xmlns:fb='http://www.facebook.com/2008/fbml' Welcome to the blog of international award winning wedding photojournalist Ian MacMichael: George and Steve pre wedding stills and video....

wedding photojournalist

Thursday, 12 July 2012

George and Steve pre wedding stills and video....

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Well, we couldn't believe the weather we had for George and Steve's pre wedding shoot last weekend. It was really warm and sunny....and we headed down to the newly opened but old Liverpool Garden Festival site. I can remember it first time around in 1984!!

The park is really lovely with some interesting areas, lots of little bridges and waterfalls and great views over the river. George and Steve were a little apprehensive at first because there were so many people around, but were brilliant and were not phased at all by the crowds.

There were lots of areas of open shade which makes for really flattering light...but, as you would expect, we also wanted to do something a little more dramatic, and include the sky!!

It's is technically challenging to shoot in bright sunlight and to get a flattering image. Overpowering the sun with a flash is hard too as you need a very fast shutter speed, upwards of 1/400th of a second to expose the sky with some detail. The problem is that cameras are limited by a maximum speed that the shutter will work with a flash, usually 1/250th of a second...in or other words, way to slow for the brightness of the sky, meaning it will be completely white. Well, cameras have a function called hyper-sync, which means the flash can work at up to 1/8000th of a second, but there is a reduction in light output. For this to work, the flash is normally on the camera, which is generally not the way we want to shoot as it's quite flat and unflattering light.

This is where the Pocketwizard Flex system really excels. Using the TT5 transceiver and TT1 transmitter, it's possible to get hyper-sync performance and have the flash off the camera. The TT1 transmits the hyper-sync exposure data from the camera via radio signal to the TT5 which the flash is sitting on. This in turn means we can shoot at very high shutter speeds and still use the flash, amazing! Normally, we would use the flash in a soft box, but as the sun was so bright, we needed as much power from the flash as we could get.  It was as close to the couple as possible with out actually being in the shot.....

So this is exactly what we did for the shots of George and Steve in the bright sunlight. We set these up as 2 light shots with the sun as back/ rim light and the flash as fill. We are pleased with the results and the image below, before the video, is an example of an image shot using the sun as the rim light and the flash, via hyper-sync, as fill. To achieve the final look in Photoshop CS 5, a custom black and white  layer is used over the background image, then a little dodging and burning to finish off....

Equipment details: Nikon D800, 24-70mm lens;
Exposure: Manual; 1/8000th sec; f2.8; ISO 100;
Processing: Adobe Lightroom 4, Photoshop CS5

Please feel free to comment on the shots or ask questions...if you would like to learn more about shooting this kind of image, see the recent post about our photo walk training opportunity....now only 1 place left....

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