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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 09 Aug 2011 (Tuesday) 13:12
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2nd Wedding Blues - Lighting a big room

 
kellmeister
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Aug 09, 2011 13:12 |  #1

So, I've got my 2nd wedding coming up in October.

The B&G want their reception held in a old dark ballroom with dark slanted ceilings that are at least 20 feet high. This room is about the size of a gym. There is a stage where the band will play and a dance floor. Oh, and the reception hall will be lit only by christmas lights and votive candles on the tables :)

I'm not sure what to do.. I'm pretty confident with using my 580exii flash and I have 4 alien bee's that I can use. However, I'm afraid the venue will just be too dark with only christmas lights as a light source.

Does anyone have any suggestions on lighting? I could probably get two 430exii's and crosslight the dancefloor. Not sure what to do about the rest of the area though. I'm afraid there won't be any ambient light to blend with the on-camera flash.

I've expressed my concern to the B&G and still may consider giving their deposit back.


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bigarchi
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Aug 09, 2011 13:21 |  #2

sounds like a pretty typical wedding reception problem to me.
I usually have two types of 'reception halls' around me:
your standard 10' tall white ceiling room that is like a shoe box and is easy as cake,
and your large halls with dark ceilings (though sometimes they are white) but are tall.
Seems like more often then not, my receptions are only lit by a few candles and strings of christmas lights. :)
the trend seems to be adding colored ambiance uplighting though too.

anyway, I'd keep searching around this forum as there are a lot of good (recent) lighting technique threads.

i'm actually usually suprised with how much light a 580exII can bounce off a high dark ceiling anyway.
but i often am happy with a demp flip-it on my on-camera-flash,
and off course off camera flash opens up many more posibilities..


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kellmeister
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Aug 09, 2011 14:00 |  #3

Here are a couple pics:

1) 6400iso - looking towards the back (vaulted ceilings)
2) 3200iso - looking towards the front (stage and dance area)

Should be challenging enough


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helloagain36
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Aug 09, 2011 14:07 as a reply to  @ kellmeister's post |  #4

You've got four AB's, a 580 and a 5DII...you are in no shortage of light or ISO capability. I think if you know how to use your lighting and equipment properly you will be fine in that room.


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bigarchi
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Aug 09, 2011 14:23 |  #5

kellmeister wrote in post #12904946 (external link)
Here are a couple pics:

1) 6400iso
2) 3200iso

Should be challenging enough

awesome venue!!
oh, i didn't say it wouldn't be challenging, i'm just saying that it's not that far out of the norm and certainly not impossible.

that ceiling will probably suck the light from an on camera flash trying to bounce fairly well, so i would definitely plan to put up some AB's.
i'd make use of those balconies as light stand locations.


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bigarchi
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Aug 09, 2011 14:25 as a reply to  @ bigarchi's post |  #6

oh, is there even power available in that place? it almost looks as though it was abondoned or mid-renovation or something?
if there's no realiable power, that calls for some vagabonds on the AB's! :)


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Red ­ Tie ­ Photography
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Aug 09, 2011 15:13 |  #7

Yeah, it looks quite do-able, but tough. Use the AB's and vagabonds. You can bounce it off the ceilings or try to sue some bounce back umbrellas to light the floor.


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tim
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Aug 09, 2011 17:23 |  #8

This.. Dark ceilings reflect light but some give it a color cast. Direct flash is ok too, you just get more harsh shadows.


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kellmeister
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Aug 09, 2011 20:46 |  #9

Thanks for the info! Lots of reading too do. Man, how do you plan for stuff like this!

At least I can go back at night to test things out before the big day. I only have one vagabond so I may have to get another if I want to have crosslight. I'll look at using bounce back umbrellas too.

Maybe I can set one light in the back and bounce it off the vaulted ceiling over the reception area, not sure.

I should be able to cover the dance floor more easily since the ceiling is lower there.


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tim
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Aug 09, 2011 20:54 |  #10

Most venues have powerpoints you can use. Take a multiboxe, an extension cord, and tape for each light. Be careful taping to some floors, the tape can be hard to get off or can damage some surfaces.


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Nismode
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Aug 09, 2011 21:47 |  #11

Subscribed.


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tim
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Aug 09, 2011 22:01 |  #12

You don't need to post on a thread to subscribe. Just choose "subscribe" from the thread tools drop down, which is at the right and above the first post on the page.


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Aug 10, 2011 01:33 as a reply to  @ tim's post |  #13

I know, it's easier that way vs. doing what you said and loading a separate page. Especially when on a mobile device. But I'm interested in the responses here to learn.


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emdzey01
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Aug 10, 2011 12:41 |  #14

you can bounce the bees off the vaulted ceilings while being fully aware of the color cast issues it might present. you'll still want to use you on-camera flash for fill, so gel accordingly (maybe some RED+CTO, can't tell what the color cast will be).

if i were presented with that situation, i'd put the bees on the balcony and point it down to keep it simple (not sure if a modifier would still soften the light given the distance); on-camera flash with negative compensation for fill.

either way, you wouldn't want the strobes to kill the mood of the images. if the couple wants it dark with candles and christmas lights, do your best to incorporate it to the photos. nuking the ambient and lighting up the whole place shouldn't be your priority.


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kellmeister
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Aug 10, 2011 13:35 |  #15

Yes, I definitely don't want to kill the mood! They hired me because I do a lot of low light shooting (without flash). I do have to watch myself from getting carried away with trying to light up the place :)

Some of the things I'm thinking about after reading the replies.

Option 1)
Place the strobes on the balconies facing down and use on-camera flash for fill. Use bounce back umbrellas (silver for more efficiency). A strobe placed in the balcony at 3 and 9 o'clock should be enough to light the dance floor? I don't think I need all 4 strobes in the balconies unless I'm pointing two at the dance floor and the other two towards the middle of the reception hall?

Option 2)
Place two strobes in the balconies at 3/9 o'clock pointing down to the dance floor. Put two other strobes on the floor, in the back of the hall, bouncing off the vaulted ceiling to light the other half of the reception hall.

Luckily, I was able to talk my wife in going with me to the reception. I'm going to have her use a lightstick with softbox, so that I can do OCF with that setup as well. Maybe this will be enough for most of the light coverage for the B&G and not kill the mood as much?


Canon 5d Mark II - 24-70 f2, 70-200 2.8 mk2, Sigma 50mm F1.4, 85mm f1.8, 35mm f2, 580exII, AB400 x 2, AB800 x 2
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2nd Wedding Blues - Lighting a big room
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