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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 18 Jan 2012 (Wednesday) 20:51
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OCF Wedding Reception

 
unlimited6986
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Jan 18, 2012 20:51 |  #1

I have a wedding in march and its really small. Im actually only doing the reception. its my brothers co-worker there old and don't really want much they said. So i figure this would be a perfect time for me to practice my OCF at the reception. I have 2 AB800's or i have a couple speedlights too. I figure id use the AB800's. My question is do i just bounce them or point them directly at the dance floor? Alot of the pics i see with ocf they look like there pointing directly at the dance floor but those are usually speedlights. If anyone could help it would be great. Also one other question is how can i shoot my ocf and have my 580ex V1 on camera for a little bit of fill? I have 4 pocket wizards plus II that i would be using.




  
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tim
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Jan 18, 2012 21:37 |  #2

How I photograph wedding receptions.

I always bounce light if there's a suitable bounce surface, and I have enough power.

Weddings aren't the place to practice. Big strobes can be pretty intrusive too.


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Peacefield
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Jan 19, 2012 07:00 |  #3

I've just done this myself for the first time, inspired mostly by a post by Nick (many others including Tim have described this type of approach, but there was something about Nick's explanation and/or sample photos that kinda made it click for me).

I used one AB1600 and one 580 EX II. Though I could've bounced, I had them pointed towards the dancefloor. Either approach would work; it's must a matter of what kind of look you're trying to acheive. I wasn't just looking to raise the ambient and take control over the room's lighting, I also wanted more of a kicker lighting appearance so I knew I wanted direct.

I do what you're describing; both are triggered with manual triggers (Phottix Stratos) and I have an on camera flash which I'm bouncing off the ceiling along with an oversized bounce card (also in M). One of the reasons I bought Stratos is that the transmitter fits in the hot shoe and offers me an ETTL pass-through hot shoe even though the receivers are only M. So I still get focus assist and I'm not doing crazy things with velcro, cables, etc; nice and clean.

I not only like this look better than the single-flash approach I had been using previously, my exposures and WB are much more consistent and image editing of my reception photos now goes MUCH faster and easier.


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SMP_Homer
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Jan 19, 2012 08:43 |  #4

I haven't gone with Alienbees yet - I am planning on ordering a couple to play with shortly...
but I do lots of off-camera with speedlights - most are bouncing off ceiling, and other will bounce off walls or be direct... most will be naked, one may be in a softbox...


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jcolman
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Jan 19, 2012 10:09 |  #5

There is no "correct" answer regarding bouncing vs. direct flash. It all depends on the venue and your style. If the venue is dark or has colored walls, uplighting, and an overall "dark" ambience, I use direct flash with my off camera lights. I also grid them so that I don't have light going everywhere. If, on the other hand, the venue is light and bright with white or neutral colored walls, I bounce my light.

Direct light

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Bounced lights

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As for trigging your on-camera flash and pocketwizards at the same time, the easiest solution I've found is to buy replacement "feet" for your flash with sync ports built in. You can get them pretty cheap from www.flashzebra.com (external link). Here are some shots of my set up.

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unlimited6986
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Jan 19, 2012 12:44 |  #6

Awesome thanks colman ill buy one of those foots and cords soon. Also tim im gonna mess with the ocf and if the first few shots dont work ill just do my normal ocf. They really don't want anything great. I kinda got suckered in to it by my brother. Its his co-workers parents and he said i would shoot it or free. But i told him there's no way im doing it for free and need at least some kind of money for my time.

Also i already have one of these

http://www.flashzebra.​com/products/0138/inde​x.shtml (external link)

This would work for having my flash and ocf fire too right?




  
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jonwhite
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Jan 19, 2012 12:57 |  #7

If you are using speedlights then the built in canon flash control system works well indoors when there's stuff to bounce off, just need a 580EX or an ST-E2 on camera to trigger external speedlights that you can set manually or use ETTL.


