Well, I wasn’t the actual wedding photographer here but these were my friends getting married so I think that gave me a licence to go wild with my camera. I didn’t go over the top though. I respected the high-pressure job that the paid guy had and stayed well out of his way.
The wedding venue was called The Silos in the beautiful town of Berry NSW. Earlier in the day the mother of the bride showed me into one of the old empty silos where I got really excited and started to imagine what I could do with it photographically.
My first thought was to use my super ultra-wide angle lens at the entrance of the silo because any other lens just wouldn’t do this small round room any justice.
Second and more complicated was lighting. There were two sources of light in the room. Both warm lights. The strongest source was a single flood light above the entrance pointing directly at the wall opposite (behind the bride and groom). The other light was from 3 or 4 candles (also behind the B & G).
It had a very romantic feel to it and I wanted to keep that vibe in my future shot. Here’s my first test shot with no flash.
Shutter speed 1/80
As you can see there wasn’t much light here and I didn’t want to slow the shutter down any further or else I’d have motion blur to deal with…
I’ve been in situations before where I was shooting with very slow shutter speeds like 1/30 and I had to keep asking people to freeze til I got a shot without
any much movement. Don’t want to go there anymore. On the flip side, if I made the shutter speed any quicker I would have lost the ‘romantic’ candle light.
So I needed some extra light. Luckily I came prepared for such an occasion as this and brought 2 speedlights (flashes) but I definitely didn’t want to over-light the silo so I used them sparingly. I also had a monopod in the bag which I often use to hold my flash instead of a bulky light stand.
I grabbed the lights and the monopod and leant the monopoded flash against the wall on camera right (which you can tell by the position of the shadow) and kept the other flash on-camera. Because the light that comes out of the flash is white light, I gelled the on-camera flash with a 1/4 CTO (slightly orange piece of see-through plastic) to make sure I kept the warm feeling of the room.
Here’s the second test shot with my beautiful wife as the stand-in model.
I aimed the on-camera flash well to the left of the couple and turned its power right down just to fill the dark spot on the camera-left wall and the back of the bride’s dress with a hint of warmth.
Very little or no flash from on-camera affected the exposure of the B&G’s faces.
I’m really happy with how this turned out, especially the bride’s dress detail and considering I had a very limited time alone with them (I’d say 1 minute tops).
I guess it just goes to show that preparation is of utmost importance!