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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:27 pm 
Ok, no one was dressed up, we just were up there to talk about setting things up for my wedding, and I joined in a took the camera to see how things were going to be on the "big day" Well, I have 2 lenses I used, only 2 I have. My kit lens, 28-135mm F/3.5-5.6, and Got in that day my 50mm F/1.8. I'm using a Canon 40D and I am not very experienced.

I tried with the flash, tried to change flash comp. a few times, tried without the flash. I didn't have much room to play with Exposure compensation because the shutter speed would drop far to low to be hand held.

First off the 50mm:



Image


Lens: EF50mm f/1.8 II
Aperture: F4.0
Focal Length: 50.0 mm
Shutter: 1/60Sec
ISO: 400
Flash: On
Ex. Comp: 0

Image

Lens: EF50mm f/1.8 II
Aperture: F4.0
Focal Length: 50.0 mm
Shutter: 1/60Sec.
ISO: 400
Flash: On
Ex. Comp: 0

Image

Lens: EF50mm f/1.8 II
Aperture: F2.0
Focal Length: 50.0 mm
Shutter: 1/50Sec.
ISO: 400
Flash: Off
Ex. Comp: 0

And Now for the 28-135mm F/3.5-5.6

Image

Lens: EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
Aperture: F4.0
Focal length: 28.0 mm
Shutter: 1/60Sec.
ISO: 400
Flash: On
Ex. Comp: 0

Image

Lens: EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
Aperture: F5.6
Focal Length: 122.0 mm
Shutter: 1/60Sec.
ISO: 400
Flash: On
Ex. Comp: 0



Image

Lens: EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
Aperture: F4.0
Focal Length: 28.0 mm
Shutter: 1/60Sec.
ISO: 400
Flash: On
Ex. Comp: 0

Image

Lens: EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
Aperture: F3.5
Focal Length: 28.0 mm
Shutter: 1/10Sec
ISO: 800
Flash: Off
Ex. Comp:0

Image

Lens: EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
Aperture: F5.6
Focal Length: 122.0 mm
Shutter: 1/6Sec
ISO: 800
Flash: Off
Ex. Comp: 0


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:34 pm 
Well I just realized that I didn't put Flash Compensation, but I don't think the camera keeps that information on the flash. I did change the flash comp. but it didn't seem to do a huge differance, and changing distances constantly that would change constantly I would think.

I know these pictures are bad, and there is no editing or white balance adjustment. It was set of AUTO with camera on evaluative metering mode. (not to familiar with that)

Well anyway, I also think I had the ISO locked at 400 when I was on the 50mm lens. So that could of made some improvement, but my shutter speeds were still way way down.

All opinions welcome, I would like to figure this particular environment, I have 3 months until I need them to look good. Let me know what you guys think. And again thanks.

Oh, and please ignore picture compositions for these were quick snaps just to try to understand the lighting environment.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:25 pm 
gotta rush, but try using a defuser of sorts on the flash for the close up shots.
Flash for shots not up close, is definetly better off, think about what size the prints are going to be and if they arent huge, then just crank up the iso. Shot 3 looks good. Think about how close you are going to be able to get, Just by looking at those shots and the focal lengths, I'd say you would probably be fine if not best off using the 50mm lens. Being able to crank up the iso to a lower extent than the other lens, and being able to get relatively quick shutter speeds. It depends on what your main shots are going to be, if you dont mind having to use higher iso's, then the 28-135 would give you more flexibility and be able to get any group shots, and wide shots of inside the venu, but if its mainly bride and groom shots, then the 50mm could be the ticket.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:50 am 
That's a pretty difficult environment with all the reflective surfaces. If they are not covered you risk getting a flash reflections (with or without diffuser) in the windows. Light-reflections are already visible on your shots now.

On the other hand, it opens some great opportunities to do tripod longer-exposure shots from outside, showing it all with a wide angle.

You may have to get creative with the angles. Get down or get a stepladder to haul around.

Get a couple of 1 million candlepower flashlights - those big wide ones with a pistol-grip (assuming you can't afford a professional lighting system) and tape white plastic over it (try different types of plastic). That may help you get some interesting shots - especially if you can "enlist" a person here and there to side-light the people you snap. Relying on a single camera-mounted flash is really inadequate.

