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Archive 2013 · Reception Lighting -2 Speedlights?
  
 
Stephen Elms
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Reception Lighting -2 Speedlights?


I'm not very pleased with the way my dance / reception shots are coming out and am striving to better my images. For the first dance I place a single speedlight behind the couple with a Pocket Wizard to add a rim lighting effect and then a flash on top of my camera for some front light (bounced usually). But for the general dance and walk-around shots I'm just bouncing my on-camera flash. Any tips for getting better lighting? I do have light stands so would I be better to raise a light above the crowd? Should I get both flashes off-camera and above the crowd?


Sep 22, 2013 at 04:15 PM
jcolman
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Reception Lighting -2 Speedlights?


I usually place three to four lights around the room so that the middle of the dance floor has good light. However for walk around shots, bouncing a flash is my preferred method because sometimes I find myself too close to one of my lights.


Sep 22, 2013 at 04:28 PM
WNStudio
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Reception Lighting -2 Speedlights?


I'm usually ok with 2 off camera youngnuo manual flashes placed in an opposite corners and a bouncing speedlite on camera. Every venue is different so you have to try and adjust. I really can't even imagine not using off camera flashes now.


Sep 22, 2013 at 09:18 PM
roland hale
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Reception Lighting -2 Speedlights?


Post a photo that you're not happy with? This will help with suggestions.


Sep 22, 2013 at 09:19 PM
ZachOly
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Reception Lighting -2 Speedlights?


For most venues, I like one on camera in ETTL and two kickers at 1/32 power at 45* each (to where I'm going to be shooting


Sep 22, 2013 at 09:24 PM
Stephen Elms
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Reception Lighting -2 Speedlights?


Ok so here are a couple examples...

1. This venue has an orange wood, high ceiling making bounce difficult. Not happy with this at all






2. In this venue the lighting just seems too flat for my liking (bounced from camera)






3. For my first dance shots I place an off camera flash behind the subjects and then front light a bit with an on camera bounced flash.






4.






Sep 22, 2013 at 09:43 PM
Stephen Elms
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Reception Lighting -2 Speedlights?


My lighting kit consists of this (I know I'm lacking a part or two that would greatly assist with a proper lighting set-up for these types of scenarios)

Nikon SB900
Nikon SB600
Pocket Wizard Flex TT5
Pocket Wizard Mini TT1
Pocket Wizard AC3 Zone Controller

So for those who use straight off-camera flash for the reception, how do you deal with the shots away from the lighted area (i.e. candids of people, etc)?



Sep 22, 2013 at 09:49 PM
jcolman
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Reception Lighting -2 Speedlights?


Stephen Elms wrote:
My lighting kit consists of this (I know I'm lacking a part or two that would greatly assist with a proper lighting set-up for these types of scenarios)

Nikon SB900
Nikon SB600
Pocket Wizard Flex TT5
Pocket Wizard Mini TT1
Pocket Wizard AC3 Zone Controller

So for those who use straight off-camera flash for the reception, how do you deal with the shots away from the lighted area (i.e. candids of people, etc)?


I either move a light or two or use bounce on-camera flash.



Sep 22, 2013 at 10:19 PM
dhp_sf
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Reception Lighting -2 Speedlights?


Looks to me like your biggest problem is figuring out the right ratio of key/fill, kicker/directional and ambient. I personally don't have any sort of formula for this...just takes a bit of trial and error for me. I usually do some tests before anything is happening on my 2nd/assistant or random people passing across the dance floor to fine tune.

In general, my setup is 1 or 2 lights set up on opposite corners.

Depending on what you're trying to accomplish sometimes a grid will help so that you're just highlighting your subject and reducing spill if you're going for something dramatic:

(one OCF with grid only + underexposed ambient)






(one OCF no grid--but lots of space and zoomed the flash to 105mm--this eliminated a lot of distracting background stuff like unsightly speakers and other equipment while nicely lighting the toaster)






But really, the key to off camera light is ratios and balancing your lights...it might take more trial and error. I definitely learn more as I do more and try new things out.



Sep 22, 2013 at 10:57 PM
 

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mjoshi
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Reception Lighting -2 Speedlights?


WNStudio wrote:
I'm usually ok with 2 off camera youngnuo manual flashes placed in an opposite corners and a bouncing speedlite on camera. Every venue is different so you have to try and adjust. I really can't even imagine not using off camera flashes now.


