This comment has been converted into it's own thread...@onoblvd's question
: I bought two new lenses to go with my kit lens, the Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 and the 35mm f/1.8. The wedding is in April and will be outdoors at 6:30pm, but pictures will begin around 5pm. Reception will be indoors with available lighting, however, I will have a SB-800 external flash.
I'm working on shooting with Aperture priority (A) mode and the available scene modes. Should I try using the Dusk/Dawn, Sunset or one of the other modes? @Moose's answer
: When the sun is low, it's going to be hard to get a sharp shot using a long focal length, so I would leave the 55-300mm at home and focus on using the 35mm f/1.8 and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 (kit lens). As for settings, I would stick to the Portrait and Night Portrait scene modes. The Dusk/Dawn and Sunset modes are designed for landscapes, meaning the D5100 will choose a high f-number in order to lengthen the depth of field. When shooting portraits and small groups, you actually want a lower f-number to isolate the subject/s against a blurry background.
If you don't feel like using scene modes, you can use Aperture priority (A) and adjust the f-number based on the subject or scene. For portraits, food, hands, flowers, etc... use lower f-numbers between f/1.8 to f/2.8. For groups of 2 to 3 people, raise it between f/2.8 to f/4. For larger groups, bump it up between f/5.6 to f/8. For landscapes or interiors, adjust it between f/8 to f/16.
As for your flash, I recommend using a diffuser (see here
) when pointing the flash directly at your subjects. This will help spread the light, for more natural skin tones. If the reception hall has short ceilings, you can remove the diffuser and just angle the flash head upwards and bounce the light off the ceiling.
Hope that helps and happy shooting! :)