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Messages - digital paradise

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Thanks for the link.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« on: January 26, 2013, 02:07:43 PM »
Forgot to add I was asked to shoot my wife's sisters wedding about 25 years ago because I had nice gear. They had a 3 month old son and were low on cash. Besides they were not into the big show anyway. I was mess because those were the film days and you could not check the LCD. I could not relax until I got the negs and prints back.

I had a Minolta X-700 and a Minolta flash. My friend helped me pick out a high end film. I just put it P mode and shot away. They weren't exceptional but were miles ahead of that mess posted at DPrview. At at least the exposures were good. Mind back then the labs corrected for exposure and colour but hey it worked out. Even shot a bunch of B&W which I developed myself.


EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« on: January 26, 2013, 01:55:53 PM »
Thanks for all the advice everybody, a lot to think over. The wedding is at a church, then reception, pretty simple, not huge.

After reading your comments I've now been considering is talking to him into hiring a photographer, and then I'll just bring my 6d, and pancake lens just for some candid photos to give to them.

If he insists on me, I'll then tell him to at least hire someone for the ceremony and I'll shoot the reception.

If he really insists on not hiring a pro, then screw it, I'll just take my stuff and he'll get what he gets!

I'd much rather see them with quality photos than meh photos, from their friend who just does it as a hobby.

But whatever happens, I think I may invest in a nice 85mm. Maybe a new 50mm if they release a new one.

This is very wise of you. They may not be meh photos. I have seen this situation more than once and images produced were from awful to exceptional.

There was one post at DPrview. A person posted some images reception images that a natural light wedding photog took. They were absolutely awful. The worst I have ever seen. All terribly underexposed. I could have never charged anyone for that mess. I would have paid for their honeymoon out of guilt alone.

Natural light photography is wonderful but a professional, even though it may be preferred a pro must be able to go into any situation, analyze it and use all available tools as the scene dictates. I doubt any professionally trained and accredited pros did not receive training in flash photography. 

No insult to natural light photographers out there but there are some that claim to be because they have not taken the time to learn how to use flash correctly. I have also seen excellent work without flash. Tougher in dark venues.   

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« on: January 26, 2013, 01:39:12 PM »
This site may be too much to absorb in one week but if you plan to continue then get into it. This is the only site you may need.       

There's no maybe about it. No matter how smart you are, outside of an intense 40-hour workshop, nobody is going to learn how to use flash well enough in one week to shoot a wedding.

That's why I strongly recommend cranking the ISO unless you already know what you're doing with flash.

The best results come from somebody who knows what to do with flash.

If you just crank the ISO, you'll probably get "good enough" pictures.

If you don't know how to use flash but use it anyway, you'll get bad pictures. You won't get the right exposure, you won't get the right shape or ratios of light, you'll generally mess everything up and make it much worse than if you had left off the flash and cranked the ISO.

A wedding is a performance. Only amateurs experiment in performances. A professional goes into a performance already knowing exactly how everything is going to go down. Even when professionals do experiment in performances, they do so with the bounds of the skills that they already know they have and know how to recover from failures they might experience. For example, a wedding photographer might want to experiment with a shallow DOF HDR panorama for the ring exchange, but she'll only do so if she has an assistant she trusts to get the standard shot from some other angle. And she won't tell the couple about the experiment until after the fact, and then only if it turns out well.



Excellent points and yes that is too short a time period. I prepared for 6 months and it consumed me. I took lighting lessons and even when the day came I felt far from being ready. It went well although I wish I had a little more experience lighting the reception.

The only reason I got into this is it appears the expectations are not that high. You get what you pay for which is not to belittle the OP. It is just fact.

When I took a lighting course there was a woman freaking out because she was doing a friends low key wedding the upcoming weekend. I asked how much was she being paid besides the free dinner. Answer - $100. Question - what are the brides expectations. Answer - just don't cut any heads off.  I asked - so what are you worried about?

No matter what the OP chooses to do as long as there understanding of the skill and expectations between both parties.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« on: January 26, 2013, 01:10:52 PM »
Some very good advice above, eh?  All I can add is to try and visit the venues to be used before you have to go live to determine lighting and sound quirks, angles, shooting positions, et al.  "Emergency weddings" are why I restrict myself to elopements where run & gun is my 1st and only General Order.

And people wonder why pros charge so much especially in the world of digital where anyone can pick up a DSLR. You are not paying for the wedding - you are paying for the years of training and experience.  I have read and heard many times "why should I pay big money for a guy who just presses a button. $200 should be the max for any wedding".       

There is a huge difference between a snapshot and a photograph.   

All the info we posted should melt the OP's brain for a few days ;D. To the OP - that is normal, take the time to read and process. 

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« on: January 26, 2013, 01:03:13 PM »
This is my flash guru. I explained high ISO shooting and just mentioned the word bouncing the light off the flash. If I have to shoot direct flash I put my flash on a bracket. Getting the flash even a little higher off the camera makes a big difference. It eliminates red eye and that is usually how we see light every day - coming from above, not directly at us.

