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Indoor lighting options for big indoor room w/ 15 foot ceiling

  
 
mdvaden
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Indoor lighting options for big indoor room w/ 15 foot ceiling


Curious what others may use indoors for a big room, say like a wedding reception. The other day I volunteered for a church's youth organization fund raiser. It was at a country club indoor and the room had ceilings about 15 feet. At first I tried a narrow 20 inch softbox or umbrella to project light forward but didn't like the result. So I put my 360 streaklight bare bulb about 10 ft. up on a light stand and moved as needed, bouncing off the ceiling with some spill sideways. I found this reasonable for people up to about 30 feet away using an 85mm lens. There were about 14 tables and about 120 people

Anybody ever shoot a wedding reception or similar situation indoors with high ceiling? What did you like for lighting?

Would one of the LANTERN style light modifiers be useful for this?

Thanks, MDV






  Canon EOS R    RF85mm F1.2 L USM lens    85mm    f/3.5    1/180s    1250 ISO    0.0 EV  




May 02, 2022 at 10:51 AM
jeffbuzz
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Indoor lighting options for big indoor room w/ 15 foot ceiling


Are you trying to actually light the entire interior space including the ceiling to achieve an environmental / architectural look? Or do you just want to bounce off the ceiling onto to people at floor level?


May 03, 2022 at 11:23 AM
ross attix
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Indoor lighting options for big indoor room w/ 15 foot ceiling


Jeffbuzz is right-your question is too vague. Large groups? Table shots? Couples candids?

The more people in the shot, the more complicated the answer.

For candids, use a speedlight bounce modifier of some sort, on a bracket attached to the camera, and drag the shutter to open up the rest of the room a bit.



May 03, 2022 at 11:35 AM
mdvaden
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Indoor lighting options for big indoor room w/ 15 foot ceiling


jeffbuzz wrote:
Are you trying to actually light the entire interior space including the ceiling to achieve an environmental / architectural look? Or do you just want to bounce off the ceiling onto to people at floor level?


At this last event I was interested in lighting a few people or table of people, but not sections of the room or entire room. My priority would be expressions or activity of a few people, and not so much the ambience of a room.

But, if there's suggestions to brighten an entire room, I'd be interested to know what others try. This room was like 120 feet x 80 feet.






May 03, 2022 at 04:00 PM
rek101
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Indoor lighting options for big indoor room w/ 15 foot ceiling


There's a wedding photographer on this site who posted a video of how he sets up his lights to do something similar. I think he has two strobes pretty high up facing each and an on camera flash. I would think some variation of what he's doing might work well for you. Check out around 2:30 for his explanation.



Edited on May 03, 2022 at 11:37 PM · View previous versions



May 03, 2022 at 11:34 PM
jeffbuzz
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Indoor lighting options for big indoor room w/ 15 foot ceiling


For a typical 6ft banquet table you can get each side with a 24mm lens. That's well within the zoom range of most TTL flashes. So the simplest setup would just be a hotshoe flash with a zoom head capable of that much spread.

Drag your shutter to bring up the ambient background exposure and use your flash to expose and freeze your subjects. If folks are dancing you'll get some dreamy after blurring if your shutter is slow enough.

For a more diffuse indirect light I'd look at simple clip on diffusers and bounce reflectors you can add to a that same hotshoe flash. You just need one with enough power to bounce and illuminate that same table area. Again, well within capability of typical full size hotshoe flash heads.

I like flash brackets. It gets your flash head higher up producing more downward shadows rather then the full frontal blast of the hotshoe mount. Advantage is you can use the directed flash rather than a bounce which gives more power. If you don't mind the weight and bulk you can mount 2 flashes on a big bracket for serious power output. Still fully portable to walk around but it is a load.

Godox, Westcott and Profoto all make variations of round head on-camera TTL flashes. These will give you more power with more diffusion without using a bounce. I like my Godox/Flashpoint V1. There are a bunch of different modifiers that magnetically attach to the round head.

To light the entire space in sync you could use multiple radio triggered heads staged on lightstands or clamps distributed around the room. The Godox triggers work up to 100 meters so syncing a room your size is no problem. If you're shooting a lot this can become distracting unless you already have disco lights flashing too.



May 03, 2022 at 11:37 PM
ross attix
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Indoor lighting options for big indoor room w/ 15 foot ceiling


rek101 wrote:
There's a wedding photographer on this site who posted a video of how he sets up his lights to do something similar. I think he has two strobes pretty high up facing each and an on camera flash. I would think some variation of what he's doing might work well for you. Check out around 2:30 for his explanation.



Sorry to say, but just by looking at the link still frame, this is not the way to do it. Having the lighting take on a personality when you are there to cover the subjects, is a mistake. This lighting competes with the couple.




May 04, 2022 at 06:11 AM
 


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mdvaden
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Indoor lighting options for big indoor room w/ 15 foot ceiling


rek101 wrote:
There's a wedding photographer on this site who posted a video of how he sets up his lights to do something similar. I think he has two strobes pretty high up facing each and an on camera flash. I would think some variation of what he's doing might work well for you. Check out around 2:30 for his explanation.



