Wedding dinner table shots


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tCs78

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Jun 26, 2008
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#1
Hi all,

Just like to find out more about taking wedding dinner tables shots. I have seen photos of those where the wedding dinner table shots turn out with the background properly exposed and also those which turn out with dark backgrounds.
How to go about taking the shot so that the background will not be dark and will be properly exposed as well for a wedding dinner table shot? :dunno:
 

luntut

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Oct 19, 2007
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#2
slightly longer shutter speed.

to catch more ambient light.

balance it, so you dun risk having motion blur on your subjects.
 

May 16, 2009
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#3
slightly longer shutter speed.

to catch more ambient light.

balance it, so you dun risk having motion blur on your subjects.
Luntut's suggestion is pretty good, not to say luminous...

...except in one possible case : if we suppose the wedding dinner tables are more luminous than the background of the ballroom, it's not applicable because catching more ambient light from the background would mean overexposing the wedding dinner tables maybe. Thus, the solution would be to decrease wedding dinner tables' ambient light and/or increase the background's ambient light.
 

luntut

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#4
Luntut's suggestion is pretty good, not to say luminous...

...except in one possible case : if we suppose the wedding dinner tables are more luminous than the background of the ballroom, it's not applicable because catching more ambient light from the background would mean overexposing the wedding dinner tables maybe. Thus, the solution would be to decrease wedding dinner tables' ambient light and/or increase the background's ambient light.
i will love to find a nice, shiny, luminous table in a wedding. find me one, cos i haven been to much weddings lately.

and my dear friend, photgraphy is not a 1+1=2 equation.

what works for 1, doesnt work for another situation. any SERIOUS photographer will know that.
 

catchlights

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#5
you flash is still the main light, just let the background underexposed around 1 1/2 to two stops, so you need to use a higher ISO, limit your shutter speed not to lower than 1/30s, aperture f5.6, should be fine, the background will blend nicely.

if the background is still under too much, there is nothing much you can do, just shoot at it is, rather to have table shots of people in sharp focus with a underexposed background than background nicely exposure but with high digital noise or motion blur or camera shake. totally unusable.
 

tCs78

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Jun 26, 2008
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you flash is still the main light, just let the background underexposed around 1 1/2 to two stops, so you need to use a higher ISO, limit your shutter speed not to lower than 1/30s, aperture f5.6, should be fine, the background will blend nicely.

if the background is still under too much, there is nothing much you can do, just shoot at it is, rather to have table shots of people in sharp focus with a underexposed background than background nicely exposure but with high digital noise or motion blur or camera shake. totally unusable.
flash being the main light meaning using direct flash or bounce flash??
 

May 16, 2009
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#7
i will love to find a nice, shiny, luminous table in a wedding. find me one, cos i haven been to much weddings lately.

and my dear friend, photgraphy is not a 1+1=2 equation.

what works for 1, doesnt work for another situation. any SERIOUS photographer will know that.

I don't understand why you react this way. Your advice to tCs78 was quite pretty good for most situations but it happens that tables are more luminous than background so that the nice decoration elaborated for wedding guests' dinner is put in value : was i faulty to speak about this possible case ?

Sincerely sorry if i offended you,
YP.
 

catchlights

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#9
Luntut's suggestion is pretty good, not to say luminous...

...except in one possible case : if we suppose the wedding dinner tables are more luminous than the background of the ballroom, it's not applicable because catching more ambient light from the background would mean overexposing the wedding dinner tables maybe. Thus, the solution would be to decrease wedding dinner tables' ambient light and/or increase the background's ambient light.
like to know how you decrease foreground ambient light and /or increase background ambient?
 

#10
I shoot old school... Wedding Table shot... I think... these are the few things things to look out for.... or rather.. its a sure keep..

1. Higher Shutter speed - 1/60 ~ 1/80 (That should cover 17~35/ 24~70mm lens to prevent blur pic) NOT SLOWER SHUTTER SPEED! Somehow some joker will blink his eyes and what you get is.. hey! Uncle's eyes not opened. Some how some joker will turn his head.. or move.. 1/60s is good.Its a Wedding and you have 10s! 100s! of tables to go through.. how many times you want to do it again... (if possible.. shoot 3fps)

2. Apeture - f/5.6.. to get every one in focus.

3. ISO -800 - 1600 - USE ISO TO CATCH YOUR AMBIENT LIGHT. Come on ... 4R Prints for table shots. Don't worry about the noise.

4. Use bounce flash... That one.. MUST.. f/5.6 indoor... How you play.. up to you. :-}

Standard table shoot here..record shot..No need to be too creative.

Check out your parents wedding pics.. table shots.. Make a guess.. how that guy played with its limitations and got the pic.. see how now current people got the pic.

Cheers.
 

Last edited:
#11
Luntut's suggestion is pretty good, not to say luminous...

