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09-19-2012, 09:57 AM   #1
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Wedding Photo, Flash.. help!

As i'm offered to shoot at wedding ceremony i'm wondering what flash i have to buy to make PERFECT pictures there? I'm owner of K-5 and is it capable of shooting on wedding without problems? Doing igood pictures and stuff?

09-19-2012, 10:07 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zandroido Quote
I'm owner of K-5 and is it capable of shooting on wedding without problems? Doing igood pictures and stuff?
Not without some direction. If you know how to shoot weddings you can do a fine job with any camera.
09-19-2012, 10:14 AM   #3
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Wedding is one of the hardest types of photography, I would not even attempt it without lots of practice or working with a mentor for several weddings before doing one on my own.

For flash you need a good p-ttl flash at least, best to have off camera ability with radio triggers and soft boxes for the group pictures.

There are a number of threads on the forum with good advice on doing weddings though, just search for wedding.
09-19-2012, 10:54 AM   #4
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If you're new to flash, unfortunately, it's best to get an expensive one with all the bells and whistles. It will do most of the hard math for you. I highly recommend the Metz 58 AF2, but you may be able to save some money by buying a used Pentax AF540 (they're a bit easier to find because people don't like to part with their Metz flashes, and the 58 AF2 is still fairly new)

If you're a grizzled old veteran (or once you become a grizzled old veteran), any cheap manual flash will work, guide number is the only thing you really need to worry about.

09-19-2012, 11:34 AM   #5
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first and most importantly don't be the only photographer there! get another person with a good camera to be your partner and take shots as well.
go to the places you are going to photograph ahead of time and have a plan. where can I get a good uncluttered background? where is the best lighting? etc
where are your primary concerns, inside the church? reception room? outside? is the room's ceiling low enough to bounce your flash (which gives superior results compare to the flash on top of your camera)
I have only done a couple of weddings with my wife. she does the bride getting ready, I do the groom. then we both meet at the place where the wedding is and both take photos from different positions.
ask the bride and groom some questions about their expectations (backgrounds, who it the main people in there lives that you can concentrate on)
one thing to remember... a lot of people think bright sunshine is the best, but most photographers know that open shade or soft lighting is the best. window shots work well if you are inside.

I used a smc FA 50 1.4 and she used a 17-70. hers was too slow for some shots, so that is where my shots helped the overall package

I am sure people with more experience can help you more

good luck

randy
09-19-2012, 12:04 PM   #6
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Zandroido

The best advice I can give you is practice!! If you've never used flash for portraits before get a flash gun. A Metz or similar will do you good. Once you get your gun start shooting like crazy! Practice straight on, bounce portrait and landscape.

If you have a little money look at Midwest Photo's starving student kits (mpex.com)

For a good tutorial and good information take a look at strobist.blogspot.com

Perfect pictures come not from your equipment, but from your understanding of the equipment. Knowing your location, knowing how the location and natural light and the flash will work together and knowing how your equipment works are all pieces of the puzzle. The only way to learn is by taking lots of photos.

Dave
09-19-2012, 12:07 PM   #7
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I own Metz AF-2 (works fully auto and manual) and Yongnao YN-560 (manual only) and have used them both at weddings. I try to do without flash for as long as I can and once I do decide to use flash, I pay a lot attention to balancing ambient light with flash power - something I still need to master though.

If you own f2.8 lenses then I suggest you do the same. You should get good results up to ISO 3200 and even 6400, but you can of cause add in the flash if you do not want that high ISO.

I only shoot in manual (cam and flash). This allows my exposures to be more consistent, but you do need to pay attention to exposures a lot - I'd say you need to do that anyways though.

I also always (when I can) bounce my flash. When indoors in somewhat normal/bright conditions I'd be shooting with something like ISO 800-1600 @ 1/125th or faster. Flash power depends on aperture being used.

When it gets darker as in late evening/night, I drop my shutter speed to something like 1/60th and boost the flash a bit.

Pay attention to subject distance. The closer they are the more light they will receive.

Try PTTL and manual during day and evening before the wedding so you can get even the slightest feel for it - try in larger rooms. Small rooms will make it looks like a piece of cake thing and it's not.

If you plan on shooting outdoors against bright sky, such as during sunset then a flash unit that supports HSS is a must and the YN-560 is no longer an option for you.

Tip 1: You can rotate the flash head to control the power - this is often faster than operating a flash. The YN-560 is very quick to operate though.

Tip 2: Use whatever fits the criteria to block the flash head to cast light directly at your subjects - this reduces reflections on skin, glasses etc etc. a lot and the end result is
awesome: the black foamie thing ..
pro vs. typical flash usage.

Tip 3: Get some gels - you'd probably want to use orange gels (tungsten light is most common, but there are no guarantees) on the flash head. It will help balance the color of the flash light with the tungsten light at the location. This is often overlooked but the end results look much better than using no gels since the temperatures/color of your flash and the majority of lights at the location will be closer together.

Shoot RAW get extra SD cards if you need to.
09-22-2012, 07:58 PM   #8
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I took my camera to a wedding today just for fun, I can tell you that you are setting yourself up for a nightmare. At the very least get a really good P-ttl flash and practice with it ahead of time. If its an indoor wedding with constant artificial lighting, then find your angles and make test shots ahead of time. If you can get out of being the photographer do so, I don't have a lot of portrait experience myself and I can't even count the number of ways I screwed shots up today.

