View Full Version : little help and insight from experianced photographer's please

10-12-2009, 04:42 AM
its a little off topic but it fits the theme and is very important things work out. And well I would rather talk to people i trust ( reefers) about this

I am getting married in january, and have a half bummed idea thats kinda a win win if it works out. We are going to jamaica and tieing the knot on the beach. So I am assuming its going to be day light to sunset pictures.

If i go buy a slr how hard is it to get these things to crank out good picture's, My fiancee's sister seems to have the ability to crank out some nice picture's with a point and shoot. But i doubt she has much of an idea of whats going on with the setting's.

will an slr on auto take good quality photo's in this type of setting. or will I have to crash coarse her in settings etc...

My theory is to buy a good entry level slr, but I have no idea of what lenses might be required and additional equipment we will need. That might throw this into the bad idea pile.

My main concern is getting the raw file's as down the road if it ever becomes a nessisity to get them edited Im sure i can find someone or some business.

Any idea's on this or should I just go with the resort photograper.

10-12-2009, 05:44 AM
Go with the resort photographer.

There's a difference between a photograph and a picture. And usually the former is only achieved from hiring a professional or someone very good at what they do. You guys will only be getting married once, might as well make sure your photos are the best they can be for your day.

10-12-2009, 08:12 AM
+1 Go with the resort photographer!!!

It's the guy behind the camera that matters.

10-12-2009, 01:45 PM
SLR means very little without a good lens at least 2.8, and stock lens usually is not as clear.

So for a wedding go with the pro, it will cost you les then a price of an SLR.

10-12-2009, 06:21 PM
Look into the resort photographer and see if you like the portfolio. I'm doing the same thing in May and I found that most of these resort "photographers" are just locals with SLR cameras and no special training. On top of that it often costs around $1200 for an hour. I've been to two destination weddings and both couples just had a friend or relative take pictures, and they both just used auto settings. In the end they weren't professional pics but pictures none the less which seemed good enough for them.

The real professionals don't live on the beach, you gotta fly them down which gets fairly expensive.

Personally I would go ahead with your plan, get yourself a decent camera and lens kit combo, practice, and shoot in raw. As long as the person can frame the picture and focus correctly you should be OK, later on you can add those typical wedding effects with photoshop. There's also lots of wedding photography tips online that would be worth checking out.







and so on :wink:

Chances are if you're the destination wedding couple you're not as picky as the typical couple. Ask yourself what you want from your wedding pictures, chances are you don't need a professional, just a guy with a camera :mrgreen:

Congrats BTW!

10-12-2009, 09:23 PM
If you google around you might be able to find a local photog that you can fly down to your wedding. Sometimes you can get great package deals with them.. like this guy (www.kientranphotography.com) :lol::lol::lol:

At any rate, as suggested above, it depends what types of pictures you want. If you just want "pictures" from your wedding, any camera will do (SLR or point and shoot). A camera is only as good as the person behind it. A crash course in Photography will definitely help you or anyone else for that matter, handle that SLR better. Putting an SLR on auto just turns it into a big, heavy, expensive point and shoot. The whole point of an SLR is so that you can change the lens and the settings. If you have no need to do this then get a really expensive point and shoot.

-- quote--
Chef: "Your photos are great, you must have an expensive and awesome camera"
Me: "Thanks, dinner was awesome, you must have nice and expensive pots and pans."

10-13-2009, 01:17 AM
In my opinion, photography is an art. Your images and how they are captured are dependent upon the person behind the lens.

When I was in school for photography we spent a lot of time learning about juxtasposition as well as the golden rule of thirds. Amazing photographs are created by artists who see our world in a different way.

For this reason, I believe a good photographer is well worth his fees.

10-13-2009, 01:27 AM
Well, after viewing Kien's website, very nice btw, I think you should hire him and pay with frags :mrgreen: He does fabulous work.


10-13-2009, 01:55 AM
$2500 just to get him down there, not a chance.

ive looked into the pakages they offer at the resort

B(36) 5x7 prints

(6) 8x10 prints

Large ivory & gold matted album

(42) Digital negatives

sounds like a great deal :lol:

28 dollars per photo .....

10-13-2009, 03:10 AM
holy sh*te, i did not know the price range of these beach "pro's"
I just based my opinion onthe "local" prices.
Obviously research goes long way.
In that case i guess make sure you get a good lens with your new slr
and good luck with the wedding, have fun !