With the high ceiling, I'd also experiment with the 2-cent diffuser - tape and a piece of white paper forming a reflector and spreading light wide. The mounted diffusers can do certain things well, the 2-cent version can throw more light and still softer shadows. Worth experimenting with.

Without some serious lighting, I'd try to assess your camera's abilities at night using only the available light. Problem is that everyone is moving all the time of course - but that can also yield some interesting shots. With so much glass and high ceilings, the options to bounce the flash is more limited.

With three months to prepare you should be able to experiment and at least pre-plan some of the shots that are achievable.

I wish you good luck - good wedding pics are a treasure that many are without.

Cheers :-)


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:24 am 
EDIT - after I posted this, I realised how long this is...I've tried to be as concise as possible without going too far into technicalities.

csmonte,

Thank you for sharing your prep shots. I gather this is your 1st wedding shoot as you say "I am not very experienced". So here are my thoughts followed by a section of advice.

It's a horrible room photographically speaking. It really could not be much worse as a starting point; you have the glass that will cause reflections if flash is used there (you can see a reflection on image 4 on the far right panw), and the walls are wood - which will cause an orange cast if you use bounce flash. The interior lighting doesn't look bright either. I assume the reception is being held here, and it will be during the day, where I can only hope you get more natural light in. My advice here is to keep a flashgun on your camera at all times, and place a diffuser, lightbox, bounce card over it to soften the light and hope. Your prep images show an over-intensity of flash, and it could do with softening. I would not do the bulk of my photography at this venue. I'll go onto suggestions as to what to take here later on.

So onto advice on wedding photography - you have 3 months to plan, so that's plenty of time. Here's what to do beforehand.

Equipment:

Make sure you have enough memory cards to last the day; typically 5 to 10 2-4GB cards should be enough. Make sure you have a filing system for your cards so you know which ones have been used and which haven't. I place my cards in a wallet face up if they are empty and reformatted. Once finished I place them face down so I know it's been used.

Charge all your batteries and have a spare. Bring your charger with you and once you have a dead battery, go charge the it whilst you're shooting with your spare.

Clean your sensor and lenses beforehand. Elimating dust spots with the clone tool on all your photos will increase your post-processing workflow immensely.

Pack your lenses. A short telephoto, macro lens, normal zoom and an ultra-wide/fisheye. I'll go through ideas on these in a moment.

Lighting - a flashgun or two. If you have videoheads or a ring flash, take those too. A reflector will be handy. If you have white umbrellas bring those too. They can double up as a photographic aid or rain protection.

Pack your day bag. Keep it small. Carry 2 lenses inside at most and wear your camera out. Keep a bottle of water with you. The rest we'll leave to your most important sidekick...

Get yourself a female assistant (explanation coming up, and I'm not being sexist) - she will be your best friend for the whole day. Why? Because she makes the biggest difference. She's able to help hold a reflector, carry the remaining lenses, memory cards and tripod (if you planned to use one - it should be left in the car if you don't plan to use it, but there for a last minute change of heart), and she'll be able to go and check that the bride is decent to avoid any embarrassing situations. She can also help with organising people.

Finally the magic things that amateurs forget/don't think of. Bring a step ladder with you and leave it in your car boot. This will be useful for group photos or to get a higher perspective with a wide lens. Camera cleaning kit - in case of emergencies like confetti stuck to the lens... and spare shirts, because everyone sweats.

The plan:

You certainly seem to have one going already as you've taken prep shots. Here's a mini-guide I can impart to you for inspiration. You don't have to follow it, but you will get an impression that I am telling a narrative, which is the key to a great wedding album.

1: preparation details; follow the preparations and not the bride. She will appreciate the space and the images you capture she will likely not see during the day. Things to take are macro shots of the rings, photos of her shoes, the cake being decorated or the flowers being arranged...there are much much more. End the final part of this section with the bride. Get your assistant to check if she is suitable for a few photos whilst she is getting ready. Avoid the bulk of the make up session - just go and shoot when she's putting the lipstick and/or mascara on. Again this is to give the bride space. Have your assistant standing by to let you know when you should be there.

