Friday 11 June 2010

Evening shoot on Deal beach and pier

My website: Wedding Photographers in Kent

A selection of images from Hanna and James' evening session after their wedding last week - please check out their wedding gallery. A lot of these shots involve off-camera flash triggered using the Pocket Wizard miniTT1-flexTT5 combination. Although it is possible to do this solo with your flash units on stands, it's a lot quicker with assistance. My friend Lucy (a budding wedding photographer) kindly offered her help.

1/200, f/4, ISO 100, ‒ 1 EV, ⅓ FEC, 16mm, 16-35mm f/2.8L II

The ambient light was underexposed by a stop and then flash, controlled by E-TTL metering transmitted via the Pocket Wizards, lit the couple. I always take a good look at the image in the LCD screen (which is callibrated to match my home monitor) to ensure that the balance between ambient and flash light is as required.

In post-production I often add vignetting to the edges of my images. I've noticed that this effect seems to be amplified when downsizing the image in Lightroom. In other words, the vingetting in the full size image is considerably more subtle than above!

1/200, f/4, ISO 100, ‒ 1 EV, ⅓ FEC, 30mm, 16-35mm f/2.8L II

Using a flash like this does impose some limitations on the poses that the couple can strike due to the resultant shadows.

1/125, f/1.4, ISO 800, 0 EV, 35mm f/1.4L

Shooting with natural light only. They're positioned to pick up good quality light being reflected from the sky (the sun had set). Any further under the pier and I had to use flash to light them.

The above image is not pin-sharp. I normally stick to the central focusing point at wide apertures but, in this case, there was nothing suitable to focus on (you can't focus and recompose at these apertures - the DOF is too shallow). I used one of the outer AF points and it struggled to focus accurately. For me this is the major flaw with the 5D Mark II. Manual focusing is an option if your eyes are good enough. Alternatively you could switch to live view, zoom in and check focus but it would be really nice if the non-central AF points just worked a lot better.

1/100, f/2, ISO 800, ‒ ²⁄₃ EV, 35mm f/1.4L

Her lovely red hair contrasted nicely with the stone. Negative exposure compensation (EC) corrected for the predominance of dark tones.

1/100, f/1.8, ISO 1600, 0 EV, - 1 FEC, 35mm f/1.4L

A Bond-style action pose that just happened spontaneously. I used flash exposure compensation (FEC) and reduced flash output by one stop to subtly light them - without flash the light on their faces was ugly.

1/100, f/1.8, ISO 1600, 0 EV, -1 FEC, 35mm f/1.4L

As above.

1/80, f/2, ISO 1600, ‒ ²⁄₃ EV, 35mm f/1.4L

Out from the deep shadow of the pier and lit by the last vestiges of natural light. A low quantity of light (check out the exposure values) but of good quality.

1/320, f/1.4, ISO 800, 0 EV, 35mm f/1.4L

1/50, f/2.8, ISO 1600, 0 EV, -1 FEC, 16mm, 16-35mm f/2.8L II

This is where the Pocket Wizards really come in to their own. Get the lights set up and you can put yourself wherever you want. On the first shot I took the couple were overlit so I dialled down the flash by one stop.

1/40, f/2.8, ISO 1600, 0 EV, 35mm, 16-35mm f/2.8L II

No flash for a silhouette. The darker area to the right (amplified by the resizing process) is not due to vignetting but is the diffuse shadow area of the pier.

1/3, f/8, ISO 400, 0 EV, ‒ ²⁄₃ FEC, 35mm, 16-35mm f/2.8L II

I wanted to have a shot with traffic trails. Unfortunately I was unable to do anything very dramatic as there was very little traffic! I put the camera on a monopod and then adjusted the aperture and ISO speed to get a suitable shutter speed. No ambient light was falling on the couple - they were only lit by flash. Hence even I moved the camera during the exposure they would still be sharp.

1/60, f/1.4, ISO 1000, 0 EV, 35mm f/1.4L

I took this shot next to, what was effectively, a big candle - with a very low colour temperature. Correcting for colour temperature in post-production has emphasised the residual blueness of the night sky.

Any comments or queries are welcome as ever.

My website: Kent wedding photographers

1 comment:

Helen said...

Hi David, I'm now a regular blog visitor! and this post in particular is so helpful, trying to get to grips with my flashes so thanks for all the helpful info.