10-13-2009, 03:20 AM
If you decide to go the DSLR route instead of hiring a photographer, I'd recommend buying a smaller body and adding some decent glass.

For portraiture, I'd say go with a 50mm fixed lens with an aperture of at least 1.8. They go for about $150 from both Canon and Nikon (the 1.4 lenses go for $350-400, iirc - though the $150 should be good enough). There will probably be little telephoto shooting going on as well, so I'd suggest picking up nothing more than probably a 90mm lens, if you're looking.

One of my favourite lenses is for Nikon, it's the 60mm Micro lens. Shooting with a 2.8 aperture, you'll get some nice depth of field as well as a very fast shutter speed, especially if it's on a beach. You can use it for macro shots, obviously, but it also converts to a decent portrait lens if need be.

You might also want to take advantage of some retailer return policy. London Drugs has a 15-day no hassle return (so long as you don't break the item). So if you want to pick up a very nice lens for the wedding alone and then return it, you could probably do that as well.

Best of luck and congrats!

10-13-2009, 05:17 AM
Unless you have seen and like the work of the resort photographer you're better off buying your own dslr and having someone take the pictures. Make sure they have lots of practice and tell them exactly what you want. This way you pay about the same but get a free camera out of it.

I would not suggest multiple lenses or primed lenses. This adds complications and additional requirements to the less experienced. A general lens kit like an 18-105mm will work great and the guy or girl won't have to swap lenses on a sandy beach or use impressive footwork for zoom :wink:

Prime would give sharper pictures and more control over DOF but I doubt this is something most would pick up quickly. The softer effect won't be noticeable to most and could be somewhat preferred since wedding photos generally have a softer feel to them.

10-13-2009, 05:37 AM
To me, the whole point of an SLR is to take advantage of features that normal point and shoot cameras just don't have - namely to be able to adjust depth of field, shutter speeds, and other similar features to improve the quality of the photo.

Simply buying an SLR camera and a decent lens while keeping everything on Auto is not going to substantially increase the quality of printed photos. They'd be better off purchasing a nice P&S camera instead of an SLR.

Luckily though, with the advent of digital settings and metering, simply flipping the dial to Av or A (Aperture priority/value) can give you a good deal of depth of field while making the camera work to accomodate your settings. Giving even a mediocre camera user an afternoon of playing with different settings and lenses might be all one needs in order to get a feel for those features.


(Sorry about that)

Additionally, make sure that you know what kind of power source your resort will be using (i.e. North American 110v vs. UK/Europe style 220-240v) and get the required adapters if needed.

10-13-2009, 07:37 AM
you guys are awsome so far, ive talked to the sister and she sounded like she really wanted to do it, aka is very excited. which was a good feeler.

after talking with future shop today, and me rolling my eye's when the guy told me the xsi was the exact same as the f1i without video. well ive proved my emotion correct. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos500d/

there is some critical differnce's there to me which are important, the lens reconition sounds nice, as well as the higher iso ( most important ) and beats it pretty much across the board. I'm still on the fence about the 50d as it has the higher frames per second which is a feature I adore, other then that I dont see much in term's of things i see that i like better over the t1i.

as far as the point and shoot goes i have a good one a canon elph 990 IS but I originally learned photography in highschool with slr's and perhaps thats why my camera's keep warming shelve's is because i get frustrated with trying to adjust them.

so all in all its been a productive day, however i still need to look at full package price's as the mikey has mentioned the extra battery, battery grip, lens, maybe a flash, case etc... it sounds like if i go with the tl1 i can skip the card as i already have an 8 gig in my canon elph.

10-13-2009, 01:47 PM
While the 50D is a nice body, I'd probably recommend that you go with a smaller body just to start with and invest the other money in quality glass. The quality of your pictures will scale much better with good lenses than with a good body.

None of the DSLR bodies will really take a better picture than any other (mostly just a larger photo), but the better quality of glass that you have in the lens (i.e. more pricey lenses) the better quality the image will be when it hits the sensor. Even the new Canon 7D with a basic lens on it will take a poorer photo than a Rebel XS with an L series lens on it.

Also, with the T1, you should note that it records video in 1080p and, depending on your card, you might want to go with something faster. If you got one of those red-boxed generic Sandisk SD cards, it's likely going to be a detriment to your camera as it's too slow to fit full HD recording on it. And depending if you shoot in RAW or not, a slower card in burst mode won't keep up with the camera.

