Wedding Shoot in FiJi - Advice needed

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by valentina_liebhart, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. Guys I need your help again, im shooting a wedding in FiJi in 2 weeks , i am terrified about the harsh beach sunlight,
    where should i place the couple ie their faces turning towards light or away from light? And HOW should i light them?
    I was suggested Fill Flash, i know this might sound like a stupid question but when i set the flash at ETTL, i always
    just set the shutter at 125th and the aperture depending on how much background i want lit, so HOW do i control
    that the flash is 1 or 2 stops below ambient lighting???
  2. Neiyo - if you are an amateur and doing this for a friend, you are brave :) beach weddings can be hard. you should try to get a powerful off camera flash and light them from a 45 degree angle so that the sun becomes a beautiful highlight and your umbrella lights them. check out if you have a lot of flashes, try bouncing four into an umbrella :)

    with TTL, you should have a flash exposure compensation setting that can control the amount of fill.

    at the beach, CRANK UP your shutter speed to the highest it will be for regular sync (don't try high speed sync for the most part).

    if you are a pro, then I hope that you know that you shouldn't be asking these questions two weeks before a paying shoot! Get out now - and tell the couple to hire me :)
  3. ETTL won't make a dent in super hot sunlight. Use manual if there is no way to avoid front lighting. If possible shoot them with sun at their backs or in shade. In any case you'll probably be better off using M mode on all flash and camera.

    Just a question, are you shooting as a guest or as the hired pro? If it's the later, and you have these questions it might be best to pass. A wedding in Fiji sounds expensive, and they must have "pro" expectations for the photo's.
  4. Find or create shade, or do shooting at dawn/dusk.
  5. Do some searches on beach weddings in bright sun. Here is one.

    You normally want to face the subject away from the sun (sun on their back) and fill with flash. Sometimes you can't control sun placement, in which case you just attempt to expose for the sun/highlights and fill with flash (such as during an actual ceremony where you have no control).

    Normally sun is ISO 100, f11 @ 1/250th. Set that and compensate your flash in ETTL so that you are getting enough light on the subject's face. If you want to make the background lighter, use a slower speed (or wider aperture), given parts of your subject won't get blown highlights. By the way, sometimes blown highlights are nice, for instance--on brunette hair, and if the blown parts aren't large or hugely important. Little bits of the veil and gown are fine to blow, but not large areas of the dress, for instance.

    As for the flash being below ambient, this makes sense when you realize that light is additive. You are adding flash to light which is already there, if shaded, so you don't want a 'full' dose of flash or you'll overexpose.
  6. It might not as bad as you think is sunny, and bright, but, also lots beautiful cloud around late afternoon I
    believe (a friend of mine been there for their honeymoon).

    Not sure if Fiji sun is brighter, when I shoot weddings in Jamaica, and Mexico, sun turns out to be my best friend. And you
    got whole day to work with, so, if you like, schedule their couple session for beautiful sunset shot ;) Most people love to
    have their sunset pictures ;)
  7. I used to do weddings on beaches here in the US. I have been to Fiji. They have palm trees and other flora. Find some shade near the beach. one thing that works if you shoot into hot back light is a good sized reflector to reflect light into the subject. Nadine's advice about flash is better than I can do. Try to shoot away from noon time, it's tough but I got some good pictures then. I have done some good beach pictures at one to one flash ratio although i mainly shot with flash one stop under ambient. A good handheld incident meter is also helpful as well as reflective readings directly off the subject.
  8. Be ready for a warm, moist environment. If your gear has gotten nice and cool inside and you walk out into warm, moist air, are you ready for camera and lenses to be completely fogged up for 15 minutes or longer? Do you have a plan for preventing this?

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