Tuesday 28 April 2009

Wedding photography - sunny days

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Sunny days without a cloud in the sky (particularly when the sun is low and there's no shade available) create demanding conditions to shoot in - check out the original post regarding the placement of the sun in the above shot. It prompted a few questions.

Hi David,

Did you also use flash when shooting into the light in this shot? Couldn't you underexpose the ambient to bring out the sky and flash light the group for more drama?

Ta, Neil

Hi Neil,

Many thanks for your comment. I should have addressed this issue in my initial post.

As you rightly point out, underexposing for ambient light and then lighting the subject with flash is a great way to add drama to a shot.
The factors to consider when doing this are:

1. The difference in exposure between the subject and the background.
2. The subject area that needs to be lit.
3. The number of shots that need to be taken in this situation.

In my example above, all of these factors were against me applying this technique.With the sun at full tilt mid-afternoon there was at least a 5-stop difference between the sky and the faces of the guests and I had to take lots of large group shots. Lighting wedding groups evenly under these conditions is beyond the three Canon 580EX II Speedlites I have in my bag! To have a few shots without the sky being blown out (there were no clouds but the sky was a lovely blue away from the sun) I shot a few groups with sidelighting. A blue sky is a more manageable middle-grey tone. I hope this all makes sense. Feel free to post further comments.

All the best, David

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