Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-13-2008, 01:34 AM   #1
Junior Member




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 32
wedding tips

Hi!

i'm going to a wedding in a couple of days, and i was hoping for some pointers.

i'm not the official photographer, so pressure is off.

i have just picked up an af-540fgz flash (and i mean just) so any tips on using it properly would be especially appreciated. its a morning wedding, but i hear the official photo sessions are indoors, so i guess the flash will be quite useful.
having never owned an offboard flash before, this one has a dizzying array of options, way too much for me to learn in the 2 days before the wedding.

the rest of my kit in case it helps, k10D, bg-2, da 16-45.
i also have a cheap tamron 80-210, but nothing in that glaring fl gap in the middle for the time being.

thanks for any suggestions.

Mark

02-13-2008, 06:47 AM   #2
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,400
the 540 is a great flash.

Generally I use the flash in manual mode with shutter set to maximum sync speed, and manually set ISO, and white balance.

as for tips, don't rely on auto settings with the flash, the camera will try to set exposure on the basis that there is no flash, and as a result generally give you fill only, which is OK some times, but note that it will take away depth of field control, which is important for weddings. It will also (if auto ISO is on) use the ISO control to attempt to get exposure, resulting some times in a 1600 ISO shot, with minimal flash, as opposed to a full flash shot.


For your shooting, use the camera's metering to tell you the exposure (generally allow under exposure with the flash) Fill will be controlled by how much your shot (based on metering) will be under exposed. Use bounce flash to cut harsh shadows. the 540 has lots of power so this is not a problem, also do some checks on white balance, especially if you intend to only use the flash for minor fill indoors, as room lighting may give you some color different casts.

The K10D is great for this, because to check WB, just take a shot, and then from the Fn menu select WB and you can interactively modify it and see the result on the screen. This will especially help for shots like in the church, where you may not use anything other than ambient lighting.
02-13-2008, 07:40 AM   #3
Site Supporter




Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Oklahoma
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 68
The advantage you have is that you're using digital, so get the flash on the camera and start playing with it. The K10D is noted for inconsistent flash results, but Canon has the same problems, so we're not the only complainers. After over a year of using the 540 with the K10D, here's what I've settled on for the most part:

Use the camera on Tav and set the flash speed to 1/60 inside. Lock the ISO at 400 so the camera can't change it. If at a wedding and taking formals, you could even use 1/30 to get more ambient light. The more ambient light you have to work with, the better off you'll be, and you won't be as likely to have bad shadows and hot spots. If the ceiling is low enough, you can bounce the flash for better results, although I have found that the 540 does better head-on than most flashes. Use the flash on P-TTL. Check after the first shot or two and see if you're getting enough light. The tendency for the K10 is to underexpose. If you're bouncing the flash, you can manually change the zoom on the flash by pushing the zoom button and setting it to a longer focal length, thereby actually increasing the strength of the light reaching the subjects.

The second method is to set the camera on manual and work it just like film. Use 1/60th and an appropriate f-stop for the depth of field you need. Set the flash on auto, ISO 400, match the f-stop or maybe increase it by one. See how the results look.

The camera does a decent job of white balance if it's set to auto. IMO, auto looks more natural than flash WB most of the time. If you have some strange wall coloring or colored ceilings, you might need to mess with WB, but if you have some decent software, you can always change the WB later. More important to get the exposure close.

And whatever you do, don't walk on the pro photographer. Wait till he/she gets his shot before taking yours. Duelling flashes are not good at weddings.

Good luck.
02-13-2008, 08:33 AM   #4
Veteran Member
jshurak's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: philadelphia
Posts: 627
your flash can be triggered wirelessly by your on camera flash. So by all means do so. This will eliminate the harsh shadows that occur from using the flash on camera. Hand hold the flash if need be.

You'll have to set up the K10D to work in wireless mode. What this will do is use your built in flash to trigger the af-540fgz, without having it (on camera flash) add to the exposure.

