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-   -   Anyone doing Photography as well? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/wedding-event-videography-techniques/82141-anyone-doing-photography-well.html)

Alastair Brown December 20th, 2006 05:22 AM

Anyone doing Photography as well?
 
Apologies if this is off topic. Reason I am posting it here is because I am pretty sure others will be doing the same, and photo/video boundaries are starting to merge.

If there is a better place to post this or a good wedding photo forum, let me know.

My wife has started a college course on Photography, with a view to doing Wedding Photographs which would be an ideal setup for us both.

She is looking at most likely getting the following, and I wondered what your opinions were:-

Nikon D80
There are various package deals on E-Bay for this i.e. with a 18-135 lens or the 18-200vVR one which seems to get rave reviews but is expensive.
Nikon MB-D80 Battery Grip
Nikon SB600 Flash (bought)
Sekonic L-308s light Meter (bought)

It's going to be mainly wedding photography so base any comments on that basis.

Would appreciate any tips advice you may have i.e. you should also get this or that etc etc.

John Huling December 20th, 2006 05:37 AM

Alastair

I do both still and video work as well as music. I am newer to HD video. I did film work years ago. What did ya want to know about still cameras?
I think these forums are mostly DV info thus the name. But I am sure others here have still camera knowledge here also.

I use Canon MarkII Ds and a Canon 5D almost a 17 megapixel full frame DSLR camera. On occasion a 39 megapixel Hasselblad for product/people/Detail work. I think the Nikon D200 is a great camera or D80. For weddings depending on the expectations of your clientele...you really might have to go with something more substantial like the Hasselblad or Mamimya with a Leaf back.
email me if you want

Andy Wason December 20th, 2006 07:58 AM

Yep I do both. I shoot with a 20D and an Xti. Get some good glass though!
My lenses cost more than my cameras.

Having shot video weddings for 7 years I've seen all kinds of photographic equipment out there. I actually did a wedding last week where a pro used a higher end point-and -shoot. I'm sure his work is just fine for his price point.

Shooting video while another photog shoots stills has given me a great library of training resources!

learn all the modes on the camera, get decent flash equipment, a back up camera, learn how to pose, how to shoot manual, learn about ISO, DOF, shutter speed aperture etc. Shoot lots, memory is cheap.

Join the DWF (digitalweddingforum.com) best $100 you'll ever spend.

Photography is also a lot more stressfull than video as you always have to be 'on' and be the center of attention for the B&G.
Andy

Andy Wason December 20th, 2006 08:01 AM

I bought a sekonics as well. I found the light meter was good for college courses and studio work, but rarely see them used anymore at weddings.

Andy

Kevin Shaw December 20th, 2006 08:08 AM

Get the 18-200 lens for general-purpose shots plus a second camera body with other lenses as needed. For example, you may want a good fixed-length portrait/macro lens and an f/2.8 telephoto lens for ceremony shots in dark churches. Get two flash units one of which can "slave" from the other and practice using those to optimize lighting for group and portrait shots.

Doing photos and video together is a natural combination which solves several problems for both you and your customers. A few years from now many couples with average budgets may consider it normal to hire one company for both services.

Steven Davis December 20th, 2006 08:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alastair Brown

She is looking at most likely getting the following, and I wondered what your opinions were:-

Nikon D80
There are various package deals on E-Bay for this i.e. with a 18-135 lens or the 18-200vVR one which seems to get rave reviews but is expensive.
Nikon MB-D80 Battery Grip
Nikon SB600 Flash (bought)
Sekonic L-308s light Meter (bought)

Would appreciate any tips advice you may have i.e. you should also get this or that etc etc.


We use that exact still package, with exception to the light meter and battery grip. Moving from video to video and photography is very exciting (busy) We really like the D80. It's our first SLR, so I can't compare it to others. It's a complex beast though. I joke to people that it's more complicated to run than any video camera I have, even my Z1u.

We have the 18-135 lens btw. I think your first package you buy should be well rounded, weddings are horrible in light, so get some difussors etc. The 600 flash is awesome and is like butter when used with the D80. It'll brighten the heck out of a room, so get the diffusors.

God speed.

