Relatives wedding with my m43 gear, room for improvement!

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Kristoff_EM5 Regular Member • Posts: 165
Relatives wedding with my m43 gear, room for improvement!
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So I was responsible for the photos at a relatives wedding with my m43 gear last weekend. I know what your thinking:

1) Wedding with micro 4/3? You are joking surely, where’s the dynamic range or the bokeh going to come from??

2) What are you doing taking photos of a wedding when you are not a professional?

For the record, I largely agree on both counts.

However I did it anyway as both a favour and to push me outside my comfort zone, and I’m happy enough with the outcome.   Sort of.  Although I’m certainly not about to change career anytime soon. The whole experience was largely enjoyable, but it made me consider a few things going forward.  I think it’s improved my knowledge of photography far more than sticking with stuff I’m comfortable shooting.

The couple only had enough of a budget to pay a pro take some group shots. As it turns out the word “pro” is not a hallmark of quality and it would have probably been better to have me do the whole thing, but that’s another story. … But hey whatever, it took the pressure off me. I was doing photojournalist style run and gun all day and no formals.

Gear I used:

2 x EM5 mk1

2 x Godox TT350 wireless Flash

Lenses: Oly 45mm f1.8, Oly 25mm f1.8, Oly 12mm – 50mm lens, Oly 75mm-300mm, Oly 50mm – 150mm

White diffuser/reflector, brown gels and black foamie thing for the flashes

The main thing I learnt from the day is that I found it really hard to concentrate on composing good shots when I there was lots going on and I was triple checking my settings to make sure I got the best possible exposure. Sounds really daft that I know, and it certainly shows that I’m not yet at one with my camera gear. I mainly shoot landscapes and portraits of friends and pets. In both those settings I have two things that I didn’t have at this wedding. 1) constant (or at least slowly changing) light, and 2) time. I found I was worrying so much about exposure, DOF, Shutter speed and ISO that I was happy if I just got a sharp, low noise, in focus images, whether that image was actually worth taking kind of went out of the window for a while.

I also learnt that all my zoom lenses are strictly for outside use only. The difference in shutter speed and ISO required between my f1.8 primes and my zooms was hilarious. I’ve never truly appreciated that before as it has never really mattered. I could have really used the 75mm f1.8 and I might look to pick one up if I ever do this again.

The main issue I had, in summary, was my inability to keep the ISO low enough, and the shutter speed high enough.  My camera does not have the ability to be in aperture priority mode and set a minimum shutter speed.  I feel like if it had that, the task would have been made much easier. Too often in aperture priority mode the shutter speed was dropping to 1/40th of a second and sometimes even lower, and I was getting blurry images. So I went manual. Which brought other challenges.

The venue was a tepee that was open down one side. This meant that inside the tepee conditions were very dark and very brown, but  towards the edge of it, it was daylight.

So I am fighting a constant battle between shutter speed and ISO. I thought I could just go manual, but then in manual mode it’s the ISO that changes in order to keep the exposure correct, this meant that much of the time, in the darker areas, the ISO was though the roof. I would have liked to sacrifice a bit of shutter speed to bring it down. OK you can do that manually, but I’m simply not good enough to do that on the fly whilst trying to compose decent shots. So in manual mode when in dark areas of the venue my shutter speed was effectively too high and when I was in lighter areas, I could have gotten away with a faster shutter speed and thus a lower ISO. I was getting it wrong in both situations! I also really missed exposure compensation in manual mode.

One thing that I was quite happy with, was the brown incandescent gel that I bought to stick on my flashes, that worked a treat and made white balance correction dead easy. The godox flashes are also brilliant, loads of power for such a small unit and dead easy to use in manual or TTL mode. I should have used a flash bracket to get my on camera flash off to one side and I will try that next time. I ended up holding my second flash with my arm outstretched and my camera in one hand.

In summary, I really enjoyed the morning shots of the bride getting ready, and then I struggled though the rest of it. There was lots of creative things I planned to do and did none of it. Partly because it was raining, but partly because I was frustrated with my lack of ability to “dial in” to the conditions on the day. Much, much, room for improvement.

One question, does anyone know which Olympus bodies allow you to set a minimum shutter speed in aperture priority mode?

I really do feel like this one setting would have made it sooooo much easier.

I’m happy to post some pics of the day if anyone is interested.

 Kristoff_EM5's gear list:Kristoff_EM5's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ +3 more
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