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Archive 2012 · Live event lighting (1st time with PW setup)
  
 
RobsonF
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Live event lighting (1st time with PW setup)


I've been eager to try out the new Mini TT1 / Flex TT5 / AC3 Zone Controller system I picked up off the FM Buy & Sell, and last night I got the chance to put it to the test in a "real-world" setting: a live band in a dimly lit venue.

I'm just working with two 580 EX IIs at the moment so I hung one from the ceiling at the far end of a small dance floor, facing downwards at the stage. I put the other on a tripod off to stage right which I occasionally repositioned to face either the band or the audience. It was largely a trial-and-error process but I was pretty happy with the results. Still, I feel like a rookie when it comes to lighting.

Some sample pics are below. Any tips or advice on any aspect of light set up, image composition, exposure, etc., would be greatly appreciated.

1. Warm-up act / lighting test






2. Headliners take the stage






3. Crazy contact lenses






4. Crowd / band shot. You can see the suspended light pretty obviously in this frame.






5. Guitarist






6. Group shot






7. Dude in the audience whips out a "broom guitar"







Apr 05, 2012 at 03:36 AM
cordellwillis
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Live event lighting (1st time with PW setup)


Less light would have been much better. Don't blowout the atmosphere. Since it was dimly light you took all of that away in your photos with bright light. This band also looks edgy, so your lighting probably should have complimented them better....again, less light.


Apr 05, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Mark_L
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Live event lighting (1st time with PW setup)


I agree, definitely less light or you lose the atmosphere. Start with the flash about a stop over the ambient and work from there. I'd also start with just one light on the band and get that looking good for a few shows, then if you want a second light think very carefully about what you want it to be doing (usually accent/rim) it looks like you had this on as much power as your main coming right in from the side.

It will always be tricky since the people don't face the same directions and you will end up with some very flat lit (2) and some with a nose shadow stretching over their face (5). There isn't much leeway with bare flash! You caught some good moments, dial the flash/ambient ratio down a bit and you should be getting results that keep the mood.



Apr 05, 2012 at 03:29 PM
RobsonF
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Live event lighting (1st time with PW setup)


Excellent advice. Thank-you.

As I went through the pics at the end of the night I thought they were a little hot, too, and I should have dialled back the flashes a tad. I played with them up and down all night but probably erred too far on the side of brightness too often. But they were new toys and I wanted to use them, dammit! I suppose subtlety takes practice.

I appreciate the specific suggestions. Will give them a try next time out.



Apr 05, 2012 at 07:57 PM





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