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10-12-2015, 08:26 AM   #1
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Camera mode(s) to use at a wedding?

This weekend I'll be attending a wedding. I like to use these events to get better at photography (and my wife doesn't mind). The bride and groom have professional photographers and no one has any expectations of my photos. Typically I shoot in manual as my talent doesn't yet match the other folks here on the forum. When shooting manual I find myself taking the same picture multiple times (adjust aperture, shutter, try a different iso and repeat) until I get results I'm happy with. At a wedding this is not possible as special moments are fleeting. For the folks here, what mode do you recommend using at wedding? Do you change modes for specific places (ceremony, reception) or changes in light?


If It helps I plan to bring the following:
K-30,
Sigma 8-16mm (the venue is on Lake Michigan and will hopefully have plenty of good landscape vistas),
DA* 16-50mm (try to stick to f/5.6 for sharpness but will likely need the f/2.8 as the night wears on),
DA* 55m (for portraits and those bokeh-ful detail pictures)


Finally, is it advisable to calibrate the auto-focus on any of these lenses? How is this done?

10-12-2015, 09:02 AM   #2
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That's a mouthful to answer and best I can say is if you're fumbling around with exposures and getting the technical end right, you will most likely miss moments and that time is also better spent working on your compositions. My suggestion is to learn to use auto ISO, aperture priority and EV compensation. That combo will cover 80% of your shooting if not more.
10-12-2015, 10:07 AM   #3
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Use auto mode.
10-12-2015, 10:27 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
That's a mouthful to answer and best I can say is if you're fumbling around with exposures and getting the technical end right, you will most likely miss moments and that time is also better spent working on your compositions. My suggestion is to learn to use auto ISO, aperture priority and EV compensation. That combo will cover 80% of your shooting if not more.
This, and learn how to meter properly.

10-12-2015, 12:14 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
That's a mouthful to answer and best I can say is if you're fumbling around with exposures and getting the technical end right, you will most likely miss moments and that time is also better spent working on your compositions. My suggestion is to learn to use auto ISO, aperture priority and EV compensation. That combo will cover 80% of your shooting if not more

Thanks tuco, I'll try aperture priority and EV compensation. I'm assuming EV compensation is used when the number in the lower right of viewfinder is off due to some objects being very bright (sky) or dark in the image.




QuoteOriginally posted by JibbaJab Quote
This, and learn how to meter properly.

Thanks JibbaJab. I use the number in the lower right of the viewfinder as a guide when in manual, if this is what you're referring too.
10-12-2015, 12:17 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Newtophotos Quote
Thanks tuco, I'll try aperture priority and EV compensation. I'm assuming EV compensation is used when the number in the lower right of viewfinder is off due to some objects being very bright (sky) or dark in the image.
Auto ISO is a significant thing. Don't disregard it. I use EV compensation to tweak exposures on the fly.
10-12-2015, 02:19 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Newtophotos Quote
Thanks JibbaJab. I use the number in the lower right of the viewfinder as a guide when in manual, if this is what you're referring too.
Yes, but it's also important to understand what objects you should meter off of in order to correctly set your exposure. For example, if you're metering off of a fair skinned subject, you want your meter at +2/3 EV. Sky and grass would be +0 EV. A simplified guide can be found here: Zone System: The Basics - Click it Up a Notch . This takes most of the guesswork out of trying to get your exposure correct, then you can monkey around with the exposure compensation like tuco says.
10-12-2015, 04:00 PM   #8
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Identify the professional photographers and their second shooters, and stay out of their way at all costs. I asked a pro photographer at a wedding if she had a second shooter somewhere and she was incredibly thankful: "No, but OMG, nobody has ever had the courtesy to ask me that before. Thank you." Also, avoid using a flash since it may screw up their images. Other than that, have fun.

10-12-2015, 04:36 PM - 1 Like   #9
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If I were you, I would approach in photo journalistic manner and I would keep my distance. First of all, you can't be anywhere near where the main photographer is. It is just annoying when a photo is ruined by some guy sticking his head into the frame. Second of all, While the pro is doing the formals, shooting the bride with the groom and etc, walk around the place where the wedding take place and try to catch candid moments of all the guests.
Your photos will be different and unique cuz the pro often doesn't have enough time for those shots. Also, usually guests at weddings love to get photographed and bother the main photographer (which in some occasions can be annoying). Use that to you advantage.

You gear is nice and capable, no worries about that.

Good luck, post some pics

Oh, and use Av + exp. comp. + remember how camera meters.

Last edited by Apapukas; 10-12-2015 at 04:44 PM.
10-13-2015, 12:43 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Newtophotos Quote
DA* 16-50mm
QuoteOriginally posted by Newtophotos Quote
DA* 55m
Since you're not the hired hand, those will be the best bets, I would think. If you have something bright and longer, it would be even better. 55mm isn't that long especially if you're in a church or other large venue.

I often used the 100mm macro when shooting weddings or baptisms as a guest.
10-13-2015, 01:34 PM   #11
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Always M.

I also have DA*55 and DA*16-50 on weddings...
10-13-2015, 06:36 PM   #12
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I'd advise to just have fun playing with what you want to bring and experimenting.

Even just sticking the DA*55 and using it as best you can compose around it will give you little tid-bits of shots that were not covered by the main photographer.


If you wanted to be consistent and more serious, I'd have to advise learning how to use flash (esp how to bounce it and set it manually)
10-13-2015, 11:04 PM   #13
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Id be using the 16-50 mostly, don't waste time with lens changes.

And use the green button lots, either TAv, Av, or M mode.

Don't be afraid of ISO up to atleast 1600.

Edit - and with regard to fine focus adjsutment, there are several ways, I know two,

one is rough and ready, lay a ruler on the table, photograph it with max aperture, from around 45 degrees focussing on the 150mm mark, I suggest use either most common zoom focal length, or mid range zoom focal length (or half way between those two FL) then crop in on your screen and see where the 'in focus zone is, if its not roughly equally spaced each side of 150mm then adjust in fine focus until it is.

second is more involved, there are videos on you tube but i've used my internet limit for now so bare with me, set camera on tripod, aimed at target on wall around 50 times the distance from camera as you focal length of interest, manually focus (with live view), don't adjust focus on lens, hit shutter release or back focus button and the little green hexagon (focus indicator) will beep, adjust the fine focus setting up one notch at a time until the green hexagon is sluggish, remember the fine focus number this occurred at, adjust fine focus again, down a notch at a time until green hexagon again becomes sluggish, set your fine focus to half way between those two sluggish 'book ends'.

Last edited by Waratah; 10-14-2015 at 12:06 AM.
10-17-2015, 08:21 AM - 1 Like   #14
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This was going around a while back--it's something to keep in mind when there's a pro photographer at the event: Guest Photographers or: Why You Should Have an Unplugged Wedding
10-17-2015, 03:21 PM   #15
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For a quick adjustment, I pick a well lit object that is small, like for example an acorn in the driveway. Then take a picture of it at roughly a 30-45 degrees angle and see how sharp it is. Adjust the front/back auto focus until the object is in perfect sharpness.
Of course you want as shallow DOF that your lens will allow

Randy
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