1st wedding soon - Camera settings checklist.

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by frank_ellis|2, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. Hi everyone!

    I have my first wedding coming up on Sunday and just want to check a few things
    with you guys in regards to camera settings to see if I got it right.


    Do you all agree/disagree with all this? Here's my rule of thumb.. (I do like
    some bokeh in my pics) Please tell me if you feel there may be something wrong
    with some of my suggested settings.


    Generally I'll try keep my shutter above 1/100th, unless there's movement like
    street shots of bride and groom walking etc in which case I'll try for 1/250th.

    Will be using a 5D and a combination of a 24-70L USM 2.8 and a 70-200L IS 2.8

    Portrait shots, couple shots of bride and groom, detail shots, all shots in the
    church I will try to keep my aperture around 4.0 or 4.5, leaning towards 4.5

    Group shots with 3 or more people I will probably use 5.6. Whole bridal party
    and families at 5.6

    Walking out the church and throwing rice around 8.0, group shot outside church
    at 8.0.

    Location shoot 4.5-5.6, bridal party walking around, motion, having fun etc
    around 5.6.

    Reception I'll shoot most on manual with bounce flash +1 at 5.6 and shutter of
    around 100th/sec.

    Does all this sound about right to everyone? (got my fingers crossed)


    -Frankie
     
  2. Have this document as your bed-side-table bible........

    http://www.aljacobs.com/NEW%20WEDDING.pdf
    by Al Jacobson

    :)
     
  3. Nathalie that was an awesome read :)
     
  4. Frank, camera settings don't mean crap unless you know what your light is like. What are you going to cary around an index card and chnage them based on what you are shooting?? If you like bokeh your not going to see much with most of your settings unless a far off background is in the shot.

    I can tell you that your reception settings will be horrid at those settings. The shots you do get will be blown out white faces and black backgrounds assuming this is inside of course. You should be around 1/40th 3.2 and that varies on the ceiling height and distance. I hope this is a freebe wedding etc. etc. I won't get into the "your not ready speech"
     
  5. I don't think you can pre-plan your settings because you need to use settings that fit the lighting and effects you want. You seem very focused on aperture, which is valid for certain things, such as formals, where DOF is very important for multiple rows of people, but otherwise, sometimes the lighting will dictate otherwise or you can go much shallower on DOF for better background blur or circumstances allow, such as no-flash shots in church where distance from subjects allow wide apertures without fear of subjects OOF. Also, reception EV should be determined based on actual conditions. For "most" reception lighitng, the EV you show will give you darkish backgrounds unless you are lighting up the backgrounds.
     
  6. You also don't mention ISO at all. I am assuming for the reception shots you're talking about ISO 400 or so.
     
  7. I worked with a pro that did alot in shutter priority mode. 1/60th indoors and 1/125th outdoors while compensating +/- with the flash.

    She chose this method and obviously had the capability to shoot manual as she pleased, but it was very consistent and she books 70 weddings annually.
     
  8. >Steve Dohring, Jul 18, 2007; 01:01 p.m.

    >Frank, camera settings don't mean crap unless you know what your light >is like. What are you going to cary around an index card and chnage >them based on what you are shooting?? If you like bokeh your not going >to see much with most of your settings unless a far off background is >in the shot.

    Steve, I was going to shoot aperture priority and adjust ISO to keep shutter speed up around 1/100th to avoid movement blur for most of the day.

    Are my settings really that bad? I want sharp pictures during most of the day. Is keeping the shutter above 1/100th and aperture between 4.0-5.6 a bad thing? Group shots 5.6, other shots 4.5.

    Also, at the reception, I'm worried that I'm going to get motion blur at 1/40th. I do understand that the flash will freeze the action. Hmm. I might give it a shot.

    Yes this is a freebie wedding.


    -Frankie
     
  9. >Nadine Ohara -
    >
    >You also don't mention ISO at all. I am assuming for the reception >shots you're talking about ISO 400 or so.

    Nadine. At 1/100th and 5.6 at the reception I was planning on using ISO 800 and 1600 on the Canon 5D and bouncing flash.

    I forgot to mention ISO in my earlier posts.

    DO you all still think I'm going to get terrible reception results at these settings?

    I forgot to mentioin in my original post that I wanted to know if my aperture settings are sufficient to keep people in focus and not lose them due to shallow DOF. Do you think I'll be fine with those settings?



    You guys really got me worried now cause I thought I had this down pat.


