BetterPhoto.com - Become a better photographer today!
EMAIL:
PASSWORD:
remember me:     
     


Photography QnA: Photographing Specific Subjects

Browse by Category | All New Questions | All New Responses | Q&A Home

Category: All About Photography : Photographing Specific Subjects

Find tips for taking wedding photos as well as techniques for taking pictures of bird faces in this Q&A. This topic covers all of those specific subjects you take pictures of out there.

Page 1 : 1 -10 of 477 questions

  skip to page
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | >> ...48
Next 10  >>
     
 
Photography Question 
Mary Iacofano
MARYIACOFANO.COM

member since: 10/12/2005
  1 .  Wedding Cruise: Any Tips?
Hello friends,
This is not a question on settings and exposure for this assignment, rather a question on any fun ideas. This is a wedding on a 100' yacht, under cover and on the deck. Do you have any suggestions for some different shots with the bride and groom? This is a very elegant but untraditional wedding.
I have the idea of the groom lifting (to appear that he is throwing) the bride overboard. This is not a professional shoot, just doing a favor for a friend.
I would welcome any ideas - no matter how crazy they may seem. It's all in fun.
Thanks in advance!

4/2/2010 4:29:12 PM

 
 
 
Hello Mary,
I did a wedding shoot on a large sailboat that posed real problems and also offered cool perspectives as well. There were ropes everywhere for the sails, etc., and I had to constantly be aware of where they were and positioned people to keep the ropes out of the frame as much as possible. I did still spend time in post production - cloning out some of the ropes.
While there were some open spaces on the bow and stern areas, it would often get very crowded, which would also cause problems positioning myself to get a good point of view of a larger group. I opted to get lots of smaller group photos and also got on top of the cabin to shoot down on everyone (still having to mind where the ropes were) but this worked pretty well. They timed the wedding for late afternoon, which also presented a few lighting challenges as the fill light I used for most of the day was now needed for full illumination as it grew darker. One of my favorite shots was after the ceremony. The bride and groom were on the stern with champagne glasses and kissing with the setting sun right behind them.
Work with positioning the bride and groom and the captain to maneuver the yacht where the sun is working to your advantage if possible. Luckily, the captain was really helpful and accommodating, and this made a HUGE difference in helping me to get better lighting.
So get up high and shoot down, and use that sun to create some beautiful images.
Have fun Mary...
Love in Light,
Carlton

4/2/2010 10:43:12 PM

 
 
  Hart 1
Hart 1
 
  Hart 2
Hart 2
 
 
Here are a couple of photos that shows the high color contrast & ropes. These are before I did my final edit where I removed the ropes and lightened/softened the saturation & skin colors a bit.
The constantly changing background color as the sun was setting is very beautiful.
Carlton

4/2/2010 10:50:05 PM

Mary Iacofano
MARYIACOFANO.COM

member since: 10/12/2005
  Carlton,
Thank you so much. Great advice. Lots of challenges for me!

4/2/2010 11:15:10 PM

Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/4/2005
  A yacht on the ocean can give beautiful blue skies, or cloudy turbulent ones. Shooting from high, looking down is always a good approach (but not for everything). Do the opposite also (low to high) especially with masts and flag etc. Wide angle will also give you some drama. Use a polarizer for the day shots (best with strong blue sky), and if possible set your camera to under-expose by 1 f stop, but tell your flash to over expose by one f stop (with camera on manual settings that is) - and use a monopod but tilt your camera often for drama (ie: the horizon can be boring when it is always straight).

4/27/2010 12:24:23 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Flo Bringas
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/4/2007
  2 .  Indoor High School Sports Photography
I am looking for a lens that will be good for indoor high school sports photography. Typically, high school gyms and pool areas do not have the best lighting. I have a 100-400mm, but it's not fast enough. I am interested in the f/2.8 70-200mm. I went to a local camera store here in Chicago and was told that the f/2.8 70-200mm would not work well for this type of photography. Of course, the lens they suggested instead was the f/2.0 200mm with a price tag of close to $5,000. Any thoughts on the f/2.8 70-200mm? Or any suggestions on a different lens? I appreciate any input!

11/14/2009 4:51:53 PM

Jeffrey R. Whitmoyer

member since: 1/7/2009
  To my mind, I would sacrifice a stop to have the versatility of the 70-200mm. A fixed focal length lens isn't always going to give you optimum focal length at a sporting event since you have action moving towards and away from you. Basically, you have more framing options with the zoom. Assuming you are using a digital camera, hopefully one that has low noise at high ISO, I would take my chances with the 2.8 70-200mm and pick up the lost stop with an increase in ISO. Depending on the difference in price, you might be able to upgrade your camera body to something with lower noise at the higher ISOs.
Jeff

11/14/2009 5:46:17 PM

Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 6/11/2005
  I have the 100-400mm lens, but I do know the 70-200mm F2.8 is a super lens. That's a lot of extra dollars, considering you already have the 100-400mm. Assume you could not bump the ISO a little higher, then use noise software. If $$s aren't a problem, then certainly get the 70-200mm lens.

