First Wedding (prep work)

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by o hey tyler, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. o hey tyler

    o hey tyler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I am shooting my first wedding on the 22nd of May. It's for my cousin, who asked me to shoot it for her. I told her I wouldn't take any money for the shoot (as it's my first). I recently bought a 430ex II and I was wondering if I should leave that mounted on my camera during the ceremony, or should I order a pair of Cactus V4's so I can use it off camera on a stationary light stand? I'm shooting in a large room with 12 foot ceilings. As far as my flash goes, I have no diffuser for it. Perhaps I should order a Sto-Fen? Or a GFong Lightsphere? Anyone got suggestions as far as that goes?

    Between my girlfriend and I; we have:

    2 Canon T1i's
    Canon 50mm f/1.4
    Canon 50mm f/2.5 Macro
    Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6
    and two Kit Lenses (one with IS, one without)
    Canon 430ex II

    We're both going to be shooting and moving the entire time.
     
  2. DerekSalem

    DerekSalem TPF Noob!

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    It's probably just because I use one fairly frequently...but maybe you should rent a zoom lens with IS. I would *definitely* recommend the 70-200 f/4L from Canon. Unbeatable IS, good zoom distance (it would be rare to need over 200mm since you have the ability to be mobile), and incredible L quality. Might just be worth it so that both of you can have a good zoom lens.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think that keeping the flash on the camera is the more versatile way to shoot during the ceremony...unless you are going to have your girlfriend holding it off-camera and moving it every time you change angles/position.

    Just putting it on a stand (without moving it) only gives you one angle of light...and while you can get different shots by moving yourself around, the light won't be idea for each angle.

    I guess you could use the flash it simulate ambient light, by just having it fire into the ceiling or down from above, but you can basically do the same by bouncing your on-camera flash (provided the location is suitable for that).

    Flash accessories do have their place, but it's key to realize when & where they work, and where they don't. For example, an omni-bounce or a Fong Dong work great when there are surfaces to bounce off of...but they don't help much at all, when there isn't.

    You will have to evaluate the situation. If the ceiling is suitable for bouncing, then do that. You could add a flash accessory that throws some of the light forward, while allowing most of it bounce...but don't be afraid to try some shots with direct flash as well. Also, you can include or exclude ambient exposure as you see fit. It's often best to find a nice balance between flash and ambient exposure, rather than just blasting away with the flash.

    And of course, if there is enough light, you can shoot without flash sometimes. Heck, you may not even be allowed to use flash, so keep that in mind.
     
  4. o hey tyler

    o hey tyler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thanks for the help DarkSalem and Big Mike.

    Although, Mike; could you elaborate on what you mean by ambient exposure? Are you referring to just exposing for the room lighting and then shooting at quarter power for fill flash or something to that effect?

    Also, has anyone had experience with Lensrentals.com? It was the first hit on google when I googled "renting lenses", so I am hoping it's reputable.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    By ambient exposure, I mean the room/window light that is in the room/church etc.

    When I'm using flash, I'm usually shooting in Manual mode. Remember that shutter speed doesn't affect flash exposure, so you can use your shutter speed to adjust the ambient exposure. I keep the flash in E-TTL mode and use FEC to adjust the flash exposure (up or down from it's metered value).

    So I might walk into the church and see that my camera's meter is telling me that (without flash) I'd need something like F2.8 & 1/15....which is pretty dark. If I were to use auto mode (with flash) it would lock the shutter speed at 1/60, thus underexposing the ambient by two stops. The result would likely be that the background would be two stops darker than the subjects. In manual mode, I could dial the shutter speed down to 1/15 and get good ambient exposure and the flash would be more like fill light. The problem is that I might get motion blur with such a slow shutter. The flash can often freeze motion blur, but ambient exposure will still be blurred. It's a balancing act. So I could make the shutter speed 1/30, only underexposing the ambient by one stop.

    Of course, you can turn up the ISO, which will help to bring up the ambient exposure or the shutter speed, and also cause your flash to have to work less hard (lower power needed). This gives you faster recycle times and longer battery life. Of course, higher ISO means more noise...so it's another balancing act.

    So really, it's all about balance and compromise.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2010
  6. chammer

    chammer TPF Noob!

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    great post, big mike. can definitely utilize that for other areas. :)
     

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