    -Frankie
     
  10. I guess the thing that I (and Steve) am reacting to is the assignment of settings for the different photo sessions without knowing what the light and action is going to be like, and to a lesser extent, the DOF needed, although f5.6 is probably good for group shots of multiple rows of people with a normal or wide angle lens. If everyone is on the same plane, you "could" go wider. That's the thing--you can't always predict your situations, and just have to exercise your knowledge of motion stopping, DOF getting, and EV assignment on the fly, as you encounter each situation. Also, without knowing what focal length you are going to use for each, how do we know whether the aperture is appropriate?

    As for the reception--your settings would place your EV about a stop or two "darker" than the EV I "generally" use for "most" medium-dark receptions. Again--better to figure it when you're there...
     
  11. What type of bounce? Are you using a bounce card of some sort? Plus 1 may or may not work depending on how you plan to achieve this.
     
  12. >Bob Bernardo - LA area.photo.net patron, Jul 18, 2007; 10:08 p.m.

    >What type of bounce? Are you using a bounce card of some sort? Plus 1 >may or may not work depending on how you plan to achieve this.

    Just the card that flips out of the Canon 580ex flash.

    How do you feel about 1/100th at 5.6 at 800-1600 ISO for most of the dancing at the reception with the flash bounced at +1?

    I see photographers using an aperture of 4.0 and shutter of 1/40th. I'm too scared to go that low a shutter in fear that I'll get blurry pictures.


    -Frankie
     
  13. 1/100th at 5.6 at reception. With a 24-70 you can go at 2.8 30th at ISO 800-1200. Maybe dial to F4 if need be. Else use the the "C" function with the settings you mention above for the safe shots and then go back to M and try 2.8 at 30th will get lots more ambient light in the picture. Search "dragging shutter" or search under posts from Nadine.

    If you want nice Bokeh you'll have to move away from the safe apperture's and start shooting at 2.8. Some considder 2.8 to be slow in this industry. Get a 85 1.8 or 50 1.4 and see what you get at F1.8, will be amazed.
     
  14. Greetings Frank, the 24-70 is a mighty fine lens with the 5D. Perhaps one of the finest zoom lenses made. I personally would NOT go over ISO 800. In fact I usually shoot at 400, but I do set up radio slaved lights, so ISO 800 should be fine. You would be amazed how well your flash will stop action at 30th, 40th, to 60th of a sec. I don't feel you need 100th of a sec. F4 is a nice all around setting for receptions and with the cake cutting I'd pop it up to maybe 5.6. Try to remember with any digital camera it is best to be underexposed compared to overexposed so plus 1 on the flash with the cake cutting may not work. The cake is probably already white, the table cloth is most likely white, so you have a good chance of blowing the detail of the cake out, the brides dress out, and the detail can't be recovered if you are overexposed. In this case you may want to set the flash to minus 1/3 or 2/3's. Anything inside of maybe 10 feet I'd shoot with the flash set at normal and at 15 feet or so then go plus 1. Hope this helps and good luck with your first wedding! Be sure to share a few of your images with us!
     
  15. >Chris Ras
    >Else use the the "C" function with the settings you mention above

    What do you mean by the 'C' function?


    -Frankie
     
  16. Frank, I would suggest that you use ISO 400 or 800, put the camera in "P" mode and unless you have a strong reason not to, go with the settings that the camera gives you. If you're bouncing off the ceiling at the reception, remember to give yourself plenty of room for the light to spread out and avoid getting very close to your subjects.
     
  17. Frank you should put it in P mode like David said - or you are going to be in real trouble - it is obvious you have not spent a lot of time with your camera or photography and rather than fiddle with your camera all night and miss things go with P mode. If you chimp a lot which I think you will, better have lots of batteries. However at the reception in P mode you can still get in trouble so watch your ISO to make P mode work but manual mode is the only real way to shoot receptions. Practice in your house as much as you can with dim lighting conditions. Again what Nadie and I stressed is the light is the main factor that causes you to adjust the camera settings and you don't know unitl you get there.
     
  18. I wouldn't suggest you use Program. Just don't rigidly assign settings without knowing what the conditions are. If you are worried about DOF, study a DOF table for the focal lengths you have and use. And remember that sometimes, for certain images, not everyone has to be in sharp focus. This is more for the action and candid shots, not formals, where it IS important to get everyone in sharp focus.

    Re the reception settings. Do you know what the ambient light will be like? Your settings might be great for a daylight reception where there is light coming into the hall. For some light-filled, daylight reception halls, I often use 1/125th, f4 or f5, ISO 400. This is still underexposing the ambient by at least two stops to let the flash freeze motion. Review the "dragging the shutter" concept. At f4, 1/40th you won't get blurry pictures if you are underexposing the ambient at least a couple of stops.
     

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