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Light(s) for classical singer video recording
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Nut
 
Light(s) for classical singer video recording

Following the recent thread on some general lighting options for video I would love to know what the pros here would light a classical singer (soprano) + piano concert.

The setup will be any of the 2 shots in this video of the magnificent Pretty Yende (singer positioned in the knee of the piano):

https://youtu.be/3ZSyAcIS4fo?t=162

- Shot showing the piano and singer (at 2:42)
- Closeup showing the singer's upper body (at 0:49)

As it's a soprano, 'beauty'/soft lighting' would be ideal. I am wondering if it may be possible to accomplish this with a single, silent (fanless?) battery powered light. Portability is a concern.

-What would you use?
-How much light/brightness is needed?
-What beam angle and modifiers should I look for?

Shooting from closer in, I would happily use my Rotolights (2000lux/1m, 50° beam), but they are not helpful when shooting from 20' away.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Will the scene be on a stage like you show in the YouTube video? Since you mentioned battery powered, I want to be sure of the setting before making recommendations. If you are in a stage, there should be plenty of power and at that distance, most anything would produce a ‘soft enough’ light to not need much in the way of diffusion. If you want something stereotypical of this setup, perhaps see if the venue has follow spots. A follow spot (or two from different angles) from 50’ on the singer and one on the piano may look ‘classically correct’ since that’s a fairly normal use for a follow spot.

I have some more ideas for battery stuff but more info on the exact location will be helpful... an indoor concert hall? A foyer with a piano? Any natural light? Does the color temp need to be adjustable? Are other stage lights tungsten?

-B
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
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king2070lplaya's Avatar
2x Godox UL150 with aputure 2x fresnels and some bastard Amber gels to warm them up would do a fine job in small to medium rooms.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Hire some Arri LED lighting from a local contractor
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #5
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmdaugherty ➡️
Will the scene be on a stage like you show in the YouTube video?
-B
Great question---the venue will probably not be a full stage, and there's a good chance I won't have any stage lighting. We're still determining the venue (ugh pandemic), but it may be a church with some natural light, or a small performance hall.

My main goal was to find a quality portable light that can get some nice soft lighting on the soprano's face from a distance of 20'.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
20' is a bit of distance to light. Consider the amount of light lost due to the inverse square law. https://www.paulcbuff.com/Inverse-Square-Law.html

You also lose power if you use a softbox on the light to make it more diffused and less harsh.

A plug in light is going to be cheaper than battery powered for the same light output.

Then you also need to consider what ISO and aperture settings you intend to use. Some of the newer cameras and lenses are sharp enough to shoot pretty wide open and have good enough ISO performance that you can use less lighting than in the past. But....do you need depth of field for your shoot?

Unless you have a continued paying use for this kind of lighting, you might be better served by renting lighting from a supply house who can give you their recommendations.

edit: the ideal situation would be if you could find a venue with good acoustics that already has lighting so you don't have to rent or buy anything.

Last edited by 2manyrocks; 4 weeks ago at 10:58 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
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🎧 10 years
Godox makes some great solutions that may be battery powered but the battery pack would be a separate purchase. At 20’ you aren’t going to use a soft box with a battery light. You will need a rather large diffuser and the light will need to be substantial! A godox 150 watt will come with a reflector and at 20’, I really think the light will be sufficiently soft.

I’ll post some more specifics on model numbers when I get back to the studio, but you will need something pretty bright and direct to effectively light the subject while using a battery. You just can’t afford to use a battery while also overcoming the inverse square law, especially when using diffusers.

-B
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #8
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmdaugherty ➡️
Godox makes some great solutions that may be battery powered but the battery pack would be a separate purchase. At 20’ you aren’t going to use a soft box with a battery light. You will need a rather large diffuser and the light will need to be substantial! A godox 150 watt will come with a reflector and at 20’, I really think the light will be sufficiently soft.
-B
Thanks. I assume that the first zoomed-out shot of Pretty above showing her + piano would require lights to be at least 20' away, but based on the responses I'm wondering if this isn't the case? Perhaps I could boom a light above for example and get it closer while keeping it out of the shot?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
FWIW, the video link you originally posted says that Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall was the venue.

