About group shots at dinner tables on weddings


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IsenGrim

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Jan 28, 2008
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#1
Hi all,

I always have this problem of my flash illuminating the table (of white table cloth) instead of the group seated behind the table. How can I solve that? (the flash is recognising the table as the subject and correctly illuminating it instead of the group behind)

As of now, the only solution i use is the up the power of the flash output when I take group shots behind the table. (then sometimes table overexposed or reflect alot of light due to white color and/or metallic surface) Any pros here have solution?

will post example pictuer later when i get home.
 

zcf

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Apr 10, 2005
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#3
external flash and ceiling bounce, if allowed. Or use something translucent to block the lower angle of the flash.
 

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IsenGrim

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#4


THis is the one. I cant Up the exposure anymore. im already at 1/40~1/50 f2.8 iso1600.

and im using 580ex2 + omni bounce set at an angle 60deg upwards from normal. IF im not wrong, i already set +1EV on my flash compensation.

as other pictures, the flash is taking the table as a metering subject instead of the group. how can i change that? I'm using manual mode and ETTL +1ev

edit: I can avoid the problem by not including the table in the frame. I try to do that but thats not always possible.
 

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ardnirun

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Sep 22, 2008
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#5


THis is the one. I cant Up the exposure anymore. im already at 1/40~1/50 f2.8 iso1600.

and im using 580ex2 + omni bounce set at an angle 60deg upwards from normal. IF im not wrong, i already set +1EV on my flash compensation.

as other pictures, the flash is taking the table as a metering subject instead of the group. how can i change that? I'm using manual mode and ETTL +1ev

edit: I can avoid the problem by not including the table in the frame. I try to do that but thats not always possible.
if it was me..
i'd be using 1/60
f5.6
iso 400 maybe..just maybe push to 800

flash at ettl..pointing vertically upwards..with my bouncecard-snoot hybrid on it..

thats just me...

and uhmm maybe its just me..but i think your white balance is abit off

btw..wats the colour of the ambient light anywaes?...i'd probably use an orange gel on my speedlite..

oh yuh...maybe u could try the flash exposure lock button..meter off the people and then recompose..and shoot.
 

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bengchiat

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Mar 14, 2008
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#6
why give urself trouble by hving so much of the table?

cut 2/3 away when posing so table is just the lower one third n problem solve :>

thats my way of shooting.

btw, u must be tall,
or at least taller than me.
the pic has a very looking down feel.
 

IsenGrim

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Jan 28, 2008
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#7
why give urself trouble by hving so much of the table?

cut 2/3 away when posing so table is just the lower one third n problem solve :>

thats my way of shooting.

btw, u must be tall,
or at least taller than me.
the pic has a very looking down feel.
Aye thats what i do most of the time. but sometimes cannot coz group too big and they die die wanna together. (or they got 60 tables to cover) this picture just for illustration. 1 of the bad shots.
Edit: i average height only hahha 1.77m

if it was me..
i'd be using 1/60
f5.6
iso 400 maybe..just maybe push to 800

flash at ettl..pointing vertically upwards..with my bouncecard-snoot hybrid on it..

thats just me...

and uhmm maybe its just me..but i think your white balance is abit off

btw..wats the colour of the ambient light anywaes?...i'd probably use an orange gel on my speedlite..

oh yuh...maybe u could try the flash exposure lock button..meter off the people and then recompose..and shoot.
1/60 f5.6 iso400? that will give 4 more stops under in the backgroud leh at my setting already 1stop under. den bg will be black. im already using CTO gel + tungsten wb. (lousy cam can only set to tungsten lowest) hmm FEL ar.. okok friday got another dinner function. i go try use FEL. thanks for the suggestion man i will try your setting also

or maybe i should make a bouncecard-snoot for table shots
 

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J-Chan

Senior Member
Sep 21, 2005
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#8
If you had access to the ballroom before the wedding dinner starts proper, I suggest you could do a manual setting including the flash on manual, now it seems the flash exposure is probably 2 stops off the ambient? With table to table shots, the flash to subject distance stays roughly the same and you can afford to get the flash on manual to get your proper exposure for every single shot. If you have a lightmeter with you even better to nail your flash/ambient ratio at where the group would be.
 

ardnirun

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Sep 22, 2008
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#9
or maybe i should make a bouncecard-snoot for table shots
uhm..i dun like to diffuse or scatter my flash..try my bestest to direct it somewhere....i dun need the background actually....just the people..very confident that it will expose the people nicely..if not..just up the iso to 800..and/or play abit with flash exposure compensation

most of my pics i use 5600kelvin as colour temperature too..(this also depends on the avalaible light colour of the room too..whether tungsten or fluorescent

maybe u can go here for some tips..i learn my flash from reading his stuffs and experimenting on his concepts...
 

