I want to ask a question about measuring the amount of light on stage.
Now, I never have used a light meter. On live rock shows and live theatre, light intensity is very relative. The eye seems to adapt very well to a very large range of intensities, and the audience’s human eyes are usually my primary concern.
But what about shows when cameras are used? Corporate functions and shows where cameras and screens are used for magnification? TV shows, like music awards and dance shows?
I am finding myself more and more in this neck of the woods, and it makes me wonder things like:
Should I start measuring the light intensity on stage?
If so, how much is the right amount for the cameras?
Should I be measuring back light and front light separately, and what is the correct ratio?
If I should measure the amount of light, what tool do I use?
I’d appreciate and thoughts and comments.
You're gonna get overwhelmed with responses to that question! The shortest answer, in this digital age is "no" - leave it the cameraman, if its their job to capture the event, they will work with what you give them by making adjustments at the camera.
But, if you really want to know a light meter is the tool that will tell you Lux or Footcandles (USA tends to use Footcandles) and use one with a big wide white "eyeball" that will read the ambient light as opposed to one with the little "eyeball", a spotmeter - the name says it all!
When you measure the measure the ambient light on a stage you should walk around the whole stage sampling - it will help you identify the darker and brighter areas which may be exaggerated by the camera (dark may appear darker, brighter may appear brighter) but again, (and I generalize) the camera is doing a similar thing - sampling everything in the viewfinder and making adjustments.
So, I started writing a reply, but opted to just write a whole blog post. Check it out, and let me know if you have any other questions.