11/15/2009 4:41:01 PM

Jeffrey R. Whitmoyer

member since: 1/7/2009
  Ken makes a good point in regards to noise reduction software to help correct for excess noise if it becomes a problem. If you can avoid a major expense until you absolutely need a new piece of equipment, you are always better off to do so, unless you really want a new toy and have the resources to get it. I should have thought of that myself in the original answer.

11/15/2009 5:08:15 PM

  I've done volleyball and basketball in high school gyms, and my best shots have not been with my 70-200 2.8; they have been taken with my $125 50mm 1.8.
SW

11/15/2009 7:41:46 PM

Flo Bringas
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/4/2007
  Thanks for all of your input. I don't necessarily want to spend the extra money, so the alternate solutions were great. I have a 50mm 1.8, so I am going to experiment with that during this weekend's events. Any suggestions on a noise reduction program??

11/16/2009 11:05:45 AM

Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 6/11/2005
  Noise Ninja:
http://www.picturecode.com/

11/16/2009 2:46:27 PM

John W. DeHority

member since: 11/27/2005
  My 70-200 f2.8 IS lens is my lens of choice for indoor sport photography. I have taken thousands of indoor sport shots (mostly volleyball), but some basketball and indoor soccer too. In most gyms I do have to push the ISO to 1600 to get acceptable shutter speeds. F2.8 is addequate for most gyms, depending on how the noise performance of your camera is at higher ISO speeds.

If I can get real close to the action I'll occasionally use a 28-70 f2.8 lens. But the 70-200 is my indoor sports workhorse.

11/17/2009 5:56:35 AM

Michelle T. Hekle
BetterPhoto Member
heklephotoimages.com

member since: 9/3/2009
  Volleyball and Basketball are very hard to get good pics. Use the 50mm and crop.
I used a 85mm 1.4 and still found it dark at times in a gym. You could rent one at your local camera shop I would think.
I use a 80-200 mm 2.8 for Hockey and Ringette in club arenas and works well.
Pro sports have much better lighting so I think the 70-200 f2.8 would work great there but not in a school gym where lighting is so poor.
I set my lens wide open and speed 320 or faster and Auto ISO (which sometimes goes to 3200) using a D300.

11/17/2009 8:50:58 AM

  I have both lenses, the 70-200mm f2.8L and 100-400mm f4.5/5.6L, and have used them quite a bit. I am much more impressed with image quality from the 70-200, and I feel it has a bit quicker autofocus. I often find myself using the 100-400mm due for its reach when shooting wildlife or outdoor sports, but will always use the 70-200 for weddings due to IQ and that extra stop.

Image quality and one stop advantage may still not justify the $$$ for the 70-200 f2.8 depending on how good your final prints need to be. If possible try to borrow/rent one and see.

Best of luck with it.

11/17/2009 9:36:36 AM

  If your sensor has a 1.5X magnification factor, you will find 70mm may be too long. I should a lot of high school basketball and volleyball. I use a 50-150 f2.8 lens. Even at 50mm with the 1.5 factor, I have trouble getting what I want in the frame if it's on my side of the court. I typically position myself along the baseline for basketball. I think at 70mm, if you plan on being close to the action, it will prove frustrating. I shoot at 1/250 and f2.8 and bump the ISO to no less than 400 and not over 800.

11/17/2009 2:58:56 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Roger L. Dwyer
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/16/2003
  3 .  Photographing People in Motion
 
  nice smile
nice smile
this is images of special needs kids taken midday bright sun pola. filter at 1/125 sec. at f 6.3 95mm focal length iso 100 and used a 70-200 image stable lens
© Roger L. Dwyer
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
  slow walk
slow walk
taken midday bright sun pola. filter at 1/200 sec. f 6.3 at 78mm focal length 70-200mm lens
© Roger L. Dwyer
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
  joy of life
joy of life
taken midday full sun at 1/80 sec. f 6.3 200mm focal length with 70-200mm lens pola. filter
© Roger L. Dwyer
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
I like to photograph people on the move and just did a shoot of kids with special needs riding small ponies. I handheld for all shots. If you had to shoot this, would you use a tripod? Most of my photos are clear, but I think I could have done better

11/10/2009 5:51:54 AM

  A fact that some people don't realize is an image-stabilized lens doesn't correct for subject movement. It is meant to help with camera movement. I would use a minimum of 1.6x your focal length for the shutter speed since this is the factor for the crop sensor in your camera. Other cameras will vary. With a moving subject, I would up the shutter speed even greater than that. Don't be afraid to raise the ISO if you need to to obtain a faster shutter speed. Hope this helps.

11/10/2009 6:59:28 AM

Roger L. Dwyer
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/16/2003
  Thank you for your answer this will be real helpful because I am going to do this again and I will try what you told me and see how they come out. Good thing about digital you can try different settings

11/10/2009 2:14:21 PM

Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 6/11/2005
  There's a general rule of thumb for hand-holding... the shutter speed should be at least equal to the inverse of the focal length. For example, if you're shooting a zoom at 200mm focal length, strive for a shutter speed of 1/200th sec or faster. If the focal length is 80mm, then 1/80th sec or faster. As Randy pointed out, however, this is for camera movement only. The faster you can get the shutter, the better to include bumping the ISO. Monopods and tripods will help, especially for stationary subjects.

