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Lighting under a open frame building- Need help quick.

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Linda O'Connell
Lighting under a open frame building- Need help quick.
on Jun 5, 2009 at 7:44:24 pm

I am a newbie at weddings. Usually I do corporate videos in a very controlled environment. I just came back from a wedding rehearsal which I am filming for a friend.
It is being held under a shelter type of "building". Just a roof and open on the sides.
The problem is, it is so bright outside, but dark under the shelter that everyone's faces are dark, but the background is really bright.
There really isn't an opportunity for light kits, reflectors etc. so I am trying to figure out the best settings to at least start to experiment with on my camcorder. I have a Sony DCR-VX2000.

Thank you... I guess this is why they suggest going to the rehearsal when filming a wedding! It is tomorrow. So any quick help would be appreciated.
I figure even if it rains tomorrow, I will still have this problem?


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Michael Palmer
Re: Lighting under a open frame building- Need help quick.
on Jun 5, 2009 at 8:05:53 pm

Do they know without lighting their video will be compromised? Can they hold the ceremony just out side this area? What about a china ball or two to open this area up with light? Or perhaps you can bounce some light into the ceiling.

If non of these options are possible then you're going to have to expose for faces and just let the BG blow out.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Richard Herd
Re: Lighting under a open frame building- Need help quick.
on Jun 5, 2009 at 8:08:04 pm

Expose for the faces, don't miss the kiss!

I'm 99% sure you won't be able to expose for both the shade and the outside.

The 1% is about time of day. Sunset/sunrise you might be able to expose for both.


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Todd Terry
Re: Lighting under a open frame building- Need help quick.
on Jun 5, 2009 at 7:58:44 pm

Good advice from the other guys...

Sorry Linda... but not good news.

With what is basically a bright exterior background and a dark interior foreground where your talent is, and with no opportunities for additional lighting (which would take a LOT), you have basically been given an impossible task, especially if it's a bright daylight situation (yes, dusk might be a little easier).

There are simply no setting on your camera (or any camera) which will combat this near-impossible situation. The best you can do is open up your iris as much as you can until you get a somewhat acceptible combo of blown-out background and visible foreground. It's going to be very tough to create a look that doesn't look like a "crime victim," shot... you know, the silhouetted shots with a hot background and you can only see the outline of the subject.

Barring renting, hauling in, and powering about 12,000 watts of HMI lighting... the best you can do is try framing your subjects so they are not against the hottest part of the background. You might be able to shift your camera positions a bit and improve it some, although I doubt a lot. You could also quickly scrim the background by dashing quickly to Lowes or Home Depot and buying a big 25' roll of black screen door fabric and hang/stretch it over the back part of this shelter, which would cut down some of the hot background. The downsides to that are that it will only work to a small degree, might be hard to stretch into place tightly, and that I'm willing to bet the farm that the bride won't let you do it.

On the upside, you say you are doing this for a friend... so I'm guessing it's a favor and not a paying gig. I think you might just have to keep the phrase "you get what you pay for" handy, and do the best you can.

Good luck...


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Linda O'Connell
Re: Lighting under a open frame building- Need help quick.
on Jun 5, 2009 at 8:25:33 pm

Thank you for the advice. It is forecasting rain for tomorrow so maybe that will help? How bad is that for me, wishing rain on a friend's wedding day? :)



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Richard Herd
Re: Lighting under a open frame building- Need help quick.
on Jun 5, 2009 at 11:02:10 pm

another idea...two cameras. Expose one for the highs, one for the lows, and composite.

'nother cheat to ponder is get there early and record several minutes of background sky properly.

During the ceremony, expose for the faces, and then afterwards, use the blown highs for a key and matte in the properly exposed background.

(Add a little blur on the background too)

just a thought, hope it helps!


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Linda O'Connell
Re: Lighting under a open frame building- Need help quick.
on Jun 7, 2009 at 2:43:45 am

Well, my solution.. It was 48 degrees, dark clouds, rain and more rain. Down poured and wind gusts. My main concern throughout the ceremony was keeping my equipment dry and hoping my unmanned camera wouldn't blow over! The lighting was very good and not even a concern. No shadows or anything. I was the only one at the wedding happy to see the weather..although I agreed with everyone that the weather was "just awful." Go figure.
My advice to future brides, never get married outside in Wisconsin.




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Mark Suszko
Re: Lighting under a open frame building- Need help quick.
on Jun 7, 2009 at 8:01:21 pm

Sorry I came late to the party, Richard's suggestion was very good. I would also say that in such a situation if you can shoot from a higher than normal tripod position, looking a little bit down on the party, you thus frame out a lot of that sunny backlighting.

Another thing to try, but this costs more and takes time, would be to stop by a home improvement/garden center and get a long roll of black weed fabric and staple that up in the background to reduce the backlight.


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Richard Herd
Re: Lighting under a open frame building- Need help quick.
on Jun 10, 2009 at 5:17:00 pm

Thanks Mark.

Also, dude, my wife would've killed me if I hung black home depot cloth at our wedding! :-)


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Dennis Size
Re: Lighting under a open frame building- Need help quick.
on Jun 8, 2009 at 3:44:49 am

Well as every Lighting Designer will tell you ...when shooting outside on location, "every cloudy day has a silver lining". Unfortunately, most brides will disagree.

Glad it worked out for you!

DS



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