Tuesday 3 November 2009

Wedding photos from Cooling Castle

My website: Wedding Photographers in Kent

I've been so busy for the past 6 months that I've been blogging on automatic pilot. Now that I've only got 9 more weddings to shoot in 2009 (3 in November and then 6 in December) this gives me a bit more time to lavish attention on the blog.

Let's start with a selection of images from Deana and Lee's wedding, photographed last week at Cooling Castle, and include some EXIF data and shooting detail. For a larger selection, please check out their wedding gallery.

I'm now using Tim Armes Lightroom Transporter plug-in to export metadata automatically (more about this in a future post).

1/200, f/1.4, ISO 800, +2/3 EV, 35 mm, 35mm f/1.4L

Exposure compensation is an absolutely key skill to master as a wedding photographer. Here the +2/3 adjustment prevents underexposure due to the bright window in the background.

1/640, f/1.4, ISO 800, -1/3 EV, 35 mm, 35mm f/1.4L

I love shooting at wide apertures for the resulting shallow depth of field. Looking at the images that I include in my blog you might think that I only shoot at wide apertures, but I do stop down (honestly!). Often I'll shoot at a range of apertures, from the widest to about f/8, for a particular shot or scene. Even though I could reduce the ISO speed at the wider apertures I'll often not bother changing it (unless it's above ISO 1000 when image quality tails off a little) since it makes me more efficient and gives me a better opportunity to 'capture the moment'. As a result you'll often see some fast shutter speeds. I don't like the auto ISO function on the 5D Mark II as the shutter speed often drops down to 1/focal length. Not ideal when shooting people with a 35mm lens.

1/100, f/3.2, ISO 800, 0 EV, 35 mm, 35mm f/1.4L

Notice the catchlight in her eyes. If you can position your subjects facing towards a light source (in this case a window) then you'll automatically get one!

1/250, f/1.4, ISO 400, -1/3 EV, 35 mm, 35mm f/1.4L

The room had a mix of light sources (natural, tungsten & fluorescent) making it impossible to achieve an overall white balance for the image. Conversion to B&W is one way of dealing with this conundrum.

1/250, f/2, ISO 800, -1/3 EV, 35 mm, 35mm f/1.4L

1/250, f/2, ISO 800, -1/3 EV, 35 mm, 35mm f/1.4L

In a colour image the competition between natural and tungsten light is obvious.

1/100, f/2.5, ISO 800, -1/3 EV, 35 mm, 35mm f/1.4L

The bathroom was sufficiently bright to allow us to turn off any artificial light sources - no colour casts here.

1/60, f/2.8, ISO 400, -1/3 EV, 35 mm, 16-35mm f/2.8L II

A nice little grab shot whilst he was larking about with his chums.

1/320, f/1.4, ISO 400, -1/3 EV, 35 mm, 35mm f/1.4L

1/80, f/8, ISO 250, -4/3 EV, 35 mm, 35mm f/1.4L

Stopped down to f/8 to give sufficient depth of field. Notice the negative exposure compensation required due to the low-key nature of the shot. Letting the camera expose here would lead to burnt out highlights with the shirts and the lit side of the faces.

1/200, f/2.8, ISO 250, -1 EV, 35 mm, 35mm f/1.4L

1/200, f/1.4, ISO 800, 0 EV, 35 mm, 35mm f/1.4L

1/125, f/1.4, ISO 800, 0 EV, 35 mm, 35mm f/1.4L

Notice the exposure - not a particularly well-lit ceremony room!

1/800, f/2, ISO 200, -2/3 EV, 85 mm, 85mm f/1.2L II

Out with the 85mm prime - ideal for the bride and groom portrait session when you've got a bit more room to manoeuvre. The minimum focusing distance is about 1m which can be limiting in enclosed areas. Again notice the negative exposure compensation. The camera can easily get it wrong and blow the highlights in the dress.

1/400, f/2.5, ISO 200, -2/3 EV, 85 mm, 85mm f/1.2L II

1/1250, f/1.6, ISO 200, -2/3 EV, 85 mm, 85mm f/1.2L II

1/100, f/8, ISO 800, -1/3 EV, 17 mm, 16-35mm f/2.8L II

Group shots of this size can present a problem since there are too many people for a single line. A bit of time is required to position people and in this case I was also able to stand on a chair which allowed me to see the people in the back row clearly.

1/250, f/2.8, ISO 500, -1/3 EV, 26 mm, 16-35mm f/2.8L II

I generally stage manage the confetti shot. Two rows on either side of the couple with well-timed confetti chucking!

1/200, f/1.6, ISO 2000, 0 EV, 85 mm, 85mm f/1.2L II

1/40, f/2.2, ISO 2000, 1 EV, 85 mm, 85mm f/1.2L II

Good camera-holding technique will allow you to shoot slower that 1/focal length.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or queries.


Tim Driver said...

David - Some lovely pictures there as normal, the picture of the little girl showing her teddy bear took me back to a conversation I had with David Williams a couple of years ago.

Thanks for sharing - Tim

David said...

Hi TIm,

Thank you so much for your kind feedback.

I assume you're talking about our esteemed, antipodean wedding photography colleague? If so, he seems like an extremely nice chap. I e-mailed him once about video lights and received a lovely response with lots of useful links in return. If only all wedding photographers were so personable...

All the best,