11/10/2009 2:48:22 PM

Paul W. Anderson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/27/2006
  Hi Roger,

I wear prosthetic legs so I use a tripod most of the time. What I would do is pick a point somewhere in the travel of pony and rider and focus on that point. Then when the rider comes along Im sure to have picked a good spot where the background is good for the shot and Im not shaking the camera.

Paul

11/24/2009 4:38:58 AM

Roger L. Dwyer
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/16/2003
  Thank everyone who responded to my question on people in motion these tips will really help Roger

11/24/2009 9:04:55 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Gord MacEachern
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Gord
Gord's Gallery

member since: 12/21/2007
  4 .  How to Shoot Interiors of New Homes?
Hi everyone,
I have been asked to shoot some interiors of new homes.I really dont want to use flash, although I do have a Canon 420EX speedlite that I hardly ever use. I own a Canon 100mm 2.8, 24-105L 70-200 2.8 IS L Canon 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L Canon RebelXT. I would like to shoot in daylight, but is it better shooting at night with the windows dark? I have spent a fair bit on glass for the shooting I do, and this request will not pay much at all (returning a favor). Can anyone suggest the best lens if I were to go buy new or a cheaper new lens that would work good, or how to make my existing equipment work?
Thanks in advance!

10/20/2009 5:03:03 AM

  Hello Gord,
I would recommend a 16-35mm, 17-40mm or the 10-22mm lens to get wide enough. Especially with a 1.6 cropped sensor on your Rebel, your 24-105 is really like a 38-168mm - and 38mm is not very wide, especially when you are trying to shoot inside the same room.
You will also need to use more DOF if you want everything in focus. I would use my Alien Bees if there is not enough natural lighting or a couple of speed-lights with large diffusers to spread the light as much as possible. A tripod for slow shutter speeds may be needed. Most homes have very uneven lighting and the Alien Bees are easy to control for how much (power) light to use to get a darker area lit up better to blend with the rest of the room.
John Siskin teaches a very good class - An Introduction to Photographic Lighting - that takes the mystery out of these type of shots. He is very accessible and provides a ton of information in his course.
Good Luck.

10/20/2009 6:39:07 AM

  Thanks Carlton!!

10/20/2009 7:59:49 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
amy choate

member since: 2/12/2008
  5 .  Taking Night Photos
 
  At the Zoo
At the Zoo
© amy choate
Olympus Evolt E500...
 
I can't figure out what to do when taking night photos, especially as Halloween approaches. We went to the zoo last night, and I am not happy with the grainy-looking photos, I did set the ISO to 1000 and the pictures still didn't turn out very clear. Any suggestions?

10/19/2009 10:33:34 AM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  Hi Amy,
The higher you set your ISO, the grainier your images will become. Lower ISO values produce less noise (but also bring slower shutter speeds, which can allow camera shake to blur your images).
If shooting kids at night is the goal, you may not have many options other than flash at reasonably close range, since a longer-exposure, low-ISO shot is probably out of the question, as your subjects won't be sitting still. But, I'm not a photographer of people, so someone else may chime in with more info.

10/19/2009 1:19:25 PM

Dan W. Dooley
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/28/2005
  Amy,

Using a higher ISO setting would not affect the "clearness" of the picture so perhaps you did not mean that in terms of focus and sharpness. The fact of life is, at night, you are going to have to use higher ISO settings. If the resulting pictures are not clear, it is more likely due to the increased difficulty in achieving good focus under those conditions.

Many cameras offer some noise reduction capability when using high ISO settings as well as for slow shutter speeds. Those noise reduction settings will help. You should be able to achieve very good results with ISO settings even above 1000. I'll have to make a qualifying statement to that though. It depends on the camera. I don't know yours so I can't judge. A good quality SLR will give you good results well up in the ISO range. A small point and shoot (I know that is not yours, but just for the example) will be horribly grainy at even ISO 400.

You should be able to produce decent nighttime shots using high ISO settings which result in, if not grain-free shots, pictures where the amount of grain is not bothersom. The more you have to dig the picture out of the dark, the worse will be the grain. In other words, if you have to crop deeply to bring the desired subject in closer, and the more you have to up the brightness and exposure settings in your editing software, the worse will be the grain affect.

If you are close enough to the subject, flash will help. You will need external flash to give enough light. Don't rely on the camera's auto settings (program settings or full auto) for those will not make the best settings choices for those shots. You may have to use a tripod, larger aperture size and certainly a slower shutter speed.

Sometimes the affects of underexposed subjects, if accented by other lights within the scene, or just outside, can cast some interesting affects on Halloween subjects.

10/27/2009 5:45:11 AM

  Amy - In addition to the fine comments above, I will add that when you use an external flash, set it to "rear curtain" so it flashes at the very end of the exposure. By doing so you can get away with slower shutter speeds and keep your ISO a bit lower, resulting in less grain. The slower shutter speed will record the background light, but the flash will pop at around 1/250 to freeze the kid in the foreground. Joe McNally talks about it in his wonderful book "The Hot Shoe Diaries". It's my go-to guide for lighting ideas.

