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Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Nikon Speedlights & Lighting topic #59406
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Subject: "White Balance etc. at event" Previous topic | Next topic
nikon1nut Registered since 03rd Jun 2009Thu 27-Sep-12 09:56 AM
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"White Balance etc. at event"


Petts Wood, Orpington., GB
          

I have been out of active photography for some years now, I have been asked to take some pictures this weekend for some friends. The venue is a large hall, high ceilings, and low ambient light. The couple will be dressed in their wedding attire (white dress and Tux)etc. I will be using my D300 and SB900. Any pointers to a successful shoot will be appreciated. Diffusers, white balance etc. | am not a novice but health
problems have stepped in so any help would assist.

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: White Balance etc. at event
luckyphoto Silver Member
28th Sep 2012
1
Reply message RE: White Balance etc. at event
barrywesthead Silver Member
28th Sep 2012
2
Reply message RE: White Balance etc. at event
Arkayem Moderator
28th Sep 2012
3
Reply message RE: White Balance etc. at event
nikon1nut
05th Oct 2012
4
     Reply message RE: White Balance etc. at event
SRFast Silver Member
06th Oct 2012
5

luckyphoto Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Dec 2010Fri 28-Sep-12 12:06 PM
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#1. "RE: White Balance etc. at event"
In response to Reply # 0


Port Charlotte, US
          

If possible, visit the hall before the event to see what type of lighting exists. Take some test shots.

You may want to put a filter on your flash based on the ambient light (florescent, etc.)to achieve correct white balance. Typically, in low light situations, the flash overpowers ambient light so a filter may not be needed. Remember that shutter speed controls the ambient light in flash photography.

High ceilings make bounce flash difficult so you'll need some type of diffuser on the flash to make it a larger light source. If you're doing staged shots use a tripod and possibly a reflector.

Good luck,

Larry

"Red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right
....and which is an illusion"

Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin

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barrywesthead Silver Member Awareded for his continued support of the Nikonians community, freely sharing his expertise, particularly in the areas of digital post processing and printing. Nikonian since 07th Nov 2006Fri 28-Sep-12 01:01 PM
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#2. "RE: White Balance etc. at event"
In response to Reply # 1
Fri 28-Sep-12 01:02 PM by barrywesthead

Kleinburg, CA
          

>If possible, visit the hall before the event to see what type
>of lighting exists. Take some test shots.
>
>You may want to put a filter on your flash based on the
>ambient light.

+1 for the above points, especially if the lighting is incandescent which is often the case due to their inexpensive dimmability.

For incandescent lighting the SB900’s Tungsten filter will give you warm images with the correct background white balance.

On the D300 I would say shoot at ISO400 to maximize your flash range – someone more familiar with the 300 may know if 800 is OK.

Remember the SB900 will overheat and shutdown if you shoot a few consecutive shots that require full flash power and akes a few minutes to cool off.

Check the histogram. Previews on the LCD can appear bright enough in a dim room even thought they are underexposed. You can boost the exposure in post processing but increased noise is the treadeoff.

When there are walls behind subjects which will show flash shadows, shoot landscape and crop to portrait to avoid distracting side shadows.

Barry
http://art2printimages.com
bwesthead@art2printimages.com

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberFri 28-Sep-12 01:42 PM
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#3. "RE: White Balance etc. at event"
In response to Reply # 0
Fri 28-Sep-12 01:46 PM by Arkayem

Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>I have been out of active photography for some years now, I
>have been asked to take some pictures this weekend for some
>friends. The venue is a large hall, high ceilings, and low
>ambient light. The couple will be dressed in their wedding
>attire (white dress and Tux)etc. I will be using my D300 and
>SB900. Any pointers to a successful shoot will be appreciated.
>Diffusers, white balance etc. | am not a novice but health
>problems have stepped in so any help would assist.

When you shoot in a large room with low ambient light, it is usually incandescent, and you usually do not have to do anything special about the white balance, because the flash will make the entire exposure on the subject. With the camera on Auto-WB, the background will be a little yellow, but that is usually fine, because that just gives the images warmth.

However, if the lights are fluorescent, sodium, or mercury, you will probably want to 'gel' the flash to make its light match.

The important thing is to shoot with the camera in Manual mode and the shutter set high enough to eliminate the ambient contribution on the subject, so the subject color balance will match the flash and be correct.

As a starting point, for large rooms I use ISO 400, 1/80th, and f/4.5. I also use a Gary Fong diffuser pointed up inside 20 feet and pointed directly at the subjects beyond 20 feet. Your range will be limited due to minimal ceiling bounce to under 30 feet.

You have to also watch out for overexposure. The dark backgrounds will make the flash power increase whenever the subject is not perfectly centered and occupying a large percentage of the frame. The black suit that the groom wears exacerbates the problem leading to blown faces for white skin. The problem is much less severe with dark skin. I always start with the flash compensation at -2/3 stop point when shooting in those conditions. Then, I check the histogram and readjust the FEC as needed.

Of course, when shooting the bride in her white dress, just the opposite problem will occur, if the dress occupies a large percentage of the frame. The flash will turn its power down and underexposure will result. This can usually be corrected in post processing (if shooting raw), so I usually don't worry about it unless it is severe. I check the histogram regularly to verify I'm not off by more than a stop and a half or so.

The FV-Lock function is also very important in large rooms, to minimize overexposure. Assuming you use a constant aperture lens, you can zoom in on the face of the subject, fire the FV-Lock, and zoom back out, recompose, and take the shot. This will make sure the flash is always set to the face of the subject rather than the background or clothing. But, you can't do this with a lens that changes its aperture as you zoom, or the wrong flash power may be locked.

Oh, and I forgot: Make sure the flash is in Regular TTL and not TTL-BL! The metering mode of the camera doesn't matter as long as the flash is in regular TTL. If you shoot in TTL-BL indoors in dim light with the camera in Manual mode, your images will usually be very dark.

Russ
Retired Professional Photographer
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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nikon1nut Registered since 03rd Jun 2009Fri 05-Oct-12 08:31 PM
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#4. "RE: White Balance etc. at event"
In response to Reply # 3


Petts Wood, Orpington., GB
          

Many thanks for the input. I had a successful evening with good results.
Only downside was that as suggested the SB900 shut down almost at the end of the event. I shot in RAW, manual, 80th. at F5.6 with a quickly made ABBC some slight over exposure but nothing that a colleague cannot correct for me. Again my thanks.

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SRFast Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Dec 2004Sat 06-Oct-12 01:50 AM
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#5. "RE: White Balance etc. at event"
In response to Reply # 4


New York City, US
          

Alan,
It's good to know you had a good outing. Russ and the other members are a great source for information.

I have thought about adding an SB-900 to my kit, but I just can't do it due to all the thermal shutdown stories that have been posted. I'll stick with my SB-800 & 600s.

Regards...JL

________________________________________
44+ years of Nikon ownership and counting
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