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Lighting for Weddings


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#1 Peter Friedlander

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 02:13 PM

My film company is doing a few weddings this year and I'm doing some research regards to when it comes to lighting.
After having produced a wedding last year without any thought when it came to lighting, especially the dances, the ending footage turned out horrid with not enough light! I spent many sleepless nights in pro-production trying to fix the lowlight with filters and transitions, but the footage ended up looking like an old 1900s silent film! So, I want to make sure that I have all the right lighting equipment before I dive into another wedding day.
Any advice in this area would be awesome, I am using 2 Panasonic HVX200 cameras, recording on standard mini-dv.
I am looking at this light
http://www.bhphotovi...r...4510&is=REG
But dont know the lighting terminology, plan is to have for the dances , one camera on 2 opposite corners of the dance floor

-Thanks
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#2 Bob Hayes

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 11:46 PM

Yes the light level at a real life wedding is one of the most challenging video situations. Day exterior the cameraman looks like Roger Deakins. Night interior the photography collapses.

One of my complaints with the sun gun style of photography is that it is generally way too bright and it destroys the mood of the event. Also it tends to blind all the people at the wedding making the videographer pretty unpopular. If you work with an assistant you might want to rig a small china ball on a small pole with a 12volt light inside. This would create a gentle and very complimentary light. Also you and your assistant would look pretty cool at the party. If you are alone you might want to buy a small Chimera for your sun gun and put it on a flex arm about 18? above your camera. Also I would really experiment with the minimum exposure you need for your photography to look good. A little grain is better if it lets you maintain the mood. Definitely shoot with out the shutter on. This will give you a stop of exposure. Also you may want to shoot some slow shutter footage instead of a 24th of a second go for a 12th of a second. It can really capture some of the excitement. Another solution is to get a Lowell Tota light and bounce it off the ceiling. This will give a soft over all top light and illuminate a huge area and is pretty good for dance floor. Peoples eyes will adjust to it and some of the older folks will probably appreciate the added light. Besure to tape down all loose cables so people don't trip. Keep the light off to the side.
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#3 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 01:24 AM

My film company is doing a few weddings this year and I'm doing some research regards to when it comes to lighting.
After having produced a wedding last year without any thought when it came to lighting, especially the dances, the ending footage turned out horrid with not enough light! I spent many sleepless nights in pro-production trying to fix the lowlight with filters and transitions, but the footage ended up looking like an old 1900s silent film! So, I want to make sure that I have all the right lighting equipment before I dive into another wedding day.
Any advice in this area would be awesome, I am using 2 Panasonic HVX200 cameras, recording on standard mini-dv.
I am looking at this light
http://www.bhphotovi...r...4510&is=REG
But dont know the lighting terminology, plan is to have for the dances , one camera on 2 opposite corners of the dance floor

-Thanks


I've done a lot of weddings and found that I liked having both lighting like Bob suggests that would allow you to get
wider shots and also low wattage on camera lights with a bit of diffusion, which I know cuts a low watt light quite a bit more, so that you can move closely to people without blinding them.

I looked at the B&H site but didn't see any photometrics telling light output for that light but the HVX-200 is not
a low light camera so even with Bob's good suggestions for adjusting the camera you might want to test out some
lights in that environment, maybe see if somebody will let you shoot some of their reception if you throw them the footage.

Also, when you say two cameras on opposite corners of the dance floor, do you mean two corners on the same side
or diagonally opposite? If you set up on opposite sides of the floor and cut from camera to camera you might run into
some problems with crossing the 180 degree line and if you're matching action, reversing screen direction in a confusing
way.

Having owned an HVX-200 for over a year, I would stay away from using gain if you can get the light levels up a bit.
The totas are great when you have the right ceiling but when the ceiling was too high or too dark to reflect enough light, I often used an Omni with some light tough spun and put it way up on the stand, usually secured and with some chairs around it as well, and aimed it down onto the dance floor. A sharp point source, especially an open face, is not going to
make you popular at a wedding and often older guests may have eye troubles, such as cataracts, and be bothered by
a harsh light.

A China ball boomed by an assistant would be really cool. Also, if you could rig one or two Chinese lanterns with a higher wattage bulb that could help a lot and to a lot of people would blend in with the wedding decor at the reception rather than stand out as the video production's lighting.
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#4 Peter Friedlander

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 03:44 PM

Thank you for replying!
Even if I bounce the light off of the ceiling with a Tota-light and defuse it, would that create downward shadows?

About have the 2 cameras opposite the dance floor. I agree that it wouldn't work out that way after reading your replys, but whoever is dancing would be moving around in a circle facing ever which way, how then would I avoid during the 20 or so seconds in a slow dance song that their backs would be facing the camera ?


Thanks
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Metropolis Post

Ritter Battery

Wooden Camera

Tai Audio

Rig Wheels Passport

Willys Widgets

FJS International, LLC

CineTape

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Glidecam

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Abel Cine

Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

rebotnix Technologies

CineLab

The Slider

Opal