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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting
Thread started 30 Sep 2017 (Saturday) 08:28
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Event Flash Photography

 
Gavin ­ Buckle
Hatchling
5 posts
Joined Aug 2016
Sep 30, 2017 08:28 |  #1

I need to do event photography particularly of awards evenings etc. An on camera Speedlite just does not give the correct light. The idea would like to use 2 x studio strobes each placed on lighting stands at either side of the stage.

The options would be: Falcon Eyes 600w/s Satel Portable Battery-Operated Studio Strobe with HSS (cannot be used with mains power) or the Cononmark B4 Battery-Powered Portable Studio Flash (400w/s) (can tricky charge while in use).

I would prefer strobes that can be used with battery and mains. These would be more versatile.

Any comments, general or specific advice would be most appreciated!




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jcolman
Goldmember
Joined Mar 2008
North Carolina
Post has been last edited 20 days ago by jcolman. 2 edits done in total.
Sep 30, 2017 11:05 |  #2

I do a lot of event photography. My lighting of choice are Cheetah lights (Godox is the same thing). These lights can be controlled from my camera and they use long lasting lithium ion batteries.

However I would caution you to rethink about placing two lights on either side of the stage as this can cause unwanted shadows. I prefer to use one key light (with a modifier if I have room) near my camera position. I then place two more lights on either end of the stage to add some side light, but not enough to cast shadows.


www.jimcolmanphotograp​hy.comexternal link

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texkam
"Just let me be a stupid photographer."
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1,067 posts
Joined Mar 2012
By The Lake in Big D
Sep 30, 2017 11:06 |  #3

If you look to the far right you'll see a single Alien Bee 800 that I bounced off the ceiling. This was enough for my 5D3.

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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
That's my line!
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Joined Jun 2011
The Uwharrie Mts, NC
Sep 30, 2017 12:58 |  #4

An event center that hosts an awards banquet should have proper stage lighting to handle such an event.

Even if their set up is not perfect, it should not require blasting the stage with direct flash. I greatly prefer to show the ambient light as it was with a little on/near camera fill ... unless existing is so terrible you have no choice but to make big changes.

Stand back, zoom in, and have some good fill hitting the ceiling just in front of the camera. Remember your gels to change the flash color temp.


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Formerly he's gone before apostrophe-gate | Not in gear database: Canon 70-210 3.5-4.5, Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 2x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

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MalVeauX
"Looks rough and well used"
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Joined Feb 2013
Florida
Sep 30, 2017 13:38 |  #5

Heya,

I do a lot of parties in large places. Sometimes there's good ambient light that you want to keep, and I just use an on-camera flash for fill. But when the lighting in the place is bad (which is 90% of the time), I place lights around the room and bounce off the ceiling to create my own light for the place. Coming off the roof you don't have to worry about placement as much for the subjects as it should blanket the whole place. I use remote controlled speedlites, manually, high up on stands. I still run a flash on camera for fill. If I were using a single strobe, or two, it would be to cover the ceiling for a massive blanket of bounce light. But I do it with speedlites and simply run a higher ISO to keep it efficient.

Very best,


My Flickr (external link) :: My Astrobin (external link)

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Gavin ­ Buckle
THREAD ­ STARTER
Hatchling
5 posts
Joined Aug 2016
Sep 30, 2017 16:32 |  #6

Thanks for the replies.
Problem with relying on the event's lighting company's lighting is their brief is to make the event look amazing for the audience, not the photographer. This means the lighting isn't consistent. White balancing is futile and ambient light could change unpredictably. If I manually set each flash room flash to provide enough light at one stage of the evening, at a later stage the lighting company might change their lighting intensity, colour making my setting incorrect. The ceiling in a number of event venues is often painted black limiting the amount of bounced flash light.




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sincity
Member
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Joined Nov 2014
Sep 30, 2017 19:33 as a reply to Gavin Buckle's post |  #7

Maybe take notes from sports photographers. They also have to shoot in venues with bad lighting. I just got out of Roller Derby photography, and I see your dilemma. What I think can be done is position a strobe facing the subject's face when they are getting this award. I would figure there would be a stage where the award would be presented, and aim the strobe there. It can be hung from the venue's scaffolding where their spotlights/stage lights are located.
If you can't get use of the scaffolding, then use a really tall light stand to simulate the venue's spotlights, and use the strobe power to light the award's subjects. Maybe a hi-performance reflector/ MaxiLite to narrow the angle of lighting.




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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
That's my line!
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Joined Jun 2011
The Uwharrie Mts, NC
Post has been last edited 20 days ago by Left Handed Brisket. 2 edits done in total.
Sep 30, 2017 20:14 |  #8

Gavin Buckle wrote in post #18463571 (external link)
Thanks for the replies.
Problem with relying on the event's lighting company's lighting is their brief is to make the event look amazing for the audience, not the photographer. This means the lighting isn't consistent. White balancing is futile and ambient light could change unpredictably. If I manually set each flash room flash to provide enough light at one stage of the evening, at a later stage the lighting company might change their lighting intensity, colour making my setting incorrect. The ceiling in a number of event venues is often painted black limiting the amount of bounced flash light.

My post was specific to stage lighting for awards events, as that seemed to be your main concern. Decent lighting designers can make the room look great and at the same time make the stage lighting great, even for photographers.

Obviously lighting designers can suck, or be constrained by unrealistic budgets too.

For sure your lighting for the stage/ceremony could be drastically different than your lighting for the mingling and dinner/drinks. I'm still not a fan of just throwing a ton of white light at the problem. I have gelled a light to match the moody ambient while also throwing some tungsten balanced light at people

I use the Godox/cheetah 360 series lights


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Formerly he's gone before apostrophe-gate | Not in gear database: Canon 70-210 3.5-4.5, Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 2x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

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Gavin ­ Buckle
THREAD ­ STARTER
Hatchling
5 posts
Joined Aug 2016
Oct 02, 2017 02:10 |  #9

Thanks for everyone's input!




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digital ­ paradise
Cream of the Crop
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11,834 posts
Gallery: 9 photos
Joined Oct 2009
Oct 02, 2017 14:49 |  #10

MalVeauX wrote in post #18463465 (external link)
Heya,

I do a lot of parties in large places. Sometimes there's good ambient light that you want to keep, and I just use an on-camera flash for fill. But when the lighting in the place is bad (which is 90% of the time), I place lights around the room and bounce off the ceiling to create my own light for the place. Coming off the roof you don't have to worry about placement as much for the subjects as it should blanket the whole place. I use remote controlled speedlites, manually, high up on stands. I still run a flash on camera for fill. If I were using a single strobe, or two, it would be to cover the ceiling for a massive blanket of bounce light. But I do it with speedlites and simply run a higher ISO to keep it efficient.

Very best,

I did this as well. When I did set you lights I still had a flash on my cam to bounce for the subject/s.


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digital ­ paradise
Cream of the Crop
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11,834 posts
Gallery: 9 photos
Joined Oct 2009
Oct 02, 2017 14:56 |  #11

Neil van Niekerk is a top on camera flash photog. I spent a lot of time on this site. Long ago he said the new high ISO cameras allow is have more balance between ambient and flash but of course some venues get pretty dark. High ISO capability just keeps getting better.

Maybe you'l find something helpful at this sight.

https://neilvn.com ...?s=natural+looking+​flash+ (external link)


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Gavin ­ Buckle
THREAD ­ STARTER
Hatchling
5 posts
Joined Aug 2016
Oct 10, 2017 00:53 |  #12

Thanks for all the great advise!




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Event Flash Photography
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