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Very last minute change - shooting a ceremony BEGINNING o...
  
 
VerucaSallt
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Very last minute change - shooting a ceremony BEGINNING of sunset.


So I got a text from my B&G and they've decided to move their ceremony outside - which would be totally great if it weren't right at sunset. By the time the ceremony is over it will be almost black. I've shot there before and the only light sources are three large, very orange lamps. I have some great primes and a decent bodies (6Ds) that can handle some low light but not almost black with nothing but a dark horizon behind it and inadequate lanterns in the least helpful locations.
What's worse is there are no reasonable places to set up tripods for OCF - I imagine any light I can throw with my Magbounces will spill everywhere and not necessarily places I'd like them to (like tops of seated heads/faces).

I'm at a bit of a loss here... Has anyone shot a ceremony like this? Willing to share some tips?

Edited on Oct 27, 2016 at 02:42 AM · View previous versions



Oct 27, 2016 at 12:46 AM
TTLKurtis
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Very last minute change - shooting a ceremony BEGINNING of sunset.


If light stands for OCF are definitely not an option (video lights on stands are another decent alternative potentially), maybe have an assistant with a monopod holding a flash? Gridded or normal depending on what you want.


Oct 27, 2016 at 01:29 AM
BSPhotog
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Very last minute change - shooting a ceremony BEGINNING of sunset.


You say you've shot there before...care to share an image of the space?


Oct 27, 2016 at 02:11 AM
FrancisK7
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Very last minute change - shooting a ceremony BEGINNING of sunset.


Can you clamp flashes somewhere? Might not be room for stands or tripods but maybe walls, counters or a chair you could clamp onto.

Last Saturday I used two flashes with 2 grids and a boob at opposite location. Did the job nicely.



Oct 27, 2016 at 02:32 AM
BSPhotog
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Very last minute change - shooting a ceremony BEGINNING of sunset.


FrancisK7 wrote:
Can you clamp flashes somewhere? Might not be room for stands or tripods but maybe walls, counters or a chair you could clamp onto.

Last Saturday I used two flashes with 2 grids and a boob at opposite location. Did the job nicely.


What did you do with the boob?



Oct 27, 2016 at 02:40 AM
VerucaSallt
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Very last minute change - shooting a ceremony BEGINNING of sunset.


When I shot there, inclement weather didn't allow for an outside ceremony, but here is a link to an image of the space.







There's 120 on the guest list so I imagine that's gonna be filled out with a lot of chairs.

Also, no chance for an assistant. Mine is in art school and she is doing another project that day. Finding another with less than 2 days will be almost impossible.



Oct 27, 2016 at 02:41 AM
FrancisK7
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Very last minute change - shooting a ceremony BEGINNING of sunset.


I would put two light stands at these locations at 10-13 feet aimed down in a cross lighting position. One or two maggrid on each will control your spill. You can add a sphere to soften things a bit. No need to worry about wind on a water shore.







The stands will be easily cloned out for the contextual shots in a setting like this.

Alternatively you can use manfrotto superclamps and clamp onto the railing for a more discrete approach.




Oct 27, 2016 at 03:06 AM
VerucaSallt
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Very last minute change - shooting a ceremony BEGINNING of sunset.


Thanks, man.

So the other issue with this is they are doing a few things different during the ceremony. They are giving some flowers to their (seated) grandmothers, as well as a knot tying thing (they're getting married by a sea captain so there's this whole nautical thing happening) and a candle lighting thing which is why I immediately thought of fill vs. spot since there is a lot more movement.

I'm also a little intimidated by rapidly changing light and being quick enough to compensate quickly. I don't know if I can trust eTTL... I rarely shoot with it - mostly manual and I'm not sure I'll be fast enough compensating to keep up.

I spoke with the B&G a bit ago and I was pretty direct with them. I'd rather tell them where I am with these conditions and my worry it won't be the images they want than eke my way through it and hope for the best. Ultimately I left it up to them and I'm trying to prepare for the worst.



Oct 27, 2016 at 03:19 AM
BSPhotog
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Very last minute change - shooting a ceremony BEGINNING of sunset.


I'd agree with Francis on the two side lights, but I'd also add a 3rd light at the end of the aisle (like where the photo show is taken from). All should be as high up as possible. The third light at the end of the aisle you'd want turned off whenever you're shooting up the aisle so you don't get a hot audience and photographer shaped shadow, but use it if shooting from the sides to help illuminate faces. It isn't going to be ideal and you'll probably still be shooting at fairly high ISO (both to keep some of the ambient and to keep flash power down so that everyone isn't seeing spots by the end of the ceremony).


Oct 27, 2016 at 03:32 AM
FrancisK7
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Very last minute change - shooting a ceremony BEGINNING of sunset.


