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05-05-2017, 08:04 AM   #1
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Help! Wedding photoshoot planning.

I have a wedding shoot coming in a weeks time.
In this wedding I want to try new things and grow as a photographer.
Especially during the portrait sessions with the couple. The wedding is at a beautiful resort. So I want to use it also for my marketing portofolio. Pull the stops so to say.
I want to have two portrait sessions.

I have been doing tests. To know how this will look like.

One portrait session is in the afternoon. The sun will be high in the sky.
I have HSS triggers (Cactus V6II) and a Metz 58-AF2.
No matter how hard I try it seems like the power is not enough.
Even shooting at 1/1000s, f3.5, ISO 100, with flash 1.5 meter away, the exposure is just about right.
Should it be brighter than today I guess my flash will not cut it, as I am learning that with HSS, shutter speed also controls flash exposure.

I have an 80cm reflector will it better to use that to reflect sunlight on the couple rather that a flash.
What will be the downside to that? Squinting eyes?

Then I can use the flash when the sun goes down for the second portrait session.
Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Culture.

05-05-2017, 08:45 AM   #2
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to battle the sun, especially sunny resort locations you will need a lot more power than a speedlight. My Profoto 500w strobe is even questionable depending on the day....

If you can, shoot in the shade and use your flash to help fill a bit.

Part of it is your exposure settings though, and you should flip your theory. 3.5 is way to wide open for my personal taste for portraits, for couples I prefer f5.6 in my experience as it gives me a good balance of depth of field with a nice focus fall off, but still helps isolate the background a bit. Lower your flash speed to about 1/160 sec and get a variable ND filter to help control the exposure. The higher the shutter speed over the natural sync speed the lower your flash output will actually be. I can't remember the math on it exactly. but it's the reason I stopped using HSS unless I'm shooting action stuff. You will need a diffuser of some kind as well.

I would honestly ditch the modifiers/flash and shoot it straight and find the best areas to setup where I'm not getting horrid light on my subjects. I like back lighting them as much as possible as it helps prevent squinty eyes and monster shadow. If you can experiment before you leave with models or friends filling in for you. Learn to watch the light on the faces and see how the light wraps around them. Practice hard, you won't got time to second guess yourself and experiment on site. Make sure you know how to overcome technical issues on the fly, quickly, as to keep the shoot moving fluidily or you will start seeing the concern in your subjects faces.
05-05-2017, 09:14 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote
to battle the sun, especially sunny resort locations you will need a lot more power than a speedlight. My Profoto 500w strobe is even questionable depending on the day....

If you can, shoot in the shade and use your flash to help fill a bit.
Of course if I can find a shade that gives a nice background I will use it.
The problem is that it spring so there are hardly any leaves on the trees.
I want one of my shots to be environmental shots with the couple and that will be in the open

---------- Post added 05-05-17 at 19:20 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote

Part of it is your exposure settings though, and you should flip your theory. 3.5 is way to wide open for my personal taste for portraits, for couples I prefer f5.6 in my experience as it gives me a good balance of depth of field with a nice focus fall off, but still helps isolate the background a bit. Lower your flash speed to about 1/160 sec and get a variable ND filter to help control the exposure. The higher the shutter speed over the natural sync speed the lower your flash output will actually be. I can't remember the math on it exactly. but it's the reason I stopped using HSS unless I'm shooting action stuff. You will need a diffuser of some kind as well.
True the 3.5 is wide but I was just testing. I used different apertures. I was just to see what my limits are with ambient light and how the flash adds.
Obviously if I stop down I will have to decrease the shutter speed to balance the exposure.
Isnt this counter intuitive. I mean if I use ND filter to cut the ambient light, the ND filter will also cut flash power right?

---------- Post added 05-05-17 at 19:22 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote
Practice hard, you won't got time to second guess yourself and experiment on site. Make sure you know how to overcome technical issues on the fly, quickly, as to keep the shoot moving fluidily or you will start seeing the concern in your subjects faces.
Well this is what I am trying to do.

Thanks for you advice.
05-05-2017, 11:58 AM - 1 Like   #4
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You're right that the ND filter adds to the power needs of the flash as well. With one 'speedlight' then you will be pushing it with HSS in bright light, that's for sure. I also agree with Wired that f3.5 is very wide .... of course what is needed for your DOF effect depends on the focal length and the distance of the background behind the couple. But yes, F5.6 sounds safer, also for focusing and getting most of the faces in good focus. Standing back and zooming in more should give you the OOF effects you want.


