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  1. #1
    wiseowl's Avatar
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    Pre wedding panic!

    Next Saturday I'm shooting a wedding as a favour. (Long story.)

    The way the weather's been looking (rainy, dark and more rain) there's a strong chance I'll be shooting indoors at the venue. Being indoors will necessitate the use of flash, I strongly suspect that it will have to be on camera for various reasons, no one to assist, only 1 tripod, time constraints etc. The ceiling is too high and dark for bouncing.

    I have 2 questions,

    1. How effective at reducing the harshness of shadows are the metz bounce attachments? (A bracket which attaches to the flash and holds a card.) Or any other suggestions.

    2.Any suggestions as to how I can effectively use flash to light a group of 80 people? I have at my disposal 2 metz 45-ct1's and a vivitar 385.

    Thanks

    Martin

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiseowl
    1. How effective at reducing the harshness of shadows are the metz bounce attachments? (A bracket which attaches to the flash and holds a card.) Or any other suggestions.
    It does help. Two things to watch are:
    The card can fall out! Play with it before hand - a few subtle bends of the clips should sort it out.
    It uses a LOT more power. Make sure you've got a couple of spare battery packs, and watch your cycle times - the flash takes a LOT longer to charge, so if you're rushing it can fail to go off for some shots.

    Less effective, but less troublesome, theres Metz also make a diffuser, which just clips over the front, and softens the flash a little.


    Quote Originally Posted by wiseowl
    2.Any suggestions as to how I can effectively use flash to light a group of 80 people? I have at my disposal 2 metz 45-ct1's and a vivitar 385.
    With 400 film a metz should be able to handle it easily (that would give it a guide of 90, so at f/8 it goes 11 Meters!). It's not pretty/artistic/studio lighting, but it's never going to be - you just need to make sure it's decently exposed. A bigger problem is getting everyone in - make sure you've got a reasonably wide angle lens, and stand on something to get up as high as possible (if necessary take a step-ladder!) so you can group everyone in close.

    Ian

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    Martin:
    Would it be possible to slave the metz units & trip w/the vivitar?
    You may have trouble w/light falloff(vignetting) using one flash.

  4. #4
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    I photographed a bat mitzvah two weekends ago, and at least the weather cooperated for the beginning of the party. It was at a place with a great view to the west, and we had great sunset. The party went into the night, for two hundred people, ugh. Anyway, I have a bracket attachment and I bought a small 'softbox' that velcros onto the flash, (A Metz 54 MZ ). A small step ladder was very useful too. This is not my area of expertise at all, but that softbox really softened up the shadows. I managed to get some really nice photogaphs with it, and they were happy. I did not do a group photo of the whole party, but did do a bunch of 'table shots" which I found deeply boring, but the clients were really happy to have them.

    Good luck with it, I got roped into it too, another long story, and hats off to the folks who do these things all the time. Too much stress for these once on a lifetime events for me!

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    Ian, thanks for the information, it sounds as though you've experience. Do you have an example you can show me?

    Shaggy, I'd been considering this, but without the benefit of modelling lamps or of experimenting beforehand I'm not too keen on the idea.

    Suzanne, you've mentioned the 2 reasons I gave up doing weddings over 10 years ago, stress and not very enjoyable from a photographic point of view. I've seen the softboxes you refer to, but my metz doesn't support ttl so it would have to be manual, and I don't have a flash meter.

    Cheers

    Martin
    Last edited by wiseowl; 10-30-2004 at 01:29 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Added a bit about the softbox

  6. #6
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    HI Martin,

    What your talking about is really, not that difficult, what camera system are you shooting? I have a couple of cameras that I use for Weddings that work quite well as they have correct flash exposure information displayed in the viewfinder LCD.

    Using a two or three light set-up mounted on tripods can be very effective, with a slave, and can also be done without a flash meter.

    Let me know if I can help. I will be happy to let you know some of the 'spur' of the moment put together set-ups that I have done and helped me save a few shoots.

    Dave Parker
    Ground Glass Specialties

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    wiseowl's Avatar
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    Hi Dave,

    I'll be shooting with a Bronica SQb (Rolleiflex T as backup), so neither of these offers the correct exposure indication.

    Thanks for the offer of help, but all things considered I'll stick with kiss (Keep it simple, stupid!) I'll have enough to contend with without a multi flash set up to worry about. Having said that, if it's not a lot of hassle for you I'd be interested in learning what multi flash setups you've used. It could well come in usefull in the future.

    Thanks again

    Martin

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    Hi Martin,

    I will put together a cheat sheet and send to you in a private message.

    I would definately recommend picking up a flash softener if possible, if not you can pretty easily make one, a couple of minutes with a good single ply cardboard and some soft white tissue paper and a little scotch tape can go a long ways to help with the harsh shadows, I just recently had to throw one together for a shoot at a hotel a couple of hundred miles away from my studio and had forgot to bring one of my small soft boxes, but esentually you can make a small soft box with 4 small pieces of cardbord about 2 inches in front of the flash formed into a box and then tape a piece of white kleenex or toliet tissue on the front, they work great and don't really cost anything, and can save the day.

    Dave Parker
    Ground Glass Specialties

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    wiseowl's Avatar
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    Thanks Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wiseowl
    Next Saturday I'm shooting a wedding as a favour. (Long story.)

    The way the weather's been looking (rainy, dark and more rain) there's a strong chance I'll be shooting indoors at the venue. Being indoors will necessitate the use of flash, I strongly suspect that it will have to be on camera for various reasons, no one to assist, only 1 tripod, time constraints etc. The ceiling is too high and dark for bouncing.

    I have 2 questions,

    1. How effective at reducing the harshness of shadows are the metz bounce attachments? (A bracket which attaches to the flash and holds a card.) Or any other suggestions.

    2.Any suggestions as to how I can effectively use flash to light a group of 80 people? I have at my disposal 2 metz 45-ct1's and a vivitar 385.

    Thanks

    Martin
    Some advice:

    Go metering all the locations today at the same hour of the wedding.

    Use a f1.4 lens if possible.
    If necessary use a 3200 film @E.I 1000
    Use the 1/15 or 1/30 frequently.
    Take a tri-pod if not enough light.

    Go at the locations and go looking for the right point of views.
    Do some test films.

    If you can, don't use a flash.

    Fred

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