Steve Roark December 20th, 2006 10:07 AM

good start, but...
 
A single SB600 won't be enough for some shots, like the group shots. Consider adding a couple of SB800s with small softboxes and stands. Having some soft, off-camera sources will mean the difference between snapshot and portrait (if you know where to put them).

Also, a second back-up body. It doesn't have to be a D80. Murphy's Law must have been written by someone in the wedding business. Don't risk getting sued because your only camera decided not to work during the ceremony.

Fast prime lenses, starting with the 50mm 1.4

The experience and wisdom to anticipate that in 2 seconds, the bride is going to be in the perfect location, and at that moment her face and body will be ideally posed for about .3 seconds, and the stained-glass window in the background will fool the meter into under exposing by 1.5 stops. On your mark, get set, go!

The last one is a pet peave of mine. For all the miracle sensors on the newest cameras, the most important variable is still the operator.

Patrick Moreau December 20th, 2006 10:30 AM

If you starting out, one flash is most certainly enough, even for group shots, just learn how to use it. I would skip any 18-200 or all-in-one lenses that are similar as you pay the price in low light ability and depth of field. The 50 1.8 is a $100 must have lens which is great for preps and low light (although the f1.4 is better if you can afford it). From there I would look at either the 28-70 f2.8 as your main lens, with either the 17-35 f2.8 or the cheaper 17-55 f2.8. These lenses will be better in low light, so you will need to use your flash less, and they will give you more depth in the shots. I would also consider a flash diffuser such as a Gary Fong lightsphere. I also think you would be totally fine without the light meter.

As mentioned before, knowing how to use your equipment and having an eye for photography is more important than the equipment you use.

Patrick Moreau December 20th, 2006 10:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy Wason
Yep I do both. I shoot with a 20D and an Xti. Get some good glass though!
My lenses cost more than my cameras.

Having shot video weddings for 7 years I've seen all kinds of photographic equipment out there. I actually did a wedding last week where a pro used a higher end point-and -shoot. I'm sure his work is just fine for his price point.

Andy


Hey Andy,

Your just down the road from us. Do you happen to have a website or anything so I can see some of your work?

Patrick

Alastair Brown December 20th, 2006 01:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy Wason

Shooting video while another photog shoots stills has given me a great library of training resources!

Andy's quote pretty much summed up why she is getting into it. Having being doing weddings for a few years now, I have worked with loads of photographers. Some Good, some bad, some expensive, some cheap and ALL the combinations of the above.

Seemed crazy to me to let all these free training opportunities go to waste whilst I video, so my wife is now my hired hand (spy!).

I appreciate all your advice. Many Thanks.

She can borrow a D70 (or if we ask really nicely maybe a D200) as backup on bookings, so we are covered that way.

Biggest bonus is.....no more moaning about never seeing me at weekends!

Ken Boyer December 20th, 2006 07:31 PM

Some links
 
Alastair,

My primary work is wedding photography. I am starting to add video a little at a time. Using the high-end Canon cameras, I can't comment on Nikons. But, here are two good links to Forums (like this one) that I like.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/board/48

The Fred Miranda link is directly to a Wedding Photography Forum and seems a little more professionally focused…

Ken Boyer

Waldemar Winkler December 20th, 2006 07:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Patrick Moreau
If you starting out, one flash is most certainly enough, even for group shots, just learn how to use it. I would skip any 18-200 or all-in-one lenses that are similar as you pay the price in low light ability and depth of field. The 50 1.8 is a $100 must have lens which is great for preps and low light (although the f1.4 is better if you can afford it). From there I would look at either the 28-70 f2.8 as your main lens, with either the 17-35 f2.8 or the cheaper 17-55 f2.8. These lenses will be better in low light, so you will need to use your flash less, and they will give you more depth in the shots. I would also consider a flash diffuser such as a Gary Fong lightsphere. I also think you would be totally fine without the light meter.

As mentioned before, knowing how to use your equipment and having an eye for photography is more important than the equipment you use.

