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shooting a candle lit wedding

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Jared Smith
shooting a candle lit wedding
on Mar 17, 2009 at 5:33:51 pm

Hey guys,
I need some advice on how to shoot a wedding that is going to be totally lit by candle light. I am using HVX- one on stage and one in the balcony is the plan for now... any advice would be greatly appreciated.
thanks
jared



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Jason Jenkins
Re: shooting a candle lit wedding
on Mar 17, 2009 at 5:59:31 pm

You can hope and pray that a candle falls over and catches the wall on fire. That way you can get some well lit footage as they run screaming from the building. Seriously though, I think the HVX is the wrong camera to be using in this scenario.

Jason Jenkins

Flowmotion Media

Video production... with style!


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Richard Herd
Re: shooting a candle lit wedding
on Mar 17, 2009 at 6:53:42 pm

Ain't gonna happen. The HVX200 needs 100 lx (about 10 fc) just to get to minimum. MINIMUM!

However, you can try this: boos the gain all the way, and open the shutter angle all the way. For this, you'll definitely want to use a tripod.



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Mark Suszko
Re: shooting a candle lit wedding
on Mar 17, 2009 at 7:14:06 pm

You can goose the levels a bit in post, but a camera with better low-light ability may be a wiser choice to start with, particularly the long shot cam. The Sony may have the edge here.

Are you shooting the HVX200 in DV mode or HD P2 mode or both? If you're going to count on fixing it in post, better to shoot the HVX200 in HD in that case, I should think. That's a lot of P2 cards, so I'd go with an external hard drive on it, if it was me.

When I did weddings with cameras much worse in low light than this, it was understood and agreed by all concerned that we were shooting with existing light only, and that as a consequence, we might have to accept some less than perfect exposures occasionally. If it's a solemn religious service, you take what you get. If it's some kind of no-rules theatrical event, then sure, bring in some supplemental lighting. I can't say I ever got to shoot any weddings of that second type, though.

You will of course be on manual iris the whole time. While it may be LIT by candles, you may want to frame and block the actual candle FLAMES out of most shots, as they could add a lot of hot spots and vertical smear or other artifacts when you'er cranked wide open and adding gain.



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Rick Wise
Re: shooting a candle lit wedding
on Mar 17, 2009 at 7:34:24 pm

You may be able to improve your video in post using a Neat Video Noise Reduction plug-in: http://www.neatvideo.com/. You can try it free. I've never used it but it may help.

Rick Wise
director of photography
and custom lighting design
Oakland, CA
http://www.RickWiseDP.com
http://www.recessionvideo.net
http://www.linkedin.com/in/rwise
email: Rick@RickWiseDP.com


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grinner hester
Re: shooting a candle lit wedding
on Mar 17, 2009 at 11:44:48 pm

Option one. Open er up and get paid.
Option two. Throw an HMI on em and run.



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Steve Kownacki
Re: shooting a candle lit wedding
on Mar 27, 2009 at 7:20:44 pm

I never deliberately tried this, but years ago a wedding guy brought us a tape of a reception that was shot with the negative/invert filter on! How he didn't see this I'll never know. But at the time we had a Pinnacle Alladin and we ran the footage real-time with the negative filter on the FX box. Simple logic of 2 negatives... It was the cleanest, most colorful, low light footage EVER! No grain, no noise, no muted colors... from S-VHS original. So if your cam will shoot with this type of scenario, turn on a nitelite in your bathroom and try it out. Capture a short clip and process it, let us know what it looks like. I'd be paranoid shooting a whole event like that, but it does work.

Steve



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Rick Wise
Re: shooting a candle lit wedding
on Mar 27, 2009 at 8:03:07 pm

Now that is one wild idea: shoot in negative mode and then invert in post. I just tried it with a an old Panasonic GS400. A definite if somewhat slight improvement in low light: cleaner, richer, truer colors. In good light, however, the footage looks slightly worse when shot in negative and then flipped in post.

The downside: much harder to "see" what you are shooting in negative, though I suspect the eye will soon adapt.

By all means, shoot a test first!

Rick Wise
director of photography
and custom lighting design
Oakland, CA
http://www.RickWiseDP.com
http://www.recessionvideo.net
http://www.linkedin.com/in/rwise
email: Rick@RickWiseDP.com


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