Quick Camera Advice

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Soul Rebel, May 18, 2006.

  1. Soul Rebel

    Soul Rebel TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Port Angeles, WA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Ive got to take some photos of a wedding tomorrow for my cousin. This will be the first wedding that I have photographed and to be honest, I am scared to death. Being the smart person I am I have done little research. Instead I dealt with real life and watching my son while my fiance is working.

    Anyway.....Ive got a Panasonic Lumix LZ-2 5 MP digital camera with 6x optical zoom. Its a decent camera. My question is which setting I should use? I would love to put it on auto and let the camera decide so that I can worry about which shots to take. Would this be smart? I could tweak some of the settings if need be.

    Also, I have the option to choose how to set the autofocus. The for options are 1.) a pinpoint autofocus, 2.) a large square in the middle, 3.) 3 points across the viewing area, 4.) three points across, 3 points up and down. Which would you choose?

    The wedding will be inside a church and my cousin has said the lighting is pretty good. There are 4 windows down each wall of the church.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,822
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Are you the only person who is officially taking photos? If so, make darn sure that they know your level of experience.

    Weddings are a once in a life time kind of thing (at least they are supposed to be)...so this is not something that you can screw up. The standard advice to people in your situation is to tell them to hire a pro and just take candids and other stuff. Probably too late for that...looking at the time, you may be shooting the wedding already.

    If you don't know...just keep the camera in one of the auto modes. I don't know too much about the AF modes on your camera but I would suggest that you use a tight AF area so that you can be sure to focus on the subject, rather than the camera picking something in the foreground or background. If you can lock focus and recompose by holding the button half-way...then do that, so that your subject is not always in the dead centre.

    Have plenty of batteries, memory and something as a back up. If your camera stops working or falls and breaks...you can't just say sorry.

    Good Luck.
     
  3. Soul Rebel

    Soul Rebel TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Port Angeles, WA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Its my cousins wedding so they know what my experience is like. I was surprised when they asked me to do it and had enough trust in me that they didnt hire a pro. Its scary actually.

    The wedding is tomorrow so I still have some time.

    My mom has the same camera, along with my sister and father, so I will have a nice backup. I believe there are a couple extra memory cards as well but I plan on bringing my laptop and uploading as I go.

    This is really a scary thing for me. I love taking photos and consider myself a decent photographer, but like you said this is a once in a lifetime thing. I cannot mess this up. They have a list of shots they want and I have a couple in mind. From what they have said all they are interested in is some shots of the bride and groom along with shots of each with their families. I will then take shots of different parts of the wedding and the stuff that happens afterwards. Nothing too difficult I guess.

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,822
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    It's good to be scared or nervous...I'd be worried if you weren't.

    I've had a look at the specs on that camera...and all I will say it...do the best you can with what you have.

    The thing that worries me most, is the flash. It's not very powerful and it's small and very close to the lens. This will result in flat lighting and possibly red-eye (although I see that it has a red-eye mode). It's rare that a church will have enough light that you can get away without a flash (or very fast lens). If you have a tripod, bring that, so at least you will be able to get some ambient light shots of the scene (while they are standing still).

    Good luck and have fun.
     
  5. Soul Rebel

    Soul Rebel TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Port Angeles, WA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Yeah, i've got 2 tripods. Another decision. Do I take the new, nice looking tripod? Or do I take the old tripod that looks like it would stay standing if it was run over by a football player.

    I will get to see the lighting tomorrow before the wedding. Tonight is the rehearsal but I will not be able to make it there in time. However, my mother is going to take a few shots with her camera (same as mine) to see how it turns out.
     
  6. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,822
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I'd take the sturdy tripod. How it looks should not matter...it certainly won't be in any of your photos. (maybe bring both, just in case)

    It's good that you will have a little scouting of the location...although the window lighting will be different at different times of day.

    Find out when & where you will be allowed to stand and shoot. Sometimes, flash is not even allowed...so that would be good to know. Sometimes, photography is not allowed at all, until after the ceremony is finished. You don't want to be in the way of the ceremony, but on the other hand, you are the photographer and it's your job to capture memories the day.
     
  7. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    Messages:
    2,101
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Eddington, ME
    If at all possible. Before the ceremony starts. Have some standins pose for pics in several locations. Take several shots of the standins at the alter, walking down the isle, basically in the different positions that you will be getting pictures from. Also you need to move as well. Like alter shots from down the isle, then from far left, and far right. Deppending on light, you may not say for instance shoot from the left becasuse of a very strong light comming from the right. That way you will know from what positions you can shoot as well. If there is a big difference in camera setting from the different positions. Make a little score card and jot down the setting that give the best shots from those positions. They may change slightly during the ceremony but, you will be very close.

    This will give you an idea of what iso you may need, maybe f stop used and the like. That way your not totally blind when the ceremony starts. Flash will deppend on the bride and groom and the setting.
     

Share This Page