Friday 5 August 2011

If Drew Gardner shot weddings......

Followers of my Twitter feed will know that I did just that on Saturday, when I shot my Niece's wedding.

My first full wedding shoot since 1981.

It was actually a lot of fun, but bloody hard work.

With so many bases to cover, the day just races by.

I now have enhanced respect for wedding shooters.

I shot the whole thing on a pair of Canon 5D MkII's and shot the vast majority of the day with the wonderful 'L' Series 35mm F1.4 and 85mm F1.2 lenses.

Even with the right focusing screens, in this case the Canon Eg-S super precision matte, the attrition rate of soft shots could be a bit worrying at times when shooting wide open with these lenses.
(If you own a fast prime lens and you don't have one of theses GET ONE! it is the cheapest way to get the best from your camera and lenses)

Like anything in life when you live to your 'Edge' it isn't easy.

But shoot wide open with these lenses and get it right, the angels sing.

Practice is the only course to take I'm afraid.

It's not all about primes though, and my general purpose lens to 'fill in the gaps' was the 'L' Series 24-105

I shot this rather 'Drew' ish shot with it.

I wanted to create something special and different that was 'me'

'Signature' is all in this world of 'Sameness'

There was this great view from Belvoir castle which dominates the valley beneath, and it came into my head to put the bride and groom at the centre of their own 'Painting'

Being part of but not totally dominating the scene, something which you could hang on your wall without being too cheesy....

Followers of this blog will know I gain much inspiration from the great painters

I lit the couple with a pair of Elinchrom Rangers, triggered with PocketWizard TT5 transmitter and ST4 receivers on the packs (no cables, and good range make them a very good choice)

I modified the light camera left with a Chimera Medium soft box and other on camera right just had a kill spill.

I mounted the set up on a pair of Manfrotto 'Stacker' master stands, which extend to over 3.5 metres. But thanks to their clever stacking design clip together and take up the least amount of space in your bag possible, with their very 'flat' profile.

A long but really lovely day.

I want to talk about the edit which I did in half a day.

Yes, 1500 shots edited and processed in half a day.

Am I a genius?

Certainly not, but with Capture One 6 and its fast and flexible local adjustments it enabled me never to go into Photoshop - at all.

This and a now sparkling sensor cleaned by Canon at Elstree.

Time IS money.

The less time I spend on the post production the more time I have to do other things.

So not having shot a wedding for 30 years, guess what I'm doing tomorrow?

Shooting another.


ikuma said...

so beautiful...
I usually shoot with 24L and 85L on a 5D and 1D body so I end up having 4 focal lengths with two primes.
maybe I should try Capture One out after all. I've been using Lightroom for years but doubt I could ever edit a wedding in half a day. Then again maybe I should just edit all the photos first and then sort them out, or not sort anything out at all...

Brian Carey Photography said...

Thanks for your insights Drew!

Frank Doorhof said...

Nice images.
Fun to see you also love the 24-105.
I bought it just for filming because of the IS but fell in live with it for it's versatility so now most of the times it's my main lens instead of the f2.8 28-75.

When I do weddings (not that often) I always try to do it with an assistant, there's too much going on I think to do it alone ;)

Unknown said...

Hi Guys

Just editing my second wedding now.

I agree with you on the primes Ikuma...just never splashed out on the 'L' series 24 1.4, sorely tempted...

And yes Frank, soooooo many people turn their nose up at the seemingly slow F4 24 -105 but it is a very good versatile lens.



gh said...

Great shots and love the mood and shallow dof.

I too love using the Super Precision focusing screen on my 5D mk2 as it is much easier to see where the focus is nailed. Using a fast lens with at least 2.8 or better is a must (I struggle with it when using my 17-40 in abandoned location shoots!)

Great blog Drew with lots of cool info and insight from your experience and talents. I appreciate it and stop in often although never much comment

Unknown said...

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