HELP - Need a quick suggestion

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by BD, Jul 30, 2006.

  1. BD

    BD Guest

    Hey, all.

    I'm shooting a wedding next week. My first one. But let's not get into
    that. ;-)

    I'm hoping it will be an overcast day - but in case it is not, and I
    have a sun to deal with, I am concerned about too much sharp light for
    good outdoor portraits.

    I do have a gold/silver bounce reflector (42'), which should help.

    But I fear I will need some kind of large-ish diffuser that I would ask
    someone to hold overtop of the subject as I shoot outdoor portraits.

    I am looking to build something, so I tried a large ring of metal, of
    the kind used for eavestroughing. I would put a large circular patch of
    fabric around it, and ask someone to hold it above the subject to ease
    the sunlight. I had envisioned putting it at the end of a large rod, so
    that it could be held from a few feet away, keeping the 'holder' out of
    the shot.

    Sadly, this idea looks optimistic - the metal seems too weak to support
    itself.

    Has anyone tried a home-brew solution for a diffuser such as this?

    I'd appreciate suggestions...

    BD
     
    BD, Jul 30, 2006
    #1
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  2. In article <>, BD
    <> wrote:

    > I'm shooting a wedding next week. My first one. But let's not get into
    > that. ;-)


    Sound like you're the one who shouldn't be getting into it.
     
    Randall Ainsworth, Jul 31, 2006
    #2
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  3. BD

    BD Guest


    > Sound like you're the one who shouldn't be getting into it.


    Nice. Real frickin' supportive. You like this with your family too, or
    just strangers?

    Fact is, I am uneasy, but the bride-to-be has all the faith in the
    world, so I expect all will be well. I just want to make sure I've
    covered all my bases.

    Any HELPFUL suggestions are welcome.

    I imagine I'll just suck it up and buy something. Photographic
    accessories are almost as much of a racket as printer ink, but oh
    well...
     
    BD, Jul 31, 2006
    #3
  4. BD

    Stan Beck Guest

    I can't help you on this, but it sounds like you are responding to someone
    already in my kill file. There are a couple of guys who can't offer
    anything but ridicule, but claim to be professional.


    --
    Stan Beck > From New Orleans to Brandon MS

    It's hard to soar with the eagles in the morning if you've been hooting with
    the owls all night.

    To reply, remove 101 from address.
    ***

    "BD" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    >> Sound like you're the one who shouldn't be getting into it.

    >
    > Nice. Real frickin' supportive. You like this with your family too, or
    > just strangers?
    >
    > Fact is, I am uneasy, but the bride-to-be has all the faith in the
    > world, so I expect all will be well. I just want to make sure I've
    > covered all my bases.
    >
    > Any HELPFUL suggestions are welcome.
    >
    > I imagine I'll just suck it up and buy something. Photographic
    > accessories are almost as much of a racket as printer ink, but oh
    > well...
    >
     
    Stan Beck, Jul 31, 2006
    #4
  5. BD

    BD Guest

    Stan Beck wrote:
    > I can't help you on this, but it sounds like you are responding to someone
    > already in my kill file. There are a couple of guys who can't offer
    > anything but ridicule, but claim to be professional.




    ....For which I have little patience.

    What I tried to make was simply a 'ring' of aluminum - same sort of
    stuff you'd see eavestroughs made of. I need it to be fairly large
    (4-5' diameter) and at that size it's just not rigid enough to be
    stable, and will bend and collapse when held by hand.

    But, on further examination, I think I may still be able to make it
    work.
     
    BD, Jul 31, 2006
    #5
  6. On 7/30/06 3:45 PM, BD wrote:
    > Hey, all.
    >
    > I'm shooting a wedding next week. My first one. But let's not get into
    > that. ;-)
    >
    > I'm hoping it will be an overcast day - but in case it is not, and I
    > have a sun to deal with, I am concerned about too much sharp light for
    > good outdoor portraits.
    >
    > I do have a gold/silver bounce reflector (42'), which should help.
    >
    > But I fear I will need some kind of large-ish diffuser that I would ask
    > someone to hold overtop of the subject as I shoot outdoor portraits.
    >
    > I am looking to build something, so I tried a large ring of metal, of
    > the kind used for eavestroughing. I would put a large circular patch of
    > fabric around it, and ask someone to hold it above the subject to ease
    > the sunlight. I had envisioned putting it at the end of a large rod, so
    > that it could be held from a few feet away, keeping the 'holder' out of
    > the shot.
    >
    > Sadly, this idea looks optimistic - the metal seems too weak to support
    > itself.
    >
    > Has anyone tried a home-brew solution for a diffuser such as this?


