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Author Topic: Multiple Flashes During Wedding Ceremony  (Read 4306 times)

brianleighty

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Multiple Flashes During Wedding Ceremony
« on: July 14, 2012, 10:58:36 AM »
I currently shoot with a single 430 or 580 flash during wedding ceremony's. For the stuff closer up where I can bounce it up it's pretty decent but for longer distance shots where I have it running straight through a gary fong lightsphere to soften it up some but still straight at them it's not as nice an effect. I've been thinking of getting a third flash (we shoot with 2 cameras) and I'm wondering if it would be weird to have another slave flash off camera just bringing up the ambient light in the room or if that's too distracting. Anybody have thoughts on this or done something like that before?
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Multiple Flashes During Wedding Ceremony
« on: July 14, 2012, 10:58:36 AM »

wickidwombat

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Re: Multiple Flashes During Wedding Ceremony
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2012, 07:17:01 PM »
i have 6, I've shot with them all remote on stand with shoot throughs to balance the light because the ceremony was held under super crappy dappled light from a thick canopy of trees so i set the flashes up to light the shadows to equal the hot spots from the dappled light and exposed for the background letting the flash deal with lighting the people perfectly i just set them all up so i had total coverage and then i could move freely and shoot from anywhere knowing i would get light
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brianleighty

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Re: Multiple Flashes During Wedding Ceremony
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2012, 09:28:46 PM »
Good to know. I wasn't sure if it would be annoying to people but people do tend to like getting married in really dark places and while I'm working on getting better with larger aperture lenses, I think it looks very amateurish if you have a very narrow depth of field and it doesn't have the right part of the picture in focus so I'd rather use flashes until I get there to provide enough light. wickidwombat, what did you use for triggering the flashes? Did you shoot in manual or ttl?
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wickidwombat

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Re: Multiple Flashes During Wedding Ceremony
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2012, 09:40:04 PM »
Good to know. I wasn't sure if it would be annoying to people but people do tend to like getting married in really dark places and while I'm working on getting better with larger aperture lenses, I think it looks very amateurish if you have a very narrow depth of field and it doesn't have the right part of the picture in focus so I'd rather use flashes until I get there to provide enough light. wickidwombat, what did you use for triggering the flashes? Did you shoot in manual or ttl?

at the time i just used ebay poverty wizard radio triggers and had the flash in manual
, I have odins now which are much more reliable and can use ETTL however i find for covering a large area its still better to set it to manual and move the flashes around to suit, since the subjects are stationary during the ceremony you want them to be lit consistantly even if you are moving around and ETTL will adjust sometimes whn you dont want it to.

this technique was fine outdoors under the trees however I'm not sure how people would be with satuartion bombing like this in a church.

I just had the flashes on manual and got my assistant to stand in the relevant places while i checked exposure was all ok, maybe took 10 mins to set it up i have external battery packs on all the flashes too to make sure they could keep up
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brianleighty

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Re: Multiple Flashes During Wedding Ceremony
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2012, 10:20:57 PM »
Thanks for the info wickidwombat. The one thing I've always wondered with shooting manual is how you handle changes in light. Are you having to just manually adjust it as you go? If I setup a manual flash then I theoretically have to either shoot in manual mode on the camera as well or dial in an exposure compensation equivalent to what the flash will fire during the exposure.
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wickidwombat

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Re: Multiple Flashes During Wedding Ceremony
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2012, 07:29:47 PM »
Thanks for the info wickidwombat. The one thing I've always wondered with shooting manual is how you handle changes in light. Are you having to just manually adjust it as you go? If I setup a manual flash then I theoretically have to either shoot in manual mode on the camera as well or dial in an exposure compensation equivalent to what the flash will fire during the exposure.

this particular situation it was the middle of summer blue skys hot as hell under dappled light of heavy tree cover so the light was consistant (consistantly crappy so i just set the flash up to match the hot spots generated by the light

in changing light with manual flash you are limited to your sync speed so your only options are to
A) move the lights - real pain in the arse
or more likely
B) change your aperture to suit

If you can using ETTL save lots of headaches however for certain situations manual helps and being able to shoot manual flash is a handy skill to learn even if you shoot ETTL most of the time
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takoman46

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Re: Multiple Flashes During Wedding Ceremony
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2012, 08:24:47 PM »
I often utilize a second flash held by an assistant on a monopod synced up via pocket wizard in addition to an on camera flash on the pocket wizard transmitter hot shoe for longer shots or group shots.  In addition to adding better fill lighting, two flashes metered with ETTL, will consume less power to obtain a correct exposure so recycle time will also improve.  Another alternative is to use a constant light source directed by an assistant instead of a slave speedlite. This gives a nice effect, especially during wedding receptions, acting like a spotlight on your subjects while maintaining the natural appearance of the venue and mood lighting that is often set up in ballrooms.

