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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 20 Dec 2011 (Tuesday) 16:59
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Reception & Strobes

 
digital ­ paradise
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Dec 20, 2011 16:59 |  #1

For those of you who shoot with strobes, how do you meter? TLL or manually set them? If you set them manually how do you meter, off the anticipated closest person to each strobe?

More importantly if you are setting them up manually how do you get creative with DOF? My Sekonic L-358 tells me which the aperture so am I stuck with f8 all night? Can't be because I see from shallow to deep DOF from the same photogs. Do you shut them off and get creative with a speedlight on the camera to mix things up?

I am considering giving this a try. Not sure for the whole night but the head table up to when the dancing starts. Possibly the dance floor later.

My partner is all eager to try this. He has rented a local studio for some paid family portraits. He has done 4 so far I think. I asked him how he meters and he told me he guesses by the appearance on the LCD. They looked not too bad but he admitted one shoot was a little underexposed and the other overexposed on the last 2 shoots. Besides you can always redo a family session without too much headache.

I don't want to get into what he is doing incorrectly because it is his business for what he does on the side. He knows I have a meter which I offered him on several occasions. I don't what to take any chances at a wedding. I told him I will only do that if we can meter properly.

I have done photo booths and they are a no brainier - much like a portrait shot. Not so sure about a larger event. I know I have to keep the strobes far enough away so I'm not nuking the people that are close to them. I comfortable with the Inverse Square Law. You sure can be creative with it.

I have not seen any stickies on this one so sorry in advance if I'm chewing up server space.

As usual thanks in advance.


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umphotography
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Dec 20, 2011 17:09 |  #2

Start here. These guys have put up excellent information

http://www.nicknphoto.​com/wedding-reception-lighting/ (external link)


https://photography-on-the.net …/showthread.php​?t=1014464

https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=646469


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tim
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Dec 20, 2011 17:35 |  #3

I make sure the light is reasonably even, I guess an exposure, and tweak my aperture/iso and the power settings until the histogram looks right. A stop out is fine, easily fixed as a batch in RAW. I have a light meter but I don't even take it to weddings. I don't use it at all. When I did it only got me into the ballpark, because each camera/lens combination is slightly different, even two of the same model of camera with the same model of lens. Between Canon and Nikon there can be a stop difference.

Family sessions can't be reshot, that's unprofessional and the people won't be happy about it.


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Dec 20, 2011 17:44 |  #4

Thanks for the links. I'll check them out.


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Dec 20, 2011 17:47 |  #5

digital paradise wrote in post #13575528 (external link)
For those of you who shoot with strobes, how do you meter? TLL or manually set them? If you set them manually how do you meter, off the anticipated closest person to each strobe?

More importantly if you are setting them up manually how do you get creative with DOF? My Sekonic L-358 tells me which the aperture so am I stuck with f8 all night? Can't be because I see from shallow to deep DOF from the same photogs. Do you shut them off and get creative with a speedlight on the camera to mix things up?

I manually set power levels on my strobes. I set the power up so I have a baseline of f2.8, 1/200, and ISO800. I adjust these settings based on many things including aperture, subject distance, etc. For example, I can shoot at f1.2 and use ISO100-200. If I want to stop down to f4, then I can just up the ISO to 1600. If I am closer to the strobe, than I can compensate by changing settings as well, such as lowering the ISO or stopping down, etc.

I'll sometimes turn the 580EXII that is mounted on the camera to get that back-lit effect, but I usually have both my strobes firing.

digital paradise wrote in post #13575528 (external link)
I am considering giving this a try. Not sure for the whole night but the head table up to when the dancing starts. Possibly the dance floor later.

I posted this elsewhere, but I'll post this here as well. This was shot with my 50L at f1.2, 1/200, ISO200 just to give you an idea. I usually just set the power levels on my strobes before the reception begins, then forget about it.

IMAGE: http://www.nicknphoto.com/galleries/upload/2011/12/19/20111219213603-afdbf634.jpg

Here's one from the dance floor. Shot with my 35L at f2.0, 1/200 ISO400. Again, same power levels, just different camera settings.
IMAGE: http://www.nicknphoto.com/galleries/upload/2011/12/19/20111219215349-fb032bca.jpg



  
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Dec 20, 2011 17:50 |  #6

tim wrote in post #13575677 (external link)
Family sessions can't be reshot, that's unprofessional and the people won't be happy about it.