Good luck!
Tim

If you can get 1/80 - 1/125 at ISO 800, you'll

If taking your ISO down to 400 or 800 will

That will freeze the children in place even if you have a slower shutter speed (anything below 1/250). This way you

10/27/2009 11:28:26 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Paula E. Marsili
BetterPhoto Member
marsiliphotography.com

member since: 7/17/2005
  6 .  Photographing Artwork
Can anyone give me any suggestions for photographing artwork? A friend has an art collection that he wants me to photograph for the purpose of sending these photos to a museum to inquire if they would be interested in exhibiting his collection. I am not a studio photographer so I do not have all the lighting equipment one would probably use for this. I have been told in the past that photographing things outside on a sunny day in the shade is the way to go. Anything else?? Thanks in advance.

12/13/2008 2:05:38 PM

Pete H
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/9/2005
  Tripod
Manual white balance
North window light

Good Luck!

12/13/2008 8:01:13 PM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  Hey Paul ! Is this a copyright question dressed up in 'photography for reproduction' clothing, kind of like your collage question above ? Don't forget a written contract covering you, usage, release, etc. signed by the artist, friend or no friend.
M.

12/13/2008 8:49:43 PM

W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
  Like Pete said: No special lighting gear needed. A north-facing window provides the best light possible. A (D-I-Y) reflector may come in handy to soften and open up shadows, and model the subject's texture.
Plus: set ISO 100. And pay special attention to the camera's position relative to the artwork to avoid perspective distortion. A grid in the viewfinder, or a bubble level in the hotshoe will help.
For the same reason avoiding perspective distortion I would use a 100mm focal length lens. Which, depending on the size of the artwork, may mean that you need to step back from it: increase the camera-subject distance.
Also I would shoot Raw and bracket, to leave myself as much editing latitude as possible. And later, in PP, you ONLY work on copies!
Have fun!

12/13/2008 9:47:12 PM

W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
  One more thing... use the selftimer, set at 10 seconds, to release the shutter, to allow for the tripod/camera/lens combo to REALLY finish swinging/moving before the shutter pops.

12/13/2008 9:55:50 PM

Andrew  R. Cohen
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/15/2004
  The key to photographing art work such as paintings,photos or any "flat work" is to have your light source at a 45 degree angle to the subject matter. Ideally, two lights set at equal distances to the subject will do the trick- since you don't have studio equipment,two lamps of equal power will do but make sure you set your white balance to indoor lighting. If this is still somewhat of a challenge, the old north light, as long as the light is coming at 45 degrees will provide the results looked for- but in each case, your lens should be any where from 80mm to 150mm, and if possible use a tripod- Good luck!

12/16/2008 6:25:37 AM

Paula E. Marsili
BetterPhoto Member
marsiliphotography.com

member since: 7/17/2005
  Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I will do my best to use the information wisely. And NO Mark F., this is not a disguised question. There will be no photography for reproduction going on. The man simply wants to be able to give the museum a disc of photos that represent the collection of orininal art that he will be offering to them for exhibition.

12/20/2008 11:59:03 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Cathy M. Tenney

member since: 11/20/2008
  7 .  Best Lens for Sports Pictures
What type of lens would you recommend for taking indoor sports pictures where you are not permitted to use flash? I have a digital Canon Rebel.

11/20/2008 8:34:44 PM

W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
 
 
 

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM


11/20/2008 9:49:23 PM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  Less versatile than the zoom, but 1+ stop faster, are the EF 200 f/2L IS USM and EF 135 f/2L USM. If you can be closer to the action, the shorter telephoto primes are very economical, like EF 100 f/2 USM or EF 85 f/1.8 USM.

11/21/2008 5:28:55 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Depends on the sport and the kind of picture.

11/21/2008 3:07:12 PM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  The focal length of lens you use also depends on where you're positioned to the players and how far from the action. For example, in the stands, on the sidelines, what the lighting will be, whether you can use a support like a monopod, etc. etc. 200mm may not be enough and you might need more than that - say, 350mm to 500mm. It depends. For sports, I'd recommend that you always get more lens than you think you need.
M

11/24/2008 10:09:03 AM

Martin J. Preslar
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/25/2005
  I use a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 APO EX. It does great work. Most indoor sports can be shot at 200mm, unless you are looking to get the close-up shots of the athletes' faces, in which case a longer lens would be called for. Also, don't be afraid to bump up the ISO. I used to shoot with the Canon Digital Rebel (300D) and it did fine at higher ISO levels.

11/26/2008 6:39:09 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 


member since: 11/3/2008
  8 .  Photographing Paintings
I've been trying to photograph my oil and pastel paintings for reproduction using my Digital Rebel XT with the 18-55mm lens that came with the camera. My work varies in size frm 5x7" to 24x48". I have not been able to get a really sharp image except on very rare occasions. Often I have to click the shutter button a few times to get it to focus when I am in autofocus using a single focus point. I've tried using the various av settings. I'm locking the mirror. I'm using a tripod. I'm using autofocus and then switching to manual and just manual focus. I've tried using a picture of a grid to set the focus point. I'm zooming all the way in. I'm using custom white balance. Do I need a different lens? What lens would be the best for this purpose that will also be the most economical?

