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

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Old August 20th, 2013, 04:24 AM   #1
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Exposure headaches

Last weekend was a tough one - afro-caribbean bride in a white dress, caucasian groom in a dark suit and bright harsh sunshine - plus the hotel had set out tables and chairs for the guests in a line along a ballustrade with a huge drop on one side - meaning i could only film the mingling stuff from the side that was pretty much straight into the sun. Also subjects suffered from racoon eyes because of the harsh shadows.

What with focus peaking, zebras and an occasional histogram in my screen there is an element of 'hope for the best' when it comes to some shots - it's sometimes not till i review the footage when i get home that i'm happy with it! i do envy the photographer having a flash for filling in the shadows - does anyone use lights/reflectors outside on a sunny day?

Last edited by Peter Rush; August 20th, 2013 at 05:04 AM.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 05:31 AM   #2
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Re: Exposure headaches

Hi Pete

They would be a HUGE help BUT you really need an assistant to hold and angle it correctly so that kills us solo shooters sadly. I often have issues in the bright sun with limo arrivals and you just have to do your best. It would be great to have a nice bikini babe running around after you with a reflector but that doesn't fit into my budget.

Don Bloom has the same brand of LED light as me (an 8 PowerLED unit that pushes out 1800 lumens) and he often talks about using that one as his outside fill light cos it's too bright to use on camera. That might be something to think about until someone invents a video flash that can output and sync 25 flashes per second!

Even considered lighting in daylight as a fill??

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Old August 20th, 2013, 05:41 AM   #3
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Re: Exposure headaches

A video flash - nice idea but not great for epilepsy i'm guessing! I tend to keep my zebras to 100% and make sure the bride's dress, men's shirts etc don't blow out and normally that's good enough - with white limos i tend to let them overexpose slightly anyway, otherwise the surroundings tend to look too dark.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 05:52 AM   #4
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Re: Exposure headaches

Actually I do use it on the camera (no way for me to do otherwise darn it) but it's only good for a few feet maybe I've gotten 8 feet depending on the conditions.
Ideally, a 300 or 400 watt light with a soft box, say about 18X18, that is handheld by an assistant would be the thing to use but since I don't have one and I'm working solo...oh well, it is what it is. Can't control the conditions.
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 06:01 AM   #5
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Re: Exposure headaches

I've managed to use a reflector in exactly one situation: the hotel room getting ready. I have a smallish one and a bar with clamps on my tripod. It goes on the side away from the window, and bounces up a bit. Helps fill in the dark side of the face, along with a camera mounted LED (I have a triple shoe mount adaptor so both the light and shotgun mic fit on top).
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Old August 21st, 2013, 01:14 AM   #6
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Re: Exposure headaches

Originally Posted by Peter Rush View Post
does anyone use lights/reflectors outside on a sunny day?
Reflectors will be ok during a photoshoot scince it's a controlled shoot and the couple just accepts the harsh sunlight being reflected straight into their eyes and meanwhile struggle to keep their eyes open. They know this needs to be done for the best photo's.

But the guests won't be that forgiving and you can expect people to complain, a on camera videolight won't help at all if you are shooting against a glaring sun and you would need some serious powered light to counteract the strong sunlight, only a reflector would do but that will blind people.

I would just shoot and deal with the situation, you can't turn a wedding into a filmset with hundreds of watt in light unless that's ok with the couple but for my weddings I know that would be out of the question.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 12:56 PM   #7
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Re: Exposure headaches

i had an experience recently during the bride's prep, she opted to have her hair and makeup done in a conservatory at the end of the house, problem was no matter what angle i took she was being backlit, it was like operating in a greenhouse!!
So eventually i used a 32" reflector to fill in the shadows, worked a treat.
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