No flash in a the church? Tips?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by natc143, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. natc143

    natc143 TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm shooting my first baptism in a low light/no flash church (little ambient light). I've never done this before and would love a few recommendations to ensure this is a successful shoot.

    I have a canon 5d mii, 50d as backup, with a canon 24-70 and canon 70-200 f/2.4, a canon 50mm, a tripod. Should I invest in a monopod? I'd also like to upgrade my tripod with a ballhead (bogen/manfrotto?).

    I would prefer not to raise my iso above 800/1600. What is your experience with ISO and managing low light situations?

    Any tips and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. This shoot would be at 3pm on Sunday in New York.
     
  2. jseoung

    jseoung TPF Noob!

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    what i would do i set your camera to about 800 on the iso open up your aperture as big as possible. on your 24-70 lens how fast is that?
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    What version of the 50mm do you have? You may want to stick with the prime for the large aperture if you can't get usable shutter speeds at F2.8.

    A tripod/monopod might help, but since your subjects will be moving, you are still likely to end up with blur at slower shutter speeds.

    You have the 5D mkII, don't be afraid to shoot at ISO 3200 or even 6400 if you have to. Noise is better than blur and this camera has some of the lowest noise levels available.

    Remember that you can maximize the signal to noise ratio (less noise) by exposing to the right. Expose Right
     
  4. natc143

    natc143 TPF Noob!

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    I have the 50mm 1.4, should I get (buy or rent) 35 or 85mm 1.4/1.8? I may go up to 3200 as you suggest but w/o prior experience it of course makes me nervous. I will make adjustments throughout the baptism of course. My 24-70 is f/2.8. I'm going to check out exposing right as well - thanks!!!!!
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    Don't forget to shoot in RAW (always a good idea).

    If you can get to the church sometime between now and then, at the same time of day...you could try some test shots. This should tell you if your current lenses are adequate. With that camera, I think you will be fine...remember, don't be afraid of high ISO...just try not to underexpose. Also, you should test out the high ISO capabilities of that camera...from what I've seen...it's pretty amazing.
     
  6. feRRari4756

    feRRari4756 TPF Noob!

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    I am a newer member of photography, but I have seen many 5d mkII shots at ISO 3200 and they come out amazing. Almost no noise at all.
     
  7. natc143

    natc143 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone ---and Big Mike! I appreciate your feedback and will certainly try to head over the church in advance.
     
  8. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Practice your technique!

    Exercise regularly and don't drink caffeine before your shoot.
     
  9. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I shot a baptism and the church did not allow flashes DURING the ceremony. I shot anyway; high ISO, fast lens, slightly wide lens, and at times leveraged a tripod. Keep your subjects flat; If two subjects keep them flat to the film plan when shooting wide aperture or else one person might be out of focus. Remember, you are working with a shallow DOF. But that is besides my point.

    Afer the ceremony, I asked the priest if he wouldn't mind "reenactment" with the use of flash. To my surprise, he said "sure". The two sets of pictures turned out great. You might want to ask if the priest will work with you.
     
  10. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Rent/buy the 85mm f/1.8. It's a great lens, and not too pricey. I agree with Mike: don't be afraid of high ISO. To get over any concerns about noise just visit your local library, and peruse the work of famous, 20th century photojournalists. The 35mm film they used was a whole lot chunkier than any modern Canon/Nikon DSLR.
     
  11. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I really believe the best advice was given... practice... know what your camera is capable of and get to know it's limits. Sometimes what we think is too dark, is not, and often a little noise may slip in, don't be afraid to use a little noise reduction software.

    If I was you, I would be at that place the week before, testing out the location, checking for best angles and knowing what ISO levels would get me what results.

    New dSLR cameras today are very good at higher ISO and you should not be afraid to test yourself in getting the best out of it.

    Sometimes, even an ISO 6400 pic can be made to look very good:

    [​IMG]

    EXIF data HERE.

    I like the suggestion of renting an 85mm, but if you can rent it, get the F/1.4... even if you never use it at F/1.4, it will be sharper at F/1.8 than the F/1.8 lens itself. A little experience and practice will get you some nice results.

    Post pics, if you can! ;)
     
  12. jseoung

    jseoung TPF Noob!

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    awesome advice!! couldn't say it any better
     

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