photography questions & answers
Continuing on the theme where I look at specific search engine queries via Woopra, and answer a selection of 10 questions more directly…
01) why doesn’t my light meter display an accurate reading when using a speedlight?
Aside from the (small) chance of your light meter being faulty, the most likely reason why you might get a faulty or obviously incorrect reading from your flash meter when metering your speedlight’s output … is that you are shooting in TTL mode. Most flash meters are fooled by the pre-flash that the camera uses to determine TTL flash exposure (and the final output of the flash).
You can see the position of the pre-flash there, a low output burst of light from your speedlight. The camera senses how much of the light is returned, and from that will calculate the TTL flash exposure you should need. Hand held light meter readings are usually triggered by that pre-flash, and since it is lower in intensity than the actual output from the speedlight, will give you a reading that just doesn’t make sense. I drove myself crazy with this one weekend, when I couldn’t figure out why my flash meter would give me an f2.8 reading, no matter what aperture I set my camera to.
Next question …
02) why can’t I get great shallow depth of field with my camera and lens?
There are several reasons for this.
- The primary reason is that you’re not using a lens with a wide aperture. A kit zoom lens with an f5.6 maximum aperture is simply not going to do it. You really need a lens with a wide aperture if you want to separate your subject from the background.
- Then you also need to move your subject further from the background. When people pose for a camera, they have a tendency to bunch up against a wall or such. Get them to step forward. The further away from the background, the better.
- You need a camera with a large sensor. An iPhone will never give you shallow depth of field. A medium format camera will give you the shallowest depth of field in comparison.
- Using a longer focal length will also help in separating your subject from the background.
03) pop-up flash photography techniques
Seriously, there are none. That plastic crap they want to sell to you to give you better light from a pop-up flash, is better spent as money going towards a better hot-shoe mounted speedlight. There are no short-cuts here. There is no good news I can give you about your pop-up flash, other than … you’re going shopping!
04) how to set flash sync speed on Canon 5D
It would seem like the idea of flash sync speed confuses new photographers – like the idea that there is one specific flash sync speed. There isn’t just one. You can sync your flash at ANY shutter speed below maximum flash sync speed. And if your camera is capable of high-speed flash flash, then you can go much much higher .. with a specific caveat to that. There are some older cameras which aren’t able to do high-speed flash sync. As far as I can recall from distance hazy memory of the camera, the Fuji S2 didn’t. But most (every?) modern DSLR is high-speed flash capable. So your flash can sync at ANY shutter speed. However, there is only one maximum flash sync speed for any specific camera.
05) camera brand with most accurate metering
I would say that at this point in camera design and technology, there really is no DSLR that doesn’t have accurate metering. The metering systems have become increasingly sophisticated and complex in how they interpret the light levels from various parts of the metered scene – such as Matrix Metering (with Nikon) and Evaluative Metering (with Canon), and any of the equivalents that Pentax, Sony, Olympus and others will have. They are all accurate, I’m sure. So at this point, if you’re not happy with your camera’s metering, then it is a is, imho, just sheer laziness in trying to rely entirely on technology from saving you from understanding exposure metering basics.
06) can a wedding photographer go behind the priest on the stage?
Absolutely not. However, I would say to check with the specific officiant. I’ve photographed some ethnic weddings where it is expected that you’d be right there up-close to the bride and groom, and you have to edge your way in between some family members with cameras. So it kinda depends on the situation. But really, as a general rule, I’d say absolutely not. As a photographer you are not part of the ceremony, and should do your best not to attract attention.
07) what white balance settings for wedding photography?
Oh dear. A question asked with the kind of concern that only a JPG shooter can muster. Seriously, shoot in RAW, and then this largely becomes a trivial question. But to answer the question, I use a few of the default WB settings.
Oh dear, another JPG shooter …
08) best quality settings for my camera
I have to strongly (and near absolutely) insist that if you are serious about photography, you need to shoot in RAW. There are a few exceptions that I can offhand think of. For example, if you are photographing sporting events and printing on-site, then a JPG work flow would be more practical. And in that sense, there might be a few other situations where shooting in JPG is more viable than shooting in RAW. However, for the vast majority of photography, shooting in RAW makes more sense.
Well, here it is … wedding photography related articles from this site.
The list keeps growing! Check back.
neil van niekerk Mac
Well, when I posted earlier this year about my move over to using Mac as my main system, I was still using a PC desktop. When that recently died though, I replaced it with an iMac. So now I’m working entirely just with Mac computers. And really, I’m happier for it. The PC desktop became increasingly problematic in that it crashed repeatedly … especially when I opened up Bridge or Photoshop. The cause apparently was due to a driver that needed updating. Now, with me caught between Nvidia and HP and Adobe, as to who is actually responsible for having display drivers that work properly … it’s just easier to get a computer that works fluently. It makes my life easier.
Now, as an aside, I have to tell this story:
Nice logic from Hewlett Packard tech support (in India). I bought my desktop on Oct 30, 2009. It died a few days ago, and I immediately decided to get the iMac and move my work over to it. So it took me a few days before I had the time to consider taking the HP desktop back to the computer store – and only then did I notice the date that I had bought the computer on, and that today, Oct 30, 2010, would be the last day of warranty. Since it was on a Saturday, the guy at the computer store rightfully pointed out that it would be best if I immediately reported the problem to HP so that it would still fall under warranty. So I called HP tech support … and got through to someone in India, who argued that it was already Oct 31 there in India, and hence the computer is past its warranty date!? Yes, for real. Anyway, after another extended phone call to someone else elsewhere at HP, we did get somewhere, and the computer is being massaged back to life. Fortunately, all the documents and files that were on the computer, were also backed-up online with Carbonite. I would highly recommend Carbonite!
So, back to this specific search engine query, yes indeed, I am now 100% Mac.
the final one for today, is an oddity again:
I look terrible in photographs with camera flash
Really, that is an Google query that somehow pointed to my site.
The only answer I can give you, is to get photographer friends who read this site! ; )
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