This is the way to get the most out of your flash, and have the best chance against the sun ....


1) In Manual Camera mode fix your Max Sync Speed (1/180th or 1/200th) .....

2) Set your desired aperture (say F5.6), and then set your ISO until your reach your desired background exposure level, using the viewfinder or LCD exposure indicator to judge it against the meter centre level ....(You may hit ISO 100 and still want it darker....in which case just accept that you need a smaller aperture. You might end up at F8, but with a long focal length, standing back and with separation from the background then you can still get nice OOF effects ....)

3) With your flash on the camera hotshoe, set Manual Flash mode and then 1/1 (Full) power ..... read from the distance indicator the correct distance for that power / aperture / ISO combination (this is calculated by the flash using the known values that are transmitted through the hotshoe)


4) Remember this distance and then set up your flash at that distance from the subjects (assuming off-camera flash) ..... for on-camera then obviously you just move yourself to that distance. Make a guessed allowance for any diffuser (eg go closer 3 feet or so if you have a softbox) ..... and shoot!


You have now created the ideal mix between ambient and flash exposures that your equipment can allow ..... by using the maximum power of the flash and using the maximum exposure reducing settings on the camera that are within the max sync speed you are getting the most output possible in relation to the sun.


Last edited by mcgregni; 05-05-2017 at 12:11 PM.
05-05-2017, 12:55 PM   #5
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If u are in bright sunlight then you will have to get the couple to either be in the shade or have their back to the sunlight because you will get squinting, which never looks good, and huge contrast/shadows and the dynamic range will create a problem for the camera. The flash or a reflector can then be used to create fill in effect. You could lock in the exposure by pointing at a sunlight area and locking it in, then if the flash is TTL it should try to match the exposure though its probably best to switch to centre weighted metering to make sure the exposure is primarily based on the couple faces. The problem with the filters is that the picture quality will suffer unless you really push the boat out and get expensive ones.
05-05-2017, 01:11 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
You're right that the ND filter adds to the power needs of the flash as well. With one 'speedlight' then you will be pushing it with HSS in bright light, that's for sure. I also agree with Wired that f3.5 is very wide .... of course what is needed for your DOF effect depends on the focal length and the distance of the background behind the couple. But yes, F5.6 sounds safer, also for focusing and getting most of the faces in good focus. Standing back and zooming in more should give you the OOF effects you want.


This is the way to get the most out of your flash, and have the best chance against the sun ....


1) In Manual Camera mode fix your Max Sync Speed (1/180th or 1/200th) .....

2) Set your desired aperture (say F5.6), and then set your ISO until your reach your desired background exposure level, using the viewfinder or LCD exposure indicator to judge it against the meter centre level ....(You may hit ISO 100 and still want it darker....in which case just accept that you need a smaller aperture. You might end up at F8, but with a long focal length, standing back and with separation from the background then you can still get nice OOF effects ....)

3) With your flash on the camera hotshoe, set Manual Flash mode and then 1/1 (Full) power ..... read from the distance indicator the correct distance for that power / aperture / ISO combination (this is calculated by the flash using the known values that are transmitted through the hotshoe)


4) Remember this distance and then set up your flash at that distance from the subjects (assuming off-camera flash) ..... for on-camera then obviously you just move yourself to that distance. Make a guessed allowance for any diffuser (eg go closer 3 feet or so if you have a softbox) ..... and shoot!


You have now created the ideal mix between ambient and flash exposures that your equipment can allow ..... by using the maximum power of the flash and using the maximum exposure reducing settings on the camera that are within the max sync speed you are getting the most output possible in relation to the sun.
Before reading your comments I was still doing research and stumble on this video.
This guy was shooting in bright sunlight at f22 at sync speed. I didnt think that was even allowed.


If that is the case I will shoot at a smaller aperture and use my two yongnuo 560II flashes at 1/2 power for faster recycle time.
All videos that i have been watching has been talking about HSS. Everybody is talk HSS I guess I just got caught up.
I have to do some tests tomorrow.
Thanks

Culture
05-05-2017, 01:29 PM   #7
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Well F22 is not a good aperture really for portraits ..... it has too much depth of field and will introduce diffraction effects that will reduce image quality.