To support Patrick's coments, please consider:
.If you are going to go with an all-in-one lens, make absolutely sure it has the same f-stop at both wide and max telephoto settings. F-stop is a mathematical relationship between the measured diameter of the lens optics and its focal length. Inexpensive lenses shift f-stops down to be cost effective. You will suffer if you work professionally. If you change one element, change the other if you wish to maintain both image consistency and quality. Work with the best you can afford, but ultimately get the lens that meets your needs in the very best way.

Insofar as additional lighting is concerned, learn all you can about the magic of using additional light (flash). These new dedicated flash systems pro camera mfgr's make resolve some amazing things, but, in 25 years, I have met a very few photographers who understand how to use the magic or electronic flash. Sadly, I am not one of them.

Peter Jefferson December 20th, 2006 10:05 PM

yup, i use a 5d, 580ex, grip, 24-105L f4 is usm, 50mm f1.8, 100-400 L is usm, and im thnkin bout the 100mm macro, but bokeh can get wildly distorted sumtimes....

i do stills for fashion and modeling n working my way into still for events. im doing a psuedo internship wwith afew different fotogs i work well with.. seems to be working rather well for eeryone

Steve Roark December 21st, 2006 10:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Patrick Moreau
If you starting out, one flash is most certainly enough, even for group shots, just learn how to use it.

Not the Scottish wedding I attended (my own). Our group shot had over 100 people in a dark reception hall in Port Glasgow. I forgot what the photog. used, but I'm pretty sure the SB600 wouldn't have covered it.

Maybe one light is good enough some of the time. But this company faces two big challenges: 1) The gear they are proposing (while very good) is consumer oriented and selling like hotcakes to people who attend weddings as guests. 2) It doesn't sound like the photographer has any wedding experience yet. So what does she bring to the table that the average bride couldn't get for FREE from a family member or friend with a nice camera?

Its going to take a pretty good portfolio to get people to see past 'FREE'. If all of her shots contain the same on-camera flash technique that Uncle Ted can get with his Canon 400D or Nikon D50, where's the incentive to fork over lots of cash? It doesn't matter if 60% of Uncle Ted's photos aren't very good, he just has to show one lucky shot and if its within a few points of your worst portfolio shot...did someone say 'FREE'?

Having a couple of SBs on stands with small softboxes gives you so many options and with CLS wireless, its a snap to do near-studio quality lighting in the bridal dressing room, pre-position a light halfway down the aisle, set up evenly lit group shots. Anything you can do to distinguish yourself from the crowd should translate to more bookings.

Even if you do only get one flash for now, I'd suggest making it the SB800. I have an SB600 at home, and its good for normal sized rooms, but you'll probably need the extra output of an SB800 in churches and reception halls. I also think the back panel is much easier to configure.

Peter Jefferson December 21st, 2006 03:06 PM

steve this is where the beauty of video and photog sharing a bed come into play.. numerous times ive whipped out my video lights to set up ambience and mood and coupled with the fil flash, does wonders....

Alastair Brown December 22nd, 2006 12:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Roark
a dark reception hall in Port Glasgow.

You aren't kidding! I used to work in Greenock and when I started, someone said "you'll be buying an umbrella then!" I thought they were joking.....they weren't! As soon as you hit Port Glasgow....the clouds turn black and the rain starts. I think flood lights and some flares may just be enough in Port Glasgow.

Many Thanks to all you guys for your help. I am also getting good help on another forum recommended above (fredmiranda).

In doing video, I can't think of a single occasion when I have ever witnessed a photographer use more than one flash and I've worked with guys that charge £2500 a go!

Lens choice appears to be much more important than I even realised.

Front runners so far seem to be the Nikon 70-200VR and the Nikon 50mm/1.8.

That along with the D80 body eats probably too deep into my budget.

Whats your thoughts on the 18-200VR and the 50mm 1.8? The 18-200 just seems to get SO many good reviews it's hard to ignore.

Steve Roark December 22nd, 2006 02:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alastair Brown
In doing video, I can't think of a single occasion when I have ever witnessed a photographer use more than one flash and I've worked with guys that charge £2500 a go!

That's pretty good money, almost worth learning to drive on the wrong side of the road and speaking a new language ;) The guy that did our wedding showed up with a 35mm Olympus, which surprised me, up until that moment I'd only seen Hasselblads used for weddings. So I'll concede that my interpretation of the norm may not be valid beyond a 10 foot radius of my desk.

