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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 05 Sep 2016 (Monday) 18:57
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Light Modifier for Banquet Halls

 
picworx
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Sep 05, 2016 18:57 |  #1

I frequent quite a few banquet halls for event photos where the ceilings are at least 40 ft high and the overall space is very large. Note the curtains are not installed most of the time. I do not want to light this as the space is very large. I use a flash bracket and a stofen type modifier. I cannot bounce as the ceilings are in the stratoshere and walls are tinted and far away. So what do I use to get the best shots I can of speakers, wedding guests. dancers etc.

I have looked at Gary Fong Lightsphere which looks compact and pricey and the Rogue Flashbender which sticks up pretty high and . I was at an event last night and used the stofen type directly at the subject and I am not pleased with the effect to say the least. Bounce is very hard at these types of spaces!



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Post edited over 2 years ago by Alveric.
     
Sep 05, 2016 20:16 |  #2
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Monolights and bowl reflectors.

But if you want to stick to flashguns, I'd suggest getting those silly plastic thingies off the flash head: whilst they turn the directional flashgun into a bare bulb, they suck up at least a stop of light in the process. Sto-fens are great for close ups of guests, but if you want to light an area, forget it.


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dmward
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Sep 06, 2016 08:07 |  #3

Alveric wrote in post #18118228 (external link)
Monolights and bowl reflectors.

But if you want to stick to flashguns, I'd suggest getting those silly plastic thingies off the flash head: whilst they turn the directional flashgun into a bare bulb, they suck up at least a stop of light in the process. Sto-fens are great for close ups of guests, but if you want to light an area, forget it.

Higher ISO and bounce.

I have 4 600Ws TTL strobes that I can put in the room if I want to make sure the whole thing is lit.
Generally my preferred approach is to use the flash lighting to augment the ambient mood lighting of the event. That means high ISO. You'll be surprised how little power it takes once the ISO is up.

If I need to get head shots I put an F Stoppers (external link) disk on the camera speedlite.


David | Sharing my Insights, Knowledge & Experience (external link) | dmwfotos website (external link)

  
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picworx
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Sep 06, 2016 09:43 as a reply to  @ Alveric's post |  #4

Thanks I don't need to light up the place, for example photos of the guests at the tables or the podium and or dancers on the floor, I have a friend who has a rogue flash bender with a diffuser on the front of it but add that to a flash bracket and it looks like a sail. I can see using it on a stand with a speed light but not on a flash bracket?

So I guess my options are limited to the stofen if a want to stay compact as possible?



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Post edited over 2 years ago by Wilt. (3 edits in all)
     
Sep 06, 2016 09:52 |  #5

Only SIZE matters for improving quality of light, whether thru ceiling bounce or thru modifiers which are significantly larger than the native flash lens (which is tiny). Stoffen is tiny, it only works thru bounce to become larger in virtual size. Lightsphere is only super modestly 'larger' than a Stoffen, and again it only works thru bounce to become larger in virtual size.

When I used to cover weddings with medium format, on camera I had a Metz handlebar flash which I could put into a 16" x 20" softbox without it blocking any view of the lens. And while that did not make shadows 'disappear' entirely it very substantially softened shadow edges, and in combination with the shadows generally 'falling down behind the subject out of view' (the flash was carefully positioned above the optical axis of the lens, and kept there by a rotating flash bracket) that addressed the shadow distractions.

BTW, someone once challenged me that 16x20" could not possibly do much good if I was 20' away from my subject, so I shot this

IMAGE: http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i63/wiltonw/POTN%202013%20Post%20Mar1/IMG_7948_zps43e5596c.jpg

compared to this 5"x7" softbox at 20'...

IMAGE: http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i63/wiltonw/POTN%202013%20Post%20Mar1/IMG_7949_zps12e46ec2.jpg


...and compared to the 5x7 softbox, the Stoffen is miniscule at about 1.5" x 3" (I never owned one, so could not measure it) and nothing but a waste of flash power and consumes battery power faster, if used as a direct source without ceiling bounce.

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Sep 06, 2016 09:55 |  #6

If you don't want to bounce (there are options to make it work), I think your best bet is just to use bare (gelled) direct flash. Use your ISO to bring the ambient up, and gel the flash to match your surroundings (normally 1/4 CTO). It's going to be a hard light regardless, so just focus on getting the balance right. Hope that helps.


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picworx
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Sep 06, 2016 10:53 as a reply to  @ rebelsimon's post |  #7

Its not that I don't want to bounce its just that the ceilings are so high, I use bounce if ceilings are white and lower but these places are crazy high and the walls are very far away, so direct flash is all I got on a flash bracket I think?



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rebelsimon
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Sep 06, 2016 11:26 as a reply to  @ picworx's post |  #8

These are the ways I deal with high ceilings:

1. Monolights
2. Crank your ISO and open your aperture.
3. Put the flash in manual, and shoot it at 1/2 or 1/1 power, zoomed in all the way.
4. Cut down on the distance by putting your flash high up on stands, close to the walls and ceiling.


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Lights: AD600, AD200 (x2), V850 (x4)

  
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Post edited over 2 years ago by jcolman. (8 edits in all)
     
Sep 06, 2016 17:09 |  #9

To be honest, that place looks like it would be a easy place to light with two, three or four lights either bounced off the walls, direct light or a combination of both. Here are a few examples of large venue lighting that I've had to deal with.