11/3/2008 7:49:07 AM

W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
  1) Zoom lenses deliver inherently softer focus images than fixed focus lenses of equal focal length.
2) 18-55mm = 29-88mm in 35mm equivalent. 88mm is too short for sufficient perspective distortion compensation. Between 100 and 135mm results in less distortion. Perspective distortion may contribute to the softer focus.
3) insufficient light may also contribute to apparent focal softness.
For working from tripod the ideal lens, in my opinion, from a technical and image quality point of view, would be the EF 135mm f/2L USM.
Using the self-timer, to let the camera/tripod combo stop swinging before the shutters pops, could also improve image quality.
It may also be worth your while to consider a reproduction stand with 2, or preferably 4, quartz lights.
Have fun!

11/3/2008 9:35:22 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  With the DRebel XT, I'd use the EF 50 f/1.8. Less than $100 and very sharp. This gives you good working distance for the larger works, but as W mentioned, you'll be a bit close for the 5x7 (~18"). You might go for a longer macro lens for improved "flat field" performance (so the edges of the frame remain in the same plane of focus as the center), such as the EF 100 f/2.8 USM, or similar from Sigma or Tamron.

Shoot at f/8, where the lens is sharpest. Depth of field is not a concern with a subject that has no depth, like a painting. Just make sure the camera is mounted perpendicular and centered relative to the painting. Use diffused lighting, no direct flash.

11/3/2008 11:50:24 AM

W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
 
I'd like to add: a bubble level and/or a grid in the viewfinder will serve you well for this type of work where dead-on horizontals and perpendiculars are so important.

And if you use ambient light - diffused, as Jon pointed out - it is important to carefully set/calibrate the White Balance.
A (D-I-Y) reflector can be very useful.

Of course if you shoot RAW you can eek out every last ounce of image quality, color control, and texture rendering that's in the raw file. Skilfull application of HDR, tonemapping, blending exposures, and editing in CS3 and/or Photomatix can get you amazingly detailed and eye-pleasing results.

Here's an exercise performed on a 24mp JPG from Sony's A900, B4&After: http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll173/HMrepository/A24mpJPGHDR-ed.jpg

11/3/2008 9:10:11 PM

Bob Friedman

member since: 6/10/2002
  I agree with most of the above but I would use the 50mm Macro and the 100mm macro. I used to shoot painting professionally for Giclee's for artists like Peter Maxx, Karen Stein, etc. Strong tripod, electronic release or self timer, and continuous soft light are key ingredients. I used an eyepeice magnifier and manually focused. I found an old finder magnifier for a film minolta that just happened to fit my Canon D20. A little loose but dirt cheap. make sure your square and centered to art work. For smaller work a copy stand is the best. Oh a right angle minolta finder also fits for use on the copy stand.

11/4/2008 3:44:48 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Scott McCord

member since: 10/16/2005
  9 .  Attend Wedding Rehearsal?
As a wedding photographer, I always go to the rehearsals. People always seemed to be surprised that I'm at the rehearsals because they tell me they never see other photographers at rehearsals.
I am wondering if you other wedding photographers out there attend the rehearsals or not. Personally, I find it a pain because they are always disorganized, take forever, and never start on time. And it keeps me up late Friday nights getting my gear ready for the next day. That being said, I do like seeing how the ceremony is planned so I don't have any surprises the next day and I can also step in and make a suggestion if I see something that's going to interfere with my photography.
So, what do you other photographers do as far as attending rehearsals?

10/31/2008 8:58:07 AM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  You're exactly right Scott. I've shot two weddings in my career and planning is the key to success. Besides, watching the disorganization, while it can be amusing, lets you know what you will be in for when they try and pull it off.

It's really the same as scoping out any other venue in advance. Knowing where people will be approximately, AC outlets if you need them, vantage points, camera angles, the buffet tables, (jk), and seeing who the key players are is always important.
Take it light ;>)
Mark

10/31/2008 9:42:29 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  I'm in the catering business and have NEVER seen a client's photographer attend the rehearsals for ceremonies contracted through our facility.

The photographer(s) will only show up on the day of the event.

11/1/2008 3:18:41 PM

  Hi Scott,
I don't attend rehearsals either but I do meet beforehand with whoever I will be working with (getting the groups together and scheduling) and will also check out the venue(s) to see what my lighting challenges will be so I can prepare for the event. I still take everything with me anyway because lighting and situations can and do change but having a basic equipment list to start with saves time.

11/2/2008 12:58:04 AM


BetterPhoto Member
  If I shoot a wedding, I always attend the rehearsal for some tech prep. I've learned that there's no better way to get good shots of a ceremony. If you are unfamiliar with the venue being used, You can prep, especially for the lighting. You can talk to the minister and find out in detail what the rules are for such things as flash and movement during the ceremony. Also, you will be able to find a good vantage point before the crowds arrive. I have found that most venues will reserve you a place so that you can get good shots, while being out of the way during the actual ceremony. I whole heartedly concur that it's a great idea to attend the rehearsal.

