Wedding Reception Candid shots?

Hi everyone!! I am a newbie....and still attempting to learn how to take a decent picture!!! This forum has a ton of extremely helpful information!!!

I'm going to a wedding...and just wanted to take some candid shots as a guest at the reception...I just got the 35mm lens...and was hoping to use that...but I'm curious about what setting to use? It will be indoors......I did purchase the cheat sheets (wow! amazing!!) But I'm still at a major learning curve :) Thank you for any advice and information!!!!



  • I'd use the 35 at a fairly wide open aperture, probably all the way to 1.8, or not much past 2.8 unless the light is good and bright, put it on aperture priority and let the shutter speed and ISO float. Digital noise will be some issue in dark areas, but pictures of people, especially candid shots, are less likely to be bothered by this. Still, I'd experiment a little first, taking some available light pictures at varying ISO settings, and see at what point the noise starts to bother you. Then go into the menu, and set the high point for auto ISO below that, so that Auto ISO will not go higher. If you leave other settings alone, and start at ISO 100, in A mode the camera will preserve your aperture setting, lower shutter speed down to 1/30 as needed, and when it goes below that, boost the ISO until the speed goes above 1/30, and so on. You'll have to hold the camera steady to avoid motion blur, but if you're careful, you can do pretty well. If you have trouble at 1/30 you can go into the menu and choose a different minimum shutter speed, at which ISO goes up instead.

    As an alternative, if you're going to photograph people dancing, you might consider using shutter priority instead of aperture. In this mode, you would set the shutter a bit faster, so as to stop or partially stop the motion of dancers. Just where that is may vary but you'll get at least pretty good motion stopping at 1/250 of a second, and maybe slower. In this mode, the shutter speed will stay constant, the aperture will vary as needed, down to 1.8, and when it needs more light than 1.8 can deliver, the ISO will be raised.

    Whenever you're using Auto ISO in P,S, A and M modes, you should always put your starting ISO at 100. It will go up as needed.

    For this kind of work I'd suggest not using flash at all. Flash, aside from distracting people, will tend to cast harsh shadows.

    I would also suggest setting the AF to AFC and Dynamic area for this. In this mode, the focus will begin at your chosen center point, but moving subjects will be tracked if they don't stay there. I would not use Auto Area focus here, because it will tend to focus on the nearest identifiable subject, and in a crowded space that may well not be who you're aiming at. 3D works best if your subject is easily distinguished from others, but can otherwise jump to the wrong person. If you are shooting still subjects and want to recompose after initial focusing, use AFS, but otherwise AFC is likely to be most dependable.
  • @bruto Thank you so very much for that awesome response/explanation !
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