1. Three lights. One in the background (obviously) and two one each side. Direct light and not bounced.

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2.
Three lights. One up high on the balcony, one bounced (left side) one direct (right side)

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3
Four lights. One in each corner of the venue. Some direct, some bounced.

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4. And finally, the toughest venue I've ever lit. Huge place with a ceiling that was over 60 ft high. The walls were another 40 or so feet away. I used four lights, very carefully placed.

This will give you an idea of what it looked like. I had some shadows and high lights to deal with. In retrospect I should have aimed my lights at the ceiling but I prefer side light instead of top light.

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But here are a couple pics of the results.

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Bottom line is that any venue can be lit with some off camera lights and judicious placement.

www.jimcolmanphotograp​hy.com (external link)

  
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dmward
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Sep 06, 2016 21:44 |  #10

HERE (external link) is an article I put on my site describing how I placed and used 4 TTL 600Ws strobes.
The venue was mostly glass with high ceiling.


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Sep 07, 2016 07:01 |  #11

jcolman wrote in post #18119225 (external link)
To be honest, that place looks like it would be a easy place to light with two, three or four lights either bounced off the walls, direct light or a combination of both. Here are a few examples of large venue lighting that I've had to deal with.

1. Three lights. One in the background (obviously) and two one each side. Direct light and not bounced.

QUOTED IMAGE
IMAGE LINK: http://s182.photobucke​t.com …ing/wedding-1027.jpg.html  (external link)

2.
Three lights. One up high on the balcony, one bounced (left side) one direct (right side)

QUOTED IMAGE
IMAGE LINK: http://s182.photobucke​t.com …-944_zpse3573ddf.jpg.ht​ml  (external link)

QUOTED IMAGE
IMAGE LINK: http://s182.photobucke​t.com …-762_zps8fc7b46a.jpg.ht​ml  (external link)

3
Four lights. One in each corner of the venue. Some direct, some bounced.

QUOTED IMAGE
IMAGE LINK: http://s182.photobucke​t.com …-717_zps89ca8761.jpg.ht​ml  (external link)

http://s182.photobucke​t.com …-740_zpsa9130b46.jpg.ht​ml (external link)

4. And finally, the toughest venue I've ever lit. Huge place with a ceiling that was over 60 ft high. The walls were another 40 or so feet away. I used four lights, very carefully placed.

This will give you an idea of what it looked like. I had some shadows and high lights to deal with. In retrospect I should have aimed my lights at the ceiling but I prefer side light instead of top light.


http://s182.photobucke​t.com …ding/wedding-568.jpg.html (external link)

But here are a couple pics of the results.

http://s182.photobucke​t.com …ding/wedding-553.jpg.html (external link)


http://s182.photobucke​t.com …ding/wedding-490.jpg.html (external link)

Bottom line is that any venue can be lit with some off camera lights and judicious placement.

what he ^ said.


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Not in gear database: Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 3x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

  
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Post edited over 2 years ago by happy2010. (4 edits in all)
     
Sep 07, 2016 08:24 |  #12

Yep – simple.
i.e. Listen to masters like Jim (JCOLMAN) & David (DMWARD).
They have survived the laws of the economic jungle & decades for good reasons - they both are smart, skilled, experienced & artistic!

or

ROGUE FlashBender - efficient & selective in directing light; just get over the “sail” feeling
and apply Neil van Niekerk techniques (http://neilvn.com/tang​ents/ (external link) including black-foamy-thing series), or Cliff Mautner approach (to seeing the light & “get the shot” attitude https://www.youtube.co​m …4cna1LP8yxQ6WKA​3MWS3kRlzW (external link) ), combined with Jerry Ghionis style-lighting (i.e. short lighting for drama) and you will be fine.

However, if you have a problem with the above, there is always the Lowel GL-1 LED light:
https://www.youtube.co​m/watch?v=fMZBftCQuCU (external link)
I find it highly effective in certain applications.

Good luck on finding a solution which works for you.

Just one view…

Mary


MARY

  
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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Sep 07, 2016 10:27 |  #13

dmward wrote in post #18119511 (external link)
HERE (external link) is an article I put on my site describing how I placed and used 4 TTL 600Ws strobes.
The venue was mostly glass with high ceiling.

i left you out of my "what he ^ said" post above because i didn't have time to read the article this morning, but that's a kick ass write up! Thanks.


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Not in gear database: Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 3x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

  
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Sep 07, 2016 10:34 as a reply to  @ jcolman's post |  #14

These are excellent! but I can see the $$$ in this investment however the result is top notch, what type of lights are these? are they LED or just TTL Monolights?



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Post edited over 2 years ago by Left Handed Brisket.
     
Sep 07, 2016 11:43 |  #15

picworx wrote in post #18119922 (external link)
These are excellent! but I can see the $$$ in this investment however the result is top notch, what type of lights are these? are they LED or just TTL Monolights?

last time I checked, mr coleman was using the CL or AD360 product line.

as mr ward pointed out, it's really about recycling time. I've used speedlights in similar situations (not as big of a room as dmward's example) and they work fine. You just have to be cognizant of recycle times and battery life. One might use a speedlight at 1/2 power, or a 360 at 1/8, or a 600 at 1/16.

I'm use a couple of original 360 lights and a few speedlights ... not elegant, but sufficient for my needs.


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Not in gear database: Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 3x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

  
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Light Modifier for Banquet Halls
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