Monday 11 August 2008

Wedding at St Mary's Church, Stone, near Dartford

I had the pleasure of photographing Joanna and Daniel's wedding at Joanna's family home, St Mary the Virgin Church, Stone and the Next Generation Club, Dartford - see their wedding gallery. It was raining and blowing a gale all afternoon but Joanna and Daniel didn't complain once - true British stiff-upper lips! I'm sure there were many disappointed brides and grooms (and wedding photographers) across the UK on Saturday - the weather truly was atrocious. I only took one shot outside - the bride sheltering under an umbrella as she arrived at the Church. Under these circumstances it's time to improvise and make the best of the opportunities available. We had been scheduled to go to the Ingress Abbey and gardens for photographs after the ceremony but I recommended we head directly to the reception venue. There was a nice room adjacent to the function room with sofas and tables. These were rapidly cleared to give us a space for group shots - I could just squeeze the whole group in with a 16-35mm lens.

The Church was the most technically demanding location I've ever worked in. I had a great location next to the choir, and facing the couple, but unfortunately they were strongly backlit and I was forbidden from using flash. For a lot of the shots I was exposure compensating by +2 stops and getting shutter speeds of 1/25 s at f/2.0, ISO 3200! It was dark in there. I was changing my exposure compensation for every shot as I wanted to be spot on under these conditions - I knew that digital noise would be a huge challenge at these light levels and that even Neat Image might struggle to clean them up. The results are right on the limit of what the Canon EOS 5D is capable of - roll on ISO 25,600 in the 5D Mk II!

Check out more of my photography here: Kent wedding photographer

1 comment:

Lee Rushby said...

Hi David,

Been loving your blog for the last couple of months as I'm just trying to get into wedding photography.

The info you have shared is great and has really helped.

I shoot on a 5D like you and use the Canon L series zooms also.

I just shot my 1st wedding last weekend and like the one you mention in this blog post, it was very dark inside the venue and I had to run at 1600 and sometimes 3200 ISO to get the shots.

The question I have is where in my workflow should the noise reduction process come?

Currently I import photo's to lightroom for basic editing, then out put to 16 bit tiffs for editing in photo shop.

I'd love it if you could help.

Many thanks and keep up the great work! :)