the quartz lights. Had I not been able to arrange safety to my satisfaction I would have chosen to not use the lights. Safety is one of the reasons I will be purchasing a manufactured continuous lighting system for next year.

Yes, I travel with a lot of equipment. I even keep a contractor's toolbox in my vehicle which is filled with a collection of odd things I think I might need. Where do I find the time? I make the time. I long ago chose to never book more than one wedding on any given day. I always do site inspections of ceremony and reception sites unless absolutely impossible. My road cases are packed the day before based on the equipment needs of the shoot and I schedule my onsite arrival time to have everything done at least 45 minutes before guest arrivals. Most of the time I do this alone. Having an assistant is a wonderful luxury. That is another goal for next year...make the luxury a requirement.
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Old September 24th, 2006, 07:16 PM   #33
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Maybe it's just me....

I have yet to use an on-camera light when shooting weddings.
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Old September 24th, 2006, 07:23 PM   #34
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Maybe it's just me....

I have yet to use an on-camera light when shooting weddings. In fact, I'm always reading on this forum how it's a total must, but I've never really agreed with that. I would only break out the on-camera light in the most serious circumstance (like, if there wasn't a single light on at all). My reasoning is that as a wedding videographer, I'm trying to capture what really happened, and what things really looked like. I use several VX2100s, and the receptions always look great. I find that I never have to bump the gain past 6db, and the colour is rich and the setting looks real. With an on-camera light, the people in the foreground are bright, but the background is dark, too dark. It doesn't look natural.

Of course, I realize that a light should be used if the picture quality is looking really poor, but I find I don't need much ambient light to get a great picture. I always come with a light, just in case, but I've never actually had to use it. Maybe I've just been lucky and all the reception halls I've been at had good lighting, but I've filmed many weddings, some with pretty low light and I still like the no-light look better than with an on-camera light.

I always discuss this with my clients, and show them reception samples. No one has ever requested additional light. After all, it's my job to make sure the footage looks great. Does anyone else use the VX2100 without any extra lighting on a semi-regular basis? I'm curious to hear what people have to say about it.

Matt.
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Old September 25th, 2006, 10:13 AM   #35
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I shoot with a pd170, and I have always used an on-camera light, but would like to stop, at least sometimes. Since I shoot for another guy, I have to do what he says, and he says use lights, but I was second camera at a reception recently and I thought it came out nice without a light (didn't want to lights blaring into the guests).

I showed the footage to others, and opinions are mixed. Most liked the lit footage better, some the natural better. Matthew, you've never had a client not like the natural lighting setup?

My last wedding, I shot with a light, and the photographer without a flash. The bride said that she never even noticed the photographer, but always knew when I was around. She loved the there were so many photographs she didn't even know he took because he moved around in stealth mode with no flash.

Dan


btw, my boss wants LOTS of light, so it's not uncommon during first dances and toasts and such to pump my light up to 50-75 watts. If the b/g are even further away, I have pumped it up to 100 watts... eeek! I read about some of you using 10-20 watt lights and wish I could do that.
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Old September 25th, 2006, 01:47 PM   #36
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No, I've never had a client tell me they were unhappy with the no-light results. And personally, I'm very happy with the results. I'd like to think that I have a critical eye, and I get really upset when footage doesn't look as good as I would like.
My clients are all very aware of this becuase I carefully explain the pros and cons of lighting at a reception and show plenty of sample footage. I guess if they didn't like what they saw, they wouldn't book with me.

I can see why, in a very low or no light setting, a camera light is good. I just think those times are more rare. I would actually consider the camera light an emergency procedure, not a norm.
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Old September 25th, 2006, 03:24 PM   #37
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I see what you are saying about using no lights, but I tried an experiment the other day at a reception. No light VS. 10 watt. The 10 watt footage looks much better with more highlights and contrast.

I would say a light is a must for a wedding videographer. I use one every wedding. I work for 3 companies and they all have different opinions and tastes for exposure. One company likes the footage over-exposed and I don't, but I have to shoot their way. They all agree the a light is a must have.

I guess there is plenty of room for interpretation depending on client, the company, and the shooter.

However, I do like the idea of candids made easier because the light doesn't give the shooter away. I'll experiment with this technique.
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Old September 25th, 2006, 04:25 PM   #38
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I'd say have one in your bag at least. I try to shoot with available whenever possible but there's no way around it sometimes. I explain this to my clients and they have no problem with it. I shoot with the FX 1.

Chris Watson
Watson Videography
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Old September 25th, 2006, 06:10 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Pennings
No, I've never had a client tell me they were unhappy with the no-light results. And personally, I'm very happy with the results. I'd like to think that I have a critical eye, and I get really upset when footage doesn't look as good as I would like.
My clients are all very aware of this becuase I carefully explain the pros and cons of lighting at a reception and show plenty of sample footage. I guess if they didn't like what they saw, they wouldn't book with me.

I can see why, in a very low or no light setting, a camera light is good. I just think those times are more rare. I would actually consider the camera light an emergency procedure, not a norm.
This is turning into a rather fun discussion. Indeed, it was a bit difficult for me to choose which comment to quote, so I flipped a coin. Matthew won.

In any case, it occured to me that one very important element appeared to be missing in this discussion, and that is the reason for choosing whether or not to use additional lighting at all. A lot depends upon what the camera is capable of recording with minimal grain, but the other aspect is how the shot is intended to look. My logo image is a freeze-frame originally lit only by the multi-colored lights of a DJ dance floor lighting system, which was then enhanced in Photoshop. The right exposure is, in my opinion, always based upon artistic vision and practical need. Sometimes that requires extra light, sometimes not. Bottom line, what works for the production concept is the deciding factor.

Video production is really not that difficult. One just has to know a lot about a lot of different things.
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Old September 26th, 2006, 06:21 PM   #40
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I think Waldemar has brought up a great point; a point that should permeate everything - "what looks great in this situation?". Subjective? Yes. Inappropriate? Not at all. Videography (in my humble opinion) is an art form - one that has many differing opinions on what is "good". I think most would agree that, for most situations, graininess is not a good thing. Different cameras can handle low light better, and grain may not be a problem for one camera when it is a problem for another in the same setting.

For me, I will use a light when I look at my LCD display and say to myself, "this does not look great" or something to that effect. I will certainly have a light in my bag, ready to use if need be. I will also use a light if my client tells me to. :-)

-Matt
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