Then some general flash tips. I would shoot in manual mode. When using a flash, the most important thing to consider is your aperture. the flash fires fast. faster than your shutter speed. So your shutter speed has little bearing on your subject's exposure (what's being lit by the flash). So once you determine a good flash exposure then start looking at your shutter speed.

In flash photography, your shutter speed has most effect on exposing your ambient light. So say your exposing your subject with your flash at full power with your aperture at f/5.6.....using the max sync speed of 1/180 will underexpose the ambient light and leave you with an underexposed background. Your subject will be exposed properly, but you background will be black.........for an example see about 99% of P&S flash shots.

So slow the shutter speed down to bring up the ambient light. This is known as dragging the shutter.


I think the best overall advice would be to take as many pictures and experiment using the flash between now and the wedding.

Also, I tend to type faster than I think! So if anything I wrote needs clarification, I'll do my best to do so! Good Luck!


One more thing! Codiac has written an excellent entry on his blog about bar and night club photography with some really good flash techniques. Make sure to check it out too!

02-13-2008, 08:59 AM   #5
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Northern California
Posts: 475
QuoteOriginally posted by Bob83 Quote
Hi!

i'm going to a wedding in a couple of days, and i was hoping for some pointers.

i'm not the official photographer, so pressure is off.

i have just picked up an af-540fgz flash (and i mean just) so any tips on using it properly would be especially appreciated. its a morning wedding, but i hear the official photo sessions are indoors, so i guess the flash will be quite useful.
having never owned an offboard flash before, this one has a dizzying array of options, way too much for me to learn in the 2 days before the wedding.

the rest of my kit in case it helps, k10D, bg-2, da 16-45.
i also have a cheap tamron 80-210, but nothing in that glaring fl gap in the middle for the time being.

thanks for any suggestions.

Mark
Don't get drunk...

Ray
02-13-2008, 11:38 AM   #6
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: California
Posts: 426
QuoteOriginally posted by Bob83 Quote
Hi!

i'm going to a wedding in a couple of days, and i was hoping for some pointers.

i'm not the official photographer, so pressure is off.

i have just picked up an af-540fgz flash (and i mean just) so any tips on using it properly would be especially appreciated. its a morning wedding, but i hear the official photo sessions are indoors, so i guess the flash will be quite useful.
having never owned an offboard flash before, this one has a dizzying array of options, way too much for me to learn in the 2 days before the wedding.

the rest of my kit in case it helps, k10D, bg-2, da 16-45.
i also have a cheap tamron 80-210, but nothing in that glaring fl gap in the middle for the time being.

thanks for any suggestions.

Mark
Being that it's your first external flash, I wouldn't recommend that you learn how to work every bit of detail, or learning how to balance ambient lighting with manual shutter speeds yet.

The moment is everything is wedding photos and missing a shot because you forgot to change a setting is very disappointing. As a guest, worrying about your photos more than having fun (because weddings are actually fun) isn't worth it in my opinion unless you're being paid to do so.

So my tip to you as you're just starting out is more of a "set it and forget it" setting.
When you are shooting indoors and you want to use the flash:
- always bounce the flash against corners (if they aren't very far) and ceilings that are white.
- Leave the flash on p-ttl and have the flash compensation on the body (not the flash) to +1.
- Shoot in P or Av mode so you can do quick snapshots instead of tweaking everything
- Set camera EV compensation to +1/3 or +1/2.
- Shoot at 400ISO at the minimum. Flash will be 4x more powerful than the flash would be at 100ISO
02-13-2008, 02:33 PM   #7
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 419
QuoteOriginally posted by Bob83 Quote
Hi!

i'm going to a wedding in a couple of days, and i was hoping for some pointers.

i'm not the official photographer, so pressure is off.

Mark
Mark, that's all I needed to read.

I've only got one suggestion, and keep in mind this comes from someone who works as a wedding/event photographer.

If you're a wedding guest, be a wedding guest. It's fine to take your own photographs at a wedding, but stay out of the way of the official photographer.

