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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 19 Sep 2013 (Thursday) 07:57
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Flash during ceremony question

 
supfresh
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Sep 23, 2013 13:25 |  #16

The only time I use flash during a ceremony, is with a strobe. I have a 600w strobe which I place way in the back of the venue, and bounce it off the ceiling or wall, which produces a very clean and airy look. If not, 1600/3200 on f2.8 works just as fine, on a Canon 5d or Mark II.

Honestly, it's really all about communication. I always use flash, whenever appropriate. I communicate with the B&G as well as the venue and minister/priest to make sure everything is in the clear before.

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vanmidd
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Sep 24, 2013 00:25 |  #17

Hi John,

Rent a prime or 2 (I shoot typically with a 35mm 1.4 and an 85mm 1.2) and throw the flash away.

No matter how you cut it, flash light looks horrible and is intrusive.

~ my two cents :)


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vanmidd
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Sep 24, 2013 00:27 |  #18

I shot this wedding in a dark church without flashes:

http://vanmiddleton.co​m …/anita-jaebin-coolangatta (external link)

They're not necessary!


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gonzogolf
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Sep 24, 2013 08:48 |  #19

vanmidd wrote in post #16320399 (external link)
Hi John,

Rent a prime or 2 (I shoot typically with a 35mm 1.4 and an 85mm 1.2) and throw the flash away.

No matter how you cut it, flash light looks horrible and is intrusive.

~ my two cents :)

Only if you dont know what you are doing.




  
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umphotography
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Sep 24, 2013 10:49 |  #20

vanmidd wrote in post #16320399 (external link)
Hi John,

Rent a prime or 2 (I shoot typically with a 35mm 1.4 and an 85mm 1.2) and throw the flash away.

No matter how you cut it, flash light looks horrible and is intrusive.

~ my two cents :)

Go Get a nickle and rethink this. Your just wrong. Anytime you can supplement natural light with supplemental lighting ( speed light or a strobe or a video light or a reflector, OR OR Or ) the picture will look a ton better. There is a place for natural light. There is always a way to make it look better with some blending from another source.

Now, I shoot both ways, and Ive shot images side by side with and w/o supplemental light to prove the point to myself. I challenge you to learn how to use a speedlight properly and then make your own decision.

Gonz is 1000% correct.


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vanmidd
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Sep 24, 2013 19:17 |  #21

Go Get a nickle and rethink this. Your just wrong. Anytime you can supplement natural light with supplemental lighting ( speed light or a strobe or a video light or a reflector, OR OR Or ) the picture will look a ton better. There is a place for natural light. There is always a way to make it look better with some blending from another source.

Now, I shoot both ways, and Ive shot images side by side with and w/o supplemental light to prove the point to myself. I challenge you to learn how to use a speedlight properly and then make your own decision.

Gonz is 1000% correct.

I disagree (to put it mildly). Remember, we're talking about the ceremony here, not a photoshoot. Supplement light can improve photos, especially reflectors, but when was the last time you used a reflector at a ceremony?? Funny stuff.

A flash directly in the hotshoe produces front-on light is poor in 90% of cases. Flashes setup with triggers can produce much better outcomes, but then you're introducing several new problems:

1. Nobody wants to see flashes lighting up a ceremony, not the guests, not the couple.

2. You slow yourself down. Even with an assistant lumbering around, you're wasting valuable time and effort, where you would be better off capturing all the little things that are happening about the place.

I use flashes during the reception and sometimes outside, but almost never at the ceremony. Time-waster, problem-causer and not important. The only time I'd consider it was if the light was really bad on the couple; then I'd set one up off to the side and bounce it off a wall or ceiling, and dial it down.

Peace.


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MFG
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Sep 24, 2013 19:44 |  #22

i have to agree (technically) with Mike but i never get my ass to flash up the ceremony. i will have to rethink about bringing flash into ceremony. I have almost never flash up ceremony just like you Van Middleton.

