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  1. #1
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Wedding tomorrow - Nikon flash problem

    I have a wedding tomorrow morning. I visited the site today (always a good idea) and I'm going to have a problem with this one. Let me share my thoughts with you:

    The civil wedding is at the Town Hall in a fairly small room which is wide but not deep. Facing the officials there are the couple then two rows of spectators then windows with the extra guests outside the room crowding in to watch.

    I try to get a result where the faces of the couple are well lit and the rest of the room with the other participants is slightly under-exposed but natural - you wouldn't know flash has been used. Normally I use bounce flash off the ceiling just in front of the couple, 800 ISO to get the room pretty well at 1/60s f7.1 and Nikon flash in BBL mode so that it will balance the flash with the room lighting.

    This won't work this time:

    - the ceiling is dark brown. I can't bounce off it
    - if I bounce off the wall next to me then the officials are going to cast a shadow on the couple. Won't work. I'll have to use direct flash
    - the open windows behind are going to be the brightest thing in the scene and I think that BBL flash is going to try to match them which is not the effect I want at all

    I figure

    - I'm going to have to set the camera in manual mode to slightly underexpose the scene inside the room and let the light from the windows blow out
    - I will set the flash to normal TTL so that it exposes correctly the subject in the center of the image (the couple) and not try to balance with anything else

    Anybody got any other thoughts?
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  2. #2
    Ken ksbryan0's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding tomorrow - Nikon flash problem

    Charles, people photography is a major weakness for me, and my suggestions are likely way below your level of expertise, but thought I'd embarrass myself anyhow! In that situation at our church, I've used the LumiQuest 80-20 Pocket Bouncer (LumiQuest 80-20 Pocket Bouncer - Compact Bouncer for Shoe LQ-102) and either spot or center-weighted metering (can't remember which) with pretty good results. The roof in the church is way too high to bounce the flash effectively, and the 80-20 doesn't give the "flash photography" look. I realize it is too short of notice to purchase one, but as simple as they are, a little cardboard cutout, aluminum foil and a rubber band could get you pretty close.
    Ken

    My Website: His Creation
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." Wayne Gretzky

  3. #3
    Woe is me! wfooshee's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding tomorrow - Nikon flash problem

    Years ago I had a flash that came with a bounce card that attached to the top. I've been dying to rig something like that on my current flash. It was a piece of hard plastic with a nice white surface, mounted to the top of the flash at a 45-degree angle. Point the flash straight up and shoot normally, and it softened the flash considerably compared to direct flash.

    Also years ago I saw a guy with an inflatable reflector on his flash, like an umrella reflector. It was clear, about the size of an air mattress pillow, and the far size was a reflective surface on the inside. You put it on the flash head and turned it to face backwards so the reflector faced forward. Again, the idea was to use on-camera flash but soften it.

    Probably lame suggestions, and your experiment time is pretty darn limited.

  4. #4
    Woe is me! wfooshee's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding tomorrow - Nikon flash problem

    Can you set up a piece of posterboard next to your location and bounce off of it, so you don't have to use the wall, or is that too intrusive?

  5. #5
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding tomorrow - Nikon flash problem

    This room is really small so I don't think I can place any accessories. (the small space is an advantage - the area to light is small). The location is really far from anywhere - I checked out the local shops yesterday and there is no supplier of sophisticated material within 50 miles.

    Your suggestions have given me some ideas:

    - there is the Stofen thing that came with the SB800. It softens the direct light plus I should get some bounce off the white wall that is right next to me
    - I have a second SB800 which I could use to light the room if I can find something to put it on. Too complex
    - I must look into a bounce thingy for the SB800. I had one for my big Metz flash back in the days of film but not for the SB800

    Thanks for the input
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  6. #6
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding tomorrow - Nikon flash problem

    Hope we can see some of the results and how you did it.
    Good luck!
    Keep Shooting!

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  7. #7
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding tomorrow - Nikon flash problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog View Post
    Hope we can see some of the results and how you did it.
    Good luck!
    Can't publish. Nobody wants to be on Internet around here, apart from professional models.

    Anyway it went quite well. I tested the flash+Stofen solution bouncing off the white wall next to me - the D800 recognised that the bright windows were not subjects and auto exposure was okay.

    - In the town hall I used just Program mode - there's less risk of me forgetting to reset exposure or something when I have to rush out and catch people throwing rice at the couple after the ceremony.
    - In the church I used TWO cameras for security - the D300 + flash set on auto for the sunlit exteriors and the D800 on manual for the ceremony inside the church, which was dark as usual. I had to D800 set on 3200 ISO and the SB800 flash pointing straight up at the ceiling 60 feet above to light the whole church with a light that looks natural.

    I took two SB800 flashes but I used just one most of the time The NiMh batteries ran out of power after doing more than 800 photos. Remarkable.
    .
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

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