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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 20 Oct 2014 (Monday) 12:55
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Frusterated - what was my mistake at the wedding?

 
Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
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Oct 22, 2014 00:04 |  #31

I've shot a fair number of weddings and have only used manual mode on my flash (ETTL was used for very occasional shots). This venue was ideal for manual given that it looks like the ceiling is of reasonable height and it's all the same height.

That said, if you changed your aperture or started using longer zooms you would have to adjust the flash accordingly--something you might not be very nimble with as I might be with the practice I've had. So ETTL is what I'd recommend as well. It will get you pretty close.

moJoePDX wrote in post #17226531 (external link)
Just so I can have more control and consistency output from the flash. Should I not worry about it and let ETTL do the work?



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gonzogolf
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Oct 22, 2014 00:11 |  #32

moJoePDX wrote in post #17226531 (external link)
Just so I can have more control and consistency output from the flash. Should I not worry about it and let ETTL do the work?

Considering your flash results were consistent, consistently bad, might want to give it a shot. ETTL was designed for these circumstances where your disrance to the subject are in flux. Manual flash can work but you might want to get a handle on the rest of this sort of thing before you go there.




  
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moJoePDX
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Oct 22, 2014 00:22 |  #33

Christopher Steven b wrote in post #17226539 (external link)
I've shot a fair number of weddings and have only used manual mode on my flash (ETTL was used for very occasional shots). This venue was ideal for manual given that it looks like the ceiling is of reasonable height and it's all the same height.

That said, if you changed your aperture or started using longer zooms you would have to adjust the flash accordingly--something you might not be very nimble with as I might be with the practice I've had. So ETTL is what I'd recommend as well. It will get you pretty close.

gonzogolf wrote in post #17226547 (external link)
Considering your flash results were consistent, consistently bad, might want to give it a shot. ETTL was designed for these circumstances where your disrance to the subject are in flux. Manual flash can work but you might want to get a handle on the rest of this sort of thing before you go there.

Alright, I will give it a go. I'm not sure when the next time I will be using my flash, maybe at the pumpkin patch?

One of my other reasons for not using ETTL is because the YouTube video I watched compared it to the same as using "Auto" mode on our cameras, something I used to use when I started with the kit lens. I thought I got the grasp of the flash function and was trying to avoid, which the wedding proved me wrong.

Thank you all for taking the time to help and for the honest feedback.


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someone0
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Oct 22, 2014 00:25 |  #34

I think the blur you have is due to using too low of shutter speed. I agree with all the comments about not using manual flash. TTL in general are very well design, especially when you are using 1st party flash, eg: canon flash on canon body. The reason you don't want to use manual flash in your situation is because you most likely moving a lot, especially if you bounce the flash. Because you are using AP mode or any partial/full auto mode, when you are setting the flash to manual, the flash kinda off balance the camera auto, meaning camera doesn't know what to expect. Generally flash TTL are designed to be use as fill flash, so you actually better off using AP+TTL or manual+TTL. To overcome the WB issue, which I shoot a lot in church. One thing you could do, if you aren't moving too far off from the main area, is to use graycard and flash compensation. So, I would set the flash somewhere between a stop and little over, then under expose in the camera by about 2/3 to a stop. Which normally to balance the exposure, but because I do it this way, the flash which have more of a daylight WB kinda kill off some of the ambient WB by overpower it a little. Then setup a custom WB and shoot the graycard. The downside to this setup is when you wonder off too much and the ambient change too much the WB will be off, but then again you have RAW to play with. But this would get you to a good start. I would generally have about 90-95% of the shots that I don't have to fix the WB if I get this done right at the beginning. You can also invest a bit on something like flash-bender. This would allow you to fire almost directly w/o the need to bounce off the ceiling if you need a bit more flash power. Another downside with this kind of setup is that you use a lot of AA batteries, but then again I would have come prepare and have 4 sets of batteries. 16x AA total, sometime I pack more just in case.




  
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gonzogolf
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Oct 22, 2014 00:42 |  #35

moJoePDX wrote in post #17226557 (external link)
Alright, I will give it a go. I'm not sure when the next time I will be using my flash, maybe at the pumpkin patch?