https://www.carnegiehall.org/About/R...l-Recital-Hall

My guess is the video was shot using their concert lighting.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #10
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyrocks ➡️
FWIW, the video link you originally posted says that Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall was the venue.
Actually, I don't love the lighting in the video I posted and I find that video's color grading is a bit odd (not terrible, but a bit underlit/overly warm/boring). I posted it because it has the shots I want to replicate (and also Pretty Yende is amazing).
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tessitura ➡️
Thanks. I assume that the first zoomed-out shot of Pretty above showing her + piano would require lights to be at least 20' away, but based on the responses I'm wondering if this isn't the case? Perhaps I could boom a light above for example and get it closer while keeping it out of the shot?
This all depends upon the focal length of the lens. Assuming there’s no audience and the placement of lighting will not distract from the aesthetic for anyone in the room, you could use a wide lens fairly close for the wide shot and use a long lens for the close up.

If you are using a full frame camera, a 12-35 1.8 sigma lens could get the piano and the singer. This camera would be on stage and relatively close to the subjects. Then you could use something like a 70-200 2.8 canon and keep the lights out of shot while still placing them within 10’ of the performers. This has to do with field of view related to the subject. A 12-35 1.8 could capture the vocalist and the pianist while being close enough to almost be in front of the lighting, while the 70-200 2.8 could be placed much further away but still keep the lighting out of frame due to the much narrower FOV the longer lens allows. You just need to be smart about placement of on stage lights.

To be honest, any venue should be able to adequately illuminate their own stage... the link you posted definitely doesn’t have any video specific lighting, just stage lighting. I’m no DP, but in my experience, the further a light is from the subject, the less need there is for diffusion (a soft box with or without diffusion or grid). From 20’ or greater, any light is going to be suitably soft on the subject.

If I shoot with a 70-200 2.8, I can easily be 20’ from the subject and capture thighs up with good headspace with lights and shotgun only 4’ away... the audience never knows because lights and mics are all off camera but the subject could still reach out and touch the shotgun and most of the lights!

It’s still amazing to me what different focal lengths can do!! I’m still learning for sure!!

-B
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #12
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tessitura ➡️
Actually, I don't love the lighting in the video I posted and I find that video's color grading is a bit odd (not terrible, but a bit underlit/overly warm/boring). I posted it because it has the shots I want to replicate (and also Pretty Yende is amazing).
On my laptop, the video looks warmish to me as well compared to the photo of the same space on the Carnegie website.

If you shoot your video in 4k, you could also have more options to crop your shots to taste in editing, but it would be more taxing on your computer.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
Gear Nut
 
Question: would tungsten lights work well with the lighting in most typical concert halls you all see? I have actually never used a tungsten light, but it looks like I can get a (silent) 250w tungsten in a very small/lightweight fresnel fixture, which would be perfect for fly-in recording (aside from the lack of battery options)
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tessitura ➡️
Question: would tungsten lights work well with the lighting in most typical concert halls you all see? I have actually never used a tungsten light, but it looks like I can get a (silent) 250w tungsten in a very small/lightweight fresnel fixture, which would be perfect for fly-in recording (aside from the lack of battery options)
If the light is warm looking, it’s probably around 2700-3200K which is normal for a tungsten light. If you are seeing brilliant whites that remind you of sunlight in the middle of the day or whiter (bluer), you are looking at something more like 4500-5600K with 5600k probably looking a tad blue compared to mid-day sun.

Everything about light has to do with contrast, especially when capturing it with a camera... color contrast, brightness contrast... if you want the entire scene to be a single color temp like the video you linked, just make sure all the lights match (all 3200k or whatever). As long as everything matches, you can do some minor color correction later and adjust how warm or cool the shot is.

When you start mixing colors, real white balance becomes way more important! You could light the main subjects with relatively cool lights like 5000k+ and have some warmer accent lights on the stage that create a nice contrast to the main subjects.

I’m no master light engineer though... I understand basic principles, but I still see myself as a noob.

-B

Also, true tungsten lights are HOT. they will waste most of their energy as heat. You can get warm colored led lights that can supplement a true tungsten light that is much more efficient. The lights used in the video you linked are almost absolutely old school, inefficient hot lights.

Always good for frying an egg sandwich, but not so much for the electric Bill!!!

Last edited by bmdaugherty; 3 weeks ago at 10:12 PM.. Reason: Additional info.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Please check on the cost of replacement bulbs for the light you are considering. Could be inexpensive or ridiculous, but better to know before you buy the light.
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