Glad I posted the thread because it certainly leads to more facets of learning. From the video, it appears that my last larger room photos are more softly lit for people sitting at the tables.

I've set opposing lights before on a dance floor, but not as high as the photographer in the video. And I think his positioning is a lot better for standing activity. He also gels which I haven't done yet at an event. I started browsing for gels last night and apparently there's several gel options for my 360 Streaklight or XPLOR 600 lights.










May 04, 2022 at 08:46 AM
rek101
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Indoor lighting options for big indoor room w/ 15 foot ceiling


mdvaden wrote:
Glad I posted the thread because it certainly leads to more facets of learning. From the video, it appears that my last larger room photos are more softly lit for people sitting at the tables.

I've set opposing lights before on a dance floor, but not as high as the photographer in the video. And I think his positioning is a lot better for standing activity. He also gels which I haven't done yet at an event. I started browsing for gels last night and apparently there's several gel options for my 360 Streaklight or XPLOR 600 lights.



I wasn't really sure if doing exactly what he was doing would work for your needs because he's creating perhaps a bit more drama, and the activity is all centered around one main location, the dance floor. But I thought some of the issues were similar....large space, high ceilings, and use of off camera strobes mounted pretty high. I thought that maybe some variation on his ideas might be worth trying out.



May 04, 2022 at 07:12 PM
mdvaden
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Indoor lighting options for big indoor room w/ 15 foot ceiling


rek101 wrote:
I wasn't really sure if doing exactly what he was doing would work for your needs because he's creating perhaps a bit more drama, and the activity is all centered around one main location, the dance floor. But I thought some of the issues were similar....large space, high ceilings, and use of off camera strobes mounted pretty high. I thought that maybe some variation on his ideas might be worth trying out.


It's not so much about needs I have, but more to learning extra stuff that others do that I can add to memory for extra options someday. I don't mind trying different styles or looks. So I'm open to most any style or modifiers that others like or have tried in a big room. I'm still curious if others have used one of the LANTERN softboxes in a large room. I've got smaller lights like he used, but also 600s. So the variations like you suggest are feasible.

Yesterday, I ordered a SAVAGE Multiflex light with uneven ground outdoor in mind, but the video got me thinking that the Savage stand could be used to squeeze closer to walls or corners. Here's on more from the event, using bounce to the ceiling with the Streaklight 360. There was an auction going, so I didn't want to walk into the midst and distract. That's why I opted for the 85mm and shooting from about 30 feet away.






  Canon EOS R    RF85mm F1.2 L USM lens    85mm    f/4.5    1/180s    1000 ISO    0.0 EV  




May 04, 2022 at 08:07 PM
rog1
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Indoor lighting options for big indoor room w/ 15 foot ceiling


I did this for a long time, now mostly retired. I ended up with six 600ws strobes on 10' lightstands, placed against the wall evenly around the room and angled towards the ceiling (it it was a light color) or with diffusers and pointed straight out. They were triggered by a Pocketwizard mounted on the camera. I often also used a small flash, mounted on a bracket and controlled by a PocketWizard, as fill flash. This allowed me to work the entire room, taking pictures at every table and from every angle without having to pay attention to the placement of the lights. I used the same lights in my studio, but with modifiers. Note: the lightstands had brackets welded on the legs that allowed me to tape them to the floor. This setup also required lots of extension cords, also taped to the floor.


Jun 30, 2022 at 07:46 PM
CharleyL
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Indoor lighting options for big indoor room w/ 15 foot ceiling


Don't restrict your camera ISO settings. Do a couple of test shots with what you have and you will likely be good. We old film guys hated to use high ISO film numbers, but todays digital cameras are much different. If there is light in the room, and you have a flash or two to light their faces, auto ISO will get you great shots. It's only when working in near total darkness that you will fail with ISO at it's maximum camera capability. Experiment in your living room to see what I mean. It won't be studio quality, but far better than you are expecting.

Charley



Jul 01, 2022 at 02:26 PM
leethecam
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Indoor lighting options for big indoor room w/ 15 foot ceiling


I think the big thing to remember with these events, is that it isn't a photographic shoot.

We are secondary to their day and so whilst we'd love to have amazing images, our lighting, our kit - shouldn't impact peoples' enjoyment.

I keep my footprint to a minimum when I'm shooting private parties. (I don't shoot weddings). I keep my speedlight on the camera and use a LumiQuest KwikBounce, (because it allows me to throw light forward and/or upward and it places the light sourec better in both orientations).

I might have an assistant with a mobile speedlight as a backlight, which I control manually from my remote.

For indoors stuff, I balance ambient to flash - usually camera 1 stop under for ambient and let the ETTL flash do the rest. Full manual for any backlight. And this gives me natural imagery with a tiny footprint.

I did used to have an assistant follow me around with an off-camera 12" softbox, but I realised we were too much and I didn't want people to notice us so much.

If I need a bit of off camera modelling, a couple or three quick strokes with a localised adjustment brush gets me there in post.

And besides, I quite like a slightly more localised source of light. I find big bounced flash can often look a bit flat.



Jul 01, 2022 at 02:33 PM







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