Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
06-01-2014, 01:29 AM   #1
Senior Member
slr_neophyte's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Suzhou China
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 134
Outdoor wedding photos - best camera settings?

Hi there,

I'm very much an amateur photographer, and unfortunately (at least in my opinion) I'm terrible at photographing people. That being said, one of my friends who's just gotten married would like me to take some outdoor wedding pics tomorrow at a park with them. I own a K-5 II, DA 35mm F2.4, DA 18-135mm, DA 55-300mm, and a cheap Phenix 50mm F1.8 prime.

Off the top of my head, I'm thinking the 18-135 will probably be the most versatile, and that I should probably shoot in aperture priority mode - keeping the lens at around F8.0 (the sweet spot) for most of the photos. The forecast is for cloudy, partly overcast skies for tomorrow, with probably not very much sunshine.

Any ideas or suggested parameters I should keep myself within? I'm very new to this!

Thanks

06-01-2014, 01:56 AM   #2
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southern California
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,181
Mostly be cautious about getting too much Depth of Field. I've seen shots of an actual wedding on the beach where someone in a bikini 50 feet behind the couple was nearly in perfect focus, and it was very distracting. Also work on getting the bride's eyes in focus. I believe the DA55-300 will give you better results and has a faster aperture. It's at its strongest from 55-135mm (which is what you'll mostly want to use) whereas the DA18-135 is reportedly at its weakest from 70-135mm.


So use mostly the DA35/2.4 and the DA55-300. The DA35/2.4 can (and sometime should be) shot wide open. The DA55-300 should be stopped down between 2/3 a 1 stop, IIRC (It's been a while since I had mine). With that lens you'll often be better off backing up and zooming to 100 or 135mm rather than being closer to them at 55mm. This will highlight them and give a nice blurred background.

Also get the LightTrac app for iOS or Android and scout out the angle of the sun at the park for the time of day you will be there - just in case there is some sun. This will help you plan how to position them (for example with the sun a little off to one side by 30 or 45 degrees from them).


The Phoenix 50/1.8 would normally be your best choice, but I'm not familiar with the quality of that lens.

Last edited by DSims; 06-01-2014 at 02:01 AM.
06-01-2014, 02:02 AM   #3
Junior Member




Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 43
Hey there!

Personally, a lot of people love the "pro-look" and it is often the blurred out background and the subject sharp. Obviously, shooting with the 18-135 will be a versatile option but I think with your DA 35 (stopped down to around f4) would be a very good semi-wide option. At the same time, if you're going to get some tight shots with some blown out backgrounds, I would take the 55-300 stopped around f5-5.6 and just get tight-tight shots and those'll look awesome.

Hope this helped.
06-01-2014, 02:03 AM   #4
Veteran Member
OregonJim's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posts: 1,329
f/8 is probably not a good idea. You'll want something fast so you can isolate the couple from the background. Of the choices you have available, I'd pick the 50/1.8, assuming the image quality is acceptable (Phoenix is not a brand I'm familiar with).

06-01-2014, 02:31 AM   #5
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southern California
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,181
With the DA35/2.4, most likely you'll want your shots between f/2.4 and f/4 - not above that most of the time. It performs well in that range. Sharpness slowly begins to decrease past about f/4.5.

If I had to take a guess I'd say the Phoenix should be shot within about that same range (f/2.5-f/4.5).
06-01-2014, 03:18 AM   #6
Senior Member
slr_neophyte's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Suzhou China
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 134
Original Poster
Thanks. All great advice. Nobody has mentioned however... is aperture priority mode probably the best to use?
06-01-2014, 03:39 AM   #7
Site Supporter
vagrant10's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: portland
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,327
QuoteOriginally posted by slr_neophyte Quote
Thanks. All great advice. Nobody has mentioned however... is aperture priority mode probably the best to use?
That's what I've used in the past and it got me into trouble with the grooms dark suit (overexposure) or the bride's white dress (underexposure). If I were to do it again, I'd go manual, but make sure you're chimping often to catch changing light conditions. For candids, I'd be using the 18-135, for portrait opportunities, I'd go with the da35. To get good candids, you have to be patient and observant - when you see people having a good time, keep your distance, but keep your camera to your eye and wait til expressions look good - then take multiple photos to make sure you get a useable one where everyone looks good. Pay attention to harsh shadows or blotchy light - if you're posing people, avoid these lighting conditions and take them into even shade. It's a happy event so remember you're happy for your friend and you get to enjoy other people having a good time - hopefully that mindset makes your job less stressful. Try to enjoy the moments around you and don't try to do things you've not done before - stay in your comfort zone where possible. Good luck!
06-01-2014, 03:56 AM   #8
Pentaxian
aurele's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Paris, France
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,906
QuoteOriginally posted by slr_neophyte Quote
That being said, one of my friends who's just gotten married would like me to take some outdoor wedding pics tomorrow at a park with them.
Just to avoid you a lot of trouble, you are NOT the main photographer ?

