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Thread: The Inevitable Wedding Shoot

  1. #1

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    The Inevitable Wedding Shoot

    Yes the bloody inevitable has happened. One of my Brothers in law is getting married later this year, 2nd time around, low key, low budget, and knowing my previous experience has asked me to be the photographer. Bugger, a night of working and staying sober while everybody else gets smashed and has a good time.

    My main reason for this post is in regard to my on camera flash, an SB600. I have the lighting for the formal posed shots covered with fixed lights, but I'm thinking along the lines of a diffuser arrangement to cover the times when the usual bounce is not an option. In the past I had a Metz with enough power to just about bounce off the moon, or diffuse through a couple of layers of a white handkerchief.

    I'm here starting the old argument of whether I should consider either the "Demb Flip-it + diffuser" or the "Gary Fong Tupperware" or does anyone have a better idea, and I don't completely rule out a home made "Better Bounce Card". I'm thinking towards the Demb with the ability to angle the reflector for bounce where there is no suitable ceiling.

    All advice welcome.

  2. #2

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    Re: The Inevitable Wedding.

    I'm a Gary Fong fan myself Bill - happy to take and post some demo shots if you want to frame some terms of reference for me.

  3. #3

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    Re: The Inevitable Wedding.

    Well Colin, it is going to be a day/night job, I would say at least 12-14 hours to cover from brides preparation through to the send off. I have access to my step sons D70 and SB800 as backup.

    As this will be a backyard wedding there will obviously be a need for fill flash, and a lot of the evening/night partying will be outdoors too. I hate direct fill flash and direct undifused flash.
    I appreciate the ability to put the dome in the Lightsphere and use that as direct if needed.

    Advice re clear or cloud, and any sneaky tips re range and compensation etc. will be appreciated.

  4. #4

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    Re: The Inevitable Wedding.

    Hi Bill,

    Here begins a journey!

    If you haven't done so already, pop on to www.aljacobs.com and download a copy of the wedding book in PDF format. Al's a "survivor" of over 400 weddings and has put together some valuable tips with a lot of good humour thrown in (it would actually be more funny if all of them weren't based on real experiences!).

    With regard to flash and diffusers ...

    Have a read of ...

    Best Bounce Flash Angle? for some background info about the lightspheres (I'm too lazy to retype it here!) ...

    - Cloudy or clear doesn't make a bit difference. Cloudy is better for formal portraiture whereas clear is better suited to photojournalism, but there's BIG overlap between the two.

    - I've got a few spare copies of the Gary Fong DVD on using them - happy to post you one if you like.

    - In my experience the lightspheres have an advantage over many of the others in that they don't just diffuse the light - they throw a portion of it forward, so you don't get dark areas in eye sockets and around ears, whereas with some of the others, the results you get depend more on the surroundings where you're shooting.

    - Dome off if bouncing, dome off if direct.

    Nikon have a good reputation for flash exposure accuracy - so I'm guessing that you probably won't need much compensation - remember though that they do eat a bit of light - so depending on the situation you may need to up the ISO / stop up etc.

    Does this help for a start?

  5. #5

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    Re: The Inevitable Wedding.

    Yep thanks mate. DVD comes with the diffuser from the Aus agent. Have done general research on the unit in the past and did detailed research this afternoon.
    Have pretty well decided on the clear unit for a bit better reach, warmth etc I can always add in PP.

    Thanks for your advice, it was the deciding factor on my choice

  6. #6

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    Re: The Inevitable Wedding.

    If it's any help, I bought 3 of them - showed them to a wedding photographer collegue -> he how uses them (actually, he borrowed one of mine and didn't want to give it back, so I sold it to him!). He told a wedding photographer friend in Australia -> he now uses them.

    There's a pattern developing here ...

  7. #7
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    Re: The Inevitable Wedding.

    Hi Bill44,
    try to take the lights off the hot shoe for at least couple of shots. Check out http://www.lighting-essentials.com/ and http://www.strobist.blogspot.com/ for lighting ideas.

    If you can, use both SB-800 and SB-600 for additional effect. don't forget to put in that 5th battery in the 800.

    finally have fun at the wedding.

  8. #8

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    Re: The Inevitable Wedding

    The purpose of both wedding and crime scene photography is to record legal evidence. Back when we hunted the mastadon and giant sloth, my brother got me to take photos of his wedding. I agreed to take photos but arranged for a regular wedding photographer to be hired. The afternoon before the wedding day I found that the best man had failed to arrange a bachelor party. (I had just assumed that I was not invited). Unacceptable! Victims of matrimony deserve a proper kick-off. Ceremony must be observed. At the last minute, I put something together. The available venue was the Lonesome Coyote Saloon (a low joint on the edge of city control with excellent live music). It was a historic affair. On such short notice, many of my brother's friends couldn't be contacted or were unavailable. To fill in the ranks I invited the bride's brothers. Since that loathsome hoard was all against the marriage - I figured it would be interesting if nothing else. The following morning (after a polite interview with police detectives regarding certain details related to the butcher's bill for the aforementioned affair) my shattered body was dressed and delivered to the place of execution. Like any wounded beast I crawled away to hide. I woke to find my sanctuary infested with bride's maids changing into their gowns. I shot off several rolls of film while they were dressing before they took any attention. Several great shots... Note: they all had more clothes on than what is worn at the beach or an exercise club...

  9. #9
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    Re: The Inevitable Wedding

    Thanks Raycer for this lighting essentials link.

    Very interesting stuff on it.

  10. #10
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    Re: The Inevitable Wedding

    Bill,
    I feel your pain. But hey it's your brother. You could give him and your soon to be sister-in-law the best wedding memories ever, so it might be worth it.

    If I may, since this is low-key, I have some pointers.

    You might enjoy it. Important don't forget to get in some of the pictures as well. Don't; fret , you can still have a few towards the end after all the formalities are over.

  11. #11

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    Re: The Inevitable Wedding

    Thanks for the advice folks, it's not the first wedding I've shot just the first for a long time. I usually avoid them but this one I'm actually looking forward to.
    SWMBO and I have actually been close to the relationship from the start, and have watched it grow and blossom, quite an enjoyable experience considering what the B-I-L has been through in the past.

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