+1, I did OCF first time this weekend with 3x600EXRT and so far pretty pleased with what I'm seeing. I used 600EX RT on camera as ETTL-2 & 2 OCF 600 EXRT between 1/64 & 1/128 on 10 ft high stand and results were pretty good.



Sep 22, 2013 at 11:16 PM
MattSepeta
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Reception Lighting -2 Speedlights?


The noise, it's bad


Sep 23, 2013 at 12:29 AM
Stephen Elms
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Reception Lighting -2 Speedlights?


Ya it isn't that bad in the originals so must be something with the resizing for web. I noticed that as well. Shooting with a D700 and D3s so noise usually isn't much of an issue (unless I really underexpose and have to crank up the shadows etc...which is one of the issues I battle with my lighting set up)


Sep 23, 2013 at 12:34 AM
SloPhoto
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Reception Lighting -2 Speedlights?


It looks like your flash never has any character or shape. It is mostly bounced from directly above or OCF from behind.

Try playing with some angles, bounce your flash off to the side, or if you are up for it try to light selectively like dhp was showing



Sep 23, 2013 at 03:20 AM
Stephen Elms
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Reception Lighting -2 Speedlights?


Good advice, I appreciate that. I think I may pick up another Flex TT5 so that I can get both flash off camera for these shots. I totally agree the shots are flat, and that's exactly what I'm striving to change. Thanks for the feedback and input everyone, much appreciated.


Sep 23, 2013 at 03:22 AM
Stephen Elms
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Reception Lighting -2 Speedlights?


Sorry one quick follow up question. Do you guys tend to move your off-camera flash around a fair bit during the reception or do you set it up in place and pretty much leave it?


Sep 23, 2013 at 03:23 AM
jcolman
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Reception Lighting -2 Speedlights?


Stephen Elms wrote:
Sorry one quick follow up question. Do you guys tend to move your off-camera flash around a fair bit during the reception or do you set it up in place and pretty much leave it?


Just as there is never an ideal camera position, there is never an ideal lighting setup for all shots.

I "tweak" my lights depending on what's going on at different parts of the venue. For example, I'll set up for the entrance/ first dance. Then move my lights for the cake cutting. Then I'll take a couple lights outside for some creative shots. Next I might move them for a more dramatic setup for the late night dancing. Finally I'll move them again for the exit.


Edited on Sep 23, 2013 at 03:34 AM · View previous versions



Sep 23, 2013 at 03:32 AM
SloPhoto
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Reception Lighting -2 Speedlights?


Stephen Elms wrote:
Good advice, I appreciate that. I think I may pick up another Flex TT5 so that I can get both flash off camera for these shots. I totally agree the shots are flat, and that's exactly what I'm striving to change. Thanks for the feedback and input everyone, much appreciated.



Just change the direction of your on camera flash. Look at someone like ryan brenizer. He gets some character while only using a single, on camera, flash and very simple configurations. You do not need 595803034509 flashes to get character.... you just need to try a few things. I usually add flashes if I need something flatter/more even.

Take another look at dhp's shots. Those were shot with a SINGLE flash.



Sep 23, 2013 at 03:32 AM
dhp_sf
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Reception Lighting -2 Speedlights?


I move my lights around sometimes. I recently picked up an extra 600RT so I can have 2 off camera and 2 on camera at any given moment. The 2 off cameras are sitting in opposite corners and I'll turn one off and keep the other on. Sometimes I'll turn on the on-camera light for extra fill. I never leave the same combination throughout the night. Constantly adjusting lights on and off for a given situation/effect.

Once you're in more control of the lighting and know what effects you're trying to get, it gets easier. It helps to know specifically what you're trying to accomplish with a given setup.

In this shot (which isn't perfect), I had a light to my left pointed towards the girls waiting for the bouquet, I had my On-camera light ON and bounced to fill the bride's face a little bit. I had another light to the back behind the girls off to the right but I think someone bumped it and changed the direction of it (i wanted it pointed more towards the bride for rimlight to separate her from the background a little better but it was clearly side-lighting the group more).







I try not to make things too complicated. I usually am bouncing one on-camera for the most part + 1 OCF to highlight. Warming gels help to keep things balanced with ambient as well.



Sep 23, 2013 at 06:22 AM





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