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Lighting a lectern in a conference room with no spotlights

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Mark Pirres
Lighting a lectern in a conference room with no spotlights
on Mar 1, 2018 at 10:50:26 pm

Hello there,

We have to video speakers in a conference room which will be equipped with a lectern. The room has a series of floor to ceiling windows and apart from those, it will only be lit by rows of fluorescent lights (see pic: 20180226_122149.jpg). The main concern is to make sure the speakers (alternating at the lectern and giving back to the windows) will be lit enough. We were thinking of attaching a light to the ceiling (not on a stand, as we can't risk it'd get accidentally knocked down); we have redhead lights but not sure how to fit it... (see pic: 20180226_122207.jpg).
Would a flexible LED light be a better choice maybe?

Thanks in advance for any tip!


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Todd Terry
Re: Lighting a lectern in a conference room with no spotlights
on Mar 1, 2018 at 11:32:17 pm

What do you mean by "giving back to the windows"? Does that mean sometimes the speakers will be against/backed by the windows? If so, that will be a very very difficult situation, bordering on impossible unless you can heavily gel the windows and have some pretty serious firepower (as in pretty darn powerful lighting instruments). Just want to clear up that part first.

T2

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



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Todd Terry
Re: Lighting a lectern in a conference room with no spotlights
on Mar 1, 2018 at 11:34:41 pm

Also... is this a permanent install that you will use regularly and for a while?

Or a one-time thing for a specific speaker or event?

T2

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



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Mark Pirres
Re: Lighting a lectern in a conference room with no spotlights
on Mar 3, 2018 at 3:52:21 pm

Hi Todd, thanks for getting back. Yes the lectern will be placed to face the rest of the room so giving back to the windows (say where that wooden bit of the wall is the first pic - between the 3 windows on the left and the next window?). To be honest the picture is a bit on the dark side, but still.. Putting gel on the windows is not an option by the way. And finally it will be a one off scenario.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Lighting a lectern in a conference room with no spotlights
on Mar 23, 2018 at 4:21:34 pm

That is a horrible scenario; no shooter would do it that way by choice. Even your still photo tells the story; the back-lighting from the windows is so strong, the still camera's iris had to clamp down, making the rest of the room look dark. This is also horrible for human eyes, if they have to squint against the back-lighting to see the speaker. One should just never allow this kind of situation. The lectern/podium should be on the opposite wall from those windows, or at the very least, a side wall. Then your only issue would be adding fill light on the under-exposed side.

A heavy back-lit window or similar situation like this would require using a powerful HMI daylight-balanced light to overcome. And that would be too big and hot to hang from a scissor-clip on the drop-ceiling, it would have to be stand-mounted across the room.

If they can't budge on the lectern location, you will need to get some pipe-and-drape, and make a temporary dark background that extends for about five or more feet to either side of the speaker. Then keep all your shots framed tight enough to not see the windows. Blue or black or gray curtains. This is the most typical thing done, and a hotel or resort will often have these on hand or have access to rentals of them on short notice.

Or, alternately, if you don't want to do pipe and drape, buy three 8x4 foot pieces of cheap wall paneling, and stiffen them with lumber glued across their backs, stand them up in a triptych with some overlap. Paint them with flat or eggshell-texture latex paint. Maybe make them more attractive by stenciling the event logo on them in a contrasting paint, or the same paint, but either darkened or lightened a little bit, by adding some black or white to it.

More work and expense and heavier than the pipe-and-drape, more suited to a semi-permanent situation.


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