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Thread: Light Show

  1. #1

    Default Light Show

    I am reluctant to post this here but what the hell. My wife said there is a light show in the City tonight so I thought on the spare of the moment that I'd take my camera to capture it. Tip: Never take your camera on a shoot without checking if the battery is charged.

    I only managed to get about 10mins of footage but I thought I'd post it anyway.

    I know how lame it is so I'm bracing for impact.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    Good steady camerawork. Exposed corrrectly and showed the colours well. And the composition wasn't bad given the limited places from which I'm guessing you could film.

    It's a difficult subject to cover. A film of the light show itself is, well, just a poor substitute for the light show as it will not do a very good job of communicating the sheer scale of projections onto buildings.

    So, what are the options as far as making a film are concerned?

    Setting up, testing and dismanteling can often work - and timelapse can be used to great effect for this. However it would require you to have been there for hours and a lot of planning.

    So, what can you capture when it's a grab and shoot type situation?
    Answer: people. People interacting, people arriving, leaving, expressions (especially children's faces), people eating, musicians playing. And use the light show as a backdrop or as the cue for people's reactions.

    Your audience will engage with shots of people much more so than the light show.

    But not easy to get much of this is you only have 10 mins charge on your battery!

  3. #3


    Thanks Tim, as usual you seem to hit the nail on the head. Communicating the sheer scale of projections on buildings. Using it more as a back drop to show the people enjoying the evening etc.. would be the best way to go.

    I still feel I'm not getting anything like the best from my camera. It's like stepping into the space shuttle with all the knobs and buttons and menu options but doing this little tests and experiments helps.

    Thanks for being gentle with your review.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Haywards Heath, West Sussex, UK


    Well I am going to give you a dam good kicking.....

    Not really

    What a nightmare, ten minutes to grab everything. I made the same mistake the other day when I went to capture the autumn colours in Wakehurst gardens. Forgot to charge the camera and ran out just as I was beginning to enjoy myself.

    I agree with Tim, people shots could feature heavily here, buying drinks, hot dogs etc if there were stalls. I like to hear music as you know and I thought your chosen track was good, especially as your shot of the band suggested they were playing it.

    You captured the intense colours very well. As I watched the film I began to yearn for a closeup of the light show on the wall and then, fairly late, in it came. Instantly the colours were brighter and we had movement on the screen.

    There looked to be a lot of kids underneath the light show which would have been a rich source of looks of wonder. Then again you never know how people will react these days to filming kids. Its a shame because they are such wonderful subjects as there expressions are magical.

    Some of the shots were a little too long and static. The real question is when did you become aware you only had ten minutes left? If it was at the start of the ten minutes then you should have gone into what I call 8mm cine mode. I remember the days when a reel of 8mm film cost a small fortune and you only had 2 minutes per reel. That forced me to think about the shots in advance and practice them before I pressed the button.

    The light show was certainly worth shooting and publishing it here gives us all the opportunity to think about how we would approach it.

    Good on you

  5. #5


    I know, I know. I didn't look at the battery meter until it stated flashing which gave me a couple of mins to franticly get some crowd shots. Hence the dodgy focus. Focusing with this camera seem to be it's only issue. I always try and focus manually but the screen is low def and the camera is high def so until I get more practised with it I will have to put up with my disappointment at the results I'm getting.

    I know it (the camera) and I are capable of a lot better. SO practise, practise, practise.....
    .... and check the gear before I go out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Haywards Heath, West Sussex, UK


    Come and stand in the corner with me. The teacher wants us to write 'I will always check my equipment before I use it.' 100 times and then we can go out and play again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Blog Entries


    Quote Originally Posted by Shrimpfarmer View Post
    'I will always check my equipment before I use it.'

    Fear not, it happens all the time. I have not-so-fond memories of standing at the end of a windswept runway, watching, frustrated through the viewfinder as the restored bomber landed for the last time, ever, with the assistant frantically searching through the kit bag for a tape, the sound man shaking his head and the producer shouting "I don't f***ing believe this!".

    That was not a good day.

    Since then I have adopted the mantra "ABC" every time I leave the house/studio/centre with a camera.

    Audio, Batteries, Cassette. Or, more recently, Audio, Batteries, Cards.

    I would like to claim that I learnt my lesson but I have still ended up, on one occasion, thrusting batteries down my trousers to warm them up and squeeze the last drop of juice out of them. The "charger shuttle" running between the camera and the battery charger, hot swapping batteries is also something which I have experienced far too often!
    Last edited by Rembrandt Rob; 11-01-2009 at 08:38 PM.

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by The Gaffer View Post
    I would like to claim that I learnt my lesson but I have still ended up, on one occasion, thrusting batteries down my trousers to warm them up and squeeze the last drop of juice out of them.
    lol I wish I'd have thought of that. I suppose thats the difference between a pro and an armature.

  9. #9


    As you probably know by now I can never leave a project alone, even rubbish ones like this. So as I had a spare day I re-edited this. Although there is some repeated shots. (see above for reason) I think this is a better edit than the original, 3 years more experience as an editor. Camera work is still as bad. Do you agree this is better than the original ?

    Last edited by Midnight Blue; 05-24-2012 at 11:14 PM.

  10. #10


    Hi MB

    Appreciate the differences are subtle.

    Watched both side by side in 30 second intervals to help me see differences

    Found new text harder to read against background compared to new original text both start and end .....sorry
    See you included a moon at 1.40 in new ...couldn't resist it MB.....I liked the addition too!
    I see you are spending less time and jumping around more (technical term) with different shots to break up longer shoots which I think is better personally.
    I liked the quick fire collage of buildings at 2.30 on new video ! ....... really good and fits with music too.

    So I prefer your new version MB (nicer to watch) but definitely think you need to change the text.

    Interesting to see what the others think

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