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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:19 pm 
OK, my wedding is in 3 days. Ahhh, and this is my wedding, not a wedding shot im doing.

I will be having a friend be the photographer, she is used to Nikon, has been familiar shooting for 3+ years, so general's should be covered.

Question: Me and her have never used a flash like this. I have a defusor for it also. I'll try to stay brief and list my questions. When answering please take into consideration that I have had this on my camera once. So any elaborate tuning and complex settings are probably not gonna happen. Try to give me the "simple" way to get through the day the best we can.

Under a Small Gazibo. Time will be 3:30 pm so sun is high.

1st: Should I use the Diffuser here?
2nd: Guessing bounce is out of the question?
3rd: Should I keep the camera on the "P" setting or the Square "O" shaped setting, or another. (canon book on my flash said it would act like an auto with it on this setting?

4th: F-stop number for head and sholder shots?
.......Fstop on full body shots with 2 people "bride and Me"

5th: I'm gessing I'll just keep an eye on brightness with flash and get the Compensation to a good amount?

Next Place, Time 4:00 PM, out side, open area, some have tree's with shade, many are dead in open sky. There is a 1/2 acre pond with lots of landscaping around it. I will post pictures of these 2 places in a few hours.

1st: I'm assuming flash will always be used for a fill flash correct?
2nd: Should I use the diffusor?
3rd: should I use a polarizer filter here?
4th: If I have a Large wedding party spread out to almost the edges of the camera view, What F-stop should I use?
5th: Should I use a tripod?
6th If I'm in high light, seems almost too bright, expecially on rocks or brides dress, Should I underexpose the picture a bit? any suggestions?
7th: Full body shots of Bride, F-spot suggestions?
8th: Assuming head shots should stay around F3.5-4? one person or two?

9th: What setting should I be shooting with Av? or do I need to stick with the P or square O mentioned above?

I'm sorry for the abundance of questions. This wedding stuff has got me rushing around like we said we didn't want to do. LOL

I hate having to Rush trying to learn. Its the last thing I wanted to do. But I haven't got a chance to shoot a wedding myself yet so its still all new.

the lens I have will be the 28-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS kit lens. That day I will also have another assistant with a new XSi, had the camera for a week, very new. But she has the Kit 18-55mm IS lens. There will be a nikon camera if needed, she has the 18-200mm lens. I know these lenses aren't all pro lenses but doing what we can.

Thanks again for the help and trying to filter trough all my amautre questions. I have to figure most of these out and then translate them to my photographers. If you can answer 1 or all of them that would be awesome. And I will try to get some pictures up tonight of the area where it is to be taken. The wedding is the 15th.


EDITED: The ones with a flash were used with the Canon 40D flash NOT the 580.

Here are the pictures of a few places around the location of the wedding.
Notice the rocks are so bright, to bright, washed out. I tried to turn exposure comp down but it wouldn't let me. Just kept it at 250. at least in Av mode.

The others are just to show the area. and obviously the gazibo is where we will be getting married. And I don't know any of those other people, there was prom that night so all the kids came to take pictures.
thanks again.








Last edited by csmonte on Fri Jun 13, 2008 2:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:46 pm 
Well, it wouldn't hurt to see this tutorial.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:11 am 
I've a lot of work on tonight, so I won't be answering your questions just yet, but perhaps take a look back at the advice I gave to you a while ago, and also have a look on my blog for off-camera flash usage. Once I have time I'll go through my thoughts. I hope you can wait a while.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:25 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 10:23 pm
Posts: 2341
Photoj is so helpful! =D

Set the Flash to E-TTL, and change the Flash Exposure Compensation where needed on camera.

Pretty simple.

Bouncing light from the top of the gazebo could work well, sort of trial and error tbh. Helps to do a few test shots on location before the day, so if possible pop down with her and get her to try it out.

F stop, as large as possible to blur the background, Put it at the largest aperture it will go usually.

Remember, above 250th, you'll need to use High Speed Sync, which on the 580EXII is activated by pressing the ... *grabs my flash* ... button with the flash symbol and the H, you'll need to press it twice to set it back to default.

Canon EOS 5DmkII + BG-E6 + Canon EOS 40D + BG-E2N + Canon EOS 33
Canon 17-40 F/4L USM + Canon 24-70 F/2.8L USM + Canon 28mm F/1.8 USM + Canon 70-200 F/2.8L USM IS + Canon 85mm F/1.8 USM
Canon Speedlite 580EX II + Canon Speedlite 540EZ + 2 x Nikon SB-80DX
Cactus V2s Wireless Trigger - 5 x Cactus V2s Wireless Reciever


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:56 am 
DD_nVidia wrote:
Photoj is so helpful! =D

Set the Flash to E-TTL, and change the Flash Exposure Compensation where needed on camera.

