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Archive 2013 · Off-Camera Flash and Reception Lighting Question (Canon 6...
  
 
BostonGreg
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Off-Camera Flash and Reception Lighting Question (Canon 600EX-RTs)


I'm using a setup of 3 Canon 600ex-rt flash heads for my reception lighting and still having some issues/not getting the exact quality of light I'm after. I was curious to know how others set their units and where they place them.

My normal setup is one on-camera(1DX) on ETTL-II with stofen at 45 forward. I have two Manfrotto 9' Alu Ranker stands with 600's on top. Both off-camera heads I normally set to 1/16 power and at their widest throw (by pulling the clear plastic thing over the front). Off camera flash heads are set at 90 degrees and one click down on the flash adaptor so that they're facing just a tad down at the dance floor.

Still getting some unwanted shadows. I'd say 6/10 are keepers at the reception.

Here are two examples from tonight that have unwanted shadows. The space was VERY small, only 50 people at this wedding and the reception space was really small.

Would love to hear or see how you all setup your lights and what settings you normally start with. Thanks!












Sep 01, 2013 at 04:43 AM
Robin Usagani
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Off-Camera Flash and Reception Lighting Question (Canon 600EX-RTs)


If you use the off camera flash in Manual, then it wont be calculated by the ETTL metering. Set them all to ETTL and only mess with the power ratio instead of flash power.

I don't have 600RTs yet but that is what I understand.



Sep 01, 2013 at 04:47 AM
Robin Usagani
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Off-Camera Flash and Reception Lighting Question (Canon 600EX-RTs)


oh btw.. what does that yellow sticker say underneath the flash?


Sep 01, 2013 at 04:49 AM
MazeRunner
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Off-Camera Flash and Reception Lighting Question (Canon 600EX-RTs)


Looks like "STOP... [something like, "don't touch"].


Sep 01, 2013 at 05:15 AM
Nikon_14
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Off-Camera Flash and Reception Lighting Question (Canon 600EX-RTs)


It says, "Do not remove under penalty of law".


Robin Usagani wrote:
oh btw.. what does that yellow sticker say underneath the flash?




Sep 01, 2013 at 05:16 AM
Nikon_14
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Off-Camera Flash and Reception Lighting Question (Canon 600EX-RTs)


I'm guessing that going up to 12' stands would solve a major part of the problem. But I won't give you any money if I doesn't.

I do know that I use 4 stands that range from 10' to 11', using 4 x LumoPro 160 triggered with PW TT5. I do get some shadowing, but I don't think it's to the point that 40% of my reception images are ruined by it.

Even w/ the shadowing, it's still 100x better than using on-camera flash.


BostonGreg wrote:
I have two Manfrotto 9' Alu Ranker stands




Sep 01, 2013 at 05:20 AM
TTLKurtis
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Off-Camera Flash and Reception Lighting Question (Canon 600EX-RTs)


Nikon_14 wrote:
It says, "Do not remove under penalty of law".



That's for the merchant, not you. Take that sticker off there lol...


As for what to do differently to avoid those shadows... Well, sometimes it is what it is. Other times you can try bouncing those off-camera flashes so the light source is effectively larger and wraps around objects instead of casting hard shadows. Another option is to set up your lights for a couple of angles to be great in particular, and stick to those angles. That last option is the best method I've found of getting consistency in my reception lighting.

Of course you could always just simplify and have only the on-camera flash, but that has its own pros and cons.


The suggestion for taller stands does help for sure, like a spotlight in a theater. The downside is that the taller the stand the more it stands out which can be a bad thing in a nicely decorated reception hall.



Sep 01, 2013 at 05:22 AM
amonline
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Off-Camera Flash and Reception Lighting Question (Canon 600EX-RTs)


Location awareness.

6/10 keeper ratio is not a bad ratio for "reception".

I don't see the issue; except you're throwing too much light from the cam IMO.

FWIW, I normally bounce my on-cam with a bounce card straight up at 90 degrees. This gives you more dimension with your off-cam. Then again, location awareness.

Shadows happen. It's part of the job.



Sep 01, 2013 at 06:31 AM
form
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Off-Camera Flash and Reception Lighting Question (Canon 600EX-RTs)


Higher light positioning reduces the shadow issue, but the only two guaranteed solutions are complete and total fill (e.g. massive ceiling bounce) or much larger light sources (e.g. very large umbrellas, whole walls used as light sources, etc.).

An alternative is to have a trigger set that allows you to set each flash on its own group and turn on and off single flashes (on different groups) as needed. This allows you to better control which ones will go off. I do this all the time at receptions with strato II triggers.



Sep 01, 2013 at 07:23 AM
JakAHearts
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Off-Camera Flash and Reception Lighting Question (Canon 600EX-RTs)


I usually try to have the flash behind the subjects to they act as rim or kicker lights. Then, I use my on camera light for fill by bouncing it with NeilVNs black foamie thing. This gives nice directional light on your subject and separates then with a rim. I use 4 lights and can turn them on/off with the cyber commander and csrb+ receivers. Like others have said, having them higher will certainly help.