QuoteOriginally posted by slr_neophyte Quote
Off the top of my head, I'm thinking the 18-135 will probably be the most versatile, and that I should probably shoot in aperture priority mode - keeping the lens at around F8.0 (the sweet spot) for most of the photos.
Don't worry about "soft pictures", in fact that would be better. At f8 you'll see all the "defect" people have on their tuxedo, dress, skin. Wide open or nearly wide open, picture will be a tad softer and you won't notice defect.

To increse blur in the background, use longer FL but try to be as close as the lens allows it to fill the frame.


Last edited by aurele; 06-01-2014 at 04:02 AM.
06-01-2014, 04:19 AM   #9
Senior Member
slr_neophyte's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Suzhou China
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 134
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by aurele Quote
Just to avoid you a lot of trouble, you are NOT the main photographer ?
Actually, I am the primary. My buddy, the groom, also an amateur photographer is also bringing along his Canon, and wants some shots with his as well. My wife will most likely help out also.
06-01-2014, 05:11 AM   #10
Pentaxian
aurele's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Paris, France
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,906
QuoteOriginally posted by slr_neophyte Quote
Actually, I am the primary. My buddy, the groom, also an amateur photographer is also bringing along his Canon, and wants some shots with his as well. My wife will most likely help out also.
so you have absolutely no idea in what kind of trouble you are into. So good luck with that. Do you know why weeding photog charge 5,000$ for a wedding ? You'll soon discover it.

make sure you will have enought battery to do around 2k shots, and memory card to use RAW (or you are dead...). And a second body, we never know (you fell, bam ! no more DSLR. champagne, alcool, people, etc .. we never know what can happened).

To photography people, try to catch the moment, if they are not posing. If they are posing, be sure of what you are asking. I suggest you to look what other wedding photographer do.

Blog | Seattle Wedding Photography | Wedding Photographer Seattle | Mastin Studio Seattle Wedding Photography | Mastin Studio | Seattle, WA (206) 651 4038

Check out with the groom and wife what is planned for the day. be there in advance, find the right setting. create some "dumb card" to remeber things. check out every few shots exposure is good.

etc ...

Next, you'll have all the editing to do. and so on.

I STRONGLY suggest you to tell the Groom and wife that you are not a pro photog, hence, no picture is guarantee. I've seen on this forum many story going really bad excatly like yours because the friend wasn't ... well ... a pro photog and the wife and groom hoped he could do as good as pro photog.

Again, good luck with all this.
06-01-2014, 05:23 AM   #11
Senior Member
slr_neophyte's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Suzhou China
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 134
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by aurele Quote
so you have absolutely no idea in what kind of trouble you are into. So good luck with that. Do you know why weeding photog charge 5,000$ for a wedding ? You'll soon discover it.

make sure you will have enought battery to do around 2k shots, and memory card to use RAW (or you are dead...). And a second body, we never know (you fell, bam ! no more DSLR. champagne, alcool, people, etc .. we never know what can happened).

To photography people, try to catch the moment, if they are not posing. If they are posing, be sure of what you are asking. I suggest you to look what other wedding photographer do.

Blog | Seattle Wedding Photography | Wedding Photographer Seattle | Mastin Studio Seattle Wedding Photography | Mastin Studio | Seattle, WA (206) 651 4038

Check out with the groom and wife what is planned for the day. be there in advance, find the right setting. create some "dumb card" to remeber things. check out every few shots exposure is good.

etc ...

Next, you'll have all the editing to do. and so on.

I STRONGLY suggest you to tell the Groom and wife that you are not a pro photog, hence, no picture is guarantee. I've seen on this forum many story going really bad excatly like yours because the friend wasn't ... well ... a pro photog and the wife and groom hoped he could do as good as pro photog.

