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Thread: Metering for a wedding

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    Ausphotography Addict Lplates's Avatar
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    Metering for a wedding

    My son is getting married in late August and no I will not be the photographer but as both my other sons are also in the wedding party I would like to get some candids on the day. They are getting married on a beach 2p.m. in Qld so the lighting will be terrible. I normally use spot metering and was wondering what I should meter off, the dress, skin or something else?

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    Antipod
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    Use an incident meter if you have one, problem solved . But I guess you don't own one and need to use reflective metering through the camera?

    If so: first option is to use a gray card (couple of dollars on Amazon or one of this sites sponsors). If you don't have one, can't find it or otherwise don't want to "invest" in one: use skin (the palm of your hand is about 1/2 to 1 full stop lighter than mid-gray, calibrate once and use forever ). Use evaluative metering and make sure the reference object fills the frame. That will work assuming you are in the same light as the subjects (on a beach, no shadow... should work).

    Alternatively use an expodisc and meter incident exposure directly of the sunlight. Add one or two stops when subjects are in the shadows.

    Last but not least: chimp. Check the histograms (if possible, enable color-split histograms so you can easily spot overexposure in any of the basic colors). Chances are the circumstances will not change during the ceremony or the after-party, so once you have dialed in a correct exposure you can shoot away like a madman

    Chances are you may want to use a (big) flash both as a filler and to control contrasts, you know how to work one?
    Last edited by jev; 24-07-2014 at 5:42pm.
    Ciao, Joost

    All feedback is highly appreciated!

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    Thanks Jev. No don't own an incident meter but do have a grey card and will change to matrix metering rather than spot. I always chimp lol still not confident enough not to. I do have a speedlight and whilst certainly not an expert can basically use it in manual. Doubt I'll be shooting like a madman but do hope to get a few candid type rather than posed shots like the pro will be doing.

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    Antipod
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    Okay. Flashing is not rocket science, but it helps if you have some experience under your belt. Here's a tip you may want try out before the big day: take a comparable scene as what you are gonna' have to work with (e.g.: lots of space, lots of sunlight, a statue for example). Meter the incident light using your greycard.

    Now, (all in manual mode) dial in one stop less than what you found and dial in the exact same value on your flash. So, if you found 1/100" at f/11 at 100ISO, set both, your speedlight and the camera, to 1/100" at f/16. Shoot. Set your camera back to f/16, put the speedlight on automatic. Shoot again. Check at home, see the difference?

    This is all about contrast reduction, which helps to get the subjects well lit whilst not blowing out the background (because that is going to be the challenge!).

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    Okay will have a go. Full cloud cover here at present but should be sunny again in a couple of days.

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    Serial Truant.... phild's Avatar
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    If you're not sure ( and you have plenty of card memory) it may be an idea to use exposure bracketing, easily set in camera.
    Phil

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