A Little Light Fare

They say: Half the world doesn't know how the other half lives.

I say: Half the world doesn't know how. The other half lives.

Dinner with me is as likely as not to be a pizza bagel (pepperoni, if you rate) and a Diet Mountain Dew. But when Chase Jarvis invites you over to dinner, don't be surprised if is it catered by a hotshot chef. With professional musicians. In an 30,000 sqaure-foot airplane hangar. With photo and video coverage.

Hit the jump below for a little background on how in the world you would light such a thing, or just head over to Chez Chase for video and photos...

When Chase first told me about this thing, I just smiled a shook my head. I'll give the guy this: He thinks big. Then I started thinking about how you would light something in an environment that big.

For the record, it's the same cavernous place you see in the Seattle Uber-Meetup videos. Having been there, I can tell you that it is big and dark. His first solution is to crank the ISO. This way, he can kill both the photo and video lighting birds with one stone by using continuous lights.

But you still have the problem of where the light will come from in such a big space, and how much area to light. As you can see here, he went with four tall-boy stands to enable a variety of lighting schemes on the dinner area.

He had an additional spot that he added for the performances. He didn't necessarily use all of the lights all of the time -- just kept them around in case they were needed.

The stands were on wheels, which means that they could easily move them around on the spot, making a variety of different light setups. As the evening went through its visual iterations, the lights could be rearranged in a matter of seconds.

Visually, the whole gig was self-aware enough to occasionally include the lights in the photos. Which certainly makes things easier.

Bear in mind that the outside ambient light would be dropping like a rock through twilight. So when the lights were mixed nicely, he chose to include ambient through the windows in the frame. After dark, he composed for the group and just let the background go dark.

It is important to have light coming from the back in a situation like this, or at the very least from the back/sides as rims. You need that separation from the dark background.

So, next time someone from Pearl Jam is hanging out for dinner at your airplane hangar-sized house, you'll at least have a head start on the lighting.

Chase blogs about it here, and there's lots more good stuff (including recipes) at the Songs for Eating and Drinking site.


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