Changing light situations?

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dugrant153

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Hey all,

There's a lot of light level changes when it comes to a wedding. I'm shooting mostly 35mm and don't have interchangeable back cameras. Short of carrying 5 cameras (which I have done already.... ugh) or shooting at a "medium" all-around ISO (800), what are some ways you folks have address light level changes in the past?
 

Tom1956

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You're shooting a wedding on 35 with ASA 800 film?
 
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dugrant153

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I push ilford HP5 400 to 800ASA usually. And occasionally, if it gets really low, Kodak Portra 400 to 800. All 135 film... So far z:smile:
 

Tom1956

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You do what you want; it's your business. But back in the day shooting weddings with 35's was just not done. At least not entirely professionally. And especially not with the grainy films you have planned. Maybe this is another day and time. Maybe your customers want that "grainy retro look". Because that's surely what they're going to get.
 

MattKing

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Hey all,

There's a lot of light level changes when it comes to a wedding. I'm shooting mostly 35mm and don't have interchangeable back cameras. Short of carrying 5 cameras (which I have done already.... ugh) or shooting at a "medium" all-around ISO (800), what are some ways you folks have address light level changes in the past?

Diffused, big-ass flashes are your friends!
 

jimjm

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Man, you're brave! I've shot a few weddings on 35mm and medium format film and I was a nervous wreck until I got the film back to confirm I hadn't screwed-up the important shots. I still have nightmares about it as my best friend asked me to shoot his wedding and be the photographer at the same time.

I'm 99% analog, but if I was shooting any more weddings I would just use digital, with maybe some medium format for the formal portrait and posed group shots. The lighting can vary a lot in churches and reception halls, and you need to know how to use your flash to get good results. I don't envy anyone shooting weddings, and I applaud those who do it well. There is a LOT of competition these days. That way you just need 2 digital bodies with a few lenses, and you're covered.

I'm sure there are others with much more experience that I who will chime in with useful suggestions, but to me the primary goal is to give the client quality images when you (the photographer) are under a lot of pressure and trying to elbow Uncle Bob out of the way when you just need to get your shots at the critical moments.
 
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dugrant153

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Shooting film at a wedding is definitely a little bit hair-rising and I do bring a digital as a backup in case. I've done it quite few times as a second and quite a few times as the primary. Strangely enough, while I could lose a few images on a roll of film (I shoot with 2-3 cameras at a time), I could lose an entire ceremony if my SD card goes bad. And yes, I've had an SD card or two go bad and it scares the crap out of me. Film does too... just in a different way :wink:

I've seen a lot of wedding photographers work and it's starting to really look all the same.
I'm hoping to somehow diversify from the pack and the look I get from pushed film is great. Mind you, I won't use it ALL the time (I do have a medium format with low ISO film for those that need the clean look). Whether the market is willing to pay for this look and approach is something I know will be a struggle but I'm hoping that it's something I can try to run with because it really is my passion... even when it's grainy, there's something beautiful about film grain.

Diffused, big-ass flashes are your friends

I may do this next time if it gets really dark. I usually try bounce flash but when the ceiling is a gymnasium... well, that makes things a bit rough. Also, unless they've turned off ALL the lights, I'm going for "natural light" if I can.
 
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Bear in mind most ministers prefer no flashes during the ceremony. Barring that, a flash, a sturdy tripod and a shutter cable and you would be fine with 400.
 

Xmas

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Whimps I used Kchrome 25 in bye gone days before digital, M4 35mm /1.4 and F 5cm /2

If the send of party was in evening and dark Id bring a 402 and lead acid acculumator and bounce of white ceilings.

Nowadays everyone has phone and emails shots/videos to brides phone, a pro is optional, the pros don't need a book beside the land line phone.
 
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dugrant153

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Well, since posting this thread, I've experimented with some setups. Agree that F1.4 and F2 is very helpful. My "nominal" film is 400 shot at 800 ASA. I use digital when I need color and I need to push it beyond 800 (say 1600 or 2000 ISO).
Flash is an absolute emergency backup and I only pull it out when it's completely necessary (i.e. when ISO 3200 and F1.4 lens won't cut it). I try to leave it out otherwise as I think it can be quite distracting and really doesn't fit my approach. Anyways, just my observations.

Oh, cameras that can go to 1/4000 or greater are helpful too :smile: ISO 800 in bright daylight can be a boon if I can only go to 1/1000th shutter and I'm trying to get to F4 or F2.8 for separation.
 
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