Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Wedding Shoot

Last week I mentioned that I was going to be shooting as a backup photographer at my sister's wedding, and today I'm going to talk about that.

I have a new respect for wedding photographers after Saturday's shoot, because the lighting, and fast pace of events makes the job extremely tough. I was shooting the wedding with the Nikon D700, AF-S 70-200mm F2.8G VR1, along with the AF-S 60mm F2.8G, and AF 20-35mm F2.8D. Due to the lighting conditions I was pushing the D700 to ISO3200 most of the day, not wanting to go higher than that for the sake of image quality. I prefer shooting with natural light, which is why I was at ISO1600+ most of the time. Once the sunset I had to use a flash, but that was a last resort.

The wedding took place in a former hunting lodge, built in 1934, that was used by the lieutenant governor of British Columbia, so the building was not designed with modern lighting in mind. Most of the light in the room came from lamps hung from the ceiling, as seen in the image below.     

I think the most important thing that I learned is that a wedding can be extremely interesting, yet challenging to shoot. I wouldn't mind shooting more weddings, but I'd want to have an assistant, like the official wedding photographer, because there is just too much going on to get everything on your own. I'd also want to have at least two off camera flashes setup around the room to provide even lighting after dark. The ceiling was rather high and it was hard on my single flash to provide even lighting in some situations, especially when I was using my wide angle 20-35mm lens.