2: Bride's arrival: leave around 15 minutes earlier than the bride so you have time to set up. Leave more time if you think your inexperience will mean that you need more time to prepare and recompose yourself. Take photos of the groom's party whilst you're waiting and loiter around where the bridal car will arrive so you can capture her stepping out the car. Take a burst of 4-5 images and now run down the path towards the church door (assuming it's a church wedding). As soon as you get there, switch to a tele and capture a few shots of the bride walking to the church. Quickly get inside and get yourself up with a wide angle lens.

3: Church: bump up the ISO, and switch to manual if confident, or aperture if not. Get near the choir at the front as that yields good angles most the time. If not, a clear view of the bride is a must. Things to look out here - get the exchange of rings, facial expressions in the congregation, the signing of the register (in the UK it's illegal to photograph this document so make sure when you do, make it plainly obvious that you are shooting below the level of the document and focus your camera on the hand and the pen). Finally avoid the vicar! Some will object to photography, but if you don't give them the chance to prevent you, all the better for you and the couple.

4: Post-Church ceremony: outdoor photos. Do not forget to lower your ISO! Too many rookies make this mistake. A fisheye or ultra-wide is effective here for group photos with interesting perspectives. Don't worry about distortion of the people on the edges - it all adds to the effect. Use your step ladder for a higher perspective. Keep things natural here, and avoid directing people around. Orchestrate them only if needed. Your assistant can help with a reflector or looking out for your next interesting group to photograph.

5: Reception: Let things flow. Capture candids here. Your venue will suit this best. Shoot the bride and groom first then the groups afterwards; lighting later on will gradually become unfavourable. Get your banked photos of the couple ASAP. Avoid alcohol and keep to water and fruit juice. Unsteady hands will not help, and the alcohol may worsen the pressure of photography - it's likely that you are shooting for 10-14 hours on the trot. Flash will be necessary by the end of the reception. Avoid bounce in your venue as it will cast an orange glow because of the wood. Expose for highlights as shadows can be saved more easily.

6: The speeches - be prepared for the obvious things such as catching the groom winking to his best man, or photos of the parents and their reactions.

7: After the wedding: organise your photos so that they tell as story. A narrative makes the album that more special because it feels personalised and not just a collection of photos of the day.

8: Have fun.

This might be information overload, but I could still go on far more in depth. Everyone has a different style of photography, and this is only one method, but one that is prepared. You should never cover a wedding unprepared. All the very best, and please post any queries.


Last edited by Photoj on Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:56 am 
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Excellent advice Photoj...


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:54 am 
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GREAT advice, photoj, I am going to try and print it out...


eggggggselent....



patti

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:34 pm 
That's a ditto on the print out Patti.

Photo J. WOW, thanks for the information. yes overload but good, I want as much as I can get. Just because my eye's are getting tired before I read all of the post doesn't mean I won't finish it later. :D

To clear things up, this is My Wedding, I'm getting married, yeaa!!. And I'm having help, not a paid professional, but an expirenced friend. take the pictures. I will be getting with her, discussing and practicing ideas before the wedding, but I am preparing. I will also be having another less experienced person taking pictures with my camera. Depending on her lens options, flash options, she might be using my camera for the primary. But at this point I'm not sure. The Wedding itself will be outside under a pavillion. Then the pictures of the wedding party will be taken again outside at the same place, but there is a nice pond, big rocks, a waterfall, and well landscaped, flowering beds and large bald cypress trees near by.

With that put out there, those photo's should be much easier, hopefully weather helps us here. For the light will be much better. Under the pavillion may be a bit tricky given the need for a flash I'm sure. The indoor, yes your right, reception is seeming to be the hard part. the lights may be even lower at times, with tables with candles on them. The Dance, the bestman/woman speach, the Cake, and friends, family will be the hard shots.

Equipment:

Right now I have the 40D, kit lens (28-135mm), and a 50mm F1.8. I really wanted a longer zoom for my honey moon, so there might be another lens, but I'm not sure that length is going to help me. Oh, and I'm thinking about buying a speedlight 430EX. (what do you think?) I only have UV filters, and I will have 4 4GB utra II cards.

