Umbrella/Speedlite Setup for Wedding Group shots in Church Sanctuary?

Started Nov 7, 2012 | Discussions thread
John Deerfield Veteran Member • Posts: 3,122
Re: Umbrella/Speedlite Setup for Wedding Group shots in Church Sanctuary?

The umbrella you linked to will be about as good as you can do with a speedlight. Even then, I am not so sure how much a single speedlight will be able to "fill" a 60" umbrella. To make things easier, I might just go down to something in the 40 - 45" range. As mentioned, it is the size of the light source in relationship to the subject that determines softness. Technically, when lighting a group, you aren't going to get soft light unless the size of the light source is larger than the group... unlikely at a wedding. So, the difference between a large 60" umbrella vs a smaller 45" umbrella isn't going to be all that noticeable and I might imagine the smaller umbrella will make your speedlight a bit more efficient. BTW, ditch the shoot through umbrellas for shooting groups. You are wasting half your light for absolutely no reason. For the record, my favorite modifier for shooting groups at a wedding is a 60" Softlighter, but I can't imagine a single speedlight being able to do the trick. What you really want to learn is how to control the contrast. Once you do this, you can pull off a variety of lighting techniques. In todays economy, I might be working without an assistant. In those cases, I put a single strobe on a stand with a diffusion sock and then another flash on camera to control the contrast. If the main light meters f/8, I want the on-camera to fall at about f/5.6 to prevent too much contrast.

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