Low light, 1600+ ISO, handheld, wedding.

Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by s0nus, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. s0nus

    s0nus Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 13, 2010
    I snapped some shots last night at a small wedding reception. The lighting was extremely low key. After experimenting with some settings on my EPL1, I settled on pushing the max ISO all the way to 3200, setting the camera to program mode, and shooting about 50% without a flash.

    With all the recent chatter around m43 weddings, embracing noise, and high ISO performance, I figured the shots presented here might be of interest to the community; they are all 1600+ ISO, shot handheld my EPL1 coupled with either the Panny 20mm 1.8 or a Canon 50mm 1.4, and no flash. All were shot wide open. For the most part they were processed with Topaz Denoise (although I left the noise in some of them - noise is grain when b&w, amiright?), with some B&W conversion done in LR3 and some in Silver Efex.

    Lessons learned:
    • Take off the damn UV filter when shooting indoors! This probably contributed to the flaring in some of the shots.
    • Lens hood! Might have helped the flaring.
    • Topaz Denoise is amazing.
    • 50mm is a nice focal length for candids.
    • Manual focus with the 20mm is a pain in the ass.
    • As a correlate to the previous point, an auto focus assist light would help immensely. This will be one of my criteria when looking for a flash.






    6. I wish I didn't blow the focus here, but I like it nonetheless:


    8. As I wrote, I think it's a combination of shooting wide open, leaving the UV filter on, and lack of a lens hood that created this flaring. The groom's smile saves it though. :)


    10. They caught me taking pictures of them, and turned goofy.

    11. The bride's brother stands proud.

    12. Will they be next?



    15. The cake was bigger ... before we ate it.

    16. Shooting the shooter! The pro photog there had a big Canon and a cool lighting setup - 2 diffused lights in the corners triggered by his on camera flash. I know nothing about flash photography, but I look forward to seeing his results!

    • Like Like x 14
  2. Alf

    Alf Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 23, 2010
    Northeastern Tuscany
    You nailed the Two Requirements of Wedding Pics: pics are nice, people look good in them.
    This photojournalistic style fits the mood, compliments.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. sinpig

    sinpig Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 2, 2010
    Superior, WI
    Your shots are very nice, I like the "grain". The candid style you used did deliver really nice results. Thanks for sharing!
    • Like Like x 1
  4. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    looks like you had fun....my only comment is about composition... there are a couple of shots that are literally one physical step for greatness.

    This is not meant as a criticism of you... just more of a pointer to everyone to learn to look... and to keep moving and shooting

    picture 7

    if you had stood up or raised the camera, then you would have lost the drinks glasses and caught the sleeping kid

    Picture 12

    One step to the right or maybe two or three and you could have framed the kids looks with the photo in the back ground

    picture 13

    A step to the left or a pan to the right and you might have had a nice juxtaposition between the girl and the guy on the right

    just my thoughts.... I am often wrong... but only in other peoples eyes :)

    • Like Like x 1
  5. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    That's why I love my E-P1 - It doesn't have a flash so I have to think about what I'm doing and use a fast prime. But the shots just blow me away. You got some great shots, thanks for sharing them!
    • Like Like x 1
  6. s0nus

    s0nus Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 13, 2010
    @Alf - Your distillation of the goal is beautiful. Pics are nice and people look good in them, ergo take pics of people. I love it! :)

    @sinpig - Thanks for taking a look! I appreciate it!

    @kevinparis - You are absolutely correct on all counts. To be honest (and I'm almost embarrassed to admit this), but all of these shots, except for the cake ones, were taken whilst sitting on my ass at the table! In hindsight, I should have gotten up and hunted for those intriguing compositions. Luckily, I sat in a pretty good spot. Your suggestions are spot on - I can really see what you describe, and wholly agree. A couple steps here and there can really change the shot!

    @RevBob - Thank you for the kind words! I am a big fan of ambient lighting, and rarely use my flash. However, this and other indoor/party type settings that I've had the pleasure to partake in in recent months has really made me want to get a hotshoe flash for the flexibility.
  7. Muntjack

    Muntjack Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 26, 2010
    Wedding pics

    Well done on these - I loved them.... 3, 4 & 7 were quite outstanding to my eyes.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Jorge Ledesma

    Jorge Ledesma Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 27, 2011
    Excellent series, very lovely mood and great tones as well.
    • Like Like x 1