    I made a diffuser out of spinnaker cloth, tied strong nylon cord to the
    corners and strung it up to combat noon-day sun. But you may need
    portability. A pool skimmer with a bigger basket covered with
    lightweight spinnaker cloth might work.

    --
    John McWilliams
     
    John McWilliams, Jul 31, 2006
    #6
  7. BD

    mickiedee Guest

    BD wrote:
    > Hey, all.
    >
    > I'm shooting a wedding next week. My first one. But let's not get into
    > that. ;-)
    >
    > I'm hoping it will be an overcast day - but in case it is not, and I
    > have a sun to deal with, I am concerned about too much sharp light for
    > good outdoor portraits.
    >
    > I do have a gold/silver bounce reflector (42'), which should help.
    >
    > But I fear I will need some kind of large-ish diffuser that I would ask
    > someone to hold overtop of the subject as I shoot outdoor portraits.
    >
    > I am looking to build something, so I tried a large ring of metal, of
    > the kind used for eavestroughing. I would put a large circular patch of
    > fabric around it, and ask someone to hold it above the subject to ease
    > the sunlight. I had envisioned putting it at the end of a large rod, so
    > that it could be held from a few feet away, keeping the 'holder' out of
    > the shot.
    >
    > Sadly, this idea looks optimistic - the metal seems too weak to support
    > itself.
    >
    > Has anyone tried a home-brew solution for a diffuser such as this?
    >
    > I'd appreciate suggestions...
    >
    > BD


    I don't have any suggestions on the diffuser, but I would go out to the
    sight during the same time of the day and see if there was any natural
    shade you can use for most of your pictures. To have something large
    enough to actually shade more than a couple of people is going to be
    tuff.
     
    mickiedee, Jul 31, 2006
    #7
  8. BD

    ColinD Guest

    BD wrote:
    >
    > Hey, all.
    >
    > I'm shooting a wedding next week. My first one. But let's not get into
    > that. ;-)
    >
    > I'm hoping it will be an overcast day - but in case it is not, and I
    > have a sun to deal with, I am concerned about too much sharp light for
    > good outdoor portraits.
    >
    > I do have a gold/silver bounce reflector (42'), which should help.
    >
    > But I fear I will need some kind of large-ish diffuser that I would ask
    > someone to hold overtop of the subject as I shoot outdoor portraits.
    >
    > I am looking to build something, so I tried a large ring of metal, of
    > the kind used for eavestroughing. I would put a large circular patch of
    > fabric around it, and ask someone to hold it above the subject to ease
    > the sunlight. I had envisioned putting it at the end of a large rod, so
    > that it could be held from a few feet away, keeping the 'holder' out of
    > the shot.
    >
    > Sadly, this idea looks optimistic - the metal seems too weak to support
    > itself.
    >
    > Has anyone tried a home-brew solution for a diffuser such as this?
    >
    > I'd appreciate suggestions...
    >
    > BD


    Use fill flash.

    Colin D.

    --
    Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
     
    ColinD, Jul 31, 2006
    #8
  9. BD

    iws Guest

    "BD" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hey, all.
    >
    > I'm shooting a wedding next week. My first one. But let's not get into
    > that. ;-)
    >
    > I'm hoping it will be an overcast day - but in case it is not, and I
    > have a sun to deal with, I am concerned about too much sharp light for
    > good outdoor portraits.
    >
    > I do have a gold/silver bounce reflector (42'), which should help.
    >
    > But I fear I will need some kind of large-ish diffuser that I would ask
    > someone to hold overtop of the subject as I shoot outdoor portraits.
    >
    > I am looking to build something, so I tried a large ring of metal, of
    > the kind used for eavestroughing. I would put a large circular patch of
    > fabric around it, and ask someone to hold it above the subject to ease
    > the sunlight. I had envisioned putting it at the end of a large rod, so
    > that it could be held from a few feet away, keeping the 'holder' out of
    > the shot.
    >
    > Sadly, this idea looks optimistic - the metal seems too weak to support
    > itself.
    >
    > Has anyone tried a home-brew solution for a diffuser such as this?
    >
    > I'd appreciate suggestions...
    >
    > BD


