How to light event with one strobe?
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Old 07-08-2007   #1
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Default How to light event with one strobe?

Hi all.


I was a guest at a wedding reception yesterday, and I shot some while I was there. I had my Canon 5D and a 580EX flash on it, with a diffuser (a piece of paper tied behind) on the flash.


An odd thing happened. The official photog's studio strobe fired when I shot. In itself this is not odd (if it follows flash it will fire when I flash) but normally, my Canon ER-TTL II pre-flash would set off the strobe, so the resulting actual flash would be without strobe.

The odd thing here was that half the time, the pre-flash was ignored, but the real flash set off the strobe! A lucky coincidence.


Here's a few shots: two where I managed to set off the strobe, and two where I did not.


The question: what could I have done better using just the one speedlite? (In this case a 580ex on a Canon 5D)?

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Attached Images
File Type: jpg strobe-on.jpg (74.4 KB, 192 views)
File Type: jpg strobe-off.jpg (65.9 KB, 190 views)
File Type: jpg strobe-ON-2.jpg (46.0 KB, 190 views)
File Type: jpg strobe-OFF-2.jpg (52.2 KB, 189 views)
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50mm 1.2, 35mm 1.4, 24-70 2.8L, 70-200 2.8L, and many others.
580EX/430EX/etc etc/; Studio strobes

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Old 07-08-2007   #2
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Default Re: How to light event with one strobe?

PS in my studio I have monolights, pocketwizards, etc. But in situation slike yeterday's I cannot bring those...
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Equipment really doesn't matter, but:
Canon 1Dx, Canon 7D
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580EX/430EX/etc etc/; Studio strobes

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Old 07-08-2007   #3
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Default Re: How to light event with one strobe?

The offical photographer should of had radio syncs on his strobes, peoples flashes could trigger his strobes and create nightmares for him and those in the attendence (lots of popping). None the less, I try to be considerate of the main phtoographer also (and slack cause I don't want o shoot a wedding unless I have too)
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Old 07-09-2007   #4
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Default Re: How to light event with one strobe?

I'm guessing your preflash didn't set off the strobes all the time as they weren't bright enough to do this or too far away but the final flash probably was.

The hired photog should have had radio triggers but in the event he didn't, if it were me I would have turned off my flash and let him work. He no doubt would have missed some shots, maybe even key shots due to other flashes setting his strobes off.

That said, I don't think You could adequately light the whole event with one strobe. Certainly not with on camera flash. Even if you could do it I suspect you would not like the outcome.

I think what would work better is to up your iso slightly, drop your shutter speed down close to ambient reading and then use your on camera flash to bring your subjects out of the shadows.
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Old 07-09-2007   #5
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Default Re: How to light event with one strobe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingEnigma View Post
I'm guessing your preflash didn't set off the strobes all the time as they weren't bright enough to do this or too far away but the final flash probably was.

The hired photog should have had radio triggers but in the event he didn't, if it were me I would have turned off my flash and let him work. He no doubt would have missed some shots, maybe even key shots due to other flashes setting his strobes off.

That said, I don't think You could adequately light the whole event with one strobe. Certainly not with on camera flash. Even if you could do it I suspect you would not like the outcome.

I think what would work better is to up your iso slightly, drop your shutter speed down close to ambient reading and then use your on camera flash to bring your subjects out of the shadows.
All good points. Agreed re why te strobe fired.

Don't worry about the hired photog: his strobe reset immediately, and he was shooting few pictures during that phase (I did not shoot while he was taking the formal pics, of course). Of course it was not just my speedlite setting off his flash; some of the P&S cameras did, too.

The venue was very dark. Exposure was around 1/4s at 400 ISO, f/5.6. So you are right, I should have exposed longer - but would have had to go very slow. And with all the dancers this was not easy.

Looking forward to the next time but that strobe that fortuitously fired, that will not happen again, I fear!
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Equipment really doesn't matter, but:
Canon 1Dx, Canon 7D
50mm 1.2, 35mm 1.4, 24-70 2.8L, 70-200 2.8L, and many others.
580EX/430EX/etc etc/; Studio strobes

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Old 07-09-2007   #6
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Default Re: How to light event with one strobe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingEnigma View Post
I think what would work better is to up your iso slightly, drop your shutter speed down close to ambient reading and then use your on camera flash to bring your subjects out of the shadows.
That is always a good idea, unless you shoot at a reception like that one I was at this pass Saturday. Nearly completely dark. I'm not sure WHAT these people were thinking. Obviously not wanting any decent photos of their reception.
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Old 07-09-2007   #7
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Default Re: How to light event with one strobe?

Douglas,

Yes, that was the case here too. Dark. Very dark. Great for intimate dancing with that girl you've always fancied but never dared ask; not so good for pictures.

Michael
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Equipment really doesn't matter, but:
Canon 1Dx, Canon 7D
50mm 1.2, 35mm 1.4, 24-70 2.8L, 70-200 2.8L, and many others.
580EX/430EX/etc etc/; Studio strobes

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Old 07-09-2007   #8
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Default Re: How to light event with one strobe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Lowe View Post
That is always a good idea, unless you shoot at a reception like that one I was at this pass Saturday. Nearly completely dark. I'm not sure WHAT these people were thinking. Obviously not wanting any decent photos of their reception.
It's standard fare for receptions . That's why wedding photographers can't rely on fast glass and high iso cameras. They have to become experts in flash photography.
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Old 07-09-2007   #9
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Default Re: How to light event with one strobe?

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It's standard fare for receptions . That's why wedding photographers can't rely on fast glass and high iso cameras. They have to become experts in flash photography.
You're such a flash hustler Frank
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Old 07-09-2007   #10
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Default Re: How to light event with one strobe?

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You're such a flash hustler Frank
The Strobist blog did it. It made me flash-crazy


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