One of my other reasons for not using ETTL is because the YouTube video I watched compared it to the same as using "Auto" mode on our cameras, something I used to use when I started with the kit lens. I thought I got the grasp of the flash function and was trying to avoid, which the wedding proved me wrong.

Thank you all for taking the time to help and for the honest feedback.

That comparison is specious st best. It has some validity in studio type setups where your setup doesnt change from shot to shot and your goal is a consistent output for editing. Event work is a different matter you might be 4 feet from the subject in one shot,and 15 feet the next. The nature of light falloff means a small change in the distance to subject can drastically change the power requirements of the flash. ETTL calculates that for you instantly. ETTL isnt just a beginners tool or crutch.




  
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vanmidd
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Oct 22, 2014 03:16 |  #36

I'm only looking at four images, but straight away I can see that your S/S is too slow. Use the rule of thumb: never shoot a slower shutter value than your focal length value, i.e., for an 85mm don't shoot slower than 1/80th, for a 35mm don't shoot slower than 1/30th etc.

It follows that if light is massive issue, shoot more with wider lenses (i.e. a 35mm or 50mm) - you can shoot at slower S/Ss, thus making better use of available light.

Obviously in the first image the lady on the left is closer to the camera than the lady on the right. Thus she's out of your DOF.

Oftentimes you'll need to raise your ISO or flash power. If you want to raise your ISO, you need to use a decent camera with good low-light capabilites.

Ignore previous comments about Nikon versus Canon. They're both very similar in the focusing department. But the 650D is a low-end camera. Next time beg, borrow or steal a mark 3. And if possible, get your hands on a decent prime, like a 50mm 1.4 or 35mm 1.4. The images are much more pleasing on the eye than zooms. *ducks for cover*


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gonzogolf
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Oct 22, 2014 06:57 |  #37

Primes vs zooms have no effect on the quality of the lighting. Let's not throw another variable into the mix or the OP to worry about.




  
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Oct 22, 2014 08:03 |  #38

Also, watch your apertures. Beginners especially like to equate wide open with the shallowest DOF as the best way to shoot (I was there once) but that's not always the case. If you're shooting with a lens that has a very wide maximum aperture or a long lens, the DOF can be so shallow that even though one portion of a person's face may be in focus, other areas aren't. This becomes even more apparent when there are multiple people in a frame. Also, stepping a lens down a bit will help to make it sharper.

Here's a nifty tool just to see how shallow your DOF is at certain settings.
http://www.dofmaster.c​om/dofjs.html (external link)


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Oct 22, 2014 12:33 |  #39

moJoePDX wrote in post #17226493 (external link)
So even if I post the original size on here from flickr, it'll resize by itself once I hit the submit button? I didn't want my pictures taking up the entire screen that's why I usually use the medium size.

Not exactly.
First, resize your photos to 1024px on the long edge on your local computer.
Then upload those resized ones to Flickr.
In Flickr, the "Original" size will be 1024px, and the EXIF data will be intact.

If you upload the pictures to Flickr without resizing first, then the "Original" will be too big to post, and the Medium and Large will have their EXIF data stripped.

moJoePDX wrote in post #17226493 (external link)
I went ahead and re-searched the YouTube video about the flash that I have, 430 EX II, and misinterpreted what the person said. He said 105 is more narrow and 24 is more of a spread, which makes sense if you compare it with a lens. 24mm is wide angle and 105mm is more zoomed in, or more narrow (Did I get it right this time?).

Correct. The flash spread is numbered in such a way that it's approximately equivalent to the field of view on a full-frame camera. If the flash is at 50mm, it will spread out to the same field of view as a 50mm lens on a full-frame camera, without wasting any extra power to light up the areas that the lens won't see.

moJoePDX wrote in post #17226493 (external link)
I looked up flash bounce card as well on Google and am trying to grasp how that is effective. Obviously it works but a little card attached to the end of the flash will bounce off that much light? Mind boggling.

Even a tiny bounce card can make a huge difference. A card approximately the size of a 3x5" note card is just about right for most situations. The pull-out bounce cards on some flashes (not the 430EXII) are okay, a little small but can still make a significant difference especially if the ceiling is high.

gonzogolf wrote in post #17226570 (external link)
That comparison is specious st best. It has some validity in studio type setups where your setup doesnt change from shot to shot and your goal is a consistent output for editing. Event work is a different matter you might be 4 feet from the subject in one shot,and 15 feet the next. The nature of light falloff means a small change in the distance to subject can drastically change the power requirements of the flash. ETTL calculates that for you instantly. ETTL isnt just a beginners tool or crutch.

