New Workshop! Lighting 3 | Advanced Off Camera Flash

Show Critique
Per the assignment from the "Lighting the Reception" workshop, what I would have done differently with this is have everyone with... (show more)
Exif Data
  • NIKON D750
  • 24.0-70.0 MM F/2.8
  • f/3.5
  • 48mm
  • 1/125
  • 500

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Matthew Saville

    Hi Amanda,

    Yup, I think you did a great job here, and the improvements I’ll suggest are just that- improvements for someone who clearly already knows what they’re doing and can reliably document a moment, but is looking to increase the creativity overall…

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  2. A
    Matthew Saville

    I think part of what allows sparklers in general to be emphasized is, if they (and the people holding them) aren’t hit with the flash that is hitting the couple. Just imagine if these people in the background were mostly all in the dark, and the only light hitting the couple’s face was an extremely small spotlight. I’d accomplish this by snooting or double-gridding the flash that is hitting the subjects’ faces, and maybe even gridding/snooting the backflash too.

    With those things accomplished, I’d also shoot at a much higher ambient exposure, and then darker flash settings to compensate. I’d hit f/2.8 and ISO 1600 or 3200, for example, and then whatever shutter speed gave a good exposure for the sparklers. Then pop the flashes at a lower power with the grids/snoots on, and see how it goes!

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    • Amanda Burnham

      Thanks for the comments. Good points. Yep, I was a single shooter but this coming wedding will have a second so maybe I can try the more creative options you mentioned. 

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  3. Matthew Saville

    By the way, shooting 100% ambient can be gorgeous, however it’s so risky that I only ever do it if I have two shooters, and I can absolutely trust the 2nd shooter to nail either an ambient shot or a flashed shot, while I shoot the other.

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  4. Tracey-Ann Jarrett

    I would also play with a video light in this instance.  Flash can be tricky to control here. I’m not sure how much ambient light you had overall, but a video light may do the trick.  The D750 give you a lot of range with low light so take a few test shots and practice before having them come down the isle.  We sometimes ask them for a quick kiss in the middle if it’s not too dangerous, sometimes guests can be wreckless with the sparklers. 

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    • Amanda Burnham

      I just bought a video light so I’d love to try this out with one. Thanks for the comment. 😊

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    • Matthew Saville

      Yeah, on the D750 and in situations like this, I wouldn’t hesitate to hit ISO 6400, or even 12800 in a pinch, if the histogram is well exposed. The thing is, unless you know the couple is super picky about image quality, (almost none are, of course) …they’ll totally understand if such dimly lit moments are a bit more grainy than a daytime shot. What matters is, catching the emotion of the moment, of course.

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  5. Tracey & Martin

    That’s good, one last thing is, we hype up our couple and the crowd.  We give them direction to be excited and “woooo!”  just give them a little motivation ;)! 

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  6. Matthew Saville

    BTW, for reference, here’s two of my old sparkler exit shots that demonstrate the two techniques best, I think. This one is made using flash, one low backflash without a gel on, (you can see it laying on the ground back there, actually) …and one high-angle, snooted flash that is shining on the couple themselves. it’s spilling onto a few hands, but at least the sparklers are decently prominent, despite the gateway that is halfway through the line…

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    • Matthew Saville

      …and here is one that was shot 100% natural light; for this one I used an 85 prime instead of a 2.8 zoom, (I think the other one was shot with a 24-70 at about 70mm) …and shot wide open at 85 1.8 and ISO 3200 or 6400, and whatever decently fast shutter speed gave me a solid ambient exposure. Just make sure that when you’re shooting 100% ambient like this, you get your shots before they get to the end of the line haha, because it’s the sparklers themselves that you’re relying on to illuminate the subjects.

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  7. Amanda Burnham

    Both of  these examples are beautiful and I would love to get closer to this look. This example was my first wedding over a year ago and now that I’ve completed almost the entire wedding workshop, I would definitely approach it differently. Higher ISO for example. Your tips are extra helpful. Thanks for taking the time, Matthew. 

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