First wedding - what do you think?

Started Aug 22, 2012 | Photos thread
Oztom
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Re: In addition....
In reply to Phileas Fogg, Aug 24, 2012

Hi guys

I photographed weddings for 25 years and always used fill flash when the natural light was not suitable for the result I wanted to achieve.

Living in Australia the light can be extremely harsh and fill flash was the best way to even out the light on people's faces when photographing in harsh midday or mid afternoon sunlight. I always tried to convince people to get married later in the day so the shots of the bridal party and the bride and groom shots would be taken in the beautiful light just before sunset. Unfortunately this was not always possible because of many deciding factors such as available bookings times for churches and receptions.

Even in overcast light or open shade I usually always used fill flash to put a catchlight in people's eyes or to get rid of the dreaded dead eyes. I did however love the situations when I could use natural light without flash and use the longer focal length lenses from further back to compress and blur the backgrounds. In fact I would always look for places or lighting where I could do this but it wasn't always possible because the location or time of the photo shoot or combination of both did not allow this.

I used film up until I retired and always used fuji 400 pro print film for the whole wedding so all images were the same grain and colour. This meant I had to know what I was doing to balance available light and flash and spent many years mastering flash until I could use it without people knowing flash had been used.

I now teach photography and am constantly stunned by so called wedding photographers who only use natural light. Their images are great when the light is perfect but when the light is not perfect the photos suffer greatly with dead eyes, harsh shadows and blown out backgrounds, which they conveniently call arty. If a bride and groom want photos on a beach they will usually like to see the beach behind them instead of washed out backgrounds that could of been taken anywhere.

Sorry for such a long post but I do think all wedding photographers should at least be able to use flash properly when the lighting dictates it.

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