While I don't expect these to look like $2000 pro photography pictures, I do want to try for the best. There's no way I can get all that gear you mentioned. LOL, that would cost as much as the wedding :D I have am getting interested in a wider angle lens, but thought of holding that one off a bit.

I will read and learn a little more about your post later and will post a better reply, you are much more advanced than I am. Its amazing to see what can be involved though. I will also try to go to these area's again and take some more test shots.

The mini guide is awesome, it will help me look at what's important and help plan things out, very good ideas.

I will review this more in depth and try to address some of these issues, I knew after one shot that it was going to be tricky in that place. Thanks for your time and your help. I'll get back after reviewing.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:44 pm 
Being cheeky here, but couldn't you suggest a lens as a wedding gift... ;p

If you can't get the equipment long-term, then you can either hire out a lens or two for a few days, or find a friend who also has a Canon system and borrow a lens from them.

You did bring up an interesting point that I failed to mention in my frightfully long post - bodies. I'd carry two: one with a wide or prime, and a tele on the other. It just means I'd be changing less often and have a back-up body in the event that one packs up, or be able to lend my assistant the camera to cover more ground at the same time.

I'm glad my post has been appreciated and I'll be happy to answer your questions. All the best.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:29 am 
Ed, mentor, my man!

I m getting the vibe of a wedding coming up soon to be honest and this is some great advice! You seem to knw everything, thats at least how i feel about the subject on an amautre level!

Seems to me like alot of work, but sure does seem like alot of great fun, dont have too many drinks :D it might mess up everything, take those imprant shots and then when you feel u got it hit the bar. This is some really good adivice honestly! not only do i apreaciate the time you put into this, but you have boosted me to get into a totaly diffrent area of photography, its seems like i m hearing alot about people getting married and people hearing about me taking photos soo....

Given the time you have (3months) not so long when you really thinkg about it, to add on to the great tips how about runnin to ur local "weddin photo" shop and ask for some quick adive, maybe they will be kind enough to share some info! To ease things up a bit and to get that "perfect wedding shot" you might want to ask the bride and the groom to step away from thier party for a lill photo session!

I would suggest bringing a laptop too to transfer your images just in case you run out of space, so you can re use them so to speak (remineds me of my need of a laptop) but that might help you. From an amature adivice i would suggest you take as many shots as you possible can, sooner or later some of them will be good enough!

thanx for sharing! and some great adive again Ed!

Cheers

Alex


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:51 am 
alex168 wrote:
To ease things up a bit and to get that "perfect wedding shot" you might want to ask the bride and the groom to step away from thier party for a lill photo session!

I would suggest bringing a laptop too to transfer your images just in case you run out of space, so you can re use them so to speak (remineds me of my need of a laptop) but that might help you. From an amature adivice i would suggest you take as many shots as you possible can, sooner or later some of them will be good enough!


The problem with getting the bride and groom off for a little walk and photo shoot is that it rarely ever becomes natural and this is something the really experienced photographers can extract results from. It isn't a bad suggestion, just something that requires even more effort to pull-off.

Secondly shooting as much as you can? Yes and no. That is a way to increase successful shots by increasing your shot count, and not by improving your success rate. What I've tried to convey is that if you prepare and know what to look out for, your success rate goes up without needing to fire off so many shots in hope of gems. Preparation is key. A laptop can be useful but all-in-all, if you have enough cards, then it shouldn't be needed. I don't wipe my cards until I've transferred everything and finished the photos, and then burnt to disc. It's nice to know you've backup copies on the cards during your workflow in case something goes wrong.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:03 pm 
hey,

im feeling like thanking you for such a helpful post photoj! :) its a pleasure to read your experiences and recognize how much someone has to take into consideration at such an event and in general, too!

marijo


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:55 pm 
Wow Photoj, my appreciation and big thanks as well for the amazingly informative and interesting post. It shows how complex wedding photography can be but the results if done right are beyond anything else. I actually want to give it a shot when I get the chance :)

Whether you discuss your view on composition or present a work flow for a certain type of even or simply give an opinion to any of us on the forum, your experience and advice is such an inspiration! Thanks again so much :)


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