Experience: Last weekend, I was at a outdoor ceremony. Beautiful daylight, no complain.
see my photos for the weddings on Facebook
www.facebook.com/scott​gohphotography (external link) -> look for "James and Aleisha Wedding" album

anyway, I want to say that the bride is standing at 9oclock facing 3oclock. while the groom is stand at 3 oclock facing the bride at 9 oclock. Me - the professional standing in the isle at 6oclock facing them at my 12 oclock. The sun comes in at 2 oclock angle - hitting the tall groom and casting shadow on half of the bride's face. I am like Oh... where is my flash... Natural light is Beautiful. but in ceremony where you have no control over where they stand and no control at the direction of the sun. The flash is needed.

PS:very nice photos there Van Middleton. I love it

My 2 cents worth.
Scott


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digital ­ paradise
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Sep 26, 2013 08:48 |  #23

Well I'm not in the same league as you guys. I can see why many do not flash at the ceremony. As far as direct flash goes it is the least desirable approach for obvious reasons. However with high ISO capable cameras it is much easier to get a non flashed look shooting direct these days. I've done so on some occasions when I had no other choice.

The question then becomes if you are shooting 3200 or 6400 do you really need it? I don't mind that little kiss of extra light. If the couple and the person who performs the ceremony allow it I will use it at times but I must admit I wonder who I'm irritating.

I really like the responses on this thread.

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Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
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Sep 26, 2013 13:52 |  #24

It seem like you're giving a million reasons why using flash during the ceremony is verboten, but then add that in such-and-such case you would do it. Well it's precisely that case that I think most of us who do occasionally use flash during the ceremony are talking about. When the light falling on the couple is unacceptable (and we can't move them / alter the scene / time) or when certain conditions obtain (e.g. huge window with light flooding in from behind B+G), we need to be ready to use whatever tools we have in order to turn around a decent product. In almost every single case that I've recommended flash, the couple was adamant that I do whatever I need to do to get the shots.

vanmidd wrote in post #16322753 (external link)
I disagree (to put it mildly). Remember, we're talking about the ceremony here, not a photoshoot. Supplement light can improve photos, especially reflectors, but when was the last time you used a reflector at a ceremony?? Funny stuff.

A flash directly in the hotshoe produces front-on light is poor in 90% of cases. Flashes setup with triggers can produce much better outcomes, but then you're introducing several new problems:

1. Nobody wants to see flashes lighting up a ceremony, not the guests, not the couple.

2. You slow yourself down. Even with an assistant lumbering around, you're wasting valuable time and effort, where you would be better off capturing all the little things that are happening about the place.

I use flashes during the reception and sometimes outside, but almost never at the ceremony. Time-waster, problem-causer and not important. The only time I'd consider it was if the light was really bad on the couple; then I'd set one up off to the side and bounce it off a wall or ceiling, and dial it down.

Peace.



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vanmidd
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Sep 27, 2013 07:55 |  #25

It seem like you're giving a million reasons why using flash during the ceremony is verboten, but then add that in such-and-such case you would do it.

Not really. The OP is talking about the ceremony. I said that very rarely is a flash practical or necessary for use at a ceremony but they can be useful at other stages throughout the day, then listed them.

Mike said that "Anytime you can supplement natural light with supplemental lighting ( speed light or a strobe or a video light or a reflector, OR OR Or ) the picture will look a ton better."

This is absolute nonsense. Many of the world's best photographers shoot 95% of their images without flashes. Think Jonas Peterson, Fer Juaristi etc. They get the images they do because they're unencumbered by the extra lighting gear and manage to get raw, real emotion from their subjects. That's more important than flash by a long way.


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nicksan
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Sep 27, 2013 07:58 as a reply to  @ post 16318844 |  #26

I think it's pretty simple.

  • If flash is not allowed, then...don't use one. :)
  • If it's so dark and your gear can't handle it and if using flash is allowed then use it. I've encountered this a few times. For example, an outdoors ceremony during late Fall at 6PM and only a few flood lights lighting it. I had to use direct flash for this one.
  • If it's so dark and your gear can't handle it and if using flash is not allowed, then pray. I've never had the pleasure of experiencing a wedding ceremony THAT dark.