11/2/2008 11:54:18 AM

Scott McCord

member since: 10/16/2005
  Mark,
I attend the rehearsals for the same reason. We had a wedding on Sat. where I attended the rehearsal and even though I knew what was going to happen during the ceremony, the pastor made a last-minute change by moving the groomsmen in front of a chair where the bride and groom were going to sit. Had I not been there, the groomsmen would have completely blocked me from every vantage point. I was able to point that out and resolve the situation. Also, something that happens at EVERY wedding is that the attendants want to walk right behind each other while coming down the aisle. This gives the photographer no chance to capture the following attendants coming up the aisle because the couple immediately in front of them is in the way. I always iron this out at the rehearsal so I allow myself enough time to capture each couple coming down the aisle.

And on occasions when the wedding is far away from where I live and I cannot get to the rehearsal, I have noticed a big difference in my capturing the images. It's much harder when you aren't there to give feedback beforehand.
I wish not to attend the rehearsals, but I just don't see any way around it as far as preparation goes.

And it's becoming more common for officiants to not allow flash. And many times the bride and groom will tell you it's okay until the night of the rehearsal when the officiant tells me no flash is allowed. In fact, I'm usually the one who tells the couple that flash is not an option by request of the officiant. It always gets me that the official photographer can't use flash, but the guests are sitting there flashing away. In fact, I had one pastor tell me that flash was not an option although he fully expected the guests to use flash. His comment was, "I don't have control over the guests, but I do have control over the hired photographer."

Guess you just gotta go with the flow and adapt to the situation you're given.

11/3/2008 7:38:17 AM

Bruce A. Dart

member since: 1/7/2007
  Hi Scott,
Ah the stories that can be told about weddings!! I have lost count of the number which I have photographed in the past 30 years, but it is well over 500. And just when you think you have "seen it all," something else pops up. Most professionals do not attend the rehearsals, although I do know one of my friends who does attend them for all of the previously mentioned reasons. As a business, I need to be concerned about the hours spent away from the studio and whether or not I get paid for what I do. I already spend anywhere from 6-8 hours or more at each event. I have an additional "prep" time to be sure my equipment is ready to go. Afterwards, sorting files, getting previews ready, designing an album, etc. takes about another 20 hours before you deliver the product. There are ways to streamline all this but the point is that there is already a LOT of time involved here. Knowing the event and seeing the church are a must. Conducting yourself as a professional is also imperative. We all have egos, including pastors, but we all have a job to do. If you ever want to do another wedding in the same church (as a BUSINESS, repeat business is essential) then you must at all times be professional -- even if it seems like you are dealing with idiots. Like the pro athletes, your job is to get it done when called on. No excuses! Fast film (now digital ISO), fast lenses (as well as telephoto), and tripods will point you in the right direction. And you need them all. In all but a few churches, you can get the few shots you need of the ceremony without flash. In some churches, flash is allowed but still, don't overdo it. A wedding has not been staged just for you. It is an important day in the life of (hopefully) one of your long time customers. Many of the "issues" of weddings are handled in a consultation with the prospective bride and groom when you "book" the wedding if you know what things to look for and questions to ask. Are you lighting a Unity Candle? Are you presenting flowers to the parents? Is there anything else special scheduled? The answers sometimes vary by denomination but the geographical region is also a factor. Different areas have different customs for ceremony and receptions and you should have an idea of what to expect. Treat the people involved with respect and doors will usually open. Just for the record, the processional and recessional are not usually considered parts of the ceremony where flash is prohibited. Once the wedding party is in place and the bride is in the front of the church is when the flash usually stops. Often you can get a photo with flash of the dad (or whomever is giving the bride away)giving her a kiss. From then on, for me, it is available light until they come back up the aisle. Another important consideration in some churches, depending on the time of the ceremony and in some cases whether or not there is another ceremony either before or after the one you are photographing, is whether or not you can get back in the church to do the "formal" photos. Once in a while, other services are scheduled and people start arriving for that before you finish. Most photographers (and some have) could write a book about their experiences at weddings. At a wedding this summer, the pastor and I were quietly commiserating about how disorganized this particular bride happened to be.... and then later in the day she turned out to be one of the only brides to give the photographer a $200 tip in addition to the usual fees for albums and coverage. You gotta go with the flow!! Amen.
Bruce

11/4/2008 5:02:20 AM

Greg McCroskery
BetterPhoto Member
imagismphotos.com

member since: 2/27/2003
  Scott,
I always attend rehearsals for the many reasons mentioned above. It always goes smoother on wedding day as a result. One thing I also do at the rehearsal (didn't see this mentioned) is to coach the bride and groom to face each other when lighting the unity candle -- that moves them a little apart and allows everyone (including me) to see what's going on. Otherwise they stand together with their backs to everyone and look like they're stirring soup!
I use my practice of attending rehearsals 'at no extra charge' as a selling point.

