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04-18-2012, 12:48 PM   #1
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Settings For Group "Table Shots" At A Wedding Reception

I shot a wedding last week and used off-camera flash to light the guest's tables during the reception and I just thought I'd share my settings and results...

The camera (K7) settings were F/4, 1/40th sec and ISO 400 and I used the Pentax 16-50mm at 16mm (24mm on 35mm SLR).

My flash was positioned behind me to the left and about 6ft high. It had a Stofen Omni-Bounce aimed upwards plus a large white card to reflect the flash towards the table and I fired it with a 20 wireless trigger from ebay (no P-TTL or rear-curtain sync). The flashgun (Sigma 630) was set to manual and 1/8th power.

The slow shutter speed allows for the ambient light to appear in the shot and the wide angle helps to increase the depth of field to get the whole table in focus. I like to shoot 2 pics of each table, one from each end, to get everybody in.

I'm not saying that I'm the greatest photographer in the world (I know I'm not), I just thought I'd share my own findings. But, this kind of set-up can really help to set your pics apart from the vast array of attempts from point and shoots & camera phones that are always firing off during such gatherings and if you're on a paid gig then your shots SHOULD be a class above everyone else's.

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04-18-2012, 01:16 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing. I think these look nicely handled by your setup.
04-18-2012, 03:12 PM   #3
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Thanks - useful tips, and it's always a struggle to get anything half reasonable of people at tables.
04-19-2012, 02:24 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Kellyboy,

Thanks for sharing, I think the shots look good. There are a few different ways to look at this assignment. Table photos aren't easy. I've done a couple of weddings as favors to family. One issue that can be seen results from your choice of using the 16mm focal length. People in the foreground of your pictures look much bigger than people in the back because of the wide angle perspective. When I did these kinds of pics, I took the more conventional approach of maybe using ~ 35 - 40 mm focal length. When you do that though, you definitely have to stop down to at least 5.6 to keep everyone in focus, and doing that does make the background darker. I think your background lighting looks nice. I also asked people to move a little to get closer together and more in the same focus plane. That's more intrusive to them though, so it's not for everyone. Thanks again for sharing.

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