Basically, if I need flash and if it's allowed, I'll use it. The "if I need flash" doesn't necessarily have to mean not enough light. It might be the quality of light, or maybe my shutter speed is fine for people staying still but maybe not enough for the processional. Etc, etc...



  
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bigarchi
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Sep 27, 2013 09:31 |  #27

vanmidd wrote in post #16320403 (external link)
I shot this wedding in a dark church without flashes:

http://vanmiddleton.co​m …/anita-jaebin-coolangatta (external link)

They're not necessary!

nice set for sure, but imho almost every photo in that ceremony could have been even better with proper flash.


~Mitch

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umphotography
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Sep 27, 2013 10:26 |  #28

nicksan wrote in post #16328903 (external link)
I think it's pretty simple.

  • If flash is not allowed, then...don't use one. :)
  • If it's so dark and your gear can't handle it and if using flash is allowed then use it. I've encountered this a few times. For example, an outdoors ceremony during late Fall at 6PM and only a few flood lights lighting it. I had to use direct flash for this one.
  • If it's so dark and your gear can't handle it and if using flash is not allowed, then pray. I've never had the pleasure of experiencing a wedding ceremony THAT dark.


Basically, if I need flash and if it's allowed, I'll use it. The "if I need flash" doesn't necessarily have to mean not enough light. It might be the quality of light, or maybe my shutter speed is fine for people staying still but maybe not enough for the processional. Etc, etc...

I just shot a on air wedding for a radio program promo. It was a same sex wedding. Ambient light was F/2.5 at 1/15 at 10,000 ISO with black walls, black curtains and the only light in the room was overhead Tungsten bulbs every 10Ft apart. Pitch black cave in there. Luckily, i could use a flash. The radio program understood. They just wanted the shots. Probably the hardest thing ive doon in a long time. Start to finish was less than 2 hours and I had about 15 minutes to precheck and get going

Here is a video slide show on our facebook page for the event. Had a nice time. Wish i had room and more time to prepare for this. I basically showed up and started shooting

https://vimeo.com/7497​2821 (external link)


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vanmidd
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Sep 29, 2013 22:25 |  #29

nice set for sure, but imho almost every photo in that ceremony could have been even better with proper flash.

You might be right, but how would you set up the flash(es) for this sort of situation? I wasn't allowed very close to the couple and mostly used an 85mm or 135mm - the flash would have needed to be on-camera (or on an arm) and carry quite a distance, which would be been even more intrusive (especially when I was shooting towards the guests). I may have gained some more fill light to even out some of the shadow, but I just don't think it's as important as people think. With a 1.2 lens and mark3, there is never an issue with lack of light. But I'm keen to hear how others would have shot it with flashes, because I'm always open to ideas and suggestions!


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Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
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Sep 29, 2013 22:43 |  #30

I think I very quickly reviewed that set last week but didn't comment on it. I don't think that the ceremony shots needed light sufficiently to justify adding flash--I think they look fantastic. However, what looks like a formal group shot at the front of the church (pardon me if my memory fails) absolutely should have had supplemental lighting as evidenced by the severe raccooning of the eyes. A 5d mark iii and a 1.2 lens doesn't change the quality of the light such that these issues somehow disappear.

Just looking again, I think the reception absolutely could have benefited with the use of light, but I agree that it may be a good bargain in terms of reducing the intrusiveness of your presence (and I should add: your reception shots look great too). For the shot of the bride giving the speech, e.g., you definitely didn't make that light--and it's not very good light; it probably makes her look far older than she actually looks in normal lighting.

vanmidd wrote in post #16334596 (external link)
You might be right, but how would you set up the flash(es) for this sort of situation? I wasn't allowed very close to the couple and mostly used an 85mm or 135mm - the flash would have needed to be on-camera (or on an arm) and carry quite a distance, which would be been even more intrusive (especially when I was shooting towards the guests). I may have gained some more fill light to even out some of the shadow, but I just don't think it's as important as people think. With a 1.2 lens and mark3, there is never an issue with lack of light. But I'm keen to hear how others would have shot it with flashes, because I'm always open to ideas and suggestions!



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Flash during ceremony question
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