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exposure settings at wedding???

John Monarlte , Aug 15, 2004; 09:41 p.m.

Hello,

I am using a Canon 10D with a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens and a canon 500ex flash. I will be attending a wedding in a couple of weeks and I have no idea what exposure settings to use. I am wondering what mode I should work in? Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority ? Could somebody give me a guideline for what shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation, and flash compensation to use at a wedding ? Also, do any wedding photographers use a filter to warm up or enahnce skin tones and improve appearances? If so, what filter do you use?

Thank you, Barret.

Responses

Jim Gifford , Aug 15, 2004; 11:46 p.m.

Barret, look through several recent threads here in the wedding forum for discussions of exactly this sort of question.

Short answer: if there is enough available light to shoot without flash (and therefore just use your 500EX for fill) then choosing the settings is a piece of cake -- just use your most comfortable exposure mode and fire away. Typical church interiors are darker han that, so you might want to use manual settings to maintain depth of field, set a reasonably slow shutter speed and then use the flash to get your main subjects well exposed.

Be well,

C Jo Gough - Carmel, CA , Aug 15, 2004; 11:51 p.m.

If this is your first wedding??? No filters--(lab will take care of warming,etc.) SHutter prio--most of the time..if you leave the flash on. But for more details >>> check the past threads *** lot of great DETAILED info, on just this subject.

John Monarlte , Aug 16, 2004; 12:19 a.m.

Hey, I am just a guest at a wedding and would like to be able to take some nice pics. When you say to use fill flash, what flash compensation should I use (-1, -1/3, +1/2)? or should I just let the flash automatically do fill flash compensation? I was planning on using shutter priority at 1/200 sec. to make sure I have a fast shutter speed and therefore sharp pictures and no blur, while they are walking down the isle??

Jim Gifford , Aug 16, 2004; 12:41 a.m.

<<I was planning on using shutter priority at 1/200 sec. to make sure I have a fast shutter speed and therefore sharp pictures and no blur, while they are walking down the isle??>>

You could go slower than 1/200, bearing in mind that the flash duration is probably more like an ultrafast 1/1000 second and that will essentially stop subjects in motion. The slower shutter speed then sucks in a bit more ambient light from all the motionless elements in the scene, which is to say, all the background in the church.

Again... if you'll take a few minutes to read some threads here, you will find LOTS of discussion of the pros and cons of various techniques to use on-camera flash for nice shots at a wedding. They work just as well for guests as they do for folks being paid to take pics. Just don't jump out between the paid photographer and dad-walking-bride-down-aisle. Makes people grumpy.

Have a wonderful time, both reading threads here and being at the wedding.

Claire C , Aug 16, 2004; 05:36 a.m.

Barret

You need to do a little work here, IE Read some of the other threads.

The information is all here.

You certainly don't need to shoot all your pic's at 1/200th.

The best thing to do is to practise before the event, you are using digital that will cost you nothing except time.

Are you shooting indoors or outdoors?

This makes a big difference as it is normal for the flash to dominate slightly indoors and the ambiant light outdoors.

Given your obvious lack of experience if you want to be safe you can use the camera in portrait mode and dial in the compensation on the ambiant or flash settings.

This will mean the camera does most of the work for you and as you can review the images straight away you will be able to make minor adjustments as you go.

Remember that when shooting digital you must shoot for the highlights IE have well exposed or very slightly dark images, you can get a lot of detail out of the dark areas later but if the highlights are blown out there is basically nothing you can do.

This is particularly important if the bride is wearing white as, if the dress is overexposed it will look like she is wearing a white plastic sheet with no texture.

If you want to work manually then I would spend a little time getting to understand the images you are trying to achieve.

Shooting AV or TV mode is often one of personal choice altough there are valid reasons for choosing either.

Basically choose TV mode when shutterspeed is the most important thing, IE . When you are worried about low light levels and want to ensure you don't use to slow a speed or if you want to deliberately give the impression of movement by using slower speed and alowing some of the image to blur. You should also use TV if your goal is to freeze fast moving subjects.

AV mode should be used when you want to control depth of field IE what is and isn't in focus in the image. This can be particularly important in portaiture such as wedding photography to loose distracting backgrounds.

Given your current exerience level I would not go anywhere near filters as these will add just another layer of confusion.

Good Luck

C.

Ben Rubinstein - Manchester UK , Aug 16, 2004; 06:17 a.m.

ISO 400 Manual Mode 1/60 f4-5.6 for all indoors.
Outdoors, ISO 100 Apeture priority f2.8-5.6. (don't forget to turn flash to hi-synch if 1/200 starts flashing in the viewfinder)
Enjoy

Scott Milso , Aug 18, 2004; 01:37 p.m.

I'm not a weeding photog but I have some ideas, as I have done this sort of thing as a guest. They walk in very slowly, I would use the Tv (shutter pr) mode set at about 1/60 or 1/90 and would prob use fill flash. The slower shutter will expose more of the background and allow for great DOF b/c of the resulting smaller ap. Without knowing how bright it is it's hard to say, but the above settings should work in any situation. On the other hand if there is nice light falling on the faces I would opt for LESS DOF, set the cam on Av at f/2.8 and not use flash, the camera will tell you what the shutter speed it picked is for f/2.8, just make sure it's above 1/30. If it's less than 1/30 go back to plan A - Tv, 1/60, fill flash.

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