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Photography Question 
MaryAnn L. Oakland

How to get the right exposure for the wedding dres

My husband and I have been asked to take the wedding photos of our neice's wedding. I am honored but also scared as I want to get great photos for her. I am worried about the lighting in the church and to be able to get good exposure of the wedding dress/black tux. What tips can you give me? We recently bought a bracket and flash attachment for our Canon EOS Digital Rebel camera. We plan on taking mostly digital photos but we also want to take some with our Canon EOS 35 mm camera, with Kodak Porta 160VC. Any tips on how to take great wedding portraits of the bride and groom with both cameras would be appreciated? I worry about getting a yellow cast on the photos also, how can I prevent that. Thank you for any help you can give me.

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3/29/2004 6:50:52 PM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  Re: Exposure for white dress/black tux - The evaluative meter should do a decent job (especially with the print film which has great latitude anyway). For this special occasion I wouldn't advise you to try partial metering and adding exposure compensation if you aren't already experienced and proficient metering that way.

Re: Yellow cast from ambient lighting. Near subjects lit by the flash will have the correct color balance. The background will have the color cast of the ambient light and that's usually not a problem as it adds "atmosphere" ;). There's little you can do about that, short of researching the church's exact lighting color temperature and using the corresponding compensating filters on the flash and/or lens.

Be sure to set the Digital Rebel's white balance for Flash (lightning bolt icon) when using the flash. Without flash use Auto white balance, or use one of the presets that match the lighting (tungsten, fluorescent, etc.), or if you're familiar enough with its function you can set a custom white balance.

In addition to using the flash bracket you can reduce/eliminate harsh shadows by making sure your subjects are away from walls/backdrops.

WRT film choice, I'd be more inclined to use Portra 160NC instead of the VC (Vivid Color), but that's a personal choice. A lot depends on the lab doing the prints.

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3/30/2004 8:01:33 AM

MaryAnn L. Oakland   Thanks so much for your response. I wish we could practice in the church that it is going to held in, but it is a 5 hour drive from here, unfortunately.
What about Porta 400NC or VC, we bought a 5 pack of Porta 160VC from the advise of fellow working in a procamera shop? But I might be willing to buy at least one more film of 400 speed.
thank you again,
MaryAnn Oakland

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4/1/2004 5:02:15 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  The 400 is a good choice, too, especially inside. With white wedding dress and black tuxedos, my concern would be getting good skin tones, which is what the NC Portras are biased for. The VC line is good if you want to accentuate a colorful location, flowers, bridesmaid dresses, etc. Skin tones should be ok with VC, but again much control over that lies with the person/machine settings of the printer.

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4/1/2004 5:28:14 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  P.S. I do not mean to imply that you got bad advice from the shop. Portra VC is a very good film and will probably give you great results. Just a personal preference thing, not right or wrong.

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4/1/2004 5:44:56 AM


BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/28/2003
  NC is very good for skin tones, as Jon said. VC is really good when you want to capture nice color.

Here's what I would do. For the posed formal shots, use NC, for the more unposed outdoor candid shots, use VC.

Also, absolutely get some 400. You're going to need it.

Just one last thing. It sounds like you may be the sole photographer? For a full-day from beginning to end, I take around 800+ shots. Based on the film you purchased, you will be taking around 180. Although that may be sufficient, you should take at least 3 of every pose, and for candids, you never know what will turn out. So, make sure you over-shoot.



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4/1/2004 12:52:45 PM

MaryAnn L. Oakland   Thanks so much for your all your responses!! Both my husband and I are planning on taking the photos. We are going to be using actually two main cameras. Our Canon Digital and our Canon 35 mm. Our plan is to take with the digital and then take one with the 35 mm. We have 3 tripods. We also have a backup Olympus 3000 Digital too. I think I will get a couple of 400 speed too, thanks for the advise. I do worry about the skin tone colors, hmmm. Maybe should try NC too.

We can take about 300 from our Canon Digital.

Thanks again for all your great advice.

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4/2/2004 5:01:27 AM

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