Advice on lighting THIS room for an event

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by kundalini, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I would like to see how to best light this private dinning room for a surprise proposal event. People photography is an area I want to get into and this would be my first purposed go at it.

    The room is approximately 20' x 40' with 15' ceiling height. The room is lit with dim incandescent wall lights and two hanging light fixtures. The event will be at night so the huge street front windows will only spill in any street lamps and car traffic that happens by. There will be approximately 30 guest.

    The gear.
    Bodies: D700 & D300.

    Lenses:
    20mm f/2.8
    35mm f/2
    50mm f/1.8
    85mm f/1.8
    105mm f/2.8
    24-70mm f/2.8
    70-200mm f/2.8 (I really don't think this will be useful here.)

    Lighting:
    Alzo Flip Flash Frame with Softbox kit (due to arrive on Tuesday)
    2x SB800
    SB600
    2x 6' Light stands
    8' Light stand with arm for 32" 5-in-1 reflector
    43" Shoot through umbrella
    45" Reflective umbrella


    Here's the room. Bear in mind these were taken for reference only, SB800 on hotshoe and bounced.


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    My initial thoughts was to bungee two SB's on the downchain of the ceiling lights and bounce off the ceiling, but not sure if that would produce enough spill light.​

    Thanks for any advice.​
     
  2. andrew99

    andrew99 TPF Noob!

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    What colour is the ceiling? It's a hard to be sure form your photo.. If they are neutral, my first thought would be to stick light stands in the opposite corners and point the flashes at the ceiling. You'll have to be careful about the light picking up colour casts from the walls, though. Hopefully someone else here can be more helpful! :)
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Normally, I'd like to take a couple flashes and do as Andrew suggested; point them up at the ceiling. That way, you can hopefully get somewhat even lighting in anyplace in the room, while shooting in any direction. The problem with that, is that you do pick up color from the ceiling and/or walls.
    You could try getting the lights up high and pointing them down, it would help to soften them with umbrellas or something.

    Another technique I like is to mix on-camera flash with an off-camera flash. You can use the off-camera light either bounced or direct depending on what you want. You can set your flash power/exposure so that the off-camera light is your main, with on-camera fill...or vise versa. My favorite is to shoot the off-camera light direct as a main and bounce the on-camera for fill.
     
  4. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If it was me... 2 speedlights, one in each corner of the room controlled via PW and each on a different channel set to 1/8th power. This would be your back ro rim light, thats why you want to control one side or the other. One SB-600 or SB-800 on a lightstand about 6 feet high set to about 1/8 to 1/4 power with a large bounce card on it pointing almost straight ahead. You carry this from table to table to serve as your main light.

    Doing it right, and all your people will be rim-lit with well exposed faces because you can control which side of the room the flash will go off in.

    Fast, portable, effective and good results.

    If you do not have PWs, the room should be small enough to take advantage of CLS as it will be relatively dark enough for the flashes to catch the pre-flash comands... try it out and see. I've done it several times successfully, but really prefer the all manual approach of PWs and manual power settings on all my flashes.

    My power settings are based on the fact that I shoot ISO 800 and around F/2 for a little DOF. Shutter speeds are between 1/30th to 1/250th, depending on needs and how much ambient I want in the shot.
     
  5. Craddie

    Craddie TPF Noob!

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    What I would do:

    I would put an SB-800 and an SB-600 on stands at opposite ends and point them at the ceiling for bounce. I would use the remaining SB-800 on camera with a bounce card (FV -0.7 maybe) to add to the ceiling bounce, trigger the remotes via CLS and to fill in eye sockets etc.

    The ceilings look pink or something, so I'd set a custom WB using a white tablecloth or something, so that your camera will compensate for the Pepto-Bismol coloured light.

    I'd set the ISO to 1600 on the D700, shoot at f2.0-2.8 and rock out all night without totally killing the batteries in the strobes.
     
  6. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    And then pick up the peices when someone knocks over stand and you say good bye to your flash:lmao:
     
  7. thekyle

    thekyle TPF Noob!

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    secure them upside down from the pipes that run down the long sides of the room. its pretty high up, and you can put them diagonal from eachother if you want. then you can put the 3rd flash on your camera with a defuser for fill
     
  8. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That is a good suggestion and I have done this, but the light from this looks very even, boring and not very exciting. That is why I would use a portable and more directional light in the form of a lightstand with a speedlight + bounce card on it.

    On top of that, instead of using a custom WB for everything, I'd rather take control of the light.
     
  9. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've yet to have a lightstand touched, much less knocked down, and I do weddings (ie: lots of drunk people hanging around). You put them in the corners, not in front of the bar. ;)

    Also, the stand that is near me... is near me, and I even take it with me on the dance floor... never lost one yet! :D
     
  10. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Too me the ceiling looks dark. Coupled with the height, i think it is going to be a problem. I've tried to compensate color casts with custom WB in the past. It doesn't work well if coupled with other sources of direct light (off camera flash on a strobe frame).

    I consider myself a novice when it comes to flash photography... my 2 cents lies with Jerry's recommendation.
     
  11. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Oh yeh... watch that darn mirror (I hate mirrors.. caught me off guard more than a few times.. across peoples' faces of all places). Not only can you see your flash bounced back at you at full but you can see an effect projected on the wall to the right (in the first photo).
     

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