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Re: Multiple Flashes During Wedding Ceremony
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2012, 08:24:47 PM »

elflord

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Re: Multiple Flashes During Wedding Ceremony
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2012, 10:21:11 PM »
I currently shoot with a single 430 or 580 flash during wedding ceremony's. For the stuff closer up where I can bounce it up it's pretty decent but for longer distance shots where I have it running straight through a gary fong lightsphere to soften it up some but still straight at them it's not as nice an effect. I've been thinking of getting a third flash (we shoot with 2 cameras) and I'm wondering if it would be weird to have another slave flash off camera just bringing up the ambient light in the room or if that's too distracting. Anybody have thoughts on this or done something like that before?

I don't think it would be weird at all.

As the guy who got married not that long ago, the photos were one of the big ticket line items in the wedding budget (I think it was third and not too distant third after food and drinks), so I was quite happy to help the photographers do the job that we were paying good money for.

In fact I'd be all for going slightly further and putting one on either side in front of the altar.

Regarding larger apertures -- depth of field doesn't just depend on aperture. For example, with a 50mm lens, f/22 at 3 feet gives you less depth of field than f/1.4 at 15 feet. At mfd with 50mm f/1.4 or 85mm f/1.4, you have less than 1 inch dof,  but when you're at those longer working distances, it is much more manageable (1ft-2ft).

brianleighty

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Re: Multiple Flashes During Wedding Ceremony
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2012, 02:01:01 PM »
I currently shoot with a single 430 or 580 flash during wedding ceremony's. For the stuff closer up where I can bounce it up it's pretty decent but for longer distance shots where I have it running straight through a gary fong lightsphere to soften it up some but still straight at them it's not as nice an effect. I've been thinking of getting a third flash (we shoot with 2 cameras) and I'm wondering if it would be weird to have another slave flash off camera just bringing up the ambient light in the room or if that's too distracting. Anybody have thoughts on this or done something like that before?

I don't think it would be weird at all.

As the guy who got married not that long ago, the photos were one of the big ticket line items in the wedding budget (I think it was third and not too distant third after food and drinks), so I was quite happy to help the photographers do the job that we were paying good money for.

In fact I'd be all for going slightly further and putting one on either side in front of the altar.

Regarding larger apertures -- depth of field doesn't just depend on aperture. For example, with a 50mm lens, f/22 at 3 feet gives you less depth of field than f/1.4 at 15 feet. At mfd with 50mm f/1.4 or 85mm f/1.4, you have less than 1 inch dof,  but when you're at those longer working distances, it is much more manageable (1ft-2ft).

Thanks for the input. I don't totally understand depth of field yet but the closest I've come is that the depth of field is based off the size of the object and the aperture. What I mean by this is if you have someone 10 feet away at 50mm and then you move them 20 feet away at 100mm, they'll both have the same depth of field. Obviously it will look different but the actual in focus distance will be the same. So if I want to fill the frame tightly with two people then I'm learning it's hard to get them both in focus if they're not on the same plane at even f4. Granted one of them isn't super out focus but it's noticeable. If instead you're doing something where it's a wider shot though then I'm sure you could do a much larger aperture but unless you have a really exciting background it's kind of eh. The only thing that helps all is using a crop camera over a full frame which will give a little more depth of field. But then of course a full frame camera will pretty much always have better iso performance so you can shoot at say 3200 5.6 vs 1600 4.0 and get relatively similar results. I'm not trying to be real accurate here so you don't have to tell me that that's not correct due to various other items. These are just the general ideas I've learned. It takes skill to be able to know what needs to be in focus and what's not and I'm still learning that. It also takes skill knowing when to take the shot so that everything you want in focus is on the same plane. I definitely still have a lot to learn there. So until I do, I'll continue to use a smaller aperture to make sure I get the client usable pictures. For that flashes are invaluable.
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wickidwombat

