Indoor Wedding Photography/Dance Floor Question

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by bradracino, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. bradracino

    bradracino TPF Noob!

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    Hey all

    New to this forum, so bear with me if this is in the wrong spot.
    I've been a photographer for a while but I just got into wedding photography a couple years back. My photos have improved a lot, but I seem to encounter the same problem with a few different reception halls. A lot of the halls have reflective mirrors on the ceiling above the dance floor, and most of them have some type of lighting (chandelier, etc) hanging from those mirrors. So when i take photos on the dance floor (bounce flash), the lighting is always different and the shadows and highlights are scattered all over the subjects. I can never nail any solid shots in these locations. What can i do? I've attached examples below...in one of the photos you can see the type of ceiling i'm talking about. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks guys!



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  2. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Looks tough.

    Don't take my word for it but first thing that springs to my mind is to crank the ISO right up, use the maximum aperture your lens goes to so that you don't have to use flash! perhaps you can do that and use the flash straight ahead with a diffuser/bounce card? at a low power, just enough for a little fill? (but then you risk the reflection of flash in the mirrors on the walls etc anyway)..

    I'm sure other people will come along and give better methods.. :)
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I've shot in a lot of reception halls...some of them are great, some not so bad and some of them are down right terrible. I have a couple different accesories and techniques that I might use, depending on the location.

    For a room like that, with a chandelier like that, I might still try bouncing but also using something to divert a good portion of the light forward. Recently, I've been using a Demb Flip-It Pro, which is light a big bounce card with a hinge. So if the ceiling is good for bouncing, I have the card straight up or angled slightly. If the ceiling isn't so good, I might angle the card a little (or a lot) more.

    A couple photographers that I shoot with, use the Gary Fong Lightsphere. It spreads light all around so that it bounces off of multiple surfaces. If there are good reflection surfaces around you, it can make for some nice soft light.

    I also have a flash bracket which I would normally use when shooting the flash directly, but it can also be used when bouncing.

    Another technique that I've been using for receptions lately, is off camera lighting. I set up a flash (either hotshoe unit or studio strobe) and use a radio remote to trigger it. I will use on-camera flash as well. This allows me to get dramatic lighting from the off-camera light and I adjust the on-camera light for varying levels of fill.
     
  4. Warren_G

    Warren_G TPF Noob!

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    I'm new, so dont take my word as gospel either, but I trieed one of these small soft boxes that fit right over your flash for some indoor photos at a family reunion and it worked great by pointing the flash right at the subjects. Also was really cheap: [ame]http://www.amazon.com/Opteka-Universal-Diffuser-Olympus-External/dp/B0017U0WM8/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1219864807&sr=8-1[/ame]

    It takes alot of the guesswork out of where your flash is gonna bounce, but the pics dont have that harsh flash appearance.
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Mother of all tips: Lookup. If the ceiling isn't white or not consistent, don't bounce the flash.

    The other things I can recommend is up the ISO. Even the dirty noisy cameras (like my D200) do just fine at ISO800.
    Maybe invest in some faster lenses (f/2.8).
    Oh and drag the shutter on the dance floor. Let's get some sense of motion in those photos.
     
  6. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Up the ISO, and don't bounce off the ceiling, but from a larger bounce card. Angle th flash 45 degrees also does a lot for shoting the light forward, avoiding the bounce flash into the ceiling.

    Off camera flash will solve ALL of that and better than any on camera issues you are slapping yourself with curently, though. ;)
     

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