31 by shanereighard, on Flickr


33 by shanereighard, on Flickr



Sep 01, 2013 at 12:42 PM
 

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BostonGreg
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Off-Camera Flash and Reception Lighting Question (Canon 600EX-RTs)


Thanks everyone, I wish I bought the 12" stands, just spent $300 on the set of three 9" so have to make the best of what I have for now. I'm going to lower the power on the OCF, setting them ALL to ETTL does NOT work well, the power is all over the place depending on what I'm metering off.
(The yellow sticker is on the Quantum cord and it's on there so my assistant diesn't try inserting upside down and breaking the flash) One the stand rises, it's no longer in front of the assist beam.



Sep 01, 2013 at 01:44 PM
SGallant
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Off-Camera Flash and Reception Lighting Question (Canon 600EX-RTs)


I'm with Kurtis the best results I get are when I setup an area to shoot into and don't move around too much. I added a 3rd OCF a few months back to give me a bit more flexibility, I usually turn one off and work with two this give me a bit more mobility. Also the closer the flashes can be to the subjects the better. Going higher is cool, but then you can start to pick up chandeliers and such depending on location.


Sep 01, 2013 at 01:48 PM
Robin Usagani
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Off-Camera Flash and Reception Lighting Question (Canon 600EX-RTs)


Greg, I do not understand why you would spend $550 for each 600RT and not use the ETTL. It seems a waste of money? Maybe I am missing something. You need to chat with Rich Lavigne. He uses 600 RTs all in ETTL and get consistent results. I am saving my money to get the 600 right now.


Sep 01, 2013 at 02:28 PM
Mitch W
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Off-Camera Flash and Reception Lighting Question (Canon 600EX-RTs)


He should have just bought a dozen Yongnuos off of eBay when they were $5 each, haha (inside joke for those that remember).


Sep 01, 2013 at 02:38 PM
a2rob
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Off-Camera Flash and Reception Lighting Question (Canon 600EX-RTs)


12 feet stands at a receptions and kids running around, how do you manage to secure those? I have some six feet stands that I use and its a pain in the rear to keep them from toppling over. I literally have to stand by them as the parents watch their kids run and play around my gear!!


Sep 02, 2013 at 02:02 PM
MalachiConstant
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Off-Camera Flash and Reception Lighting Question (Canon 600EX-RTs)


I bought a few clamps with small manfrotto swivel ballhead hotshoes and have not looked back.

Only used my stands at two weddings so far this year, not counting for formals and groups.

I clamp them onto hand railings, dj truss, chandeliers, curtains, whatever.



Sep 02, 2013 at 04:00 PM
jcolman
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Off-Camera Flash and Reception Lighting Question (Canon 600EX-RTs)


a2rob wrote:
12 feet stands at a receptions and kids running around, how do you manage to secure those? I have some six feet stands that I use and its a pain in the rear to keep them from toppling over. I literally have to stand by them as the parents watch their kids run and play around my gear!!


I've used 13' stands at more than 70 weddings without ever having a problem. One thing I do is that one of the legs has yellow reflective tape on it (the leg that sticks out into the guest area) so that people can see it easier. I will also use bungee cords at times to secure the stand to a pole.


To further answer the OP's question about shadows, I pick two primary shooting angles at the reception and light for those. That doesn't mean I don't shoot other angles, but I've found that most receptions really only have two good angles anyway. As others have mentioned, bouncing your flash will go a long way to eliminate unwanted shadows. But if bouncing is not an option, cross light your subjects so that you get nice light when they are in your two preferred shooting angles.

Here are some examples:

Bounced and/or diffused light (umbrella). I used three lights at this reception.



Direct light. This was lit by four lights, all firing at the dance floor.



Direct light. Three lights aimed at the dance floor.




Sep 02, 2013 at 04:31 PM
heikoM
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Off-Camera Flash and Reception Lighting Question (Canon 600EX-RTs)


I go more for long shutter speeds and handhold OCF. I have two light-stands just for effect/kicker. When I shoot with them in my back I turn them off.


heiko







Sep 02, 2013 at 06:52 PM
djb663
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Off-Camera Flash and Reception Lighting Question (Canon 600EX-RTs)


That looks like a fairly large venue. What lights are you using?


Sep 02, 2013 at 06:59 PM
BostonGreg
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Off-Camera Flash and Reception Lighting Question (Canon 600EX-RTs)


a2rob wrote:
12 feet stands at a receptions and kids running around, how do you manage to secure those? I have some six feet stands that I use and its a pain in the rear to keep them from toppling over. I literally have to stand by them as the parents watch their kids run and play around my gear!!




I use these and they seem to work. They're a solid base and the colors draw attention to the stands. I've never had a stand knocked down (yet) lol

http://www.adorama.com/JTSWB.html



Sep 02, 2013 at 07:25 PM
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