HSS can work,but it won't give you the most light balancing power against the bright ambient. You can give the flash a boost by using the Gary Fong Powersnoot, but that is not a soft /large light source. However if there's nothing around to cast shadows behind the subjects and the angle is nice then it probably doesn't matter outdoors. It may be too fiddly in your situation though, trying to aim the light accurately ....a softbox will be far easier.

Bear in mind that when shooting outside in bright light, the effects of the flash on faces looks very weak when viewed on the LCD ....it's easy to think it's way underpowered, but once you get inside and run the shots through a RAW converter you see that the flash was plenty powerful enough! This is definitely the case with HSS work ....perhaps things are not as bad as you suspect ?
05-05-2017, 10:39 PM   #8
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HSS is exactly what's called for, Culture, but the flashes you have are too weak. Look at those YouTube videos abd they're using strobes.



05-05-2017, 11:33 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
HSS is exactly what's called for, Culture, but the flashes you have are too weak. Look at those YouTube videos abd they're using strobes.
This is true that Strobes are mostly used. But I saw this, which made feel that I can do the same.



---------- Post added 06-05-17 at 09:38 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
Well F22 is not a good aperture really for portraits ..... it has too much depth of field and will introduce diffraction effects that will reduce image quality.


Bear in mind that when shooting outside in bright light, the effects of the flash on faces looks very weak when viewed on the LCD ....it's easy to think it's way underpowered, but once you get inside and run the shots through a RAW converter you see that the flash was plenty powerful enough! This is definitely the case with HSS work ....perhaps things are not as bad as you suspect ?
I do suppose that f22 is not really good. And I dont think it come to that. Maybe f11.

I do understand your second point and took that into consideration. Checked it on my computer. the problem is that I was shooting at full power with hardly any chance to change my parameters, if the flash is not cutting it.
05-06-2017, 04:43 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Culture Quote
This is true that Strobes are mostly used. But I saw this, which made feel that I can do the same.
Warning: You should observe that Lanier never overpowers the sun, Culture, as you can do with a 600 Ws strobe.

Instead, for the first setup, he puts his model's face into a tree shadow.

For the second setup, he turns the model around away from the sun. There can be a three stop difference between the face and the back of the head.

He is also forced to use a bare flash head instead of any modifier, because he needs the extra stop.

Still, it can be done with the flash very close, and I have done it many, many times with my speedlight.

I use flash more often during the day than I do at night ...


Last edited by clackers; 05-06-2017 at 04:48 AM.
05-07-2017, 05:35 PM   #11
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As mentioned by I think everyone here, you need more flash power. Think about getting a Godox AD 360. It can do HSS. You've already got a Cactus V6II so add the proprietary Godox triggers and you are good to go.

Alternatively you could get a tri-flash mount and mount two additional flashes and use all three in HSS. For the extra battery management (12 AA's if using three flashes) and triggering issues (three flashes need to be triggered) required for the tri-flash option I'd go the Godox path.

Good luck.

Last edited by howieb101; 05-07-2017 at 07:05 PM. Reason: Clarify
05-10-2017, 10:36 PM   #12
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So I have been testing and planning. I will go with 2 stop and a 4 stop ND filters. I will see what I can do with or without them. In addition I will be firing two YN560IIs.

I will also try as much as possible to find shade. I hope everything goes well. I will let you know how it goes.

Culture.
05-11-2017, 03:53 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Culture Quote
and grow as a photographer
You need to stop cruising the buffet table, If you going to do this on a regular basis (wedding photog).
05-22-2017, 11:37 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
You might end up at F8, but with a long focal length, standing back and with separation from the background then you can still get nice OOF effects ....)[/I]
I used this advice to my advantage. And I think it went quite well. I shot at 200mm at about f16. Thanks once again.


All in all it was a good experience. I didnt get to shoot much in the sun as I wanted. We had several locations that was planned.
We went to the first location that was not in the list of locations to shoot.

It was on a bridge. Sun was high up. I used two YN560II. One at full power and the other was half power.
I shot long, close and tight and managed to the guy holding the flash. The were still some shadows but manageable.

We left the bridge to next place. I hoping to get more wide angles there. This was a planned location that the couple wanted. Unfortunately there was an event there so we couldn't shoot.
We got the reception which was near the beach area. I knew it was a forest area. At this time were running behind as the guest were waiting. I manage to grab the couple and took them into the forest and had a quick session there. It really work well there. I was shooting even at f2.8 at 200mm.

I did manage to screw up the evening shot though but I guess I will try to salvage it in post.

Thanks for the advice guys.
Culture.
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