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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 15 Oct 2017 (Sunday) 02:23
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Nightmare first event, more powerful flash needed?

 
DaviSto
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Nov 12, 2017 18:33 as a reply to  @ post 18494960 |  #91

ShutterKlick, you are telling a compelling story for posed shots. I think WW's issue here was always more about how to manage a difficult event environment when everything is falling apart in real time.

I think there is a lot of pressure in that context. Part of the problem is simply that once things have started not to work out the way you expected, you have no time to think your way out of the situation.


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ShutterKlick
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Nov 12, 2017 19:05 |  #92

Point well made, thanks for the redirect!
(Once you get to know me more, you will find I often scatter think!)

Andrew


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drmaxx
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Nov 12, 2017 22:51 |  #93

DaviSto wrote in post #18494968 (external link)
I think there is a lot of pressure in that context. Part of the problem is simply that once things have started not to work out the way you expected, you have no time to think your way out of the situation.

This is probably exactly the point and where only experience (= failing miserably enough times) can get you out of the corner..


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dmward
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Post edited 5 months ago by dmward. (2 edits in all)
     
Nov 13, 2017 09:20 |  #94

An old army air corp mechanic told me a long time ago they had a saying; "there is never enough time to do it right, but there is always enough time to do it over."

If we think about it, if a setting is giving crap results, taking a few seconds to test new settings may mean missing one or two "moment" shots, but also it means getting the rest of them with the correct settings.

I've been shooting weddings for years. Mostly with TTL using Canon, Sony and Fuji cameras. I still take a moment before an important moment in the event to test settings to make sure I have settings that will work for that specific situation. i.e. reception intros, first dance, whatever.

My default for situations similar to the OP's is 1/30, F4, ISO to get ambient about -.3 EV, flash TTL bounced over my left or right shoulder. Depending on ambient ISO is between 1200 and 3200 which is well within today's camera capabilities.

As for the environment, it is what it is. People want clear pictures of their faces. They know what the environment was like, they were there.

This is not rocket science. Its learnable craft.

If you're curious about how my technique works, go to my wedding pages on my website.


David | Sharing my Insights, Knowledge & Experience (external link) | dmwfotos website (external link)

  
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RicoTudor
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Post edited 5 months ago by RicoTudor.
     
Nov 13, 2017 10:24 |  #95

Besides delivering full-spectrum illumination to the subject and being immune to the hazards of bouncing, direct flash is very efficient. That allows rapid recharge and greater range with a smaller unit (although I was using a big one). Regarding my settings, I use f-stop to control DOF, shutter speed to limit motion blur from ambient light, ISO to control ambient exposure, and flash power to expose the subject. Since E-TTL and iTTL (flash auto modes) can be fooled by an excess of black or white clothing, flash compensation is needed to achieve optimal exposure incamera. Shooting RAW @ -2EV and whitepointing in post is an alternative route, but I shoot JPEG. Another example, almost SOOC:

IMAGE: http://makino.fi/rico/nikon/misc/30ann210.jpg

As dmward says, people want clear pictures of their faces. You get 1 second or less to make those shots before the moment passes or the spontaneous expressions glaze over. Hauling around an off-camera lighting rig is out of the question!

Canon, Nikon, Contax, Leica, Sony, Profoto.

  
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Angmo
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Post edited 5 months ago by Angmo.
     
Nov 13, 2017 10:32 |  #96

I've been to a wedding in Chicago as a guest. The reception hall was huge. 2 or three story ceiling; probably 200 guests. The Fotog crew there had set up several Quantum flashes near the ceiling to bounce down over the entire event space. They brought along their on camera speedlights and did a very good job. They balanced their ceiling bounce & hall lighting with their on camera gear and most all photos had decent background detail, good balance and I was quite impressed.

Planning matters. Risk management & mitigation before it becomes an issue. It's all about the photon.

Planning beats on-the-job training every time. Learn, fix it and move on... Make the same errors twice, then there's much much more to discuss.


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RicoTudor
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Nov 13, 2017 10:50 |  #97

If the venue needs to be incorporated into the shots (and some venues deserve star treatment) then, yes, a fixed light installation is required beforehand. The goal is generation of your own ambient light and suppression of everything else. This is a common studio procedure, but requires plenty of energy: my studio needs about 1000J bare-bulb to recreate a sunny day. Then the key is merged into the scene. Those Home and Garden photoshoots will also involve visiting all the interior light fixtures with flash slaves (Morris). I don't think that level of detail, or expense, is required for most event coverage. :)


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digital ­ paradise
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Nov 13, 2017 11:07 |  #98

dmward wrote in post #18495331 (external link)
An old army air corp mechanic told me a long time ago they had a saying; "there is never enough time to do it right, but there is always enough time to do it over."

If we think about it, if a setting is giving crap results, taking a few seconds to test new settings may mean missing one or two "moment" shots, but also it means getting the rest of them with the correct settings.

I've been shooting weddings for years. Mostly with TTL using Canon, Sony and Fuji cameras. I still take a moment before an important moment in the event to test settings to make sure I have settings that will work for that specific situation. i.e. reception intros, first dance, whatever.

My default for situations similar to the OP's is 1/30, F4, ISO to get ambient about -.3 EV, flash TTL bounced over my left or right shoulder. Depending on ambient ISO is between 1200 and 3200 which is well within today's camera capabilities.

As for the environment, it is what it is. People want clear pictures of their faces. They know what the environment was like, they were there.

This is not rocket science. Its learnable craft.