    You could try making a frame from PVC pipe which is available in a number of
    different sizes and is quite cheap. It is easily cut with a tool for that
    purpose ($10 or so Home Depot) and you can attach four lengths with elbow
    connectors and PVC glue to form a square or rectangular frame. The structure
    could be stiffened using T connectors and a length of PVC which would split
    the square/rectangle into two. An alternative might be to use aluminum angle
    or box section strips bolted together. Good luck.
     
    iws, Jul 31, 2006
    #9
  10. In article <>, BD
    <> wrote:

    > Nice. Real frickin' supportive. You like this with your family too, or
    > just strangers?
    >
    > Fact is, I am uneasy, but the bride-to-be has all the faith in the
    > world, so I expect all will be well. I just want to make sure I've
    > covered all my bases.
    >
    > Any HELPFUL suggestions are welcome.
    >
    > I imagine I'll just suck it up and buy something. Photographic
    > accessories are almost as much of a racket as printer ink, but oh
    > well...


    If your biggest worry is about what kind of do-dad to use, the couple
    should have hired a competent professional.
     
    Randall Ainsworth, Jul 31, 2006
    #10
  11. BD

    ASAAR Guest

    On Sun, 30 Jul 2006 16:06:10 -0700, Randall Ainsworth wrote:

    >> I'm shooting a wedding next week. My first one. But let's not get into
    >> that. ;-)

    >
    > Sound like you're the one who shouldn't be getting into it.


    You're repeating yourself, Randall. Perhaps you'd have been
    happier if you had never taken up photography but became an
    exterminator instead, as did the honorable Tom Delay.
     
    ASAAR, Jul 31, 2006
    #11
  12. "ASAAR" <> wrote:
    > On Sun, 30 Jul 2006 16:06:10 -0700, Randall Ainsworth wrote:
    >
    >>> I'm shooting a wedding next week. My first one. But let's not get into
    >>> that. ;-)

    >>
    >> Sound like you're the one who shouldn't be getting into it.

    >
    > You're repeating yourself, Randall. Perhaps you'd have been
    > happier if you had never taken up photography but became an
    > exterminator instead, as did the honorable Tom Delay.


    He may be rude, but he's probably right. Shooting a friend's wedding without
    experience in wedding photography is a seriously bad idea. The OP may
    actually know more about photography than he lets on, but the apparently
    rather blithe attitude bodes ill for photographs that said friend would like
    to be done well.

    As somewhat of a joke, I tell my friends with kids to find the best portrait
    photographer in town and blow the money on serious quality professional
    portraits of said kids. Everyone who has taken said advice reports its the
    best advice they'd ever received.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
     
    David J. Littleboy, Jul 31, 2006
    #12
  13. BD

    Daryl Bryant Guest

    "BD" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hey, all.
    >
    > I'm shooting a wedding next week. My first one. But let's not get into
    > that. ;-)
    >
    > I'm hoping it will be an overcast day - but in case it is not, and I
    > have a sun to deal with, I am concerned about too much sharp light for
    > good outdoor portraits.
    >
    > I do have a gold/silver bounce reflector (42'), which should help.


    You can use a very large white reflector to diffuse the sunlight!

    then use a gold or silver reflector to redirect or as a fill!!

    <snip>
    --
    Bing Bang Boom Viola Done!
     
    Daryl Bryant, Jul 31, 2006
    #13
  14. BD

    ASAAR Guest

    On Mon, 31 Jul 2006 11:21:52 +0900, David J. Littleboy wrote:

    > He may be rude, but he's probably right. Shooting a friend's wedding without
    > experience in wedding photography is a seriously bad idea. The OP may
    > actually know more about photography than he lets on, but the apparently
    > rather blithe attitude bodes ill for photographs that said friend would like
    > to be done well.