God Bless,
Greg

11/4/2008 1:48:57 PM

Rachel Larson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/3/2005
  Hey Scott,

I also attend the rehersal for all of the same reasons already mentioned. There have been a few that I haven't attended due to the travel that was necessary. (I only wanted to make one trip.) I completely agree, that they are rarely on time and fairly disorganized, and sometimes I even question myself at the time why I came...but they are also helpful in meeting more of the family, and refamilerize yourself with the venue.

Rachel

11/6/2008 12:31:24 PM

Scott McCord

member since: 10/16/2005
  Bruce,
You make very good points and it seems like we are of the same opinion as far as wedding photography goes. Although I like to have flash available during the ceremony, I actually do a lot of natural light photography during the ceremony - it's more "romantic" as far as the style of the photograph goes. And I agree about most officiants not considering the recessional and processional part of the ceremony. So it's really not that big of an issue. I guess the only beef I had about it was the way some of the officiants approach the subject. I mean, I understand there are some completely unprofessional wedding photogs out there and if the officiant has not worked with you, then they have no idea how you handle yourself during the wedding. I was told by one pastor that he had to stop the ceremony because the wedding photog was standing next to him on the stage, shooting over his shoulder...can you believe the nerve of that photographer? It's the couple's day, not the photographer's...and the guests should be focused on them, not the idiot photographer walking all over the stage.

I also address many of the "issues" during consultation. I must say, however, that every once in a while I have clients who let it all go in one ear and out the other and when wedding day arrives, they do exactly opposite of what we agreed upon - even if we just discussed it prior to the wedding. There's when you gotta go with the flow.
And I had my worst case of this a couple of weeks ago when the bride and groom turned Jekyll and Hyde on me and completely did opposite of what we agreed upon (two hours late for rehearsal, two hours late for formal photography, 45 minutes late for their own ceremony, etc.) It was a nightmare and for the life of me, I could not persuade them to keep on schedule. Their answers to my suggestions were a flat "no." But we made it work nevertheless and did our job.

Greg,
You do exactly as I do when it comes to the unity candle. When I first started weddings a few years ago, I quickly grew tired of the throw-away back-of-the-head unity candle shots. That is one of my main discussions on the night of the rehearsal and it has made a huge difference over the years. I walk up to the unity candle the night of the rehearsal with the bride and groom and suggest to them where to stand when lighting it. They seem to follow my advise 90% of the time - and the other 10% is just nerves getting the best of them, making them forget. The unity candle shots got much better after I started addressing the issue.

When I posted this topic, I never intended to stop attending rehearsals, even though they make me crazy. But after hearing so many comments of surprise that I actually showed up to a rehearsal, I thought maybe I was the only photographer going to them. At the very least, it really impresses clients and their parents - who usually are paying the bill.

11/6/2008 4:01:37 PM

Bruce A. Dart

member since: 1/7/2007
  Scott,
Certainly the topic of weddings among photographers will undoubtedly generate discussion!! LOL. Attending rehearsals was never a "bad" idea but one of time -- and sometimes duplication. As with anything pertaining to wedding and other photography, do what works for you. There are a number of things at weddings where I photograph from the back of the church during the ceremony -- and the unity candle is one (tired of the back of the heads)-- and I also pose a shot later of the bride and groom where I can direct it and get a great available light shot of them lighting the candle together. (Arms around each other, lighting with the outside hands -- whether or not they actually do it that way during the ceremony -- the same as I do with the cake cutting shot.) I learned very quickly, by the way, when posing the "ceremony" shots later NOT to get an empty church behind them as background. Then that posed shot alternates with the actual ceremony from the back, giving two different perspectives and more interest. There are also LOTS about weddings that indeed MAKE YOU CRAZY but that is what we do as photographers. While I do not have a BP web gallery yet I do have one at www.photosbydart.com if you care to look. I need to update images to more current ones but those on the site generally depict what I do. Best wishes to each of you. Keep it clickin'!!
Bruce

11/6/2008 4:31:08 PM

Ian Lozada
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/22/2005
  I should start by mentioning that wedding photography is my primary business. For my style, I've found that attending rehearsals is actually a detriment to good work. When I go beforehand and start looking around, what happens is that I start thinking about what shots I'd like to take. The problem is that my work is strongest when it's organic-- brides book me because my work is about capturing emotions and the unplanned.

The second the images become about my preconceived notions of what a wedding should look like, I'm dead in the water.

11/10/2008 5:17:12 AM

Scott McCord

member since: 10/16/2005
  Ian,
I understand your point, but when I attend the rehearsals, I don't plan out my shots. I look for things that would impede those spontaneous moments. For instance, let's say the father really gets emotional giving away the bride and a beautiful exchange takes place. If grandma in the wheelchair is placed directly between you and the subjects, then your potential for that spontaneous capture is gone.
Another example...some recent clients decided to participate in feet washing rather than a unity candle because they are very devout and thought it represented their beliefs better. It was a very emotional moment. However, if I had not been at rehearsal, all the groomsmen would have blocked them from view from not only me, the photographer, but the entire congregation. There would have been absolutely no way for me to get the shot (short of standing right there with them) because the groomsmen had essentially built a wall around them.

I use rehearsals to remedy those problems and make sure I have my camera settings down so I can more successfully capture all those "organic" moments.

