Friday, August 13, 2010

Planning for a Birthday Party

Our toddler's birthday party will be tomorrow.  Silly me - I didn't take the time to look at the place, so I had to rely on what my wife remembered about it when she checked it.  It's going to be a medium sized room.  The ceiling is low but colored blue and with paintings of clouds.  Bouncing from the ceiling will be an issue because of the color cast, which would itself have been ok, except that it won't be constant. 

She said though that the walls were white.  I couldn't believe it (I expected murals or polka dots or something). She said she was sure.  "Yes, white."  Nice.

What are windows like?  I was wondering how strong the ambient would be, and whether there were large windows that could provide nice lighting.  No windows, she said.  Makes it simple to control ambient, I thought.

So far, bouncing from walls sounds like a reasonable alternative.  I'll bring the handheld umbrella though as insurance.  My wife frowns.  I may also put the YN-560 on a light stand to help illuminate the room.  Kind of like what Neil van Niekerk did here.  Since the YN-560 will be on optical sync, it will be a bonus for any guests taking pictures :))  Hmm.  I'm getting too ambitious.  I probably will end up not doing that.

I asked about the room layout.  There was a large "tree" in the middle.  Could obstruct the view but maybe I can use it as a prop.

I started thinking about the shots I wanted to take.  Details of the cake, food, gifts, gifts for guests, decor.  I could do that even before the guests arrive, while they're still neatly arranged.  Shots of all guests.  There will be some games for the toddlers - perhaps plan for shots that capture movement. Blowing the candle.  Opening gifts - I want to capture the expression on the faces of our toddler and his friends.

The biggest challenge of all is that I need to be a dad and host first, and photog second.  I need to keep things in perspective.  Oh did I mention I need to take videos too? (I will be using the Canon HG10 for that.)

Anyway, that's what I've envisioned so far.  Chances are it's not going to go exactly like that, but at least I have some sort of game plan.  We'll see.

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