I have a 50mm 1.8. I use it for portraits on a D80. The results are always fantastic. I shoot at f8 with strobes. From what I read, the 1.8 is a little sharper than the 1.4 at f8, but the 1.4 is sharper at wide open. If you plan on covering the Port Glasgow market, consider the 1.4 or 1.2 (or some night vision goggles).

I've read some posts about the 18-200 being too soft, but one of my friend has one and has nothing but good things to say. In our shop, we're using 28-80mm 2.8 and 80-200mm 2.8 lenses (older ones). We're fond of them, but haven't gotten a chance to test the VRs to see what we're missing.

Doug Bennett December 22nd, 2006 11:00 AM

the 18-200 is a phenomenal walk-around lens but too slow for most indoor weddings, especially if you are relying on auto focus. It's certainly not as sharp as the 70-200 and the 17-55 but that pair costs 3x the price, are waaaaay heavier and still leave out the 55-70 range

Stephen Vallis December 22nd, 2006 01:33 PM

I am doing both. Ive shot on medium format in the past, using Rollei 6008, but as customer tastes have changed im now using two canon digital cameras. An eos 20d and 30d, one with an 18-85mm the other with a 100-400lL. I use a Canon XL-H1 for video`s

Peter Jefferson December 22nd, 2006 05:12 PM

hey steven, have u wacked on that 18-85 on the H1? would be interestin to see some shots taken with the h1 using some eos lenses..

Patrick Moreau December 22nd, 2006 08:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Roark
Maybe one light is good enough some of the time. But this company faces two big challenges: 1) The gear they are proposing (while very good) is consumer oriented and selling like hotcakes to people who attend weddings as guests. 2) It doesn't sound like the photographer has any wedding experience yet. So what does she bring to the table that the average bride couldn't get for FREE from a family member or friend with a nice camera?

Its going to take a pretty good portfolio to get people to see past 'FREE'. If all of her shots contain the same on-camera flash technique that Uncle Ted can get with his Canon 400D or Nikon D50, where's the incentive to fork over lots of cash? It doesn't matter if 60% of Uncle Ted's photos aren't very good, he just has to show one lucky shot and if its within a few points of your worst portfolio shot...did someone say 'FREE'?

Having a couple of SBs on stands with small softboxes gives you so many options and with CLS wireless, its a snap to do near-studio quality lighting in the bridal dressing room, pre-position a light halfway down the aisle, set up evenly lit group shots. Anything you can do to distinguish yourself from the crowd should translate to more bookings.
.

There is MUCH more that can be done in terms of improving your product before you look at getting multiple flashes. If you worried about competition from friends offering free services I would suggest your in the wrong business or don't know enough to be in business yet. The quality you can attain from having a good eye, good glass, one to zero flashes and excellent post production is more than enough to distinguish yourself. I'm not saying multiple flashes cannot add to certain shots, but should be way down the list when talking to a new photographer.

Patrick Moreau December 22nd, 2006 08:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
hey steven, have u wacked on that 18-85 on the H1? would be interestin to see some shots taken with the h1 using some eos lenses..

Hey Peter,

I have a recent highlights clip shot with a VX2100 with a letus adapter and a 50mm 1.8 nikon lens on front. Let me know if you want to check it out- the 4-5 shots I got from that adapter really stand out.

Patrick

Peter Jefferson December 22nd, 2006 10:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Patrick Moreau
Hey Peter,

I have a recent highlights clip shot with a VX2100 with a letus adapter and a 50mm 1.8 nikon lens on front. Let me know if you want to check it out- the 4-5 shots I got from that adapter really stand out.

Patrick

would love to :)

i can imagine imagine the differences being more cinematic due to the short DoF... but wold love to see it in action

Patrick Moreau December 22nd, 2006 11:04 PM

Peter, I sent a link to the clip to your email that is attached to the forum.

Patrick

Stephen Vallis December 23rd, 2006 04:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
hey steven, have u wacked on that 18-85 on the H1? would be interestin to see some shots taken with the h1 using some eos lenses..

Not yet! I hhope to get the adapter early next year.