Pretty simple.

Bouncing light from the top of the gazebo could work well, sort of trial and error tbh. Helps to do a few test shots on location before the day, so if possible pop down with her and get her to try it out.

F stop, as large as possible to blur the background, Put it at the largest aperture it will go usually.

Remember, above 250th, you'll need to use High Speed Sync, which on the 580EXII is activated by pressing the ... *grabs my flash* ... button with the flash symbol and the H, you'll need to press it twice to set it back to default.

Well I'll admit, the E-TTL thing is still kinda confusing me. I don't really know what it means, but I've been shooting with it a few times. I did a "multi burst of 20 flashes just playing around when I was reading the manual and it doesn't seem like I would have a use for anything of that.

You did mention something though. Tell me if I've understood this wrong. High speed sync is when the shutter speed is faster, I would assume in most fill flash shooting. So when I'm out side shooting and want a fill. I need to have the "H flash" button highlighted. I'm guessing that this matches up the flash with the faster shutter. I guess with the "H" off it will only shoot at Shutter 250 or lower? Is there any warnings or things to look out for when I'm shooting in semi low light area's. For example, if I were shooting and my shutter was around 150-200, then I moved and my shutter says 250. Will I need to watch out for that? Will that over expose my shots if I get into slightly brighter conditions?

And I haven't messed with the "P" setting much on my camera. I see it doesn't let me adjust my aperture much. I only got some adjustment when I moved the large dial to adjust exposure compensation.

Thanks for the warning for your delay :) I have a printed copy of your helpful information that you given me a while back. I will admit to not preparing as well as we'd all like. I guess you'd give me an "F" since your all kind of my teachers. LOL But I will be reviewing that with the to photographers helping at my rehersal tomorrow. That really helps lay things out and schedule them.

Well thanks for the help so far guys. I'm already learning something

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:37 am 
Seems as if you got a few things the wrong way around here i m going to try to explain some below:

"P" mode - only allows you to change WB/ISO i think, you cant change aperture and shutter speed here. For more in depth about the modes click here

The TTL (through the lens metering) system of flashes works in a very good "auto" mode if you will. Where the flash TTL system meters the area from your lens and the signals are sent to the flash (this is why when you use a flash externally the shot will appear underexposed in the viewfinder) with the TTTL mode the camera meters from the lens and the flash takes into account the angle were the flash is located in relation to the lens!

Now for a dramatical effect the TTL just wont cut it (in relation to ISO/aperture) you will have to go manual, and this is something i would NOT suggest doing during a wedding unless your very good at handling your strobes etc.

Maybe that can get you started a bit

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 12:19 am 
Love the 4th one, very well done :wink:

To use the 580 maybe the best thing to do is leave the camera in P and play with the exposure compensation.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 12:23 am 

I've taken a look at the gazebo, and you can bounce, but not off the ceiling - it's an uneven surface and there are wooden supports. If it were my call, I'd definitely be using an index card as a bounce card instead. Ideally you should be working with the natural light rather than against it. So regarding a diffuser, I'd be wanting as much power to counter backlit natural light - I'd be using an off-camera flash pointed at a closely placed reflector to diffuse the light.

As for camera settings, why not aperture priority? DoF control is important if you're aiming for portraits and that's the easiest way around it. Which brings me onto f-stops...

This is going to be dependent on the lens, the distance between camera to subject and subject to background, and therefore there is no simple answer. I'd be using my own judgement to make the call on the aperture, though I guess the rule of thumb is to achieve short DoF to remove the background as a distraction. This usually means using a small f-number.

And from the feel of the other instance of aperture questions, I feel that you don't have the technical grounding yet. DoF is fundamentally determined by aperture size (as well as the above factors) so you should be looking into this. Alex has a good post in his blog which will save me needing to explain that.

For the highlights - save them by underexposing and using AEB to get a range of exposures in case.

Hopefully there are a few pointers, but having had a think, most your questions can't really be answered as they will be circumstantial, especially with the f-numbers - do read up on apertures.

Reviewing your images, 1 and 2 show concerns regarding lighting - overexposure and under with insufficient fill flash.

Image 3 is far too distant and a tighter crop or a longer zoom is needed. Failing that, if you're looking for a photojournalist look, then position yourself directly opposite the group and align the horizon of the water from a distance.

Image 4 is really badly composed - profile images are rarely flattering, and capturing the branch(es) from the tree just distracts the eye.

Image 5 has no focal point and is far too confusing in composition.

Image 6 is better, but a lower viewpoint and more to the left would be better to capture the bodies of the entire group - the people in the far left are just hidden from view.

