Amateur Photographer for Wedding Help


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prodigic

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Jan 19, 2008
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Membina Court
#1
Hi there!

I'm helping a fren to shoot for his brother's wedding sometime end of month. Its a typical malay wedding. I'm currently using 40d.

What I read around this forums, a wide angle lens and a prime is the sufficient to shoot. In any case, wat I'd like to shoot is usually candid shots. In addition, I will also be taking the "stage" or is it called dais/pelamin with families. So I think my ideal setup will be EFS 17-55mm F2.8 IS and EF 50mm F1.4 and 430EX. What do u think of this? Do I need another body for the prime lens?

It'll be indoor and outdoor (under the block/mph). Wat ISO and settings are ideal? Wat other impt things tat I need to look out for in a malay wedding?

And I'm just helping a fren out and I am not a professional photographer of any sorts, just a hobbyist. Any comments or ideas are welcome.
 

synapseman

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May 6, 2003
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#2
Yup, get another body for the 50mm, which I'm guessing you'll be shooting "artistic" shots playing with shallow DOF. Things usually happen fast at weddings, but even faster at Malay weddings because there's so much happening over a large area at the same time. You fumble with lens changes, you might miss opportunities.

For traditional Malay/Muslim marriage ceremonies, it's best to get two photographers for proper coverage. Unlike most other cultures where having 2 photographers is an option, for Malay weddings, it's almost a necessity. The couple will be at the pelamin and visitors will come greet them throughout the day, with no schedule. It's not nice to have the couple waiting while you're some corner doing your candid guest shots. Get one person to deal with the pelamin (and other posed shots), and another to do the surrounding coverage.

For indoor daytime coverage, ISO200-400 will suffice, use A-mode @ f/5.6 for small groups, f/8 for massive groups, which is quite common in Malay weddings.

If you're One Man Operation, then your priority will always be the pelamin. You may proceed to photograph the other happenings only when the couple is eating, or have left the scene for costume change. But seeing that you're working with a friend, let the more experienced one do the pelamin & posed shots, since more directing will be needed. The other person can then be free to photograph everything else.

All the best.
 

prodigic

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Jan 19, 2008
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Membina Court
#3
Thank u synapseman for your comments.

Unfortunately I'm the only photographer for the wedding. I'm just returning a favour to my fren and also due to his bro's limited budget so I agreed to cover his wedding event.

For the flash, I do not need to use any kind of diffusers, yes? Coz I only have the cap-on white translucent diffuser kind. Is this appropriate or do I need a special diffuser or omnibounce card?
 

m3lv1nh0

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Sep 24, 2007
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#4
A omnibounce is the white cap that goes on your flash. That should be enuf. If the ceilings is low enough, you can also just bounce off the ceilings. Do a couple of test shots before deciding on the correct settings for your flash. Just don't ever use direct flash unless it's for fill in. Also make sure your friend understand that it's your first wedding so he wouldn't blame you if there's any issues with the photos on the most important day of his life. Also shoot in RAW so you can still salvage some photos if the settings is wrong e,g, WB, exposure etc.
Now you should keep on practising until that day and just enjoy the whole process!

Good luck!
 

synapseman

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May 6, 2003
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#5
Cap diffuser is good enough. Aim flash head at 45 degrees if ceiling is low enough. Grab some friends, go to the location and do some practice shots first. This is a must, since you're relatively inexperienced in this.

Sorry I misread. I thought you'd be shooting with a friend. Since you're going solo, do make sure the couple is aware of your experience level. It can be intimidating, but not impossible. My first real wedding shoot was a 2-day Malay wedding, and I also shot alone. Whatever you do, make sure that you do not lose sight of the couple. Things tend to happen suddenly as far as well wishers are concerned. Even when the couple takes a break to eat, it will not stop friends and relatives walking up to them to say hello.