Steve Roark December 23rd, 2006 07:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Patrick Moreau
I'm not saying multiple flashes cannot add to certain shots, but should be way down the list when talking to a new photographer.

If I called it a back-up flash, would you consider moving it up your list?

Peter Jefferson December 25th, 2006 07:06 PM

hey patrick i dont have anything :(

Patrick Moreau December 26th, 2006 06:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
hey patrick i dont have anything :(

Hmm, I'm not sure what happened. I will just link to it here.

http://www.smcouples.com/gooley/highlights.mov

All the best.
Patrick

Alastair Brown January 2nd, 2007 02:53 PM

My Head Hurts Now!
 
I've been touting myself about the various forums mentioned by you kind guys.

The reply that seems to have found the most praise and common ground amongst all the replies I have had here and elsewhere recommends the following.

Based on what you said I reckon we are looking at

Tokina 12-24 £268
Nikon 35mm £184
Nikon 50mm 1.8 £76
Nikon 70-200VR £916
TOTAL - £1444

After buying the camera, my lens budget is a measly £771. Obvioulsy, this isn't going to cover everything listed, which is why I had considered the Tokina 12-24 and the Nikon 18-200VR as they would at least cover my bases and be closer to my budget at £789.

The recommendation re the 18-200 is that, fine all round lens that it is, it isn't fast enough for darker churches.

My question is, if you reckon the "cheap" option is false economy, in which order would you recommend I buy the recommendations in? I appreciate the obvious answer is...you need them all but......until funds permit, doing it this way will buy us some time, and let us get to know the camera and initial lenses.

Many Thanks!

Jerome Marot January 4th, 2007 11:36 AM

I am not specialized in weddings, but I do concert photography regularly. I usually do not use a flash indoors, and find that photographing using available light only is an easy way to make my work look different than the one of people using their P&S camera... Your mileage may vary, but you should know that a digital SLR has the capability to photograph under very little light indeed. If you choose that option, I also advise to use the raw format, as it allows to correct the color temperature afterwards.

I use a flash outdoors, BTW...

These would be my suggestions for a wedding:

-get a spare battery
-get a big memory card or two, especially if you use the raw format
-a very interesting lens is the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8. Fast aperture, and the focal lengths you will most often use. Top optical quality, but check the one you get, as Sigma quality control is not always very consistent (I had to send one of those back).
-the 50 f/1.4 is not worth the extra cost over the 50 f/1.8, which can be had for very little money used. Remember: testing a lens is very easy once you own a digital SLR...
-get a monopod and learn to use it. It can also be used for vertical framing, folded and used against a wall/pilar.
-try to visit the wedding location beforehand and get an idea of how the light will be at various times of the day
-for the outdoor static shots, go to your nearest DIY store and get one or two white polystyrene boards (cheap). They are very useful as reflectors. You'll need someone to hold them, of course. The luxury version are the aluminized car windscreen sunshield, but you may not find them at this time of the year.
-for outdoor shots, a cockin filter mount with the following two filters is useful: polarizing and gradual grey G2. All the rest can be done in post.

As to your choice of lenses: I think that you are unlikely to use an lens longer than 80-100mm at a wedding.

Alastair Brown January 5th, 2007 06:18 AM

I'm now contemplating selling a kidney and just going the whole hog and getting a Nikon 17-55 (instead of the three lenses listed above) and a Nikon 70-200VR. This combination seems to get the "thumbs up" as a REALLY good two lens solution to weddings. Saves a lot of fumbling around changing lenses and possibly missing shots.

My children love eating beans on toast so the hardship shouldn't really hit them that much. I will grow to love them to!

I already have a couple of reflectors and tripods so we are covered in that respect. On the subject of reflectors, I am surprised how few wedding photographers use them. The ones I've filmed with that do, always get some beautiful shots using them.

Peter Jefferson January 5th, 2007 07:36 AM

I use a 5 sided refelctor and diffusor.. cost me less than a hundred bux AU and its savesd many a photogs ass...

As for tripods, i deliberately went the manfrotto route, as i can use a 503 head on the same sticks (055) then when i get into still shooting mode, i jsut swap the head and mount the 322RC2 in a matter of seconds.. works a treat


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