Outdoor baptism...?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by aliciaqw, May 20, 2010.

  1. aliciaqw

    aliciaqw TPF Noob!

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    I'm shooting a baptism on Sunday for a former co-worker's family. It's outdoors at the church pool at 10:30am. I'm going to get shots of the entire ceremony, not just my co-worker's kid. The pastor suggested it to other families to allow me some practice/experience. I'll post the photos online and they can purchase prints if they decide.

    I was supposed to have a bunch of new gear this week, but the funds were delayed. Darnit. Anywho. I'm going to rent a lens because the best quality lens I have is the 50mm 1.4 and I really don't want to be on top of people while I'm shooting. I want a lens that will afford me a photojournalistic style. What do you suggest? Canon's 70-200 f/4.0? Something wider like 24-70mm? Should I use a speedlight? The kids will be wearing white. Ugh...in the sun...in a pool. I'm nervous-- even though I'm not getting paid. I don't want to look like an idiot out there...haha.

    Thanks sooooo much for any tips/advice!
     
  2. page_tyson

    page_tyson TPF Noob!

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    If you're going to rent a lens I would go for the 70-200 mm lens, it sounds like it will be light enough outside for some good pics. If you go inside at all, your 50mm 1.4 will work just fine. If you have the money though, rent them both and take a few shots before with each lens and then decide which ones you like
    the best.
     
  3. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    Alicia
    Do you have the opportunity to go visit the site where the pool is?
    I bet it would behove you do so. This way you can see if there may be morning shadows cast into the area you are shooting.

    I have the 24-70. I think that would be a better lens overall. It may depend on how many people are present and how close you can get.
     
  4. aliciaqw

    aliciaqw TPF Noob!

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    The church is an hour away. I suppose I could go out there tomorrow or Saturday, but seems like a waste of gas for something I'm not getting paid for, lol. I might do it though. I think I'm going to use the 70-200mm f/4 with NO speedlight. That should be OK, right? As long as shadows aren't too bad. Would the speedlight even work for fill if I was shooting at lengths longer than 70mm?

    Also, I have a cropped sensor body, so that's why I was leaning towards the 70-200. Is that good logic? LOL...
     
  5. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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    I have shot baptisms outside, but it was in a lake. A pool might be a little different, but here you go.
    Crosstown Photo Gallery | Lake Nokomis Baptisms
    You can see my settings on the "info" tab, and clicking an image you will see a larger version then you can use your arrow keys or the nav buttons to advance to the next image.

    It depends on what equipment you have. My camera/speed light allows for high speed FP sync with my speed light. So I used it for fill, even at the longer focal lengths (70-200 2.8 lens). High Speed Sync basically sends rapid pulses of light, verses one large blast. The power is reduces, but for fill I usually get what I need. Bumping the ISO a click or two will give you a bit more flash power.

    You might want a wider angle for group shots and other shots, and flash might be needed there too.

    I would "get low" on one knee and try and get at the level of the action, if possible. It gives a different perspective than standing above looking down. I sometimes forget that during the baptism shots.

    I don't recall if I used one, but if you have access to a circular polarizer to fit the lens you rent, it might be handy. It will cut down on glare and reflection. You will probably get some of that in a pool, I would think.
     
  6. aliciaqw

    aliciaqw TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, Tim. I reserved the 580ex II along with the 70-200mm f/4. I've never used a speedlight before so I'll have to get lots of practice in before Sunday. I think I'll use my brother and cousin on Saturday as they get ready for prom.

    I assume I should meter off the white clothing and the flash will provide the fill light.

    I'm also going to be taking some shots in the church during the regular service beforehand. I can use flash in there. Am I better off using my 50mm 1.4 or the 70-200 f/4? I know the 50 is good for low light, but the 70-200 should perform well with the speedlight, correct? What would you suggest? I think I'll use the 50mm for small family shots after the baptism.

    Thanks for the info and the link!
     
  7. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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    You could meter off the clothing, but if there is something funky going on the way the light is reflecting off the pool and for some reason their face (skin) is far away from the exposure of the gown I would just stay metering and focus on their faces and dial in neg compensation if needed. Yes, the flash for fill - check if you can use it at higher shutter speed, this will be important so your shutter doesn't automatically adjust too low and you get camera shake, etc. The FP Sync I was talking about, but not sure what it’s called on Canon. Check online Canon for manuals to research.