11/15/2008 11:02:59 AM

ANTHONY CAROLINA

member since: 2/17/2004
  I personally attend the rehearsal for technical reasons. I also take my assistant with me. The cost is part of the package. it also helps me to know how to get to venue, alternate routes in case of traffic, street closures, and approximate travel time.

12/8/2008 2:22:42 PM

John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/18/2005
  To the photographer who was irked because he couldn't use flash even though everyone else in the place could... what would happen if you did use flash? :-)

12/9/2008 12:55:16 PM

Scott McCord

member since: 10/16/2005
  I would be banned from shooting in that church again because I would have disobeyed a direct request from the pastor. It has already happened to one photographer. And it would be tough to explain to a potential client that you can't shoot their wedding because you're banned from that church.

12/11/2008 9:50:12 AM

Bruce A. Dart

member since: 1/7/2007
  John,
Scott is right. There are different standards for professionals, primarily because they are going back to the church for other jobs. Other people don't have to worry about being invited back if they disobey the pastor's instructions but the pros do. 'Tis far better to bite your tongue and be able to go back another day!! When the pastor complains about the flash, it puts you in a much better position to say, "It wasn't me!!" I had one pastor who actually had an eye disorder and if he saw a flash would have had to stop the ceremony for about 20 minutes because he literally couldn't see. That is rare, however. At any wedding you want to always LOOK and ACT as a professional. No matter what!! Period. It will pay big dividends in the course of your career.
Bruce

12/11/2008 1:50:43 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Alec Wittschiebe

member since: 9/7/2008
  10 .  Night and Indoor Sports Photography
I am using a d-SLR camera (Canon Rebel XT), and I have a 70-200mm f/4 L series lens. I have been trying to take pictures of Friday night football games and indoor volleyball and basketball games. There are some pictures that almost make it that aren't too blurry, but I still don't know what to do.
Thank you!

9/7/2008 11:12:11 AM

  Hello Alec,
You may think about selling the 70-200 f/4 and buying a 70-200 f/2.8. They make an IS (Image Stabilization) and non-IS version. I would also recommend bumping up your ISO to 800, 1600 or possibly even 3200, so that you can get a fast-enough shutter speed to capture the images.
With higher ISOs, you will need to be exposed so that you don't have to lighten the images in Photoshop. Images shot with ISO 1600 can be noisy (grainy) and lightening will introduce even more noise.
Try shooting at the higher ISOs with your f/4 and see if this will work. You may also want to consider getting a prime lens at f/1.4 or f/2 and although you lose zoom ability, they will perform better at low light, and primes are generally sharper as well.
Hope this helps!

9/7/2008 2:49:43 PM

W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
 
And shoot RAW!

9/8/2008 3:08:14 PM

Jeff Coleman

member since: 2/5/2005
  I also shoot with an XT and you really can push to ISO 800 with good results. I'm not sure if that lens will be fast enough for indoor sports but you shouldn't have any problems with football.

9/9/2008 4:15:38 AM

Kennen White
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/21/2008
  I've had pretty good luck shooting high school girls basketball with a Rebel XTI and the 50mm 1.8 lens, which costs less than $100. Of course you can't zoom, but at the h.s. games you can usually get fairly close and move around as needed. I set ISO to 800 or 1600 and shoot AV at 1.8 (or a bit higher if there is enough light). For football, you might need a longer focal length.

9/9/2008 6:35:34 AM

  The Canon XT will only accept 1600 as the highest ISO.

Most people use lenses that are F2.8 (at the widest opening) or faster. These lenses are very expensive.

Use one or more Canon 580 EX external flash units around a given area. (One would be a master light and would be in your camera hotshoe, the others would be slaved units placed within 25 feet between you and the subject. The slaves could be carefully wired to strong vertical beams or carefully held in the needed direction to receive directions from the master and forward the lighting to the subject.

The other suggestion is shooting on a monopod that can be moved quickly around the "field" but would help to steady your camera.

There is an article at Photo.net on sports photography. http://photo.net/learn/sports/overview

9/9/2008 12:25:21 PM

Stephen R

member since: 10/11/2007
  Alec, For indoor v'ball and b'ball get an excellent 50mm 1.4, i.e., with useable quality wide-open, 400-800iso usually, avail light. Night football, soccer, get a high-quality 80-200 2.8 and monopod, 1200iso min. I shoot avail. light without VR or IS lenses.

I use a Tokina ATX828AF Pro that is as sharp a zoom as I've used. Add the Kenko 1.4x Pro300DG for afternoon/evening and get 300mm of tele at f4.

Disregard the opinion of anyone saying the above used on a 1.5xLF digital SLR is like shooting with a 450mm lens. The telephoto effect is 300mm. Only angle of view is like 450mm lens. In today's photo equipment media this distinction is blurry and has lead to prominent reviewers making statements like "effectively a 450mm lens".

As noted above, try not to underexpose these shots at high iso and attempt to correct exp in psp, outcome will be noisy. Better to select a higher iso to start.

9/9/2008 7:08:48 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
  skip to page
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | >> ...48
Next 10  >>

Copyright 1996-2014 BetterPhoto.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved.