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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 25 Apr 2011 (Monday) 09:25
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How do wedding photogs do it?

 
NellyNero
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Apr 25, 2011 11:45 |  #31

I'm amazed that no-one has mentioned Neil Van Niekirk!

http://neilvn.com …lash-pho...hy-techniques/ (external link)

Reading his book changed my (photography) life when it comes to flash, at least. Google his 'black foamie thing' (yes, that is its real name) - I used one of these at my cousin's wedding and it was brilliant. I used it for this shot below, balancing ambient and flash. I have a Stofen I’ve used once and hated - it’s not very selective, it just brightens EVERYTHING so you lose any kind of depth or shading. I bought Neil’s book – it tells you how to meter with flash, bounce, diffuse and balance – but all the info is on his huge website if you’ve time to scour it from the beginning.

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ETA: Oops, I see edge100 has, in fact, linked to Neil!

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gonzogolf
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Apr 25, 2011 11:50 |  #32

NellyNero wrote in post #12289091 (external link)
I'm amazed that no-one has mentioned Neil Van Niekirk!

http://neilvn.com …lash-pho...hy-techniques/ (external link)

Reading his book changed my (photography) life when it comes to flash, at least. Google his 'black foamie thing' (yes, that is its real name) - I used one of these at my cousin's wedding and it was brilliant. I used it for this shot below, balancing ambient and flash. I have a Stofen I’ve used once and hated - it’s not very selective, it just brightens EVERYTHING so you lose any kind of depth or shading. I bought Neil’s book – it tells you how to meter with flash, bounce, diffuse and balance – but all the info is on his huge website if you’ve time to scour it from the beginning.

ETA: Oops, I see edge100 has, in fact, linked to Neil!

So did I.




  
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Peacefield
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Apr 25, 2011 11:58 |  #33

Wow, this thread took off since my last post only a few hours ago.

I also made one of Neil's foamy things and use it to this day when I can't bounce like in a church with a high dark ceiling.

The simplest approach (which I also still use much of the time) is a bounce card. There are other approaches, but this is what I would tell you is about the simplest:

- Go into M mode, meter the scene, set your exposure so that it's about two stops too dark. Use as much ISO as you need to stay above 1/100 and about f 4.5.
- Flash in ETTL with the head oriented towards the ceiling. This will provide some general illumination floating down from the ceiling.
- Attach a bounce card (the little one inside the head is really too small). I use a 5x7 piece of hard styrene plastic that I attach with velcro. This throws some reflected light forward to fill in eyes and under chins.
- Chimp. ETTL is fooled by highly reflective surfaces and even people wearing all dark colors. Make adjustments to FEC (which is easily done on the flash) as you need to.


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edge100
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Apr 25, 2011 11:59 |  #34

gonzogolf wrote in post #12289118 (external link)
So did I.

Me too.


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Apr 25, 2011 12:00 |  #35

My recommendation for portable (almost on-camera) flash for the types of events discussed here starts with the flash mounted on a camera-rotating bracket so that the flash is ALWAYS located directly above the lens. This eliminates any ugly side shadows.

Then, I almost always use a LumiQuest Promax System (external link) modifier, typically with the white insert in the 80/20 frame. This provides a fairly large bounce card directly above the Speedlite flash unit (the body of which is aimed straight up) to bounce the light toward the subject.


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digital ­ paradise
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Apr 25, 2011 12:37 |  #36

I guess Neil did not come up because he always comes up. Wondered who would be the first :) In the first video he states he does use the Stofen He makes it pretty clear he does not use any which most people probably know. Talks a lot about about controlling the direction of the light.

http://www.bhinsights.​com …/just-give-me-f-stop.html (external link)


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spesmeadeus
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Apr 25, 2011 12:37 |  #37

Its an art for a reason, I do it myself and what you have to do is balance everything. Sometimes opting for a high ISO in order to get the ambient to pull through.

I know my flash and camera inside out so when outside without even using a light meter or anything I know how to dial everything in very close then I eyeball it to get it right.

If I am in a specific area outside I will snap a shot without my flash on to get the ambient as I like it, just a real quick test shot. Then I switch on my flash to ETTL, snap another shot with the same Manual setting on my camera. If the flash is too strong I will tell my camera to output less flash if I need more then i will tell my camera to add more light.

Inside I NEVER USE DIRECT FLASH, I will always bounce it if I don't then I pull out the low f/stop lens and turn off the flash.

If you are outside and there isn't anything close behind the person a direct flash will not cast a shadow that is ugly.

