Need Advice! - Shooting a wedding in sunlight

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by techie4life, May 25, 2010.

  1. techie4life macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia
    #1
    Hey everyone, I've been a member here for quite some time but I've never needed advice quite as detailed as what I'm about to ask for. I am shooting my first wedding in a few weeks and I have a few questions about shooting in sunlight with/without flashes.

    My equipment will be:
    D300s with f/2.8 70-200 VR
    D80 with f/2.8 24-70
    2 SB-600's

    My main question is this: during the ceremony, I obviously don't want the sun to put harsh shadows on the bride and groom, so how should I setup the flashes? Should I use both off-camera with 3 PocketWizards or will one SU-800 work? Any advice would be much appreciated!
     
  2. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    #2
    Aah, reply disappeared into the ether.

    Coles Notes

    One flash on camera for fill
    You have good glass, use it
    Your first wedding will be going way to fast to try to properly setup and use remote flashes during the ceremony
    Use the remotes for staged portraits

    Have fun.
     
  3. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #3
    Radio triggers are much more reliable in bright light than optical ones, even infra-red. If you have PWs, Cybersyncs or Radio Poppers, use them. Personally, I like my key high and off to the side and up and my fill on-camera, but a lot depends on how much you have to move around- I'm not sure how the 600s will fare in bright light- I'd probably go with a bigger single flash gun like a Metz if it's bright- a lot depends on the time of day. I'd also switch to have the 24-70 on the D300, as I'd expect to use that lens more than the 70-200, in fact, I'd expect to just shoot candids with the longer lens. If you're using two bodies, it might be good to have a flash bracket for each and a Better Beamer for the longer throw of the 200mm.

    If you're also doing the formals outside, consider some studio strobes, a battery pack and light stands. At the least, have an assistant with a nice sized reflector or piece of foam core.

    Have a rain plan too- flash and raindrops not so good.

    Paul

    Paul
     
  4. techie4life thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia
    #4
    Thank you for the advice, but I just don't have the money to do something as extensive as that. I will probably take your advice on switching the lenses though, for some reason I thought that I would be using the zoom more often during the ceremony, I guess we'll see. For posed portraits, what would you think about the D300 with the 24-70, an SB-600 on top in command mode (is that possible) triggering the other SB-600?
     
  5. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #5
    I don't think the SB-600 will do commander mode. You can rent an SB800 or 900 online, or use the D300's built-in flash as a commander and just power it as your fill at whatever ratio you want, or simplify and just use an on-camera light with a softbox and backlight with the sun- you'll save the squints and if you get the flash power right, you'll have some really good images. You should really consider renting an SB900 though, as it'll auto-zoom out to 200mm, which you'll want for fill with the longer lens. For ease, I'd put a rented SB900 on a stand or clamped to something high up, or have a VALS hold it over their head and trigger it from the D300 in commander mode if you're set on two lights. Rental of a flash vs a Better Beamer is something you'll have to do the math vs pain factoring on.

    You'll want to get outside and practice now, so you can figure out your distances and power levels as well as what works and doesn't.

    Paul
     
  6. techie4life thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia
    #6
    Thanks so much for the help. If I rent an SB-900, can it be used as the "Master" to set off a remote SB-600? If it can then I will definitely be able to justify the cost difference, and take off the SU-800 from my order.
     
  7. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #7
    Yes, like the SB800, the SB900 will work in commander mode, it also has the same SU-4 mode, so if you're inside and want a flash-triggered remote flash, you can put the SB900 on a stand and trigger it with *any* other flash- good for lighting P&S pictures even, so long as you turn off pre-flash/red eye reduction. The biggest "value" to the SB900 is the 200mm zoom though, it'll light well for the 70-200, for me that alone would be worth the rental. Looks like about $40/week online.

    Paul
     
  8. techie4life thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia
    #8
    In that case then I think I'll change my order from an SB-600 and SU-800 to an SB-900, since I already have an SB-600. I just wanted to make sure that I can have the 900 on camera and fire the flash, which would fire the 600 using CLS, I assume. When I move to the reception inside, I will be able to keep the same setup! Thanks so much! If I have my facts wrong, please correct me.
     
  9. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #9
    You can do that- I'm not sure how well CLS works outside in bright sunlight though- That'd be my only concern. I'd suggest putting the D300 in commander mode and testing with your existing SB600 outdoors in the same sort of sunny conditions and distances if this is your main/only usage. I have an SB800 and two SB600's, but I haven't done much CLS work yet.

    Paul
     
  10. techie4life thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia
    #10
    Thanks again for all the help. Chances are, I'll be using the SB-900 on the D300s outside in sunlight, so I hopefully won't have to use the 600 much, I'll save that for the reception!
     

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