Edit: And also, the guy at Futureshop was right about the difference in the T1i and the XSi. There's three primary differences: the T1i has 1080p video recording (vs. none in XSi), a 15MP sensor (vs. a 12.1MP), and a 3" LCD screen with 920K dots of resolution (vs. 3" w/ 230K). Truthfully, between those two cameras it's going to come down to whether or not you want video. 12MP vs. 15MP is negligible unless you're planning on printing off big posters on a regular basis.


Furthermore, you could probably argue that the XSi is actually capable of taking better pictures than the T1, for the sole fact that it's cramming less mega pixels on the same size of sensor. This means better low light performance and more detail as, essentially, you're getting more photo to each pixel resulting in a clearer picture: "From a theoretical point of view pixel density should affect the amount of random digital noise present in an image and the dynamic range in the image the camera produces. Dynamic range is how much detail can be held in shadow areas before highlights begin to loose texture or, how many F stops of light range the camera sensor can capture. Again, in theory, larger photosites (less pixel density) on the sensor should produce less random noise and more dynamic range for any given sensor size." (http://www.sphoto.com/techinfo/dslrsensors/dslrsensors.htm).

10-13-2009, 05:42 PM
I think that you should consider the Nikon D5000 body only and purchase the Nikon 18-200 lens with it.

The kit lenses that come with the Canons are useless as far as quality goes.

The Maxtrix metering system in the Nikons is very accurate especially in backlighting situations. I think that you should get your sister to familiarize herself with using flash and understanding "backlighting" as well as when to use "fill flash".

I am sure that there will be lots of photos taken at sunset as it is the most dramatic lighting but without the proper use of flash photography, you and your fiance will be silhouette.

Although the 18-200 lens isn't prime, it is VR and has ED glass which will help with photo sharpness. But most importantly, the zoom range makes it very convenient to compose without having to change lenses all the time.

I agree that Primes are much better for sharpness but having 2 or 3 Primes to add to the mix of using a unfamiliar camera, will only contribute to confusion. As well, Primes are very heavy to carry around.

Also, shoot in RAW so that you can make exposure changes and White Balanace Changes later. RAW's exposure control can rescue when you have underexposed photos of 1 to 2 f stops.

For ISO, I would commit to 200 ISO, (100 ISO if it's really sunny and bright and only outdoors) during the day if you end up wanting to enlarge the photos and go 400-800 for the night shots. Although these cameras have ISO settings to 3200, I have never shot that high and can't comment on the noise that may occur.

For artistic reasons, never have the subjects straight in the middle. Section the frame into thirds and have the subjects positioned in the left or right but usually never in the middle. This process adds dynamic viewing. You will need to learn how to use the Focus Lock feature to do this unless you know how to move the focus boxes around in the camera using the control pads.

Because you are shooting digital, buy lots of memory and go crazy shooting everything and anything. Change angles of view, so shoot low and vice versa, shoot high looking down. And for children, make sure you are shooting at their height so bend your knees and you will get some great candid shots.

When the vows are being done, take a few pictures of the bride and groom but have a look around the audience for the emotional photos. Usually, it's the brides parents who will have the tears. This will be the most powerful and emotional image of the day if you can capture it.

I'll add some more tips later.


10-13-2009, 06:33 PM
I agree with the others, and as a photographer... Yes, I even use to do weddings with the ole 35MM SLR and Medium Format cameras... Now I have a Canon 30D, don't do professional work anymore, but enjoy that hobby also.

A DSLR is all dependant on the quality of the gear, especially lenses... An entry level DSLR probably will give you a good pic, but from someone that has been at a beach wedding in the Tropics, using the Resort Photographer will probably be a better choice. I have found these guys to use OK equipment, by no means professional, but what they can offer is that they should know their environment. What I mean is that they should know what settings to use for daylight, sunset, water refraction/reflection and so forth. So they most likely will give you a far superior photo's. And they are not usually that expensive.

Lastly for those candid shots, take some disposable's for people to just point and shoot... They won't be great quality, but would add some fun to your wedding album.

Have fun in the sun!

10-13-2009, 06:57 PM
I am Canon fan, XSI is great one to start with.

But as most pointed photographer is the key to capturing your memories.
The way I see it, good cookware helps to cook, but don't make you a chef.

