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Need general lightning advise for Wedding candids

Discussion in 'People' started by andreasb, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. I have been asked not only to be the Best man for my best friends very small wedding (it is both their second wedding) but also to take a "few" wedding shots for them. I have done two weddings for friends before so I'm not nervous (hey the WILL get what they paid for :) )

    My question is this: I have only had one flash before so straight on flash lightning is what I have been using. I now have a second SB-800, and I'm wondering how I should place it to get rid of shadows and give a more natural sidelightning. Should I under-exposure one of them to give softer lightning? As you can tell portrait is not my thing really, and general advise would be welcome.

    I plan to bring my 105 F1.8 AIS, 85 1.4 AF-D, 50mm 1.8 AIS and the 15-55, Body is D2X, and of course a good tripod
  2. The Sb800 comes with a diffuser dome.. Use it :smile: It will soften the lightings and cut down on the light output making shadows less. Underexposing with Digital IMO shouldn't be done as it introduces too much noise in the picture when you lighten it back up. Another suggestion is to bounce your flash with the diffusion dome on or with a white card on top of it to direct the light toward the couple. This will get more shadows in their face and keep it from looking too flat.

    Also I saw you will be using the 85 1.4. If possible take a few shots on the tripod using that and natural lighting with no flash. You may be able to have enough light to do it. I have been at a few weddings that I was able to use my 2.8 without a flash :smile:
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2005
  3. Andreas,

    I am no expert, but I'll tell you my thoughts.

    I am assuming you will be using one of the SB800's on the camera as the master flash unit. You can use either the bounce card, or the diffuser if you wish. You might bounce the other unit off the ceiling to reduce the shadows and produce a more natural looking picture. If you prefer the look of both units fired towards the subject, you need to be thinking of having the second unit at around 45 degrees to the subject and either use the output level compensation on the flash unit or increase the flash to subject distance, in order to get a reduction in the effect of this light.

    I would most certainly read the SB-800 manual so you understand the process, and then practice beforehand, so you know what to do, and can pretty well guarantee the results.

    P.S. Who's going to take a picture of the best man?

    Good luck.
  4. Thanks guys good feeback especially the practise point i sure will, just setup the other SB-800 as the slave and that worked without a hitch...

    not sure I understand this: "with a white card on top of it "

    Steve if I put the flashes at equidistance one of them at 45 dgrees how much should I underexpose the 45 degree flash you think?
  5. If I recall, the 800 has a built-in plastic card that can be extended and acts as a bounce. Alternately, you could simply rubber band a 3x5 white index card to the flash head and leave it extended at the top. Both will provide a bounce mechanism for the flash, softening the light hitting the subject. Of course you should angle the flash head up. I've used this technique quite a few times with success.

    If I might add, assuming I understood you correctly, I'd rather use the light at 45* as a key light and leave the on-camera flash as the fill. This would provide directional lighting, rather than flat head-on lighting. 45* might even be too much. If you have a volunteer you can use, I'd suggest playing around with the angles and intensities on the flash and see the effects.

    You could also do a google search on "lighting ratios" to understand what's happening then you could better determine a starting point for setting the flash values. I'd personally start with one flash (the fill) at -1 compared to the other, then change the settings and see the effects. Your off camera light provides the illumination of the face while the fill slightly lightens the shadow side of the face as viewed by the camera. It will provide great modeling of the facial features if you follow that logic.
  6. Ok I get it with the "white card", never thought of it that way :) , and thanks so much for the other suggestions
  7. Andreas, I bought a stand and a small umbrella for my second flash. I use a diffuser on the master and the umbrella for the second and the lighting is quite even and soft. I practiced around the house before venturing out.
  8. Thanks Gordon, I will give it a try

  9. Andreas,

    I think Kevin is correct. It would be preferable to have the off-camera flash as the one providing the modelling (i.e more powerful, or closer) and the on-camera flash as the fill flash.

    As Gordon says, some sort of stand for the off-camera flash will enable you to accurately get sufficient height, so you don't get a "horror film" lighting effect.

    I think the ratio is often 2-1 for the main/fill lighting. I am not sure what that relates to on the SB-800 adjustments, but starting at -1 sounds like a good idea to me. When you practice, you will see whether you like the effect.
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