You shooting the nikah ceremony also?
 

synapseman

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May 6, 2003
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#6
And oh yah, if weather is hot and humid, the bride's complexion might get a bit oily. Don't be afraid to ask the mak andam to powder bride's nose, adjust hair, etc. :)
 

Maltese

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Mar 21, 2005
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#7
if its indoor or at night, a prime bigger aperture can give you very nice bokeh and light. Even though you can edit them later, having a gd 1 to start with is important. In compact wedding venues, you will appreciate a prime lens bigger than f2.8 aperture because there are a lot of distracting people and props close behind....so if you are grabbing candid looks, this is a lifesavers. Also if you aperture is big enough, you can switch to FP flash for a more natural look and not the super harsh frontal or delayed bounced flashes.
 

prodigic

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Jan 19, 2008
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Membina Court
#8
A omnibounce is the white cap that goes on your flash. That should be enuf. If the ceilings is low enough, you can also just bounce off the ceilings. Do a couple of test shots before deciding on the correct settings for your flash. Just don't ever use direct flash unless it's for fill in. Also make sure your friend understand that it's your first wedding so he wouldn't blame you if there's any issues with the photos on the most important day of his life. Also shoot in RAW so you can still salvage some photos if the settings is wrong e,g, WB, exposure etc.
Now you should keep on practising until that day and just enjoy the whole process!

Good luck!
The problem with me and the flash is that I usually let the flash on auto whenever I use it. I hardly or rarely set it to whats required. Is that enuff? Or do you have tips to share? Oh I rather bounce the flash whenever's possible. Dun like any overexpose shots.

Thanks m3lv1nh0!

Cap diffuser is good enough. Aim flash head at 45 degrees if ceiling is low enough. Grab some friends, go to the location and do some practice shots first. This is a must, since you're relatively inexperienced in this.

Sorry I misread. I thought you'd be shooting with a friend. Since you're going solo, do make sure the couple is aware of your experience level. It can be intimidating, but not impossible. My first real wedding shoot was a 2-day Malay wedding, and I also shot alone. Whatever you do, make sure that you do not lose sight of the couple. Things tend to happen suddenly as far as well wishers are concerned. Even when the couple takes a break to eat, it will not stop friends and relatives walking up to them to say hello.

You shooting the nikah ceremony also?
Nope, they've done the nikah 2 weeks ago so this is just the eat eat ceremony. So with these tips, I concentrate more on the bride&groom wherever they go and take snapshots around them? Oh yes, if there's group photo, is any rule of thumb to take a good pic on the pelamin, ie. ascending height or colour of shirt/top?

And oh yah, if weather is hot and humid, the bride's complexion might get a bit oily. Don't be afraid to ask the mak andam to powder bride's nose, adjust hair, etc. :)
Good tip! Thanks synapseman! U have done loads of malay weddings oready?
 

prodigic

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Jan 19, 2008
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Membina Court
#9
if its indoor or at night, a prime bigger aperture can give you very nice bokeh and light. Even though you can edit them later, having a gd 1 to start with is important. In compact wedding venues, you will appreciate a prime lens bigger than f2.8 aperture because there are a lot of distracting people and props close behind....so if you are grabbing candid looks, this is a lifesavers. Also if you aperture is big enough, you can switch to FP flash for a more natural look and not the super harsh frontal or delayed bounced flashes.
Ok noted. However whenever I tried to use primes with my flash.. 70% of the shots tend to overexposed. Sometimes I shoot without flash but the shutter speed might be slower.
 

prodigic

New Member
Jan 19, 2008
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Membina Court
#10
Another question guys. Since I'm shooting RAW, how many CF cards must be readily available? I dun have so many CF to spare (only 2) so will S-RAW compromise any picture details lost?
 

Raied

New Member
Jun 13, 2007
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Clementi
www.krasnajaphoto.com
#11
i think for malay wedding you cna shoot iso 200-400 as previously said cause i think either outdoors, inside the home or below the block in which your flash can cover due to the ceilling and the available light. one thing to take advantage of are the colours! sure very bright and colourful. if got the gompang and the silat also i think you can get some interesting angles.

if you scared not enough space dont spam! and delete those are oof/blur/handshake/bad etc. btw how much CF storage you have?
 

