View Full Version : Help with some lighting
10-08-2009, 06:16 PM
Ok, so the wedding I am shooting saturday is looking to move inside. Its going to be cold so they are wanting to be a bit more warm. I have shot inside this place before, but without off camera lighting and its not so good, kinda dark. I have drawn a quick estimate of what this place is shaped like, it may be way off as I was just estimating from my head from memory, however it has this rectangle shape. I will have two 580ex II's able to shoot wirelessly via Pocket Wizards. Can anyone suggest where I can set them up to get some decent light during the ceremony?
The front where the groom and bride will stand is up top, the lines on each side are seats, and the red on the right and bottom are windows, The thing that kills the light is the draping over it. I will see if I can modify that to let a bit more light in. Is there somewhere I can set the lights to help light this? Maybe bounce one off the celling and one of the left wall? But where to place them? Any suggestions? I will get there early saturday to set up of course. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. Sorry for the quick sketch, but I hope you get a hint of what I have to work with. There will be more chairs then shown of course. Thanks anyone
10-08-2009, 06:47 PM
First make sure they allow flash photography during the ceremony. Some celebrants do not allow it as they feel it detracts from the solemness of the proceedings.
Next, how high are the ceilings? Probably fairly high, but if they are lower you might could use that to enlarge and diffuse the lights.
How well does your camera handle high ISOs? That may be your only choice.
10-08-2009, 08:07 PM
I shoot with the canon 50D, I was thinking I could just crank up the ISO, I will have to make sure I can shoot with a flash, but talking with the couple it might not be an issue, I was just trying to get some ideas before I decide to crank up the ISO. I know there are plenty of options though. I might be able to shoot flash up to the actual ceremony then shut it off then turn it back on. But I will talk with them tomorrow to get some options. But thanks for some suggestions. I appreciate it!
10-08-2009, 08:08 PM
Oh and the ceiling is a high flat ceiling.
10-08-2009, 08:34 PM
Get to the church with plenty of time to take some test shots. I think your idea is solid, but you might be over complicating it. You may be surprised at how much you can get done bouncing a single on-camera flash while shooting in Raw mode. Don't be shy about cranking up the ISO a bit. I usually try not to go over 800 ISO with Canons (and especially with older Nikons). You can regain about a stop of light (sometimes more) in processing. I give you the example below.
Despite the stained glass windows (which accounts for the yellow lighting), the church was quite dark. I shot the entire ceremony with a single on-camera flash bouncing straight up (around 20-30 feet). Here is the original:
Here is the processed version:
I considered placing two light stands, but opted to go with a single on-camera flash so that I could be more mobile. Setting up light stands can be a great idea - but the trade off is less mobility and setup/tear down time. This takes you away from the action. In the end, I knew I could recover the lost light in processing.
My advice, get to the church early and take some test shots then make your decision. If you do decide to shoot with a single on-camera flash remember to keep your lens as wide open as possible. The closer you zoom in, the darker your images are likely to be (as the lens will probably stop down as you zoom in - obviously this is dependent on the lens). Watch your histogram. If the venue is dark, your histogram will probably lean to the left (the dark side of the scale). Don't let it stack up too far to the left. Try to strike a balance so that you are not under exposing your shots more than about a stop or so. Lastly, resist the urge to turn up the power on your flash (i.e. +1, +2, etc.). This will suck your batteries dry in no time flat and dramatically reduce recycling time increasing the risk of missing key shots.
10-08-2009, 08:48 PM
Its actually not in a church but at a reception hall at a golf club. But your idea about on camera is probably the best bet. Maybe I will put on my light sphere on top and not have the top lid thing on it. I have a clear Gary Fong Light sphere with the white defuser top. That way putting this on the flash I can send light up and bounce and the light will also shoot through the Light sphere for some possible fill. I actually am going to go to the golf club tomorrow and mess around in the reception hall. They dont have anything going on and said that would be fine. I will let you all know how it goes. Thanks for the suggestions. I am glad to have a place like this where I can ask and get some answers!
10-09-2009, 05:18 AM
That's a nice processing job on that image, Steve. It really brightened up nicely. Plus, I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one that has to straighten his horizons in post. ;)
10-09-2009, 08:39 AM
I too have to straiten! So no, you are not alone
10-10-2009, 09:51 PM
Alright, So what I ended up doing was I got there an hour and a half early. I set up two lights to see if I could get something to work. They have two different light sources in the ceiling, and also ambient light coming in the window. I asked if it was ok to just shut the lights out and have the ambient light come in the windows. That was just fine. I opened all the drapes and light was still a bit dark on camera. The ceiling had some crazy pillars so I was not sure if I could get two lights cause bouncing light was kinda funny looking. I ended up finding a spot for the two flashes. I set one on the right side of the illustration above on this post, and pointed it up on the ceiling which sent the light everywhere. I set the other on the left side and bounced off the upper wall ceiling area which sent the light every where on the other side filling it in. I was very happy with this. I shot the ceremony with a 70-200 L IS 2.4 lens (which was rented) with two pocket wizards on the lights and one on my camera (also rented) to trigger the lights . Wow what a nice lens. Hope to own one soon.
At the reception I set that booth idea up that I asked about on here before. Pretty much it was seamless paper (107" x 12 Yards total). I rolled out only about 7 1/2 feet on a backdrop two stand and top support system which I purchased recently. I set up one silver reflector umbrella on camera right at a 45 degree angle and a white shoot through umbrella on camera left at 45 degree angle. Lighting was awesome! And this "photo booth" idea was a hit, big time. I will show a few pics from each part around the wedding and this "photo booth" thing soon, so you can see what I am talking about. Everything in all from the wedding was a ton of fun! More to come from what I did and how some pics were done so you can get an idea of how I shot some and such soon! Thanks for the ideas and reading! Sorry for the length!
10-10-2009, 10:56 PM
It sounds like everything worked out! Great work!
10-11-2009, 04:08 AM
I'll be looking forward to seeing the results of your efforts, Chipe!
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