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IsenGrim

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Jan 28, 2008
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#10
If you had access to the ballroom before the wedding dinner starts proper, I suggest you could do a manual setting including the flash on manual, now it seems the flash exposure is probably 2 stops off the ambient? With table to table shots, the flash to subject distance stays roughly the same and you can afford to get the flash on manual to get your proper exposure for every single shot. If you have a lightmeter with you even better to nail your flash/ambient ratio at where the group would be.
hmm dont really understand "2 stops off the ambient" part but i guess you're right. i should setup a manual flash calculation b4 the event for table shots.

on the note of lightmeters, unfortunately, i didn't have the chance to encounter one, nor use one, nor even how to use one. hahha I know you're supposed to point its "spot"?, for the lack of a better term, at the subject and if will show you an EV reading, like 14ev? den set the camera settings (ss aperture and iso) to give a 14ev total. (and i dont even know how to convert from ev to aperture+ss+iso)
 

bengchiat

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Mar 14, 2008
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#11
ur height average? :<
if we average our height, than we might be average.
know how tall(or short) i m now? :>

with a bigger group,
its still the same.
just include more of the backgd.
it looks way better than the messy table anyway.

btw, my setting usually is iso 800, f4 n a speed lesser than 60.
 

bengchiat

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Mar 14, 2008
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#12
uhm..i dun like to diffuse or scatter my flash..try my bestest to direct it somewhere....i dun need the background actually..just the people..very confident that it will expose the people nicely..if not..just up the aperture to 1600..

most of my pics i use 5600kelvin as colour temperature too..except for those with tungsten lighting in the room..

maybe u can go here for some tips
hw to up aperture to sixteen hundred?
 

IsenGrim

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Jan 28, 2008
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#14
ur height average? :<
if we average our height, than we might be average.
know how tall(or short) i m now? :>

with a bigger group,
its still the same.
just include more of the backgd.
it looks way better than the messy table anyway.

btw, my setting usually is iso 800, f4 n a speed lesser than 60.
hmm good idea. i shall try all all these on friday. FEL/manual or include more bg when all else fails. hahhaa. will only resort to building a snoot-bouncecard if all fails hahaa. can try the snoot on sunday's wedding.

hw to up aperture to sixteen hundred?
LoL mine max 32 nia. hahahahhaha iso1600
 

IsenGrim

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Jan 28, 2008
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#16
OH BTW!!! i just remembered.
I know alot of nikon friends who does not bother about the zoom on the flash. they just use the diffuser panel for 14mm + their omnibounce. and it gives great results!

any people here do that for canon580ex2? use the 14mm diffuser panel for regular shoot? (i know it drains battery)
 

ardnirun

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Sep 22, 2008
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#17
dun advise u to try..hehehe..u better figure it out before the church wedding and nail it there and then..

practice in the next few days to get the right "formula"

and there isnt any standard formula to it
hehehe..
must experiment...

my snoot bouncecard thingy is abit modified from here

hmm good idea. i shall try all all these on friday. FEL/manual or include more bg when all else fails. hahhaa. will only resort to building a snoot-bouncecard if all fails hahaa. can try the snoot on sunday's wedding.



LoL mine max 32 nia. hahahahhaha iso1600
 

J-Chan

Senior Member
Sep 21, 2005
2,361
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#18
hmm dont really understand "2 stops off the ambient" part but i guess you're right. i should setup a manual flash calculation b4 the event for table shots.

on the note of lightmeters, unfortunately, i didn't have the chance to encounter one, nor use one, nor even how to use one. hahha I know you're supposed to point its "spot"?, for the lack of a better term, at the subject and if will show you an EV reading, like 14ev? den set the camera settings (ss aperture and iso) to give a 14ev total. (and i dont even know how to convert from ev to aperture+ss+iso)
Meaning the if you expose just for your flash exposure using 1/250th sync speed, you'll find its underexposed. Lightmeters work very differently from how cameras meter, ie incident metering vs reflective metering. They only take into account how much light actually falls on your subject and are not prone to fooled by white or black subjects in the frame.

What you do, is to take the lightmeter and place it at where the group is going to be standing at, with its "spot" facing the cam. Take a shot with your flash in manual mode, it gives you an aperture reading (on top of EV) with the ISO and Shutter Speed you've input into it. Adjust your flash power settings till it gives a aperture reading close what you want to shoot at, how much ambient is decided by the shutter speed. Higher end models can even calculate the flash/ambient ratio right away.
 

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catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#19
TS: listen to bengchiat's advice, he is a season wedding shooter.

anyway, base on your sample photo, you need to pack the guests closer, showing too much table will waste your flash power and might fool your camera meter too.

ask one or two guests get up and stand at back row, just give them whatever excuse to make them move behind. the photos definably look better that way.
 

aspenx

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Aug 10, 2008
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#20
I'm not sure how Canon systems work but the metering on my Nikon has served me pretty well.

I use manual exposure mode, and iTTL on my flash with metrix metering on the body for events. Should work similarly or even better since you're using 580EXII (which is better than the Nikon flash I have)?
 

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