Strobes, flashgus

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Goldeeno, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. Goldeeno

    Goldeeno TPF Noob!

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    Im currently looking to get myself a flashgun, but dont really know much about them or what im looking for.

    Ive been asked to do a wedding as a friend on the 27th december, so chances are im going to need to know how to use a flash by then.

    Ive got a canon 350D, and was looking at the Canon speedlites. Ive seen the 430EX for sale for £169.99, which i thought was quite good.
    But i see the 530 for alot more, im not sure of the difference.

    Ive also noticed Sigma do flashguns, and they seem alot cheaper. Any advice on what to go for. I see alot of other people at weddings using the flash guns, i know im going to have to get one and find out my own way how to use it.

    Anyone got some basic tips about flash photography and portrait shots?

    cheers
    Andrew
     
  2. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    I'm really new to flash photography, but I still think there are certain things I know you might want for this wedding gig.

    First of all, try to look for a flash that can swivel and tilt its head. I personally think this is pretty important if you're serious about getting good looking shots. Bounced light is king!

    Secondly, make sure the flashgun has a reasonable guide number, or range. On-camera flash has an average range of 4 meters while some of the best flashguns illuminate 10X further than that. If you're going to be shooting in a big church and you want to be bouncing light off of walls and ceilings, a high guide number may be important. (That 430EX has a guide number of 43m @ 100ISO with a 105mm lens, and the 530 has a guide number of 58m at the same settings. So there's the main difference)

    Thirdly, rear curtain sync might be important if you're going to shoot low light candid shots of the guests. What this does is make the flash fire at the end of your exposure instead of the beginning. So you can do a 1/4 exposure of people waltzing and the background will be exposed (though probably a bit blurry), and the subjects will be illuminated by the flash and much much sharper. This doesn't work as well without rear curtain sync, because the flash fires, then the rest of the exposure muddles up the subject.


    I can't think of what else would be important to have - for your needs.
     
  3. ChrisP

    ChrisP TPF Noob!

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    One thing I'd suggest would be to look at some quality diffusers like the Gary Fong Lightsphere for your on-camera flash, particularly for portraiture and wedding work.
     
  4. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Over and above a flash, which has limited use in use in a wedding... you need a fast lens. What use is it if you have soft lighting or candles everywhere, and someone in the back is flashing this huge beacon of light constantly?

    Not condusive to a nice romantic wedding atmosphere. ;)

    I'd suggest renting a fast lens if you do not own one already. An 85mm F/1.8 is about what you would need as well as a 50mm F/1.4 or F/1.8. The 70-200 F/2.8 is the most popular lens amongs wedding professionals.

    Now, get ready to do a LOT of practicing before the wedding. Taking pictures in low light is an art not easily mastered in a few simple hours.

    Please do not take this wrong... but I hope you are not the only or primary photographer, becuase this isthe kind of challenge that is easily beyond many experienced shooters, much less a budding photographer. This is a once in a lifetime event and there are no retakes here.

    To learn how to use a strobe off camera, visit www.strobist.com

    To learn what is involved in wedding photography, please do an internet search on wedding photography forums, there are many. If you do decide to do this, at least you can try to be as ready as possible.

    Good luck.
     

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