Headbangers' Weekly Challenge: Through the shop window

Monday, 13 August 2012

Wedding reception

On Saturday night I had a gig at a wedding reception very near to where I live in Kirkcudbright. The young couple had just come back from the Dominican Republic (lucky so-and-so's!) where they had got married and spent their honeymoon. This reception was for all the family and friends that weren't able to make it out to their wedding. The theme for the night was 'tropical' (aptly chosen) and the tables of the Arden House Hotel's function suite were decorated with centre-pieces designed to look like cocktails surrounded by paper flower petals and little shiny things that stick to everything and somehow always manage to find themselves into every possible orifice and crevice for weeks after!

I began by taking a few shots of the centre-pieces, then the room itself using the 24-70mm F/2.8. The light in the room was AWFUL. There was ambient white light coming in from the large windows and the double doors further down, then there were these huge lightbulbs in the ceiling dumping dirty orange light onto everything. I managed to get the shots I wanted, thankfully, and because I shoot RAW I was able to remove some of the orange light (by adding more blue) and make the images look a little more neutral.

Next stop were the formal shots. My wife always accompanies me on shoots because she's fantastic at ordering people about, which I'm not, and between us we posed and set people into the right positions and we got some really good pictures. It was an overcast evening which meant the light couldn't have been better! No shadows, so squinting faces just glorious buckets full of defused light and my D3s showed me that  there's plenty of life in the old dog yet providing me with crystal clear, tack-sharp images hand-held through a non-VR lens (I use the 24-70mm 99.9% of the time on shoots).

Once the formal shots were out of the way we moved on to the 'meet and greet' at the entrance to the function suite. I tried shooting from outside to inside were the couple were stood but people kept standing in the way (how dare they!!), so I pushed my way inside and took pictures from inside, facing outside. The couple were stood just inside the doors beside each other and the line of people slowly made their way past them towards me, dumping their various gifts on my poor wife who had assumed the roll of gift-guard for the evening! I had some real trouble here as my camera's meter was up and down like the proverbial because as people came in they blocked the light momentarily then as they moved into the building the light suddenly shone through and the meter nearly burst through the top of the viewfinder, so this would have been a good time for shutter priority, but in my slightly sweaty, stressed and dehydrated mind I didn't think to switch so I wrestled the shutter up and down for 20 minutes. Thankfully I got some very good pictures from it all.

Next were the speeches and the first dance and both went off without a hitch. I got a lovely shot of the couple slow dancing at one end of the dance floor and the proud, loving, emotional and happy faces of their friends and family gathered around the other end of the dance floor in a fantastic wide image. I edited the image in black and white so the main parts of the image stood out, namely the couple and their guests, and added some vignette to really draw the eye in.

Next update will hopefully be to let you know how I got on with my D800 which should be here at the end of the week. Cannie wait!

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