You might think that's a common sense statement or that I'm being rude saying that, but pause for a moment. If the bride and groom hired a photographer to cover the wedding they want that photographer to capture this once-in-a-lifetime moment. During a wedding there are a lot of things that only happen ONCE.

I am becoming consistently amazed by the number of guests who show up at weddings and actually jump in front of me or my assistants.

Again, I really don't mind if guests take hundreds of photos at a wedding I'm covering ... I just care if they get in my way and prevent the bride and groom from getting the photo that they really want.

Enjoy the wedding and wish the happy couple all the best.
02-16-2008, 05:10 PM   #8
Junior Member




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 32
Original Poster
results...

Hi all.

Thanks for the advice.
The wedding was yesterday, so i'm just now starting to properly evaluate the results.

I ended up introducing myself to the pro photographer, and being very careful not to get in her way. She was good about it tho, after she had got a group pose and taken her shot she would step back for a moment to allow others to have a go.

the ceremony was on the edge of a lake, so the people were in shade, but the lake provided a bright background. This caused me some problems, as the camera seemed to expose for the lake and leave the people very dark. I'm just hoping the professional (and her Nikon D200) had better results. i tried to fill with the flash, but was let down by my lack of understanding of the new flash and the #%$@ing thing wouldn't go off! I got it going, but missed some good opportunities. Any suggestions on how th PP shots that have a bright background and underexposed subjects would be appreciated.

After the ceremony and some official shots, the pro left, which gave me free regin at the reception. I spent most of it using TAv mode and bouncing the flash off the ceiling. Got some pretty reasonable results.

The actual wedding went well and i enjoyed it. except at the beginning of the reception where a waiter stumbled and tipped a glass of beer over my head. Missed my camera tho, so no harm done.

Thanks all

Mark

02-16-2008, 09:53 PM   #9
Pentaxian
Moderator Emeritus




Join Date: May 2007
Location: Edmonton Alberta, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,648
Post one of the shots where the foreground is under exposed. We'll give it a go in PP and tell you what can be done to rescue the shot. Sounds like you had fun and learned a lot from the day. What a crime to spill a beer!
02-17-2008, 04:48 AM   #10
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ste-Anne des Plaines, Qc., Canada
Posts: 2,014
QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
What a crime to spill a beer!
That's the answer of a real Canadian.
02-19-2008, 04:39 AM   #11
Junior Member




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 32
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
Post one of the shots where the foreground is under exposed. We'll give it a go in PP and tell you what can be done to rescue the shot.
Thanks for the offer, Peter. i haven't had a chance to absorb the best ways of posting larger photos, so here is a slightly srunk one. I don't mean to make it too hard for you, but the attached is one of the worse ones. I figure pp that helps this one will do at least as well on the others.

i've included it straight out of the camera without any cropping etc, other than uping the compression a little to make it easier to post.

IIRC the flash was on the camera, but didn't fire for some reason.

Even if you think its a lost cause, i'd appreciate any suggestions from anyone as to avioding this effect in the future.

Thanks

Mark

Last edited by Bob83; 04-07-2008 at 07:06 AM.
02-19-2008, 06:02 AM   #12
Pentaxian
Moderator Emeritus




Join Date: May 2007
Location: Edmonton Alberta, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,648
In the shot you posted I assume you were fairly close to the subject and if the 540 didn't fire, you could have used the onboard flash (that thing always goes off no matter what for me). Have you since done some practicing with the flash? There's a great thread about flash use and I'll try to find it.

What software do you use? I was able to recover quite a bit from the shot and posted 2 results below. I use Paint.net and if you want the software I can post the links. The other thing you could try is a 'mock' HDR process. Take the image and brighten it then save as new. take another and darken it and save as new. Then combine the 3. It might work.

So in PN I first ran shadow (+150) and highlight (+40) recovery Then added some contrast (+15), Then reduced the saturation (-10) last added a little brightness.
Here's the result:
[Image removed to save space]

In this version I only adjusted the curves:
[Image removed to save space]

Not a perfect result but I think better than the original. The main issue with adjusting the original version is that the heavily underexposed areas have very saturated colours and some noise. Was this a RAW image? If so I would open it in Pentax Photo browser first, then run the noise tool at about 1/3 on the slider then save the file as a TIFF for further adjustment.

