Help with flash setup for wedding~

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Clawed, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. Clawed

    Clawed TPF Noob!

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    ... So, let's say that I knew someone who was shooting a wedding in the near future. This individual has shot a wedding before, but used an on camera strobe for adding flash to compliment the ambient light (or as the main source).

    However, this individual (let's call him Dewalc) has purchased additional equipment since then. He is looking for a good lighting configuration to shoot the reception with the following equipment:

    *580EXII
    *430EXII
    *Canon 40D (in his hands) & Canon 450D (in the assistant's)
    *Cactus V4 trigger and receiver
    *(1) lightstand w/shoot thru umbrella
    *Reflector

    What way would you use the equipment above to shoot the reception?


    Thanks! :thumbup:
     
  2. PatrickHMS

    PatrickHMS TPF Noob!

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    Dewalc = Clawed

    Clawed = Dewalc

    Okay, I get it.
     
  3. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Cute


    Portraits
    *430EXII on lightstand w/shoot thru umbrella via Cactus V4 trigger and receiver
    *Reflector - if you know how to use it - use it
    *Canon 40D (main body) & Canon 450D back-up

    Reception
    Candid style - 40D+580II 45-60* bounced with bounce card at 1/2-1/1 power ISO 400, 1/125 sec, f/6.3 start with that and readjust as needed :thumbup:
    Keep the rest as a backup
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    The equipment is very similar to what I shoot receptions with....here's how I do it.

    Remote flash is set up on light stand (or maybe clamped somewhere). Sometimes I use an umbrella, but I often use it without any accessory. Radio receiver is attached to the flash, the flash is in manual mode (I don't have two compatible Canon flashes)

    I then have another flash on the camera. I connect the radio sending unit to the camera via the PC socket. I attach the sending unit to the camera or the flash body with a rubber band. The on-camera flash is usually set to E-TTL. I might also have a bounce card or something on the on-camera flash...but either way, I usually try to bounce it.

    When shooting, I have to figure out what exposure settings will work with the remote flash. Because it's firing in manual mode, it's output is consistent...so once I find the right aperture & ISO setting, I'm good to go. If I need to adjust it's exposure, I can just change the aperture or ISO.
    The on-camera flash in E-TTL will follow whatever aperture I choose, so I don't have to worry too much about it. I use FEC to fine tune it's exposure.

    With this set up, I can choose to use either flash as a main and either as fill. I often shoot with the remote flash in the scene to intentionally get flare.

    I'll see if I can dig up some examples.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2009
  5. Big Mike

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

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    [​IMG]
    In this first one; the off camera flash gives them an accent/rim light. It's pretty bright and blows out the detail, but it's behind them enough that not too much detail is lost. The on-camera flash was set to something like -1 or -2 FEC and bounced off the ceiling. That is what is providing the fill light so we can see actually see them. It's low enough that it feels like ambient light.

    [​IMG]
    In this one, the remote light is right behind them, again, giving them a nice rim light. The on-camera flash provides enough light to see them, without looking too 'flashed'.

    I often position myself so the flash is right behind their heads, or just peeking though between them while they kiss...you can get really creative with it.
     
  6. Clawed

    Clawed TPF Noob!

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    Igs / Mike, thank you for taking the time to give me some great advice~ I think that setup sounds like it will work for me.

    MIKE: Does using the umbrella kill too much of the flash? Or is it that you like the hard rim light that the off camera strobe can produce?

    IGS: Do you ever find that bouncing 45*-60* does not give you enough directional light since most is still hitting the subjects straight on (or do you use walls where you can instead)?
     
  7. Mandi Nikole

    Mandi Nikole TPF Noob!

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    Please be careful with the Catus wireless set up. I only used it once for a wedding and missed some important shots b/c it didn't fire. It is not dependable. Pocket wizards are worth the money in the end.
     
  8. Big Mike

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

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    An umbrella does eat some light, but that's not really an issue in most cases. For a lot of these receptions shots, softening the remote light wouldn't make a huge difference anyway. And another thing, if you use an umbrella, your light is now a huge ball...which makes it a lot harder to hide behind somebody....and when it does show up in the image, it just doesn't look as cool as 'star' effect you get with a smaller light source.
    I have contemplated using some sort of 'cookie' (shape cut out of fabric or panel) to give the light a shape...a star or moon or heart. That might look cool.

    Good point by Mandi, the Cactus triggers may or may not be up to the task. I don't know too much about the newer V4 set, but I've got a few older sets and they don't fire consistently enough for wedding work. That's why I went out and got a CyberSync system.

    I don't think I mentioned it, but if I can, I use a studio strobe rather than a flash unit as my remote light. The recycle time is consistently fast and I don't have to worry about batteries.

    One more thing I forgot to mention. You don't have to point the remote light at your subjects. You could put it in a corner and just point it up at the ceiling. In the right situation, this basically gives you more 'ambient' light (even though it's not).
     
  9. Clawed

    Clawed TPF Noob!

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    Mandi: I agree. It was a pretty big concern of mine initially. However, I have been using the V4 set and I am fairly impressed so far with their reliability. But, last thing I need is to miss any important shots as a result, especially since I used my speedlite on camera only last time and the reception photos came out pretty good.

    Mike: Sounds like a good idea to put the remote light in the corner. I would try this but unfortunately, it is an outdoor reception. I do not have any studio type strobes, and I am not looking forward to changing batteries, but I do have an assistant this time around to make sure we change batteries several key points throughout the event :)
     
  10. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you're bouncing it with a bounce card, in my case I use foam paper (DIY - PM me if you want to know more about it) at 1/2 power is usually "ok" thus if I need more juice I'll either boost the ISO and get the extra stop OR go to full power (that is where I thank G-d for external battery). The ONLY reason why I say bouncing is you also fill the background (very little but you do) thus your image doesn't look like a typical P&S shot - subject is well lit and background is dark. At weddings, Ideally (99.9% of the time) I have an assistant so either he gives me backlight OR my strobes are set as backlights. In your case you didn't say you have one available. I am not the GREATEST expert on Canon equipment, although I often work with it, but with Nikon sb600 I believe somewhat equivalent to 430EXII, it is TO WEAK to illuminate the background.
    More of Background - WHAT MIKE SAID ;)
     
  11. GFruge

    GFruge TPF Noob!

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    Any of you guys tried shooting with one of those pocket bouncers or softboxes from Lumiquest? I've debated on this issue myself. Maybe shooting with a camera/flash bracket and using the pocket bouncer or softbox. LumiQuest® Photographic Accessories | Product Guide

    What's everyone's opinion on these? Just maybe looking for another product for this guy to shoot with to help him with the concern of tilting the flash @ 45/60 deg.
     
  12. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hmm... I would go with mike's setup, but outdoors there is nothing to bounce off of, so I would use a pretty large foam bounce card and curve it further over your flash, so you don't waste power trying to light the sky. The bounce card we are talking about is made of a thin sheet of flexible foam available at craft and hobby stores, just google "a better Bounce card" and you'll see what its all about.
     

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