What kind of flashes do you use? Canon and Nikon TTL is extremely trustworthy. I use it all the time. Godox is less consistent, but it's often an easy exposure fix in LR. What matters is that I got the moment. I too have trouble keeping up with on-the-fly manual adjustments so often rely on TTL and flash compensation.

Ben is right that a third for nice fill would be nice. I only have two triggers so have to rely with on-camera for fill. I also agree with high ISO. I'd shoot this at in the 800-1600 range to preserve ambient, battery and intensity of each pop for the guests' sakes.




Oct 27, 2016 at 03:46 AM
 

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VerucaSallt
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Very last minute change - shooting a ceremony BEGINNING of sunset.


I have 3 Yongnuo 600s. Well.. I used to have 4 but one recently died on me as well as my third tripod that decided to stop telescoping from the second section. This season has been tough on my equipment...

In any event I find that TTL on the Yongnuos tend to be more inclined to kill the ambient than underexpose so I guess it could be worse.

Thanks, guys.



Oct 27, 2016 at 03:57 AM
Ziffl3
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Very last minute change - shooting a ceremony BEGINNING of sunset.


What about a third light up behind the couple off on the groom side. Thus lighting the brides face.
(Add: the flash would be aiming towards the brides position)
This can spill onto the front row too.
Manual power should be fine. Just adjust f stop or iso for different location
of subject.

Mark

Edited on Oct 27, 2016 at 04:55 PM · View previous versions



Oct 27, 2016 at 06:21 AM
mikethevilla
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Very last minute change - shooting a ceremony BEGINNING of sunset.


Sunset ceremonies never go well. They always end in darkness.

I mostly agree here - you MUST have lights setup just in case. I'd wager that you'll definitely end up in the "just in case" scenario.

Hopefully you can control the power of your lights from your camera, otherwise, set them fairly low - remember that they need to come in towards the end of ceremony, not the beginning. If you have them set to a high power, at night you'll get a totally black backdrop. At a lower power you'll likely still get a bit of twilight glow in the background. I'd go manual, not TTL.

Two lights on the side, one down the middle looks good to me too.



Oct 27, 2016 at 06:39 AM
MRomine
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Very last minute change - shooting a ceremony BEGINNING of sunset.


FrancisK7 wrote:
One or two maggrid on each will control your spill. You can add a sphere to soften things a bit.


At that distance it wont soften any it will just be a point source. It will spread the light some and might catch the back of some heads or side of faces a little. Mainly it will just decrease the power of your output.



Oct 27, 2016 at 03:50 PM
BSPhotog
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Very last minute change - shooting a ceremony BEGINNING of sunset.


Not sure what others think about this, but I'd also add that I would use the flashes bare without any gels. The lamps you described sound like maybe sodium vapor bulbs...which are basically the worst light possible.


Oct 27, 2016 at 04:10 PM
Mark_L
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Very last minute change - shooting a ceremony BEGINNING of sunset.


mikethevilla wrote:
Sunset ceremonies never go well. They always end in darkness.

I mostly agree here - you MUST have lights setup just in case. I'd wager that you'll definitely end up in the "just in case" scenario.


This. It always sounds like a great idea to some couple but they have no idea how precise the timing needs to be.

Needing lights will be pretty much mandatory.



Oct 27, 2016 at 08:43 PM
MRomine
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Very last minute change - shooting a ceremony BEGINNING of sunset.


Do you know, will the guests be set up exactly in this same spot? When was the above photo taken? The lighting could be seriously different depending on when this photo was taken.


Oct 27, 2016 at 09:23 PM
VerucaSallt
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Very last minute change - shooting a ceremony BEGINNING of sunset.


Thanks all for your really helpful input.

MRomine wrote:
Do you know, will the guests be set up exactly in this same spot? When was the above photo taken? The lighting could be seriously different depending on when this photo was taken.


Yes, the chairs will be set up exactly the same, but more.

Not sure when this was taken, it's not mine, but judging by the shadows it looks somewhere between 1-2 hours before sunset.

Sunset here today will be 6:02, ceremony starts at 6. May the odds be ever in my favor.



Oct 28, 2016 at 11:57 AM
jcolman
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Very last minute change - shooting a ceremony BEGINNING of sunset.


It doesn't look too difficult to light. As Francis mentioned, two lights at the spot indicated would help to side light the couple. Using an on-camera flash would be a good idea for some added fill light. The photos below are some that I shot in a similar situation. I used four flashes but two on the side plus one on-camera would do a decent job. I would be sure to tie off your light stands to the railing just in case the wind came up.

My lights were not gridded (which I would suggest) rather they were under white plastic bags to protect them from the on and off rain and salt spray.








Oct 28, 2016 at 08:33 PM
LeeSimms
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Very last minute change - shooting a ceremony BEGINNING of sunset.


> they always end in darkness

Title of my someday-written tell all book about weddings



Oct 28, 2016 at 08:46 PM
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