Last edited by Peter Zack; 06-14-2008 at 06:46 AM.
02-19-2008, 06:36 AM   #13
Pentaxian
Moderator Emeritus




Join Date: May 2007
Location: Edmonton Alberta, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,648
I can see some issues with the pictures above but think you can recover a fairly decent shot from these if you shot in RAW and convert the image to a TIFF for adjusting or if you have PS, I believe you can adjust the RAW file before saving. PN allows me to do RAW adjustments but if the file is saved from Pentax Lab, you can only save as a TIFF or Jpeg.

A few flash threads that might offer some help:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/15974-540-fgz-k10d...pensation.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-camera-accessories/13123-540fgz-wi...operation.html

I'm also wondering if the camera was on multi point metering. If so it's possible that it saw too much of the bright background and decided there was more than enough light for the scene and didn't fire. In a scene like the one posted, I would have taken a couple of shots with spot metering. First would have been metered off the dark jacket. Second would have been off the brides face. Then the camera would have seen the shadowed exposure settings.

Edit. I just checked and you were using spot metering. So I can only assume that you metered the background, possibly between the bride and groom's heads. I measured the image and the center is just below that white building in the background directly in the center. So I bet that was the cameras meter reading (off that triangle of water between them) and that would make sense, since the background is reasonably well exposed. This is where AE,L is very handy. Take a second, slow down and take a meter reading off the brides face. If you have the time, step forward and take that reading, then move back to compose and shoot. Lock the exposure so if you recompose the shot, the meter reading doesn't change. I can't tell what program mode you were in.

Just so other can see what we are talking about, here's the original shot. You might want to donate to this site to get the extra download space and keep the site ad free. Just resize the images to a max of 800 on the longest side and they will download fine here.

Original is here:
[Image removed to save space]
I will delete these in a month or so to save my download space.

Last edited by Peter Zack; 06-14-2008 at 06:46 AM.
02-20-2008, 02:23 AM   #14
Junior Member




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 32
Original Poster
Thanks a lot. You managed better results than i expected.
the posted original was from the camera's .jpg. i was shooting in 'raw+jpg' so i'll go back to the raw's and have a play with your suggestions from there.

QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
I'm also wondering if the camera was on multi point metering. If so it's possible that it saw too much of the bright background and decided there was more than enough light for the scene and didn't fire.

Edit. I just checked and you were using spot metering...
.
As you suggested, i started on multi point metering but saw the results and switched to spot after only a shot or two. i tried to meter on the darker patches but it still was not right. i fiddled with the AE-L but its a feature i haven't got around to playing with yet and mid-ceremony is not the best place to try learn a new feature Will definately aquaint myself with this for future reference.

I also have paint .net installed and i have access to photoshop cs2 if needed. I also may give the mock HDR idea a go. i've been wanting to try that, but been too busy recently.

Thanks for your time

Mark
02-20-2008, 06:27 AM   #15
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Outside of Philly
Posts: 1,564
If you had the 540 mounted and in P-TTL mode/HSS, it should have fired. For that shot, I would have had the camera in Av mode, flash in P-TTL/HSS, and I'm sure the flash would have fired enough power to fill in the subjects, with the background properly exposed as well.

Were you in an Auto mode where flash only fires if needed? In M/Av/Tv/TAv/Sv, the flash SHOULD fire if it's on.
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, days, dslr, flash, photography, tips, wedding
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
marathon tips? s4v8 Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 15 04-17-2010 09:56 AM
10 Autofocus Tips mithrandir Photographic Technique 8 11-24-2008 05:44 AM
Flash tips nystateofmind27 Pentax DSLR Discussion 5 04-12-2007 01:09 PM
Non-technical tips JJJPhoto Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 1 12-21-2006 01:56 PM
tips for wedding photography little laker Photographic Technique 6 10-27-2006 05:09 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:33 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.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