small beer maybe....

Hi folks

A bit of a plea for help… it may be small beer to you wonderful photographers out there but i’m getting pretty nervous already…..

I’ve been asked to take The Picture of friends cutting their wedding cake… in a small village hall… with either dark or too bright lighting… and with a live ceilidh band and wild dancing afterwards. I would hate to let them down…

Thing is i have a lovely nikon D60 and Nikkor 18-200 VR lens but so far have not mastered the flash at all! Am thinking I might need to get a Speedlight for the event (have been thinking of it) and really have no idea about settings for the conditions.

I would be ever grateful for any idiots guide or simple tips and advice you could give me… its in 7 days time …eeek!!

Please bubblemail me with any suggestions you may have

Cheers and thanks heaps

Really appreciate your lovely friendship and support in any case so dont feel bad if youre busy…

Thanks all



  • tracywallace
    tracywallaceover 5 years ago

    All i can suggest at the moment is joining the wedding group or the nikon group and ask for some advice there. I’m not a Nikon user(yet) so cant offer any tips. Good luck though

  • great suggestions tracy – will do ! thanks heaps

    – dinghysailor1

  • Linda Jackson
    Linda Jacksonover 5 years ago

    Good luck Maggie! I am afraid I am no help, but you might contact John Radovich (sp?) or Chris Ewing, they are pretty good with helping people. Take care, Linda

  • thanks linda .. should have started there…. cheers and much appreciated

    – dinghysailor1

  • nadine henley
    nadine henleyover 5 years ago

    oh maggie! I’m nervous for you and sorry that I’m no help, except to offer moral support! Haven’t mastered flash yet myself though I was on a course where the instructor demonstrated the difference in a shot whee the flash was bounced off the light coloured wall and one where it was directed at the subject – convinced me always to bounce off! BUt I’ll leave it to all the knowledgable people out there to reply and just wish you luck! Go maggie!

  • thanks nadine.. will start bouncing asap…LOL…kit permitting!!

    – dinghysailor1

  • emanon
    emanonover 5 years ago

    oh Maggie, can’t offer advice, but isn’t it great that people are asking you to do this, think positive, I know you will make a great job of it….. fingers and toes crossed x

  • thanks… but still…eek! will need to do some homework this week…LOL


    – dinghysailor1

  • nmbrplus
    nmbrplusover 5 years ago

    Maggie, I know that Chris could give you some wonderful pointers; you will be just fine…take a big deep breath, and I think it is wonderful that your friends recognize your talent……I am afraid I can’t offer any help as I am not a portrait photographer…..all my best sweetheart! XX JD

  • aw thanks joyce… will do !! asap!!! funny what expectations there are around the Big Day… and its infectious!! LOL … atishoo…!!


    – dinghysailor1

  • Christopher  Ewing
    Christopher E...over 5 years ago

    hey ding
    first off, relax, a photog nervous is the worst combo for getting camera to cooperate, you need to feel as you do when you’re out shooting your boats and things like that..think of Fog :)
    me personally avoid flash, ill pump up the ISO, a high ISO works great in low lighting, however if the lighting is good, do Not go over 400 on ISO
    of course take tripod, have the tension on the tripod not to tight so you can move around with it freely as they move around, and you’re able to kinda stay in one spot (great for the dances)
    of course ill shoot in shutterspeed mode, and usually dont lower the SS then 1/125, this will keep image good and Sharp!! of course if you have great lighting, then go for a low ISO and a SS of 1/200 maybe even higher if it’s daylight andlight is good and bright.
    if you can, go to the area before the event, about the time the event will be happening. this will give you an idea of what your lighting will be around that time, and which direction it will be coming from
    i have no doubt you will do a beautiful job
    just think…sailing, fog, peace..and you will do what comes natural to you
    it wont hurt to have the flash on standby, but, with a flash like that you cant just fire off shots, you have to allow the flash to reset which could mean losing some good shots.
    of course you know im here if you need me :)

  • aw chris – thanks .. youve been a great and encouraging friend since i joined rb! hugely appreciate you taking time to spell it out for me like this… cheers

    ps will need to work out SS for highspeed ceilidh dancing too … wouldnt want to miss out…LOL


    – dinghysailor1

  • Lois  Bryan
    Lois Bryanover 5 years ago

    hello darling Magzzzz …

    well, if it were me … I’d use my SB-400 Nikon speedlight … it has an adjustable tilting flash so the light splashes from the ceiling.

    SB-400 Speedlight

    Presuming the ceiling you’ll be shooting under isn’t 100 feet (meters?) high … you should be good. Here are two examples. The first is not close … about 4 – 6 feet from Sadie … and the ceiling where I was standing is about 10 feet …

    The second was taken in our front hall which is a two story with a barrel ceiling … so quite high. Granted, I think I was tilting the camera (and therefore the light …. I had it attached to the camera at the time) so the bounce was hitting the wall behind Peachie as much as the ceiling probably … though the light on her is definitely on her TOP …

    But the point in both is the light is painting the focal points evenly as opposed to basting everyone right dead straight on.

    Both were taken within a few minutes of each other, at night with ordinary room / lamp lighting.

    if I were you, I’d go ahead and get the SB-400. They call it a speedlight because it runs on AA batteries, so get a pack of batteries and make sure you have extra with you when you go to the wedding!!! It powers back and is usuable so quickly as opposed to our sluggish onboard flash. Also, get the remote / cord thingie. Not a clue at the moment what it’s called … but you attach one end to the top of the camera and the other end of the cord goes onto the flash so you can hold it away from the camera for fun lighting if you like. If your camera guy gives you a blank stare or … worse yet … silence when you ask about it let me know and I’ll hunt up the box, lol.

    Last bit of advice … GO TO THE HALL just the minute you get the light … with your DH (Dear Hubby) or someone … at night … and try to approximate the lighting you’ll be faced with … stick your DH where you think the cake will be cut and do a light test. While you’re at it, fiddle with the flash settings … you know … red eye reduction / rear/ slow / etc. I’m sure your D60 has similar or better fiddly-bitz than my D40x.

    Talk to the people at the hall and see if they can’t accommodate you with extra lighting while you’re there … I bet they’d be happy to help you jerry-rig something.

    Now .. fully understanding I haven’t got a serious clue what I’m talking about … and I’m standing here bare to the wind, knowledge-wise … that’s how I’d go about it … especially on such short notice like this.

    Good luck, good luck!!!!!!

  • wow thanks lois for taking all that trouble to explain.. i know you love your speed light and think i will get one and will do a lot of fiddling and checking in the coming week…

    youre a star and like chris a great inspiration and mentor…am soo grateful for that extra push you gave me to go nikon!!


    – dinghysailor1

  • Lois  Bryan
    Lois Bryanover 5 years ago

    … by the way your lens if perfect for this … but think about using a tripod … bring it along on your lighting test and then you can decide whether or not it’ll be helpful.

  • Lois  Bryan
    Lois Bryanover 5 years ago

    … good heavens … not “if perfect” … “IS perfect”

  • teehee lois i know it iS perfect! I Love It To Bits!!

    – dinghysailor1

  • Lois  Bryan
    Lois Bryanover 5 years ago

    … ooo … last bit of advice .. on your light test, shoot your first shots from auto … then program. Then check the settings the camera suggests and go to manuel and fiddle around a bit ’till you get what works best.