    In the service before it depends on the lighting. I prefer to go no flash in our church, but that is when the subject is under the floods. There I usually spot meter and end up with -3 to -1.0 EV, but each venue is different. The key is to keep the shutter speed high to eliminate camera shake (I usually roam without a tripod, sometimes use monopd) and I am able to get pleasing results at higher ISO – sometimes using ACDSee Pro or Noise Ninja in post to reduce noise.

    With that said, I prefer to be closer when using flash for best results, and use a diffuser when doing it. I have used my 70-200 and shot flash a long way, but the results are much better when I can get closer. Then, I only use it if I don’t have enough shutter speed or the light is really bad. The height and color of the ceiling will dictate if you can bounce or not. Try bouncing and seeing what the results are. If you shot RAW, even better so you can adjust WB in post processing.

    Unfortunately, since each venue is so different, what you do will be determined what you get there. I hope I helped and not confused, please ask any specific questions and I will try to answer as best I can. Here are a couple links of inside a church:

    http://crosstown.zenfolio.com/p882832729
    http://crosstown.zenfolio.com/p999024979

    There’s actually several galleries of shots inside the church if you want to browse the settings.

    This gives you and idea of the height and color (light wood) of the ceiling:

    [​IMG]

    This is with flash at 102mm. If there is no wall directly behind the subject, you might get acceptable results without bouncing. Again, you will have to test when you get there. (sorry I didn’t post the image, I don’t want to share images of closer images on forums without their permission first). I bounced this off the ceiling:
    http://Crosstown.zenfolio.com/p999024979/ec3b8d6e
     
  8. aliciaqw

    aliciaqw TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the info. Do you suggest I use the diffuser outside, as well?
     
  9. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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    Not for your distance shots.

    I sometimes will use it outdoors if I'm within 10-15 feet and I want to spread the flash wider than the flash will on it's own. I don't really know the technical do's and don’ts, and I know some folks say never use a diffuser outside, but I often do when I am close to the subjects.

    I either use the snap-on diffuser dome that came with my speedlight, or use the pull-up little bounce card built in, then I angle it at 45 degrees, so just enough light goes forward. If straight on flash is used, at the closer range I get worried about too much intensity (which could be controlled with flash compensation). I also feel like I can get less of a flash look this way. Like I said, right or wrong, that's what I do. I have shot outside with diffuser and without while "closer" to my subjects. I should probably test this out in shade and out of shade to see the differences.
     
  10. aliciaqw

    aliciaqw TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. I'll do some trial runs tomorrow and Saturday and see at what distances the straight flash is just too much.

    I'm nervous about this gig since I'm still a newbie and haven't done an "event" yet. I'm afraid somewhere there is going to be a photographer and laugh at me. LOL.

    Should I opt for the 70-200 or the 50mm indoors? I can get faster shutter speeds with the 50 since it's 1.4, but I'm not sure if that is negligible since with a flash I will be able to increase shutter with the telephoto lens as well. Hmmm...
     
  11. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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    Hmmm hard to say, I would have them both handy. I have a 50 and a 70-200 and usually use the 70-200, but there is usually enough light, and I am usually trying to stay off to the side and keep a low profile. But I do switch from time to time also including a switch to a 17-50 2.8

    If you use the 50mm, you may not want to be at 1.4 anyway (very narrow DOF). If you get there early, have someone stand where the subjects will be and scope it out. Maybe plan on switching lenses if needed during the event.

    I hope it goes well, I can certainly understand your nervousnessit being your first time.
     
  12. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    Alicia
    Don't worry about another photographer. Focus on what you are doing, how to set your camera and where to stand for the different angles. You will need to concentrate. Maybe sit with pencil and paper and write down steps you need to take, this will help you remember more when you are actually working.
    Good luck, I am sure you will do great!

    P.S.
    It will not be a waste of your time or gas if you visit the location before you go there. You may develop questions, and it may help relieve some of your nervousness.

    When I do presentations, I get to know the venue, it does help.
     

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