Again, good luck with all this.
Trust me, they already know I'm not a pro, and I haven't made any guarantees. But, God, you make this sound scary.
06-01-2014, 06:15 AM   #12
Site Supporter
rbefly's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Denver, Colorado
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,030
Happy Couple?

Hello sir_neophyte,
Lots of good tips so far, I'll add a few ideas.
Isolate them from the background using wide apertures and longer focal lengths, empty or blurred-out space behind them and different shooting angles.
Try using a fill flash to add depth and eye-sparkle. Not on every shot, just experiment with it.
Also use a tripod, remote and reflector (if you have them) to set a posed shot and bounce reflected sunlight onto their faces from the shadow-side. You can stand away from the tripod and fire the shutter with the remote, while holding the reflector or another flash.
Look for light-colored walls or objects for natural bounce/fill, or open-shade spots and work the available light to help you open shadows and model their features. Natural backlight with added (flash or reflector) angled/front fill is a good portrait look.
Make sure you have a spare battery and SD card, shoot in RAW+ and try to bring (at least) a reflector, a white poster board or auto sunscreen will work.
I like Av mode and exposure comp, but maybe full manual would be easier once you've checked with test shots.
The plastic fantastic (take a look at the thread on 'Lens Clubs'!) and tele zoom in the 70-100mm range will likely be your best lenses for this. The DA35 works well up to about f/4.5, bokeh gets a bit busy after that. F/3.2 is my favorite for candids.
Good luck, post some photos!
Ron
06-01-2014, 07:46 AM   #13
Senior Member
slr_neophyte's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Suzhou China
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 134
Original Poster
Hi Thanks so much for all the helpful tips! I did have some other questions - generally - what metering mode do you think is best for my situation? Also, I normally shoot in centre -point focus mode and just reframe my subjects after focusing. Is this still okay, or should I switch to a multi-point auto focus mode, or choose a different point?
06-01-2014, 08:34 AM   #14
Pentaxian
aurele's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Paris, France
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,906
central focus point is good to me.

centre weighted metering is for me a good combo with central focus.

Make sure, you always do 3-4 shots in burst most of the time (to be sure you have shots with people eyes open, or the face not difformed because They speak...)

advices from rbefly are very good. You can always ask people to help by holding reflector and trying to focus a specific part of the body.


What i said may sound scary. It is. It's a huge task. But if you are organised, everything will be fine as much as it can be.

One more suggestion : people are always a bit unconfortable in front of a lens. i suggest you to talk to the people you take in picture. So They can chill out a bit, become more natural. Speak about the day, ask them how happy They are. Ask about anything that will bring good memories, good feelings. It will make them smile, have happy face.

Don't forget about extra batteries, extra memory card. If you have a grip it will help in that aspect.

Get ready to shoot anytime. .
06-01-2014, 08:38 AM   #15
Forum Member




Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: LA
Posts: 89
I am not a wedding photographer, but here are my suggestions:
1. Shoot in RAW - this will give you latitude in case you mess up exposure. Plus, it will allow you to adjust camera settings such as white balance afterwards.
2. Use center-weighted exposure. You want to make sure your subjects are properly exposed.
3. You will find differing opinions, but don't use the center focus and recompose. This can cause missed focus when using large apertures. Select your focus point or use live view and adjust focus.
4. Shoot off of a tripod. This will allow you to adjust poses and things easier.
5. Be positive and keep the couple engaged.
6. Be mindful of backgrounds, don't just use beautiful backgrounds, use backgrounds that will enhance the shot. For example, beautiful foliage often times makes for busy and unpleasing backgrounds.
Good luck, and post results.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, da, pentax help, photography, photos, photos best camera, wedding, wedding photos
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Outdoor wedding - recommend fill flash Heritage Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 13 03-28-2014 08:30 PM
In Camera Settings for Best JPGs MrJed Pentax K-5 3 02-07-2014 04:57 PM
Best camera bag for wedding photography sharepointalex Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 2 11-13-2013 12:15 PM
Outdoor wedding shoot Camera theft mattt Photographic Industry and Professionals 2 09-11-2013 01:00 AM
Newbie w/ K-30 - Best settings for wildlife, outdoor photography Polioliolio Pentax K-30 & K-50 6 05-02-2013 05:21 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:59 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top