Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wedding crashers

This past weekend we had a wedding shoot. The Wife, who has opened up her own photography studio, Lisa On Location, has some weddings scheduled on the horizon. The trouble is, despite quite a few bridal and engagement shoots, she's never shot a live wedding. So I touched base with our old buddy http://www.andersphoto.com>Don and he agreed to let her tag along as a second shooter.

To make a long story short, at the last minute plans changed and I was free to go along as well. A third shooter, if you will. That was overkill for this wedding--it was a small affair in a tiny church--but opportunity is opportunity, and it gave us both the chance to watch Don's people management skills, which are unsurpassed.

Since I was literally the third wheel, I had to function with what was available. The Wife had the fast Tamron zoom and Speedlite flash, which left me shooting with the fastest lens I own, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 mark I, natural light only. Let me tell you, that was a challenge. The 50mm was perfect for some of the shots, but many times I desperately needed a zoom to go wider or longer in the narrow confines of that country church. I shot aperture priority, wide-open, but realized halfway through the ceremony that some shots had shutter speeds as slow as 1/15 of a second, which practically guarantees blur from camera shake. Grr. On the LCD screen on the back of my camera the images looked fine--it wasn't until I blew them up that the shake became obvious. So I set the camera to full manual and finish out the wedding.

I was convince that out of the 200-plus shots I'd taken, the vast majority would be worthless. Imagine my delight when I found far more usable shots than expected. Now, I didn't get as many keepers as Don or The Wife, but I did better than anticipated. Set me up with a fast zoom lens and I'd do some serious damage. I still need to go through and edit my "keepers" though, so we'll see if I'm still as positive after I've slaved away on Photoshop for a while.

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