    I agree, especially if he's the one and only "pro" shooting the
    wedding. I know from experience that bad things can come of it
    because that's what happened when a friend of my cousin's family
    took her wedding pictures and did a less than professional job. He
    was an experienced semi-pro, had most of the equipment that
    professional wedding photographers use and worked in the photo
    industry, although not as a true photographer. That day I chose to
    leave my Nikon 8008 home in favor of shooting with a new Sony Hi-8
    videocam. I got one sequence of my uncle yelling at his clueless
    friend for accidentally trampling through a flower bed. Several
    relatives told me that the videos I gave them (most of them being
    candid and unposed) saved the day from being a total disaster, but
    it's clear even a decade later that they're still unhappy about not
    having hired real pros.


    > As somewhat of a joke, I tell my friends with kids to find the best portrait
    > photographer in town and blow the money on serious quality professional
    > portraits of said kids. Everyone who has taken said advice reports its the
    > best advice they'd ever received.


    Really good ones do amazing work. I don't recall her name, but
    several months ago I picked up a photo magazine that had an article
    about a woman photographer who recently gained some notoriety and
    criticism for a book of hers recently published, consisting of
    portraits of crying children. I wasn't sure how I felt about it,
    but when I got to the pages showing some of the portraits, her
    talent couldn't be denied. The children may have been crying, but
    they were probably never made to look so beautiful.

    [For those who may still be concerned, her method of getting the
    desired shots was described, and none of the children were abused in
    any way. She had access to many children, and the happy ones were
    quickly replaced with ones where the unhappiness and/or pain was of
    the "I want my mommy" variety.]
     
    ASAAR, Jul 31, 2006
    #14
  15. BD

    BD Guest


    > If your biggest worry is about what kind of do-dad to use, the couple
    > should have hired a competent professional.


    What a useless comment...
     
    BD, Jul 31, 2006
    #15
  16. BD

    Pat Guest

    What you are looking for already exists and is readily available. It's
    called a canopy. Tents also work. Don't leave home without it. Get
    one with a white roof, not a blue one (duh) although blue one are
    cheaper for some reason. 12X12 will work fine (no center post), but
    you need to make sure you can get it up at least 8' but 10' is better.
    A matching side panel is also handy if the sun isn't directly overhead.

    Now, go practice your flash technique to balance the people in the tent
    with the backgroud outside so it isn't washed out. You want the people
    under the tent and to shoot through it without seeing it. Balancing
    the flash takes more practice than it seems like it should. Otherwise,
    Randall will be right and we don't want that ;-)

    If you use a tent, you'll also need a gaffer. And since you have the
    tent there anyway, you should stick a second flash up in it to shine
    down to give some light from the top.

    Make sure you have two of everything and twice as many batteries as you
    think you need. If you don't have 2 dSLRs, throw you old film camera
    in your bag along with a brick of film (okay, maybe a half dozen ...
    just in case).

    If you don't have a bracket for your flash, go order one today and have
    it FEDEXed to you. You can't do a wedding without one (plus a cable).

    Hope it pays well. You might need to pick up some equipment for the
    shoot.



    BD wrote:
    > Hey, all.
    >
    > I'm shooting a wedding next week. My first one. But let's not get into
    > that. ;-)
    >
    > I'm hoping it will be an overcast day - but in case it is not, and I
    > have a sun to deal with, I am concerned about too much sharp light for
    > good outdoor portraits.
    >
    > I do have a gold/silver bounce reflector (42'), which should help.
    >
    > But I fear I will need some kind of large-ish diffuser that I would ask
    > someone to hold overtop of the subject as I shoot outdoor portraits.
    >
    > I am looking to build something, so I tried a large ring of metal, of
    > the kind used for eavestroughing. I would put a large circular patch of
    > fabric around it, and ask someone to hold it above the subject to ease
    > the sunlight. I had envisioned putting it at the end of a large rod, so
    > that it could be held from a few feet away, keeping the 'holder' out of
    > the shot.
    >
    > Sadly, this idea looks optimistic - the metal seems too weak to support
    > itself.
    >
    > Has anyone tried a home-brew solution for a diffuser such as this?
    >
    > I'd appreciate suggestions...
    >
    > BD
     
    Pat, Jul 31, 2006
    #16
  17. BD

    BD Guest

    > I don't have any suggestions on the diffuser, but I would go out to the
    > sight during the same time of the day and see if there was any natural
    > shade you can use for most of your pictures. To have something large
    > enough to actually shade more than a couple of people is going to be
    > tuff.