Congrats and best wishes.


10-13-2009, 07:30 PM
I am Canon fan, XSI is great one to start with.

But as most pointed photographer is the key to capturing your memories.
The way I see it, good cookware helps to cook, but don't make you a chef.

Congrats and best wishes.


Great Analogy, +1

10-13-2009, 08:35 PM
You might also want to take advantage of some retailer return policy. London Drugs has a 15-day no hassle return (so long as you don't break the item). So if you want to pick up a very nice lens for the wedding alone and then return it, you could probably do that as well.

I don't think that is really the spirit/intent of the policy... I would have some trouble doing this myself if I knew in advance that I was going to return it. Yes, I know people do this all the time but that doesn't make it right.

Yes, the SLR on fully automatic mode will work fine. However, if you can't get past full-auto then the benefit you get from the SLR is going to be fairly small. You might as well just pickup a decent point-n-shoot if that is the case.

Years in the business makes me technically proficient with a camera (SLR or otherwise)...but I've never thought that I had a particularly good "eye". That's what you are paying for if you hire a pro. Besides, you won't be able to do it because you're going to be pretty busy!

10-13-2009, 10:53 PM
" Furthermore, you could probably argue that the XSi is actually capable of taking better pictures than the T1,"

Sensor size XSI 22.2 x 14.8 mm (3.28 cm²) TL1 22.3 x 14.9 mm (3.32 cm²) 50D 22.3 x 14.9 mm (3.32 cm²)

It appears the tli has the same sensor as the 50d, can you fill me in please as to what detail I am overlooking. As I am sure there is something im overlooking.

Again thank you guys so much all the creative critism is awsome, and I enjoy the devils advocate. As its giving me alot to think about

10-14-2009, 03:38 AM
The more pixels you shove onto the same physical sensor, the more chance for digital noise to be present during your shots.

Think of it this way: if you draw 12 million squares on a piece of paper and then draw 15 million squares on the same piece of paper, in which squares do you think you'll be able to see more detail? The larger the square, the more detail that is present. Now think of this like picture. The larger your pixel, the more picture you'll get.

That might not be as clear as I hoped, but I do hope you get the idea :)

10-14-2009, 04:32 AM
still not really following, to me i would say the more pixel's the finer the picture the better it turns out. when you put it that way i think if my monitor its a 24" screen when i put it to a low res at 800 x 600 it looks terrible at max setting to lazy to look it up 1900 x whatever its sharper then heck . with less distortion. same peice of paper but it has more defined pixels in the higher res. I can see quality going the other way when you try and push more pixels onto a sensor then it was built for.

Pixel density
5.4 MP/cm² canon d7
4.5 MP/cm² 50d
4.5 MP/cm² t1i
3.3 MP/cm² nikon d90
3.7 MP/cm² xsi

if we go off that its saying your going to get the best pictures with the d90 moving onto the xsi with the canon d7 trailing far behind.

with that being said however, i am really starting to believe the lens and the person is far greater then the equipment especially after looking at some pictures taken by the lady at n-r.com with a xs camera.

and one feature I have grown a liking to is the led screen on the top of the camera. might have to track down a older camera with this feature.

10-14-2009, 02:45 PM
It's kind of hard to start comparing monitor resolutions to camera resolutions because resolutions on cameras are substantially higher resolution.

Basically it's getting to a point of diminishing returns.

If you forget about megapixels for a moment and just think about pixel density, the true professional cameras (Canon 5d MkII, Nikon D700 for example) have pixel densities of 2.4 MP/cm² and 1.4 MP/cm². The reason for this is that there's no need to cram as much pixels onto a sensor as possible because the DSLR sensors are pretty high quality as-is. If you're only planning on taking 4x6 photos with the occasional 8x10, then hypothetically, you'd only need about a 6MP camera. However, what the higher megapixel count helps with later is if you want to print off a 13x19 poster and want to be able to crop.

That's where high megapixels help.

However, the problem with pixel density is that it makes the photo, essentially, too digital. Too high a pixel density, and you start to get more errors when you amplify the signal (as in, use a higher ISO, which you'd do in low light). The higher a pixel count, the more the liklihood of getting digital noise when you bump up your ISO. Less light gets to each individual pixel and, as such, the camera has to digitally compensate.

