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Wedding lighting

FoquesFoques Registered Users Posts: 1,951 Major grins
edited October 4, 2016 in Weddings
Hey folks, I need an advice.

Have a wedding coming up in a location that makes it a bit difficult to bounce light off of the walls (color is less than desirable), and it is leading me to contemplate a certain change to my shooting.

Prior weddings i've done, I shot with my SB900s on the body(or sb900/sb600 combo if I needed two flashes), and worked alright, but I would like to step the game up.
I do not want to invest into another set of triggers as I am a heavy user of AB and their sync system.

So, this said, how do you feel about having, say, two heads positioned on each side of the venue and bouncing light off of the ceiling?
if that isn't the best idea, do you feel that i could benefit form using grids on the Alien bees, and directing them toward the middle of the dance floor?

thoughts? recommendations?

thank you in advance.
Arseny - the too honest guy.
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    ziggy53ziggy53 Super Moderators Posts: 23,951 moderator
    edited September 9, 2016
    Need more information.

    What is it about the walls that you don't like?

    What size is the hall?

    How tall is the ceiling?

    Is the ceiling white? If so, a neutral white or tinted?

    Is this where the wedding will take place or just the reception?

    How large is the wedding party? (How many people will be required for the most populous shot?)

    How many Ws total in your Alien Bee flashes?

    Anything else you can think of to describe the venue and the requirements?
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
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    The LeaderThe Leader Registered Users Posts: 85 Big grins
    edited September 9, 2016
    Inside darker areas is always hard but I just stick to onboard flash. F2.8 or better and an ISO 800 and that works. Not perfect but things change so quickly you need to be nimble so moving other lighting around can be a distraction.

    Escort Photography Melbourne - Wedding Photography Melbourne - Portrait Photography Melbourne - Event Photography Melbourne
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    FoquesFoques Registered Users Posts: 1,951 Major grins
    edited September 9, 2016
    ziggy53 wrote: »
    Need more information.

    What is it about the walls that you don't like?

    What size is the hall?

    How tall is the ceiling?

    Is the ceiling white? If so, a neutral white or tinted?

    Is this where the wedding will take place or just the reception?

    How large is the wedding party? (How many people will be required for the most populous shot?)

    How many Ws total in your Alien Bee flashes?

    Anything else you can think of to describe the venue and the requirements?

    the hall is quite sizable.
    ceiling is about 10-12 feet tall, and is white

    Walls are dirty beige, and when bouncing flash give a nasty orange/beige glare.

    This is the reception only thing; wedding party is going to be 10 people, but i'm thinking that it'll be maybe 4 people that will form the largest group.

    Bees are putting out up to 650W.


    Being able to have a cyber commander/trigger on the body instead of the heavy flash could be nice, and a bit of a backlight could also be nice
    Arseny - the too honest guy.
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    ziggy53ziggy53 Super Moderators Posts: 23,951 moderator
    edited September 10, 2016
    Foques wrote: »
    the hall is quite sizable.
    ceiling is about 10-12 feet tall, and is white

    Walls are dirty beige, and when bouncing flash give a nasty orange/beige glare.

    This is the reception only thing; wedding party is going to be 10 people, but i'm thinking that it'll be maybe 4 people that will form the largest group.

    Bees are putting out up to 650W.


    Being able to have a cyber commander/trigger on the body instead of the heavy flash could be nice, and a bit of a backlight could also be nice

    "Dirty beige" should not be casting a "nasty orange/beige glare". Maybe the carpeting is contributing some light poisoning/pollution?

    From your description, yes, a feathered flash ceiling bounce plus a front fill from your speedlight should make for pretty good lighting and shadows.

    Standard bowl reflectors on the ABs should be fine. Grids won't help because the ceiling will diffuse the light anyway and spill onto both walls and floor regardless. Get your light stands as high as possible

    If you get the chance to test beforehand, that's always best.

    A gridded or snooted flash for backlight is generally a good idea, unless the wall truly is producing orange tint as you described.

    650 Ws total is not a lot if you have to do the full wedding party plus ushers, or a large family group shot. Still OK, it just means that room lights may need to be out to prevent their contribution. If you do have a larger group shot drop the studio lights down a bit to get a larger spread of light off the ceiling.

    Get a shot list from the B&G if you can. It helps to make sure that you get all the needed formals.

    (After a couple is booked, I always provide the B&G with a printout of most of the possible people combinations and a checkbox next to each possible selection. It helps to insure that you know what's expected, and it helps to organize the people waiting and the shot sequence. It tends to waste a lot of time without an agreed-upon list beforehand.)


    If I have misunderstood the situation and if there are no formals intended, speedlights alone work pretty well if you use an appropriate flash modifier. Dance shots are often improved by putting studio lights into the corners of the room beforehand. Just try to balance the speedlights and studio lights so that the studio lights are more fill than key.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
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    FoquesFoques Registered Users Posts: 1,951 Major grins
    edited September 11, 2016
    I hear you on the list. I stopped doing that because in some situations certain shot requests are not sustainable, and I just ask the b/g to give the me list of the shots they look for.

    When mentioning grids, I was referring to directing flashes toward the dance floor. trouble with that set up is that I can't trigger strobes AND fire an oncamera strobe at the same time (not that I know of at least; optical trigger has not worked too well for me, and hot shoe is not a preferred addon)
    Arseny - the too honest guy.
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    Gary752Gary752 Registered Users Posts: 934 Major grins
    edited September 14, 2016
    When mentioning grids, I was referring to directing flashes toward the dance floor. trouble with that set up is that I can't trigger strobes AND fire an oncamera strobe at the same time (not that I know of at least; optical trigger has not worked too well for me, and hot shoe is not a preferred addon)

    Does your camera and trigger have a flash sync cable input port? If so, you should be able to attach a trigger for the external flashes and still be able to fire a flash on the hot shoe, or if you have a flash bracket, put the flash on the bracket and attach the sync cable to it, and the trigger on the hot shoe. What I seen in one of Scott Robert Lim's workshops on Creative Live, he puts a bare flash on both sides by the DJ's/Band's speakers up as high as possible and pointed at the center of the dance floor on about 1/2 power. He sometimes will put colored gels on the flashes as well for a dramatic effect. This might be an option for you.
    GaryB
    “The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it!” - Ansel Adams
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    FoquesFoques Registered Users Posts: 1,951 Major grins
    edited October 4, 2016
    so, had I done my homework originally (And not bought stobes used/read manual), I would've had an answer much sooner.
    AB strobes have an optical slave option. It worked marvelously this past Saturday.
    AB stobe, paired with a Vagabond and set off with SB900 did an excellent job.. I think. Going to be culling through the images shortly. But I'm excited.
    Arseny - the too honest guy.
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