Thanks for the info TIm. Yes as reshoot does not look even if it easier than a wedding. Easier only because a wedding is impossible. I myself would take all the necessary steps and have everything planned so as not to risk a reshoot. Again his business on his time.


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Dec 20, 2011 17:53 |  #7

nicksan wrote in post #13575747 (external link)
I manually set power levels on my strobes. I set the power up so I have a baseline of f2.8, 1/200, and ISO800. I adjust these settings based on many things including aperture, subject distance, etc. For example, I can shoot at f1.2 and use ISO100-200. If I want to stop down to f4, then I can just up the ISO to 1600. If I am closer to the strobe, than I can compensate by changing settings as well, such as lowering the ISO or stopping down, etc.

I'll sometimes turn the 580EXII that is mounted on the camera to get that back-lit effect, but I usually have both my strobes firing.

I posted this elsewhere, but I'll post this here as well. This was shot with my 50L at f1.2, 1/200, ISO200 just to give you an idea. I usually just set the power levels on my strobes before the reception begins, then forget about it.

QUOTED IMAGE

Here's one from the dance floor. Shot with my 35L at f2.0, 1/200 ISO400. Again, same power levels, just different camera settings.
QUOTED IMAGE

Thanks. Nice clean shots as usual.


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Dec 20, 2011 18:08 |  #8

Actually I noticed that you are shooting at 1/200 which is the opposite of what I have learned - lowering the shutter to let more ambient in. But that is for on camera flash. The strobes are overpowering the ambient so you set it to 1/200 to even kill more ambient - that makes sense. No gels required is my guess. Strobes freeze action but I guess 1/200 helps as well if anyone is outside the flashes effective range.

Compensating F stop makes for ISO makes sense. Only way you can do this if strobes are on manual. That I what I want to do. Set em and forget em.

I am going to read those links and get info about modifiers as well.

Thanks


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Dec 20, 2011 18:31 |  #9

1/200th is on the edge of the sync speed for a studio strobe. I had a couple of frames with dark edges from my family session last weekend. Stick to 1/125th to be safe.


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Dec 21, 2011 00:02 |  #10

Those are great links. Looks like umbrellas/softboxes were not used so I'm feeling a little better now. We were think in going without modifiers. We plan to only use two 580 flashes this time around and I noticed that is what Tim was using at the time of his post.


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Dec 21, 2011 00:05 |  #11

tim wrote in post #13575953 (external link)
1/200th is on the edge of the sync speed for a studio strobe. I had a couple of frames with dark edges from my family session last weekend. Stick to 1/125th to be safe.

I should have been more specific and said speedlights. That link Um posted for your thread - first image. It looks like bare flash I think.


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Dec 21, 2011 01:43 |  #12

digital paradise wrote in post #13577348 (external link)
I should have been more specific and said speedlights. That link Um posted for your thread - first image. It looks like bare flash I think.

The pull back shot? Yep bare flash bounced from the ceiling, you can see the flashes on the left hand side. I'd like to get/make a couple of snoots to stop any flash hitting the subjects directly.


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Dec 21, 2011 01:57 |  #13

Thanks. It was very hard to see because it is so bright hitting the wall there might have been shoot throughs. Two light sources adequate most of the time?

About the shoots. Would you not want to just block the light facing the subjects? Looks like you are bouncing off both walls and ceilings. Take advantage of the wall leave one side open? 3/4 coverage with a white inside or would not matter at this point? Actually a Rogue flash bender might do it. You could shape it into a snoot if you needed to.

Just mostly guessing and thinking out load.


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Dec 21, 2011 06:47 |  #14

I've never adapted this approach but keep thinking about it. Nick, Tim, and others, don't your flashes limit your ability to just kind of walk anywhere and shoot at any angle? Do you find yourself always trying to shoot from just one side of the floor because of how your flashes are oriented?

Also, no issues with tripping? Someone tripping on and/or knocking your stands and flashes over?


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Dec 21, 2011 07:45 |  #15

There's a lot of ways to do it. I think the best way is to manually set them. As in, once things happen in a static place.
If in various rooms ETTL might be a good idea. I like the examples above, very clean , but I would want to capture more ambient light. The flash looks like the only light source so irks with the look I go for.


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