Quite truthfully, this is an issue that's splitting hairs. In all liklihood the average person will never be in a situation where it's going to matter. However being a camera salesperson, I always try to hit home that the megapixel race is a lot like buying a Lambourghini over a Ferrari simply because it has a top speed of 235mph vs. 230mp. 99% of people will never see/care about the difference. Buy what you want.

Case in point, the single best P&S shoot camera on the market right now is the Panasonic Lumix LX3. They purposely dropped the pixel count to 10MP and, in doing so, blows away any other camera it's competing. Including the Nikon P6000(13MP) and Ganon G10 (15MP).

I think I'm rambling at this point so I'll stop :)

10-14-2009, 04:18 PM
A low-end DSLR body, an OK lens or two and a crash course in digital photography is all your friend would need from a technical basis unless you are wanting poster-sized reprints.

However, the one thing that has helped me the most by far as a novice photographer was reading Michael Freeman's book on composition: "The Photographer's Eye". It is decidedly non-technical in its approach as it has nary a mention of f-stops or pixel counts, but shows you in a straightforward fashion what makes a "good" photograph to the human eye. He's a very good writer to boot.


10-16-2009, 06:17 AM

me with slr = goodness :) I have no idea what im doing but I like this

02-11-2010, 07:28 AM
just thought id throw this out there. Im pretty new to the reef scene yet was reading trought the pages of this post and has been shooting for a while now. I also like to be of any help where I can and my job lets me have lots of time off so I have be finding myself traveling and taking photo a lot lately. So if any reefer needs some photos taking Id love to help, Heck I may even start to take frags as payment soon enough l:wink:

Nice shot btw.

09-11-2010, 09:29 AM
Well, after viewing Kien's website, very nice btw, I think you should hire him and pay with frags :mrgreen: He does fabulous work.

$2500 just to get him down there, not a chance.

ive looked into the pakages they offer at the resort

B(36) 5x7 prints

(6) 8x10 prints

Large ivory & gold matted album

(42) Digital negatives

sounds like a great deal :lol:

28 dollars per photo .....

Slick Fork
09-11-2010, 06:09 PM

I got married 9 years (almost to the day!!) ago. We paid for fancy portraits and a wedding photographer and to be honest, after all these years the ones we like the best are the candid ones that friends and familiy took. They are the ones that really captured the spirit of the day.

I think taking the money you would've spent on a pro photographer and spending it on a nice camera is an awesome idea. You'll do some "formal" portraits and you really don't need a pro to do those... especially if you make sure he/she is shooting raw and can touch them up in photoshop later on.

One idea a friend of ours tried is to put disposable cameras on everybodies table, and they had an enormous amount of candid shots by the end of the night... turned out really cool.

09-12-2010, 04:25 PM
almost 6 year ago the wife and I got married in the Caribbean. With all the troubles of residency requirement, and all the other junk, we opted to get married on a cruise ship.

Now, just looking at the prices you've got for just the photos -- our whole wedding package cost about $1500 on top of the cruise. (captian to marry, legal stuff, wedding coordinator, reception for 20, food, flowers, etc..

On said ship, we had the use of the ship photographer for about 2 hours. Some of the photos are spectacular, some were pretty good. However, our best man and brides maid (who were married 3 hours earlier) had my point-and-shoot and his. Took lots and lots and lots (1500+ in 2 hours) of pictures.

Yes, most of the point and shoot were really,really bad. But we did end up with about 100 pictures that just by luck were great, just happened to be laughing and in "just so" position when the button was pushed.

So, even if you do go with a professional, have someone with the point and shoot with a large memory card, as you do own the negatives of all those pictures. But the ability to pose you and the spouse to *get* the great photos does sometimes take a pro.

PS. married on a cruise ship -- wow! they did everything, and I mean everything for us. My friend was married in the morning, and us in the afternoon. Instead of running around in a mad panic, and a stressed out wife -- it was not a whole lot of stress at all. Walked onto the ship with the wedding dress and tux, they had someone standing and waiting for us to pick it all up at the door and get it cleaned just to make sure -- chef was there with the cake (just in case something went wrong), florist, a guy that just poured water, etc.

Even had a wedding dress malfunction just outside the door, they made a quick call to the seamstress and she came out and fixed it up right there at the door.

If cost is why you want to go cheap, the cruise lines are cheaper for the whole wedding than the cost of just the photographer. And they do have live streaming video for the folks back home too :)