If you're curious about how my technique works, go to my wedding pages on my website.

"there is never enough time to do it right, but there is always enough time to do it over."

Are you ever right. I worked in print media and one of things I did was develop preventative maintenance programs for the presses. They were followed but never quite 100% because sales and profits ruled. Sometimes the lost downtime hours for the smallest thing made you shake your head.


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dmward
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Post edited 5 months ago by dmward. (3 edits in all)
     
Nov 13, 2017 21:29 |  #99

Angmo wrote in post #18495403 (external link)
I've been to a wedding in Chicago as a guest. The reception hall was huge. 2 or three story ceiling; probably 200 guests. The Fotog crew there had set up several Quantum flashes near the ceiling to bounce down over the entire event space. They brought along their on camera speedlights and did a very good job. They balanced their ceiling bounce & hall lighting with their on camera gear and most all photos had decent background detail, good balance and I was quite impressed.

Planning matters. Risk management & mitigation before it becomes an issue. It's all about the photon.

Planning beats on-the-job training every time. Learn, fix it and move on... Make the same errors twice, then there's much much more to discuss.

I started using supplemental manual strobes bounced into ceiling and wall joint a long time ago.

When Godox introduced its 600 Ws TTL moonlights I got some and now have a choice or speedlites, 200Ws, 360Ws or 600Ws TTL off camera lights depending on the event space.

My default is to have 2, 3 or 4 lights depending on the venue. If its 2 they are 180 degrees opposed. 3 are 120 and 4 are 90. I place each in a separate group and then control them via an on-camera speedlite that offers up to three groups plus the on-camera master. I use 1/2 EV ratios with the on-camera speedlite for fill.

There are some articles on my IKE site describing the setups. http://www.davidmward.​photography/knowledge/​rcpt-lgt-tst/ (external link)
is an article describing the test with the 600Ws monolights.


My primary objective is to supplement the ambient light in the venue. Often the couple have paid a lot of money to get special mode lighting for the venue. Its not my place to destroy it with overpowering strobes. That often influences how I place my lights. So the emulate the venue lighting while giving me the help I want for my photography.

None of this is something one can get right the first time. It takes years of practice, experimentation and problem solving to have a collection of starting points that one can use to start building the lighting solution for a given situation.


David | Sharing my Insights, Knowledge & Experience (external link) | dmwfotos website (external link)

  
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drmaxx
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Post edited 5 months ago by drmaxx.
     
Nov 14, 2017 03:01 |  #100

RicoTudor wrote in post #18495386 (external link)
Besides delivering full-spectrum illumination to the subject and being immune to the hazards of bouncing, direct flash is very efficient.

This is indeed my fall back option if everything else fails - but there is a large difference in IQ between direct flash and bouncing. Bouncing allows to make the on-camera flash invisible and control where the light is coming from - while direct flash provides safe illumination but is really harsh. The keeper rate for using indirect flash is much lower and there is a lot of work involved to twist the flash head for every single shot (if you are in a dynamic people situation). However, it is totally worth it if the situation allows it.


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digital ­ paradise
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Post edited 5 months ago by digital paradise.
     
Nov 14, 2017 06:13 |  #101

Nice exposure. Directional bounce is something Neil van Niekerk is very good. I have seen him make a shot look as if there was a window to one side of the subject.

I was asked to volunteer to shoot a car show. There were 12 of us. They warned us that because it gets so crowded some lightstands had been knocked over in previous shows. I decided use my reflector on a stand and bounce off it because it would be safer.


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DaviSto
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Nov 14, 2017 06:36 |  #102

digital paradise wrote in post #18496030 (external link)
Nice exposure. Directional bounce is something Neil van Niekerk is very good. I have seen him make a shot look as if there was a window to one side of the subject.

I was asked to volunteer to shoot a car show. There were 12 of us. They warned us that because it gets so crowded some lightstands had been knocked over in previous shows. I decided use my reflector on a stand adn bounce off it because it would be safer.



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Absent a Voice Operated Light-stand, that was probably the best way to handle things. ;-)a


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KatManDEW
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Post edited 5 months ago by KatManDEW.
     
Nov 22, 2017 19:58 |  #103

drmaxx wrote in post #18472948 (external link)
I do quite a few of such events as a non professional. In the situation you described (not quite sufficient ambient light) I would go with fully manual and shoot purely in raw - preferred lens: 24-70 to get the flexibility. In manual go for 1/125 (or a little below or above) and adjust the aperture to the group size (2.8 for single person, 5.6 for three or four, ....). Adjust iso to the ambient light, so that you get a pleasing background - and let the on-camera flash pick up the rest for your subject. Looking at your picture above bouncing with the 430EX should do the trick with these settings. I use center point focusing exclusively, aiming at the eyes and adjust picture composition in post. Don't worry about white balance as you can correct this in post.

If you have the cash: Yes, the stronger the flash the more flexibility you get. So you might want to consider getting something more powerful - but as I said, for the setting above the 430 should have done the trick.

Oh, even with decent settings my keeper rate under these circumstances are around 25%. So having 100 decent pictures is not bad.

That's pretty much what I do. Go manual. Pick the lowest tolerable shutter speed (1/125 is OK is the subjects aren't moving much). f/2.8 for straight-on shots, f/5.6 (or higher) for groups or "diagonal" shots. Adjust ISO for desired ambient light level (this is where exposure comp in manual mode is nice...), and and adjust flash level for subjects.

Ditto on shooting raw and correcting white balance in post.




  
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Nightmare first event, more powerful flash needed?
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