Wedding Photography Lighting Question...

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Irrok, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. Irrok

    Irrok TPF Noob!

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    I was wondering what other wedding photographers bring with them to shoot the ceremony and reception. I have been using SB900 with Gary Fong light diffusers. I have to say that we have been pretty successful with that set up however at times when available light is poor, the SB900 overheats.

    I'd like to think about introducing some off camera strobes during the reception as most venues are dim at best. Can you offer any set up suggestions and maybe a little description on technique.

    Lastly once in a while here in sunny Florida a couple will have an outdoor venue that has a little gazebo. They fall in love with the idea of being married under the canopy that the gazebo roof offers. This has proven very difficult to shoot. As everyone can imagine the bride, groom and officiant are in open shade, however the bright daylight is just feet behind them. Any advice on how some of you mastered this environment? ( it's like take a photo of someone in a living room right in front a window with the sun shining very bright outside...)

    Thanks for any suggestions, I'm sure other photographers on the forum face similar challenges and will benefit from the time spent answering....

    -Best
     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I used to live in a house where the windows outside needed an exposure of around ISO 200 at 1/250 second at f/10...my solution there was to bounce a wide-angle flash head off the ceiling (16 foot high, vaulted) at around 400 watt-seconds, which brought most of the room up to pretty close to f/10 at 1/250 second, but left the outdoors a little bit brighter.

    For the gazebo, I'd suggest doing something very similar: calculate the right SUNLIGHT flash exposure, and set the camera to that, so that the outdoors looks "sunny". Then, set up a remote flash and radio trigger,and adjust the flash's power so that its output is lower than the "sunlight" exposure by about 1.5 stops...that ought to give a realistic look of skylight or diffused shade to the photos, and also help bridge the brightness difference between the sunlight behind and the light that is ambient under the roof of the gazebo.
     
  3. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Known issue and the SB-900 is universally quite hated amongst people who snap quick successive shots.

    Bump up the ISO or open the aperture. This reduces the load on the flash. Or do a quick google on how to disable the over temperature shutdown since it's way too aggressive. Just note that if you do and you do actually overheat your flash you'll reduce the life of the bulb. That will cost you $10 and an afternoon of effort to replace, or $150 at your local photo repair shop.
     
  4. Irrok

    Irrok TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the great tips.
     
  5. Irrok

    Irrok TPF Noob!

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    Is the only risk the bulb? I dont want to trash the whole unit...

    I can live with replacing a $10 bulb for added usability.
     
  6. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    I've still got a gun I bought 15 years back, its been used n abused over this period, still works on the original tube/bulb, I think Nikon erred on the overcautious side with the 900. H
     
  7. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    crank up that iso. I don't know what camera you're using, but i've shot formals, and ceremony's at ISO 3200 before on a 700.
     
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  8. mikehaugen

    mikehaugen TPF Noob!

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    I have heard of melting the plastic lens on the front of the flash. This is usually with an external battery pack though.
     
  9. Big Mike

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

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    Keep in mind that the Fong Dong spreads light in all directions...that's great if there are surfaces for that light to bounce off of....but if you are outdoors, or in a large indoor venue....then most of that light may be wasted...which causes the flash to fire at a higher power level than necessary...which causes longer recycle times, faster battery depletion and possible over heating.

    So if you are running into over heating problems...you might want to find a solution that allows your flash to fire at lower power levels. Use a wider aperture, use a higher ISO, don't waste the light by spreading it around (unless you are actually bouncing in).
     
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  10. AmberNikol

    AmberNikol TPF Noob!

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    I have that issue with the SB 900 as well. I'm looking at getting better batteries. What kind are you using in yours? Might be the issue.
     
  11. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I prefer to bounce the flash rather than shoot through a diffuser. You get a much better shot and you don't have those high contrast shadows. If the room is too large for bouncing do it anyway and put a small bit of card to bounce a little flash forward with out getting to much..

    This is the third time I've linked to this guy's site today but I guess there has been enough turnover for people to have forgotten him. Enjoy the read.. http://neilvn.com/tangents/
     

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