My point here is this exceptional wedding photographer and teacher stopped using brackets because of modern high ISO capable cameras. Like I said before the flash does not have to work as hard so the while image looks more natural. I am moving away from brackets.

This site may be too much to absorb in one week but if you plan to continue then get into it. This is the only site you may need.           

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« on: January 26, 2013, 12:44:04 PM »
Are you being paid? I'd forget about the lens unless you have disposable income to play with. It is a very nice lens but you currently have decent coverage. The 85 will be a sharper and faster than your 28-75 but how much difference will it make based on your friends expectations. Your 50 1.4 is fast enough to cover low light situations.

Where is everything happening? Standard Wedding  - church, formals at some other location, reception at some hall?

I know there are natural light photographers which is great if it is available. You will probably wind up in a dark venue and unless your camera can shoot very high ISO you will need a flash. Even with with the 50 1.4 you will need some fill.       

Now the flash. This opens a whole new world. One week is not a lot of time to prepare to really understand how the flash and camera work together. What I mean by that is how to control them separately. Even though the flash is attached to your camera they have two separate jobs. In fact your camera does not care about what your flash is doing and the flash does not care what your camera is doing.

Your camera exposes for ambient or available light using the cameras light meter. When you put your flash on the camera the light meter has nothing to do with flash. It can't because the flash has not fired yet and your system cannot predict flash output.

So as I said your camera has a job and the flash has a job. The camera exposes for ambient and the flash exposes for your subject/s. It is often referred to - two exposures in one.

Watch this video. It is a Pocket Wizard ad but has great animations. At minute 2:30 you will see the shutter open and expose the ambient light or first exposure. It may not be much of an exposure but it is an exposure. Then the flash fires to illuminate the subject - the second part of the exposure. Note: You don't need PW because that is for off camera high speed sync. Also you don't need to know anything about HSS now but it is interesting to see how your shutter and flash work together.

I'm not sure what your camera is but if you get a flash I would suggest you keep things simple and put the camera P mode and set your flash to ETTL. ETTL fires a pre flash to determine correct exposure of your subject. It is a good tool and gets you close but is not an exact science. The next step is learn how to adjust the Flash Exposure Compensation or FEC. After each shot check the histogram, adjust the FEC as required and shoot again. My guess is there will be enough white to work with. That is all you need.

Here is a link on how to interpret the histogram. If you get whites right the rest of the exposure falls into place. Again remember this is for your subject, not the ambient or surrounding light.  Scroll down to the gent holding the white towel.

So when using the flash we have the camera on P mode and flash on ETTL and we adjust FEC as required for subject exposure. Now the best way to use flash is put the camera on manual when using flash. In P mode you don't have a lot of control over depth of field. Actually there is little difference between P and M modes. In P the camera controls shutter and DOF and in M you do. This gets a little complex and I can get into that if you wish but like I said one week is not very long for this learning curve.

Next when using flash I would suggest shooting with the highest ISO you are comfortable with. 1600 - 3200 even better. This brings in more ambient light so the flash does not have to work as hard, there is better balance between flash and ambient thus the images look more natural, not like your subject/s have been nuked.

So far. Camera on P, flash on ETTL, learn how to use FCE and use a higher ISO.

If you are going to use a flash I would get it yesterday and start practising. If you do later I will explain why the flash head rotates (bouncing the light) and how that gets better, more even/pleasing flash exposures.

Here is a list that may help you.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Help to make my decision.
« on: January 26, 2013, 12:09:58 AM »
5D2 for what you do if you are thinking about going FF. Mind you with a couple of other lenses you can do very well with the 7D. I had a Tokina 11-16 which is a very sharp corner corner lens. The Canon 85 1.8 is a inexpensive and excellent portrait lens.   

I have both the 7D and 5D3 (had 5D2) and you can't been the IQ you get out of a FF but I can't imagine giving up either. I also shoot sports and wildlife (birding) so each body has it's place.           

Tokina @ 11mm

Software & Accessories / Re: Noise in Lightroom vs DPP
« on: January 25, 2013, 08:19:29 PM »
Are you comparing apples to to oranges? Is the auto in camera NR and in DPP off? Is sharpening in DPP off? Are LR NR and sharpening sliders at zero?       

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
« on: January 25, 2013, 12:49:44 PM »

100% crop

Software & Accessories / Re: Starting to work with RAW. Help?
« on: January 25, 2013, 12:40:34 PM »
Yes start off with DPP.  Then I would suggest to take a serious look at LR if you are doing mass edits.

Module 5 starts with what are raw images. Good to go through it all but 1 to 4 talk about what is new in DPP. If you have not used it then you may find it confusing.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
« on: January 25, 2013, 12:32:45 PM »
Nice sharp pics.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: January 24, 2013, 10:26:29 PM »

Black & White / Re: Black & White
« on: January 24, 2013, 10:15:16 PM »
A few more

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