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unlimited6986
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Jan 19, 2012 13:00 |  #8

I only have 1 580ex then the other lights are either 2 AB800's or 2 Sunpack 383




  
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jcolman
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Jan 19, 2012 13:13 |  #9

unlimited6986 wrote in post #13732448 (external link)
Awesome thanks colman ill buy one of those foots and cords soon. Also tim im gonna mess with the ocf and if the first few shots dont work ill just do my normal ocf. They really don't want anything great. I kinda got suckered in to it by my brother. Its his co-workers parents and he said i would shoot it or free. But i told him there's no way im doing it for free and need at least some kind of money for my time.

Also i already have one of these

http://www.flashzebra.​com/products/0138/inde​x.shtml (external link)

This would work for having my flash and ocf fire too right?

The trick to using OCF for me is to basically have my light about 1 or 2 stops brighter than ambient light when bouncing. If firing direct, I go with a bit more light so to keep the darker ambient light looking natural.

That shoe looks like it will do the job of firing both your speedlight and PW so you should be good.


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unlimited6986
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Jan 19, 2012 19:26 |  #10

Ok thanks i tried firing both and it didnt let me. But i tried real quick so ill mess with the settings on both maybe i was on the wrong channel or something.




  
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jcolman
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Jan 19, 2012 22:32 |  #11

unlimited6986 wrote in post #13734700 (external link)
Ok thanks i tried firing both and it didnt let me. But i tried real quick so ill mess with the settings on both maybe i was on the wrong channel or something.

Put the plug into the PW into the sync input instead of local flash.


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nicksan
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Jan 20, 2012 13:06 |  #12

How small is "really small"? I always use my strobes, but I haven't really shot in a "really small" reception hall. Still, if placement isn't an issue, I just prefer to use strobes because I don't have to worry about batteries and recycle times. I've been pointing them directly at the dance floor regardless of bounce surface being available or not. I use the strobes to light the background while the 580EXII + bounce card on the camera is used for fill on the main subject.

Really depends on the look you are going for and whether you want to overpower the existing light or complement it, etc.




  
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unlimited6986
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Jan 20, 2012 16:37 |  #13

I actually just saw the place and it looks like a small apartment lol. i love your shots nick, thats exactly the shots i wanted to go for. So you dont bounce at all? Im guessing you just keep the strobes and a low power? Do you just mess with the settings with your 580ex or do you usually keep it at a similar setting?




  
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umphotography
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Jan 20, 2012 16:47 |  #14

nicksan wrote in post #13738450 (external link)
How small is "really small"? I always use my strobes, but I haven't really shot in a "really small" reception hall. Still, if placement isn't an issue, I just prefer to use strobes because I don't have to worry about batteries and recycle times. I've been pointing them directly at the dance floor regardless of bounce surface being available or not. I use the strobes to light the background while the 580EXII + bounce card on the camera is used for fill on the main subject.

Really depends on the look you are going for and whether you want to overpower the existing light or complement it, etc.

Nick

Are you triggering the strobe seperately or does the flash sensor pick up the flash from the 580. Also if you using 2 strobes, will triggering one work based on what you have done so far or just use 3 triggers.


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nicksan
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Jan 20, 2012 16:48 |  #15

unlimited6986 wrote in post #13739571 (external link)
I actually just saw the place and it looks like a small apartment lol. i love your shots nick, thats exactly the shots i wanted to go for. So you dont bounce at all? Im guessing you just keep the strobes and a low power? Do you just mess with the settings with your 580ex or do you usually keep it at a similar setting?

No, I don't bounce my strobes. That's just the way I do it. Many ways to light up a reception as you can see from the responses you are getting in this thread. I do bounce the 580EXII that is mounted on the camera however. I also have the Demb Flip-it bounce card attached to the 580EXII.

Yes, my strobes are set at very low power. I usually set the lights up so that I get good exposure with setting of f2.8, 1/160 ~ 1/200, ISO800 and work from there. This way, if I use my primes, I can always lower the ISO. For instance, I'll sometimes shoot my 50L wide open at ISO200. As for my 580EXII, it's on ETTL mode and I may dial in FEC if need be.

If the place is as small as an apartment, using strobes might be overkill? I always use my strobes provided there's space at the venue. I have the Vagabond Lithium Mini so I can pretty much set the lights up wherever I want to.




  
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OCF Wedding Reception
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