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Re: Multiple Flashes During Wedding Ceremony
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2012, 06:42:55 PM »
I don't totally understand depth of field yet but the closest I've come is that the depth of field is based off the

Um I dont mean to be rude but if you dont understand depth of field then you really should not be shooting a wedding!

weddings are about as full on shooting conditions that you will ever encounter you need to be 100% clear on how your camera works and all fundamental photography basics

otherwise you might end up here
Judge Joe Brown - Cheap wedding photographer
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briansquibb

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Re: Multiple Flashes During Wedding Ceremony
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2012, 06:57:28 PM »
I always use flash at weddings.

When they return down the isle I have a flash on either side in two places (4 flash). So I get two really good flashed photos.

Outside groups are always flashed, whatever the conditions - saves missing a shot.

Indoor reception obviously flashed.

Take plenty of rechargables

brianleighty

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Re: Multiple Flashes During Wedding Ceremony
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2012, 11:19:37 PM »
I don't totally understand depth of field yet but the closest I've come is that the depth of field is based off the

Um I dont mean to be rude but if you dont understand depth of field then you really should not be shooting a wedding!

weddings are about as full on shooting conditions that you will ever encounter you need to be 100% clear on how your camera works and all fundamental photography basics

otherwise you might end up here
Judge Joe Brown - Cheap wedding photographer

OMG! LOL I never knew that Judge Joe Brown was such a big photographer LOL. Thanks for the laugh. In response to your point, I knew my point might be a little confusing. I of course understand the concept of depth of field but I think it takes a lot of practice to get to the place where you truly know how much depth of field you'll have at a given aperture and distance. Anyways, thanks for the laugh. I love the 18-55 lens part in the video best.
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brianleighty

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Re: Multiple Flashes During Wedding Ceremony
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2012, 11:20:49 PM »
I always use flash at weddings.

When they return down the isle I have a flash on either side in two places (4 flash). So I get two really good flashed photos.

Outside groups are always flashed, whatever the conditions - saves missing a shot.

Indoor reception obviously flashed.

Take plenty of rechargables

Thanks. Good to know this is fairly common. I'll have to look into this some more for future weddings
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Re: Multiple Flashes During Wedding Ceremony
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2012, 11:20:49 PM »

wickidwombat

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Re: Multiple Flashes During Wedding Ceremony
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2012, 11:32:04 PM »
I don't totally understand depth of field yet but the closest I've come is that the depth of field is based off the

Um I dont mean to be rude but if you dont understand depth of field then you really should not be shooting a wedding!

weddings are about as full on shooting conditions that you will ever encounter you need to be 100% clear on how your camera works and all fundamental photography basics

otherwise you might end up here
Judge Joe Brown - Cheap wedding photographer

OMG! LOL I never knew that Judge Joe Brown was such a big photographer LOL. Thanks for the laugh. In response to your point, I knew my point might be a little confusing. I of course understand the concept of depth of field but I think it takes a lot of practice to get to the place where you truly know how much depth of field you'll have at a given aperture and distance. Anyways, thanks for the laugh. I love the 18-55 lens part in the video best.
ah ok gotcha

and yeah i love that video :)

also if you have an iphone there is a free app called F-Stop that is a calculator to determine depth of field.
you input camera,lens aperture distance to subject etc and it gives you the depth of field
pretty handy
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elflord

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Re: Multiple Flashes During Wedding Ceremony
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2012, 07:14:59 PM »
Thanks for the input. I don't totally understand depth of field yet but the closest I've come is that the depth of field is based off the size of the object and the aperture. What I mean by this is if you have someone 10 feet away at 50mm and then you move them 20 feet away at 100mm, they'll both have the same depth of field.

That's a reasonable intuition for wedding photography.  This works as long as the subject is much closer than the hyperfocal distance. This is usually true if you're shooting with tele lenses at fast to normal apertures.

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Re: Multiple Flashes During Wedding Ceremony
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2012, 07:14:59 PM »