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Event Cinematography.... Do I need to invest in light??? Confused


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#1 John1

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 11:42 PM

Hi, Thanks for all the previous help and advice, u'v all bin of great help to me in this career. I need help pls. After saving for many months, I am finally able to get a Panasonic GH2 as a starter and I know with the camera, I will get to learn more about DSLR cinematography. However, after so much lessons and reading, I know d more the light in a scene, the better the image quality I get. But to make a living where I am here, Events cinematography seem to be the most flourishing here in my country but I am confused about lighting. Most times I will have to shoot wedding reception, award nights and stuffs like that and I know I can't just carry in lights to these event like I would if I was filming a documentary interview. How do I get quality image in this situation, are there any small simple lights I can carry along to events? I want to be very light and simple as possible since there won't be anybody to help me move any of my gadgets here and there. How do I shoot crisp and high quality image with my DSLR in events where sometimes I have to battle with very low light. Are there lights made specificallt for events shooting, Are there any DIY event lights? I hate noise in images. Pls help out and please don't advice me to get a $1000 light kit. I am still a student, tryin to make something out of what I am passionate about

Edited by John1, 19 February 2014 - 11:45 PM.

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#2 joshua gallegos

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 12:25 AM

I don't understand the need to buy equipment, you're better off renting equipment to suit your needs. You can even rent softboxes, faster lenses than can stop under f/2 and Arri kits for affordable prices. I rent my lenses here, and there is a wide assortment of fast Canon lenses, that you can rent for sixteen dollars a day. Mole Richardson units are also very affordable, you don't have to buy anything, just check with local rental houses - Kino Flo units are also very affordable and you can get a variety of tbes from 32k, 56k, and most of them have dimmable ballasts.Just take a proper light meter reading and a reasonable stop to film the events. http://www.photorent...Normal_c_3.html  It also depends what venue you're filming in or if it's being done in an exterior location.

 

usually stages have Source 4 units and dichroic PAR lamps which have a  5000k cc, but it really depends what location you're filming in, the best tool to have is a light meter.


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#3 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 03:38 AM

Hi John 1

 

You need to change to your full real name, it's one of the forum rules.


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#4 John1

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 06:39 AM

Brian, I have tried doin that, I can't find where to change the name on my profile
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#5 John1

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 06:40 AM

Joshua, that isn't the answer to the question I asked, thanks for dropping by anyway.
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#6 Travis Gray

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 09:59 AM

You're voice in this is coming off a little standoffish, but that aside...

 

I hate the phrase "event cinematography". You really can't do a ton at events. I've shot events before, and you're pretty limited. You could bring in a ton of gear and light it, but is it worth it? I shot most things alone because if I was going for a real/documentary/unobstrusive style, more people would've been more hassle. So it was just me, following the action. My camera could handle low light stuff, but still had a lot of noise in some situations where the event planner thought it would be a good idea to light a room with two 60w bulbs. It is what it is. You'd be surprised to find too, that most clients don't actually notice. 

 

I had one even that I shot that was the graniest I've ever had, and my little DSLR B-cam was even worse. It looked terrible. Client never said anything. Either they get it or they don't notice.

 

If someone does say they want a clean image, you have to tell them there are trade-offs. If it's something like a wedding, get in contact with the planners/decorators and advise on lighting setups. Because it's also not just about quantity if you're doing real cinematography, but shape it how will look best.

 

You could always go with an on-board light, but that's a different style that sometimes works and sometimes doesn't for what/how you're shooting.

 

There's no easy answer to this. Learn lighting, learn how you want to shoot, and work with clients. Rent, or if you know you're going to be using them a lot, buy. But rent first to figure stuff out. Find what works for you, for your clients, etc. 


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#7 Zac Fettig

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:53 AM

The easiest solution is to buy fast glass. Voightlander makes a series of f0.95 lenses for micro 4/3 cameras. But each will cost around $1000.

 

If you look around, you might be able to find old Nikon or Pentax still camera primes in the f1.2 to f1.4 range. Adapters are fairly cheap. But you're going to have to work on focusing, and remember, you won't be able to squeeze the best performance out of the lens wide open.

 

The cheaper solution will probably be LED panels with extra batteries. Only good close up though.

 

Shooting events (weddings and such) is a huge money sink. In the US, most wedding photographers/videographers I know have hit really bad times. Each season, they have to upgrade equipment to the latest and greatest, or they don't get any work. Pay has been going down steadily for 15 years. It's been a race to the bottom.


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#8 joshua gallegos

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 06:21 PM

Joshua, that isn't the answer to the question I asked, thanks for dropping by anyway.


You just don't know what you're talking about, that's the problem.
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#9 Chris Millar

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 07:22 PM

John, Joshua answered the question  >>  "Do I need to invest in light???"

 

Which you did ask  ;)

 

I concur with Travis, clients just don't seem to notice - not saying that that gives you licence to drop any rubbish on them (as some will do) - but it means there is a balance to be found. Many moons ago a venue I worked backstage on had an AV department that I would occasionally do some camera work for when the venues were used for corporate events (anything non-arts was 'corporate', so the occasional wedding was thrown in also). We went from a digibeta/AVID to a mini-DV/iMovie paradigm overnight much to the chagrin of the red-faced oldshool operator "it's not broadcast safe!"  etc... The memory is very foggy and it's regarding technology that I never really knew about and never caught up with as the world I was in leap frogged it anyway. The one thing that never changed however was the lighting, we just dealt with whatever was there as best we could, that was 'the job'. In hindsight though >> not only fast lenses but small sensors make sense... multiple operators also.


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