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  1. #1
    chalkie7's Avatar
    chalkie7 is offline dPS +1000 Club
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    Default first christening shoot

    Hi guys...this sunday I've agreed to take some shots for friends at their youngest son's christening. This is not a paid gig, I'm just taking the camera along as a guest.

    I'm not entirely comfortable with flash photography in general, so I'm asking you good people for any tips you may have for the indoor church shots. I'll be using the 5d mkII with a canon 24-70mm f2.8 and a speedlite 580ex mkII. My gut instinct was to use AV mode, but having done a little reading, this may not give the best results as best use is made of the available light to expose the whole scene and could result in slow shutter speeds (too low for hand-held). Any suggestions on the best way to approach this would be appreciated. Cheers, Mark

    PS:- if the lighting is really bad, should I consider the 50mm f1.8?
    Last edited by chalkie7; 10-23-2009 at 01:24 PM.

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    My biggest piece of advice, talk to the parents and officiator before the christening so you know what is appropriate. I was asked by parents to take pictures of a christening during the ceremony. I took test shots in the chapel and felt ok about my lighting. Later, they talked to the officiator and he requested that pictures only be taken after the meeting was over. OK, but that totally changed my lighting set up and I was such a noob at flash that I was thrown off a bit. The pictures came out fine, but could have been better.

    Also, make sure to get a list from mom and dad beforehand as to what pictures they want.

    Wish I could give you more lighting advice, but it isn't my forte yet. Good luck, and have fun!
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    naeno has great advice on know what is expected of you, knowing what will be allowed and maybe getting a look at the ambient lighting beforehand. I would bring along your 50 just in case. Lets say the priest says no flash - then you can squeak out your best exposures with the 1.8 lens if the 2.8 puts your shutter speed too low. I would imagine you will be able to use your flash after for more formal pics. I assume your 580 will be shoe mounted so there isn't a while lot you can do with the it other than try and get a nice balanced fill light light from your flash. Nothing wrong with letting the electronics do that for you and shoot in program/auto mode especially if you're not all that comfortable with it.

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    This may be showing my lack of experience or knowledge, but do you really think you're going to need a flash? I guess what I'm saying is that I would first try to get by on bumping up your ISO while shooting with a large aperture. And I agree with zona that you should take along your 50mm f/1.8 as well. I would think increasing your ISO (800 - 1000 perhaps?) and shooting at f/1.8 - f/2.8 would give you the shutter speeds you can work with. The 5D Mark II is more than capable of handling the higher ISO setting.

    Of course, I would take along the flash just in case. Is there any chance you can get a preview of what you'll be working with ahead of time so you can get an idea of the lighting? If you're forced to use your flash, I would shoot full manual. Like you said, if you shoot in Av, most likely, your camera will want to use some pretty slow shutter speeds. I recently did some photos at a wedding (I wasn't "the" photographer), and I was shooting at ISO 400, f/2.0, and around 1/100s. I can't remember exactly, but I think my flash was set to E-TTL. And since your flash is (presumably) going to be shoe-mounted, you're going to want to bounce the light, so take note of the walls/ceiling around you. That's where getting a preview of the location would help, or at the very least, show up early to give yourself enough time to check out the location and maybe take a few test shots.

    Hope this helps, and I hope the photos work out.
    Last edited by natek313; 10-24-2009 at 04:11 PM.
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    chalkie7's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for the suggestions. I do already know what shots are required and that the Rector has stated that I can use flash, but only after the ceremony itself. The church is pretty dim at the best of times, so I do think flash will be needed, but I do intend turning up early and will be trying a few tester shots before hand. Thanks again...it's tomorrow, so will let you know how it goes.

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    LENAAPPLE1974 is offline I'm new here!
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    I am curious, how did it pan out? I had a whole list of suggestions going because I have done several christenings, only to realize that you shot this weekend past!
    COLOR="Navy"]5D3, 7D; CANON 24-70 2.8L; CANON 50 1.4; CANON 60 2.8 MACRO; CANON 85 1.8; NIKON D40X; NIKON 35MM AF-S 1.8 DX; NIKON SB-400; Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG[/COLOR]

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    Quote Originally Posted by LENAAPPLE1974 View Post
    I am curious, how did it pan out? I had a whole list of suggestions going because I have done several christenings, only to realize that you shot this weekend past!
    Pretty well thank you. No flash allowed in the end, or needed really. Here's a link to a few shots:-

    http://digital-photography-school.co...ing-shoot.html

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    LENAAPPLE1974 is offline I'm new here!
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    AWESOME! I actually didn't get the reply for that! But I am back searching for some new ideas regarding the pics for tomorrow's baptism shoot. The shots are great! I want to see more! Do you have a link someplace? I myself am very nervous about no flash... as always. This church allows it...so I am good. (whew!)
    COLOR="Navy"]5D3, 7D; CANON 24-70 2.8L; CANON 50 1.4; CANON 60 2.8 MACRO; CANON 85 1.8; NIKON D40X; NIKON 35MM AF-S 1.8 DX; NIKON SB-400; Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG[/COLOR]

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