Noob is back - getting started.

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by schuylercat, Oct 27, 2007.

  1. schuylercat

    schuylercat TPF Noob!

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    Hi all,

    Posted a while back about my reentry into photography – my stepson is getting married next year and he’s asked me to shoot the event for him. I have to completely re-outfit myself to do it, which will cost a lot of money, but I have decided to go forward with it, despite very good advice to spend my money on a photographer and attend my boy’s wedding instead, all the better to start shooting professionally again.

    My current hardware is Canon, with a 28-70 f2.8L and a 70-200 f28L (antiques…but really, really sharp) for lenses. I’ve got big old Bogen tri- and monopods, Pelican pluck foam cases and Lowepro backpacks and straps and filters up the wazoo, so I’m equipped there. I’ll have to buy all new stuff beyond that, with pretty steep budget in mind. Here’s my shopping list:

    Canon EOS 40D body

    BG-E2N battery grip

    3-4 batteries (I hear good things about aftermarket, and will experiment a little with them)

    4-5 2GB CF cards (SanDisk Extreme III were highly recommended)

    2 580EX Speedlite flashes

    STE-2 Speedlite remote transmitter

    Upgrade my version of Photoshop to the latest – I still muddle through with version 4.1

    All the above were selected with advice from people from this and other boards, and I thank you all for the advice you’ve offered. Additionally, I took a little more advice and offered to assist, for free, a local wedding photographer who shoots a Canon 30D and the same flash setup. I’ve seen his work (he did my nephew), and he’s very good with a dual-flash setup. He and I have similar backgrounds, too – I used to shoot auto racing and specialty cars, and he shoots drifting and pimped-out Hondas for a living.

    I have a wait ahead of me – the shopping list totals about $3,000 and I’m not there yet. The wedding is next June, so I have a bit of time.

    And so – from a technical standpoint, for those who shoot weddings: what do you carry and how do you work? I watched a guy years ago when I was shooting, he had a pair of old Hassy’s and a couple spare lenses and a big old Metz battery pack driven flash head. He carried about 10 film backs and still spent a good bit of time reloading them. He had 2 fair sized Anvil cases filled with crap, including separate lead-lined carriers, one for loaded film backs and one for rolls or 220 – all Provia, which explains the Metz flash the size of a truck tire. The rig probably cost more than my first house, and the guy worked like a horse hauling this stuff around.

    So – do any of you shoot without a backup? How many batteries do you carry? Do you write to the card in RAW, JPEG, or both? What about bracketing – when they’re standing in from of the cake, knife in hand, poised to cut, phony little smiles on their faces, do you fire off 3 bracketed shots? Do any of you carry little portable printers and clacker off little snapshots of family who haven’t seen each other since the last wedding as a little bonus gift? Have any of you been silly enough to shoot your own stepson’s nuptials and been physically assaulted by his real dad, who is a greasy, uneducated, drunken, cheap, abusive, child-abandoning scumlicker?

    Comment is invited.

    Cheers all!
    Rick
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Sounds like you have a good plan. If you can learn to work with two flashes units, wirelessly...you will be ahead of many wedding photographers. I'm not saying that you shouldn't do it...but it's a fairly advanced technique for your first time back shooting on your own. Make sure you are comfortable with the basics (on camera flash) as well...because you may end up shooting that way, with all the craziness of a wedding.

    No, that would be asking for trouble.

    5 or 6 batteries for two cameras. 4 sets of rechargeable AA for the flash. You might need more if you are using both flashes at the same time.

    RAW only.

    No. Firstly, you shouldn't have to guess...you should know what settings to use, before you use them. Also, I have the camera set to display the histogram right after the shot. I sneak a peek at the histogram, and adjust the exposure if needed.
    Also, remember your flash. It may not be able to keep up with three rapid fire shots like that.

    I wouldn't have time to play around with a printer while at a wedding. There is too much going on and if you are printing, you may miss something. Also, I like to edit my shots before anyone sees them, let alone gets a print.
     
  3. schuylercat

    schuylercat TPF Noob!

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    Hey Big Mike - thanks for the feedback. I have been told most of this before, and the reinforcement is good for me. I will borrow my brother in law's Rebel XTi for a backup body, and your advice on bracketing is where the rubber meets the road - any photographer who's done their style for a while knows better.

    Histograms, on the other hand...I'll be asking more about that later.

    Also: I see you're in Edmonton - I'll be shooting in Red Deer. I met my wife on a quit smoking BBS 8 years ago, she lived in Sylvan Lake, I lived in Orange County, California. We met for the first time in person in Red Deer, and the subject of my wedding shoot is my 22 year old stepson - he lives in Sylvan and is attending Red Deer College.

    Good to know there's a local around when I might need one for advice!!!

    Cheers,
    Rick
     

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