Image 7 - start thinking about the rule of thirds.

I can't recommend looking at resources for basic composition and aperture control - depth of field control is lacking in all images and you end up with backgrounds that can distract from the subject. DoF doesn't have to be very thin, but just reduced a little to separate subject from background.

Alex's blog is worth a look, as well as Gordon's videos from DSLR tips.

EDIT: I don't mean to be discouraging, but I think this could be a task too great...

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 1:02 am 
I am beginner too, so excuse me if I'm wrong, but I think my solution is worth trying.

No. 1
Issue: Flash overpower / Sunlight cast deep shadow

Solution: Fill flash, set flash compensation -1 to -2

Alt Solution: The position of subject and background is too close,
move the objects further than background so that the flash doesn't
overexpose the entire image.

No. 2
Issue: Under expose on subject,
Solution: you need fill flash / move the subject / use Reflector/strobe etc

No.3 Group Portrait across river
Issue: Too far away, can't see the faces.
Solution : Change to telezoom lense, zoom in get the faces of the family

No.4 : Profile of bride
Issue: Can't see the face / expression, can't see the groom face
Too many distracting element, not zoom close enough, underexpose
because the bright light from sun

Solution: Move to a better location, Zoom in, use spot metering on
the bride face.

No. 5 - The scatered crowd's back
Issue: No interesting object, shooting back of the people.
Solution : Find a focus/object / Move to oposite side and shoot to get faces of people.

No. 6 On the bridge
Issue: Faces are cut off, high angle
Solution: Squad down, move to the left to get everybody faces.

No. 7 Flower on the pilar
Issue: Bad composition and focal lenght
Solution: Switch to you 50mm f1.8 set around f2 and then focus on
the center of flower in a close range.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 1:09 am 
Pretty much what I've said, but with a few valid suggestions. I still think the technical basics have to be covered for understanding why these solutions might work, and time is ever becoming limited.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 5:22 am 
thanks for the replies. I appreciate all your comments, they will help me adapt to some problems that my arise that day. I will elaborate later, really tired right now. But I didn't want this topic to get to off focus. The shots I posted above were posted to show you the environment I will be shooting in. The last picture was to shot you a part of the gazibo. The others were showing you generally most of what the landscape looks like, and the 2 with my "wife" were to show you issues with the over exposure I had against the rocks and with the flash. I had some practice today and we had some decent luck with fill flash, but there will be more sun and more shadows the day of the wedding. The pictures of the people on the bridge was a little composed but with avoiding all those crazy people and there mom's taking 10,000 pictures for Prom that you see in the other picture. I didn't feel comfortable pushing my way up there to get a better shot when no one knew me. This was mostly to show the environment.

I used the camera on P setting today and did have some decent success. Just need to keep an eye on the flash Comp.

Though I still was curious about many questions above still. Diffuser out side? Polarizer? Any other suggestions about the place?

thanks again for help
Don't worry PhotoJ I respect your judgement. I don't feel bashed. These photo's weren't anything special, just the best I had to show you the area, not the portraits.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 9:13 am 
Polarisers aren't used for portraiture as it reduces your light by a few stops. If they are used, it's to remove reflections.

Diffusers I don't use and as mentioned, I use a bounce card, or bounce from a reflector. Diffusers will lose a fair amount of power and that will not be beneficial if you're trying to overpower the sun with fill lighting.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 11:33 am 
Ed is absolutely right, you dont really want to diffuse the light when filling in the shadows, or using the flash as a fill flash. In conditions like those (outdoors) were light will be lost all over the place one of your biggest issues is going to be the lost of power in the flash. I honestly would go back and try to work at the same distance and use the flash on manual and then just adjust the power, you should be working with something like 1/2 power or 1/4 power anything above that is just going to take too long for your flash to recycle and you might miss out on some great shots, plus drain the battery rather fast!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 4:59 pm 
ok, well that puts me on a different track. I was wondering about the diffusor out side at daytime. I guess I shouldn't have to worry much about red eye with the pupils being smaller being out side and then the flash being up higher than the original?

Is my flash power, different than flash compensation? I am familiar with adjusting the flash comp to get it dialed in but is there a Power I should adjust as well?

thanks for the answer about polarisers I was still wondering about that one.

Here's another one I probably know the answer to but just wanted to ask.

"6th If I'm in high light, seems almost too bright, expecially on rocks or brides dress, Should I underexpose the picture a bit? any suggestions? "

thanks again for all your help guys I think things will turn out fine.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 5:13 pm 
Underexpose and use AEB to give yourself a choice of exposures to work with. Blown highlights are hard to reclaim.

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