Good post, and great use of the word "specious" :lol:

moJoePDX, read that post and re-read it. It's OK to let ETTL do the heavy-lifting and math for you. Remember, you can still adjust it by increasing or decreasing FEC (Flash Exposure Compensation).

In manual mode without flash, you only have three things to keep track of: shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. When you add flash, you're adding not one, but two more variables: flash power, and flash distance to subject. Bouncing flash makes it even more complex, since you have to additionally consider the distances from the flash to the bounce surface to the subject, and the color/reflectiveness of the bounce surface.

Set your camera in manual mode to get the background/ambient looking good, then let ETTL figure out how much flash power you need to illuminate the foreground subjects.


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Oct 23, 2014 08:41 as a reply to  @ post 17226531 |  #40

highway0691 wrote in post #17226362 (external link)
Entry level cameras will always be inferior, their sensors, focussing etc. Why would Canon make them as good as a camera double the price? I get the feeling sometimes Canon dumbs down their less expensive cameras purposely and this is right across the board with any technology. I'm sure it better sensors don't cost that much more to make.

I have no doubt. I used to have an original Digital Rebel; it had no custom functions. I used a hacked firmware that enabled custom functions. A few did nothing/weren't usable, but others were quite useful and improved the camera. I have no doubt the official firmware was simply crippled by design.


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Oct 25, 2014 11:31 |  #41

As others have said, the OP's shutter speed was way too slow in the images he posted, and I see no evidence of a flash being used at all. Maybe now that he's read all these great posts he'll be more comfortable using his flash....and may even try using it outdoors, where good use of fill-light can make all the difference between a snapshot and a portrait!


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Oct 26, 2014 20:03 |  #42

For sure! I'll be more comfortable using flash now, especially having it in TTL mode.

Friday is Halloween so I'll be bringing the same setup (T4i, 24mm 1.4, speedlite 430 ex ii) along with my daughter and her cousins/friends while she goes get candy for me, I mean for her :) I know my amateur brain will say "shoot wide open do-do head, it's dark out!", but I'll keep it in manual on the camera with ETTL on the flash.


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Oct 27, 2014 14:24 |  #43

moJoePDX wrote in post #17234607 (external link)
For sure! I'll be more comfortable using flash now, especially having it in TTL mode.

Friday is Halloween so I'll be bringing the same setup (T4i, 24mm 1.4, speedlite 430 ex ii) along with my daughter and her cousins/friends while she goes get candy for me, I mean for her :) I know my amateur brain will say "shoot wide open do-do head, it's dark out!", but I'll keep it in manual on the camera with ETTL on the flash.

Hey moJoePDX, it's good to see you're not discouraged and will keep trying! I don't think anyone else posted these links in your thread, so I thought I'd jump in. Here are two of the absolutely best places online to learn about using flash:
http://neilvn.com …h-photography-techniques/ (external link) (he also has some really excellent books out on using flash, available on Amazon.com)
http://strobist.blogsp​ot.com/2006/03/lightin​g-101.html (external link)


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Oct 29, 2014 23:03 |  #44

stsva wrote in post #17236021 (external link)
Hey moJoePDX, it's good to see you're not discouraged and will keep trying! I don't think anyone else posted these links in your thread, so I thought I'd jump in. Here are two of the absolutely best places online to learn about using flash:
http://neilvn.com …h-photography-techniques/ (external link) (he also has some really excellent books out on using flash, available on Amazon.com)
http://strobist.blogsp​ot.com/2006/03/lightin​g-101.html (external link)

I really enjoyed the first link, thanks. Makes me want to use flash all the time now and carry a rubber band along with a flash card in case I need it :)


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Oct 30, 2014 08:12 |  #45

moJoePDX wrote in post #17241026 (external link)
I really enjoyed the first link, thanks. Makes me want to use flash all the time now and carry a rubber band along with a flash card in case I need it :)

Plus, you definitely need to make and use a black foamie thing (BFT). ;):) More seriously, something like the BFT really does come in handy when you need to control where the light from your flash is going.


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Frusterated - what was my mistake at the wedding?
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