09-22-2012, 08:28 PM   #9
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One of the most important aspects of shooting weddings is knowing your equipment, all of it, like you were born with it. Contemplating photographing wedding(s) without knowing what kind of equipment you might want is beyond irresponsible.
09-23-2012, 07:19 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by PPPPPP42 Quote
I took my camera to a wedding today just for fun, I can tell you that you are setting yourself up for a nightmare. At the very least get a really good P-ttl flash and practice with it ahead of time. If its an indoor wedding with constant artificial lighting, then find your angles and make test shots ahead of time. If you can get out of being the photographer do so, I don't have a lot of portrait experience myself and I can't even count the number of ways I screwed shots up today.
What could possibly go THAT wrong??


@all I'm not the only shooter ofc cause it will be my first expirience but as people are saying flash is most important thing so i wonder what to use to have a normal usable shots. And I guess k-5 is good in terms of wedding photography because as i noticed everyone on wedding are carying Full Frames, mostly mk2 and stuff.
09-23-2012, 07:55 AM   #11
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The K5 is actually one of the best cameras to take to a wedding because of it's clean high ISO performance and dynamic range, and I think many Canon and Nikon shooters would bring one along if they only had the glass for it. You should be fine there.

Flash on the other hand... There are a multitude of individual variables that can go wrong, and then you can also have combination's of things go wrong. You need to consider:
  • The direction of the light
  • The quality of the light (how hard/how soft)
  • The ratio of flash to ambient light you want to achieve
  • The color temperature of both
  • The color temperature of the flash at different power levels
  • Height and color and angle of the ceilings
  • Your flash recycle times
  • Where the shadows will fall
  • Will you have enough power to illuminate groups of people standing in rows?
And a big one:
  • Is flash even allowed in the venue?
If you don't know the answers to these, I'd suggest you discover them, very quickly. Read David Hobby's Strobist blog. Start with the Lighting 101 and 102 sections, and then you can pick and choose what seems relevant. Then I would watch some youtube videos on wedding photography. I can tell you that you'll want to bring a couple fast primes and a good pTTL flash or three, a tripod or monopod, and some light modifiers like a stofen and a collapsible softbox.
09-23-2012, 08:13 AM   #12
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Zandroido: If you have 2.8 lenses then you should be in good shape and could shoot the entire day and night without any flash (I did). Yes, there will be some noise and yes a FF cam handles noise better - but none of my clients has so far commented on noise on my K-x photos (now K-30). Instead I've had positive feedback on my exposures. I try hard not to overexpose skin tones so that's nice - it's much harder to pay for gear that will give you better exposures :P

I personally feel my low light pics have too much noise, but that's a different matter.

As I wrote before, I prefer to balance flash and ambient but biased towards ambient light - however, what I didn't mention before is that I rely much more on flash when ppl go crazy on the dance floor. Flash is very handy in such case.
09-23-2012, 09:15 AM   #13
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I think the number one problem I had was that is was an outdoor late afternoon wedding with harsh angled sunlight in patches though the trees with generally dark background, so it was next to impossible not to blow something out in a shot. If any skin got caught in that light I had to under expose everything else in the shot or it was 100% guaranteed to completely blow out. I'm not sure even fill light with a flash would have fully fixed things because so much was in patchy shadows.

Being a photoshop expert with an actual copy of photoshop that has burn and dodge tools would have been rather critical for someone wanting to do this shoot. There was even crap in front of the ceremony up front, so if you used a flash you got a highlighted deck railing across your picture. I'm sure the pro they hired got good posed shots of people with his fill flash, but I'm really curious to see how he managed with the shots of the ceremony, he was dancing around like a monkey trying to find angles that didn't put the shadowed people in front of the hard light on the trees behind them or put a solid object across them. Chromatic aberration city. I was seriously going to climb a tree at one point but there were no branches to sit on at the right height and I didn't want to have to cling to a tree with my legs for the whole ceremony while operating a camera. Had I been required to shoot this wedding and seen the mess they had for me I would have borrowed a deer stand from my friend and attached it to the tree, no joke.
Once we got indoors for the reception it was like a dark cave, even 800ISO wasn't close to a useable shutter speed. I am not skilled enough to use a flash without making it look like I just threw a flash bang at them and light didn't bounce flash super well there.
09-23-2012, 02:27 PM   #14
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Don't forget the batteries, and possibly chargers.
09-23-2012, 05:15 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by PPPPPP42 Quote
I think the number one problem I had was that is was an outdoor late afternoon wedding with harsh angled sunlight in patches though the trees with generally dark background, so it was next to impossible not to blow something out in a shot. If any skin got caught in that light I had to under expose everything else in the shot or it was 100% guaranteed to completely blow out. I'm not sure even fill light with a flash would have fully fixed things because so much was in patchy shadows.
Sometimes you just have to hammer that ambient light into submission with your flash and shutter speed. The cool thing about having a high enough shutter speed is those ugly shadows you see caused by the light coming through the trees start to disappear. Of course you have to add light back in with your flash to make up for the ambient you're cutting out.


QuoteOriginally posted by PPPPPP42 Quote
Once we got indoors for the reception it was like a dark cave, even 800ISO wasn't close to a useable shutter speed. I am not skilled enough to use a flash without making it look like I just threw a flash bang at them and light didn't bounce flash super well there.
There are several things you can do to get good flash photos, but really it's best to do them all in combination if at all possible:
  • Get it close
  • Get it big
  • Get it off camera
  • Get your subjects away from the wall
  • Gel the flash to match the ambient light
  • Use a slower shutter speed
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