    It will be a challenge. The setting is in an orchard - there are plenty
    of trees around, but the ceremony itself will be in a large open field.
    I have no expectations of diffusing the sun during the ceremony nor in
    large group shots. But hopefully for some one- or two-person portraits,
    I may have some luck.

    The pool skimmer idea is interesting. As is the PVC pipe. I bet I could
    warm some 1" diameter stuff enough to bend it into a large ring, which
    is what I'd prefer in the first place.
     
    BD, Jul 31, 2006
    #17
  18. BD

    Neil Ellwood Guest

    On Sun, 30 Jul 2006 16:40:55 -0700, BD wrote:

    >
    >> Sound like you're the one who shouldn't be getting into it.


    >
    > Fact is, I am uneasy, but the bride-to-be has all the faith in the
    > world, so I expect all will be well. I just want to make sure I've
    > covered all my bases.

    My advice to you would be to ask them to get a pro and then to just take
    the pictures that you want. They will thank you in the end.>

    --
    Neil
    Delete l to reply
     
    Neil Ellwood, Jul 31, 2006
    #18
  19. BD

    Neil Ellwood Guest

    On Sun, 30 Jul 2006 21:39:04 -0700, BD wrote:

    >
    >> If your biggest worry is about what kind of do-dad to use, the couple
    >> should have hired a competent professional.

    >
    > What a useless comment...

    That isn't a useless comment but a relevant observation - a novice can get
    flustered when they are not sure what pic to take next and being for the
    family you will get allsorts of unhelpful suggestions.

    --
    Neil
    Delete l to reply
     
    Neil Ellwood, Jul 31, 2006
    #19
  20. BD

    Guest

    Don't mind Randall - his only use here is to warn off all aspiring
    wedding photographers.

    But sometimes that isn't actually a bad thing..

    Pat's advice was very good, and you'll note that it involved a lot of
    forethought and effort. Wedding photography is like that - takes a lot
    of effort to do it right - it's a one off occasion and if you do screw
    it up, what do you think will happen?

    When I learnt to shoot for a pro, he made me come with him to three
    weddings before I was even allowed to touch a camera, let alone think
    about shooting one by myself! And he was right to do that - he wanted
    me to understand all of what he *did*, and how/why, before even
    thinking about the shots that had to be taken. And I got a big shock
    at just how much there is to know, and how quickly stuff happens at
    some very critical moments and how cleverly he prepared - if you are
    not 100% ready and 100% in the right place, the moments are lost.
    Plus, if you don't do it well and discreetly, you will intrude on
    their, and/or their guests, experience.

    All in all, I would recommend that unless you have studied how it is
    done professionally and are fully competent with (and have backups for
    every item of) your equipment, then think again. If you are worried..
    then you probably *should be*! (O:

    So, if you still want to go ahead, either go for the canopy idea, or
    bring along an assistant (NOT a guest) whose only job will be to help
    you, if you seriously must try this portable diffuser. Frankly, I
    think the idea isn't good. It's a sunny day, people know what sunny
    day portraits look like, and if you use fill flash properly it will
    look fine. But it may look as if something funny is going on if you
    have a soft shadow effect. My recommendation is to carefully
    fill-flash (about one stop down) with a good (powerful) flash with
    diffuser.

    If there will be a set area for a lot of the shots, maybe you could
    make a large PVC-pipe stand for a white sheet to use as if it was a
    white wall... But if it's windy, you'll have more problems.. (and
    think about how wind will affect your portable thingy..)

    Good luck. You may need it.

    By the way, what contingency plans for rain/storm? Like I said -
    everything must have a backup that you are comfortable with... (O:
     
    , Jul 31, 2006
    #20
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