Tuesday 16 December 2008

Kent Wedding Photographer - Light

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It's great to read about the fun people are having with their new Canon EOS 5D Mark IIs (I've yet to receive mine, alas). The performance of the camera at high ISO is apparently stunning and, as a result, I've read quite a few comments suggesting that this will remove the need for flash.

I strongly disagree with this statement.

When thinking about light as photographers we have to consider both the quantity and quality. Cameras with great performance at high ISO are wonderful because they allow us to work with a smaller quantity of ambient light, but this has no correlation with quality of light however.

A lot of photographers seem to think that artificial lighting is purely a means of dealing with low light levels - an issue of quantity. I would argue that it's equally as important at providing a source of good quality light - once the photographer has taken the trouble of mastering the added technical complexities of using artifical light sources. It's liberating - you have a reliable source of good quality light with you at all times. You can shoot when and where you choose to. It is possible to shoot some weddings using only natural light - Jeff Ascough is renowned for this (although I notice that even he has a couple of Speedlites in his kit now) - though I would argue there are many weddings that you can't shoot using only natural light, particularly if your clients are anticipating the classical wedding photography repertoire.

Landscape photographers spend their time 'chasing the light'. Wedding photographers are better off focusing their efforts on 'chasing the moment'.

Check out my photography here: Kent Wedding Photographer

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