Here is another favorite of mine. When I got to the house to shoot the men, they were playing pool volleyball. I had never really considered that concept as a pre-wedding sort of event, but I wanted to try to do something fun with it. After shooting a bunch of pictures of them playing and when they were getting out of the pool, I had them line up on the other side and had them jump into the pool. For me this image is a fun representation of the concept 'Taking the plunge.'
In order to stop the guys in mid-flight, I shot at 1/1000 of a second, f5.6 at an ISO of 1250. While most people think of high ISO capabilities dominately in the context of low light situations, I will commonly use high ISO in the situation where I have an acceptable amount of light, but need a very fast shutter speed.
And this is another picture of the groomsmen, in a bit more formal attire. This is just one of several images, but I like this one because of the top of the volleyball net is visible adding some dimensionality. A fun bunch of guys.
I like this picture for several reasons. The most important reason is the bride/bridesmaids all have great smiles and confident body language. They clearly are having lots of fun and are relaxed. I also like the colors of the dresses and flowers. The staircase is a wonderful posing area with lots of interesting surrounding imagery, the group is formed into a reasonably nice triangle with the bride nicely positioned in the center.
This is one my recent favorites. First, the kiss of the bride and groom was totally spontaneous as they left the church and was not provoked by klinging of glasses or chants by the crowds. It felt real and very natural. The other reason is there are three other photographers capturing or trying to capture the moment. The two older gentlemen on the left of the image one camera ready by the eye and the other inspecting his results. The third photographer on the far right of the image is actually the first photographer for the event. I was lucky to get the exact moment...actually I like T. Jefferson's quote "I am a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it." and the excellent coordination between myself and the other professional photographer allowed us to get multiple views of the kiss. Another example of why I like to have two photographers shooting a wedding (see below). I also like the picture because we know it was at Saint Elizabeth .... Church.
Finally, it captures a small bit of our modern times: a camera in everyone's hand. An image like this 20-30 years ago would have been very unlikely, but today it is pervasive. If not a point and shoot camera then a cell phone camera. And I wonder what happens to all those pictures and even more so why do so many of us feel the urge to 'capture the moment rather than experience it.'
FUN ON THE BEACH
When I am shooting a session, I always like to think about the story. And while it is very difficult to tell a whole story in a single picture, it becomes easier with multiple pictures, or a picture collage. Here is an example of a picture collage taken on a beach close to sunset and I wanted to capture the fun this mother and son were having. I wanted to supplement the middle picture which is likely my favorite of the series because you can see them both smiling/laughing and clearly have a great time with a couple of pictures that added a bit: the shy boy who did not want his picture taken on the left, and the cajoled boy sort of willing to look at the camera on the right. For this series I also wanted a strong sense of motion, but without using blurring as a visual effect.
Photographer Technical: For this sequence, I simply had the mother swing around in circles and dance on the beach with her son. The sun was setting generating a soft light. Because she was in motion and I wanted relatively sharp images, I pushed the shutter speed up to 1/1250 sec. In order to get enough light I opened the lens to f2.8 and pushed my ISO up to 1000. My D700 was set on continuous autofocus with the shutter released when then camera thinks it is in focus (a1 AF-C priority selection set to ‘Focus’). I use spot focus with the spot following the people. It is important to understand that the subject is in motion, not only turning, but also moving from left to right. This requires that I panned the camera to follow the subject.
Many photographers think about the high ISO capabilities of D700 in terms of low light situations, but this is another situation (need for high shutter speed) where the high ISO capabilities really allows one to captures pictures that might not have been possible.
Lastly, I converted the picture to black & white with nik Silver Efex Pro as a filter in Photoshop CS5.