...except in one possible case : if we suppose the wedding dinner tables are more luminous than the background of the ballroom, it's not applicable because catching more ambient light from the background would mean overexposing the wedding dinner tables maybe. Thus, the solution would be to decrease wedding dinner tables' ambient light and/or increase the background's ambient light.
slightly longer shutter speed.

to catch more ambient light.

balance it, so you dun risk having motion blur on your subjects.
Both of you need to read up on Shutter and Apeture and ISO... Exposure in door.. and outdoor... not forgetting distance from subject... White/ luminous table cloth... what about wedding gown..:bsmilie:
 

tCs78

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Jun 26, 2008
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#12
flash as main light means if the flash does not fired, the image will be underexposed, direct or bounce is irrelevance.
I read part of this artice from http://www.the-digital-picture.com

"With the camera in M mode, the flash will provide the light necessary to get a proper exposure. This is the easiest mode to use for flash as the main light - stopping even the fastest action in the dark. In Av mode, the camera will set its exposure for the ambient light level and the flash will provide fill/subject light. Camera and subject motion can be issues in this mode. Tv mode is similar to Av mode."

Is this what you mean by using the flash as main light?
 

catchlights

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#13
I read part of this artice from http://www.the-digital-picture.com

"With the camera in M mode, the flash will provide the light necessary to get a proper exposure. This is the easiest mode to use for flash as the main light - stopping even the fastest action in the dark. In Av mode, the camera will set its exposure for the ambient light level and the flash will provide fill/subject light. Camera and subject motion can be issues in this mode. Tv mode is similar to Av mode."

Is this what you mean by using the flash as main light?
Yes, not setting the flash as fill light mode.
 

luntut

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#15
Both of you need to read up on Shutter and Apeture and ISO... Exposure in door.. and outdoor... not forgetting distance from subject... White/ luminous table cloth... what about wedding gown..:bsmilie:
i dont really read up. i shoot, and learn from mistakes. and from my limited exposure in weddings or events table shots in ballrooms, i learnt the hard way.

and what i learnt, was what i contributed.

and thats why i also added subsequently, what works for me might not work for you. what works in MY situations might not work for YOURS.

not trying to stir up a fight here, in case anyone wonders. there is no FIXED way of doing things. photography is a very flexible thing. especially in lower light situations. why are some of us making it sound like there is only 1 way around...
 

tCs78

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Jun 26, 2008
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#16
Yes, not setting the flash as fill light mode.
I see, so in this type of situation if the flash is the main light, the flash itself will provide the light necessary to get a proper exposure regardless whether it's a direct flash or bounce flash?
 

#17
i dont really read up. i shoot, and learn from mistakes. and from my limited exposure in weddings or events table shots in ballrooms, i learnt the hard way.

and what i learnt, was what i contributed.

and thats why i also added subsequently, what works for me might not work for you. what works in MY situations might not work for YOURS.

not trying to stir up a fight here, in case anyone wonders. there is no FIXED way of doing things. photography is a very flexible thing. especially in lower light situations. why are some of us making it sound like there is only 1 way around...

:bsmilie: . Yup. What to do. I am getting paid for the table shots. Better get it right man. Can't stand those Auntie, uncle come back blaming the couple. Don't want to be too HARD on myself. Better be SMART. :-}

Cheers
 

May 16, 2009
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Paris (FRANCE)
#18
like to know how you decrease foreground ambient light and /or increase background ambient?
As ortaga guessed : before balancing between ambient light and flash light, it's a good thing to try balancing between background's ambient light and wedding dinner tables' ambient light whenever it's possible, by asking the manager to turn up the lights.
 

catchlights

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#19
As ortaga guessed : before balancing between ambient light and flash light, it's a good thing to try balancing between background's ambient light and wedding dinner tables' ambient light whenever it's possible, by asking the manager to turn up the lights.
not all dinner venues have same type of lighting design, some are restaurants, the lighting is florescent light and it is universal, only have two setting, one is On, another is OFF.
some venues have mixed with florescent and tungsten, you can't ask the floor manager to fine tune to your liking, photographers just have to make do with it.
some venues have spot light lit on certain part of the areas in the ballroom, so when during taking table shots, if some guests or the wedding couple happen to stand under the spot light, do you think photographers have the time to rearrange the group? or ask manager to turn off this spot light?
most managers will complete to turn up the lighting, if they see the photographers are professionals and asked them nicely, but it will turn up slightly only, as when the lighting is at full brightness, the guest will get the signals of time to go home, than that is very good luck to the photographers.
 

catchlights

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#20
I see, so in this type of situation if the flash is the main light, the flash itself will provide the light necessary to get a proper exposure regardless whether it's a direct flash or bounce flash?
whether direct or bounce is still on TTL mode isn't it? of course bounce light will drain more power, and if you have a weak flash, most likely will get more underexposed images.
 

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