Maltese

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Mar 21, 2005
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Singapore
#12
Ok noted. However whenever I tried to use primes with my flash.. 70% of the shots tend to overexposed. Sometimes I shoot without flash but the shutter speed might be slower.
this 1 u have to know your work horse well i.e your cam. Like film also. Every film is exposed differently and have varying colours intensity as well as light sensitive. Nowadays DSLR only have 1 type of film - your CMOS. All you need to know is to find out how every ISO speed does on the exposure in different lighting condition. You cannot just buy a cam and any lens untested and go to work. Most likely you come home with 90% rubbish....and in analogue era this means no or expensive corrections. So try out first. Start shooting in a hall. You can go CC, school MPH, badminton courts, squash courts for a feel. Some of these training grounds are available for you free.;);)
 

synapseman

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May 6, 2003
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#13
I agree on the fast/wide aperture primes. It does take a bit of getting used to. At widest, the focus must be spot on. Since this is your first time, try to keep things simple. And if there are things you are not sure about, you really must go for a trial run. Flash on TTL mode is fine. In fact, don't try to adjust anything on your flashgun unless you're absolutely sure about what you're doing.

As for CF cards, you can never have too many. Memory management is something you need to take care of also. Don't store an entire day's shoot onto just one card! Minimum you'll need is four: One for the morning, one for the afternoon, one for the evening, and one for standby. Do NOT re-use/format your card until the photos have been safely delivered to your friend (and make a back-up for yourself also).

Pelamin shots: People will arrange themselve naturally. If unbalanced, then shift people around, but do note not to separate couples. Make them stand as close as comfortably possible because gaps that are not apparent in front of you tend to be very obvious in photos. Check to see if anyone's blocked.

And yup, I've taken a fair few Malay weddings. :)
 

prodigic

New Member
Jan 19, 2008
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Membina Court
#14
Hi Guys,

Thank you very much for your guidance.

I've successfully shot the wedding and I'd must say it's been quite an experience. However I feel the Omnibounce flash cap didnt do justice as the "under the MPH" pictures are mostly underexposed. Its hard to bounce flash as the roof is dark brown in colour. So luckily I shot in RAW and managed to edit the exposures.

I wonder if I shoot direct flash with omnibounce, will the background be affected?

Do I need a better flash diffuser such as the Lightsphere?
 

catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
21,903
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48
Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#15
Hi Guys,

Thank you very much for your guidance.

I've successfully shot the wedding and I'd must say it's been quite an experience. However I feel the Omnibounce flash cap didnt do justice as the "under the MPH" pictures are mostly underexposed. Its hard to bounce flash as the roof is dark brown in colour. So luckily I shot in RAW and managed to edit the exposures.

I wonder if I shoot direct flash with omnibounce, will the background be affected?

Do I need a better flash diffuser such as the Lightsphere?
Omnibounce throw less than 50% of the light forward when it tilted 45 or 60 degree, so it works well with indoor space have walls and with not so high celling. If you aim direct, it does not give you much diffuse light on large subjects like a human.
The brightness of background are subject to your ambient light exposure, or the your understanding of Inverse square law of light and how to make use of the flash.
 

catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
21,903
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48
Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#16
btw, for me, I will just shoot with direct flash or large bounce card..

photos with direct flash are far better than all photos are underexposed or no photo.
 

mutant

New Member
Jun 28, 2008
297
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East
#17
Good tips here! Next wkend I taking photographs of my future bro in law wedding at void deck. They have 1 main photographer, 1 not main. And 1 keypoh2 (tat's me). My 2nd time take wedding pics, 1st time with a cute Nikon Coolpix, this time with Canon S5 IS.
Plan to use a small bounce card, custom WB, ISO 200. Still thinking to use P mode or Aperture Priority mode.. Will practise 1st.
 

Lost Dog

New Member
Apr 11, 2008
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#18
This is a good reading material as i'll be taking some wedding events soon..

Going back to the usage of flash with diffuser. I'm confused in the statement that it will still underexpose the background if fired directly with diffuser. Please share more. thanks
 

Maltese

New Member
Mar 21, 2005
250
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0
Singapore
#19
Stofen stuff is excellent for direct frontal shots of your human subjects....which it diffuses off and not have a very harsh lighting effect and the shadows round the nose, eyes etc which is especially prominent for non-asian models.

If you want to off bounce from somewhere, get gary fong's stuff and remove the cap which it can goes further. Also your flashlite must have higher guide number else if you are using a mini gun or the camera flash then you don't want to bounce them too.
 

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