Then like someone else said shoot RAW and post becomes very important to balance the colour and blacks etc! Camera Raw or LIghtroom will be your absolute best friend



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stayhumble
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Apr 25, 2011 12:39 |  #38
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digital paradise wrote in post #12289394 (external link)
I guess Neil did not come up because he always comes up. Wondered who would be the first :) In the first video he states he does use the Stofen He makes it pretty clear he does not use any which most people probably know. Talks a lot about about controlling the direction of the light.

http://www.bhinsights.​com …/just-give-me-f-stop.html (external link)

you are about the 3rd or 4th person to say no one brought him up when 3-4 people had mentioned him...LOL


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Apr 25, 2011 13:39 as a reply to  @ stayhumble's post |  #39

yup Neil is the man. Before Neil, I watched Mike Colon's DVD, learned about shooting wide open, hi ISO, photojournalistic wedding style shots. You can see Jasmine Star on the DVD as a model/ student. Neil takes it to another level with bouncing flash, gels, balancing with ambient etc...


http://neilvn.com …to-bounce-your-flash-off/ (external link)

simple but so clever:
"Here’s a neat trick I often use during this situation. Instead of photographing them right there up at the altar, I’ll move them all the way down the aisle towards the main door, until I have a wall behind me that I can use for bounce flash."


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Apr 25, 2011 13:50 |  #40

stayhumble wrote in post #12289406 (external link)
you are about the 3rd or 4th person to say no one brought him up when 3-4 people had mentioned him...LOL

I did not see them. I posted that after I read Nelly's post. :) He sure does get a lot of press time around here.


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edge100
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Apr 25, 2011 14:17 |  #41

digital paradise wrote in post #12289854 (external link)
He sure does get a lot of press time around here.

And for good reason.


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dmward
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Apr 25, 2011 14:27 |  #42

There is not a lot of PP on most wedding shots. Its just not practical.
Bouncing and keeping a relatively close relationship between flash and ambient.
My default is to bounce with the camera in manual mode, and the ambient about a stop to stop and a half under exposed. The bounced flash is usually zero FEC and then I adjust based on the subject.

As others have said, practice.

The only time I point the flash tube toward the subject is when I'm outside with nothing to bounce off of. That also applies inside in a pitch dark room with nothing to bounce off of. Outside it's for fill. Inside its to get the picture. Not a great picture but a picture. :-)


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gonzogolf
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Apr 25, 2011 14:30 |  #43

dmward wrote in post #12290092 (external link)
The only time I point the flash tube toward the subject is when I'm outside with nothing to bounce off of. That also applies inside in a pitch dark room with nothing to bounce off of. Outside it's for fill. Inside its to get the picture. Not a great picture but a picture. :-)

And this is the ugly truth, sometimes you get what you get and there is no way around it.




  
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Apr 25, 2011 14:40 |  #44

Yeah, you really need to learn a million techniques to be a wedding photographer using flash! My last wedding I had a ceiling to bounce off of, but it was dark and mirrored (who mirrors ceilings... really!). So bounce wasn't working the way I wanted so I shot direct, toned it down, and fixed whatever I had to in PP (which was very little, luckily!). I'm definitely going to research the Black Foamie Thing because I'm shooting at that venue again in June.

Also, some wedding photographers DO use off-camera flash to improve their lighting at ceremonies and receptions. I actually started a post about it in the Weddings and Other Family Events section of this forum this past weekend and it already has 3 pages with some great visual examples!


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Ralph ­ III
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Apr 25, 2011 16:21 as a reply to  @ PeaceFire's post |  #45

I'm still learning the various flash techniques myself but my advice, in your situation, would be to rely on your flash eTTL capabilities.

It's best if you can bounce your flash, otherwise use a bounce card. LumiQuest Quik Bounce is excellent because you can use it for fill and bounce in landscape or portrait position.
---------------

If all fails shoot straight on whilst using available ambient light. In darker situations set your camera in TV mode with a slower shutter speed(1/40-1/80) with a higher ISO(1/800 +-).
This will bring in good ambient light while your camera uses aperture and flash ettl to control exposure. Try and utilize the lowest ISO possible because it will force the camera to use the lowest apertures(better for portraits). Your aperture will blink in the viewfinder if exposure isn't correct so adjust the ISO until it stops.
Lastly, set your camera "on" dial to the slash mark. You can then use the dial to quickly adjust for exposure if necessary. You may also want to look into spot metering mode.

Good luck


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