Wedding Photography, Gibbon Bridge

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Michael A. Sewell
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This is Emily and Richard, who married at Gibbon Bridge in August 2017. A beautiful venue with some stunning opportunities for wonderful bridal portraits.

The gardens at the hotel is pretty much a giant bowl, and especially in late summer, you find the sun leaves the garden late afternoon. The group shots and outdoor service etc. are fine, but the steeply banked garden, wall and trees will soon block sunlight as the day progresses. So, speedlights and location kit is the order of the day, and there are so many interesting little nooks and crannies around the grounds, as well as inside, I soon ran out of time with 75% of my potential locations untouched. Seriously, I'd love to go back.

Anywho, lets get to the nitty gritty of the above image.

On the far side of our couple, I placed an ELB400 with an action head, firing through a Quadra 13.5cm reflector at an output of 3.0 (Equivalent to 50Ws). The reflector, which is the one that comes with the heads as standard, provides a 70° angle of illumination. Great for this particular setting, as it provided a good wash of light over the entire interior of the little walkway. Second, it provided the accent light around our couple.

Now, with the first light in place, it caused our couple to become silhouettes, which isn't what I was after. Frame left, I placed an ELB400 with an action head, firing through a 30x140cm honeycombed stripbox, firing at an output of 4.0 (Equivalent to 100Ws). This basically lit our groom, and was flagged from lighting our bride by the trellis and bushes frame left.

For our bride, I placed another ELB400 frame right with an action head, again firing through a 30x140cm honeycombed stripbox at an output of 4.0 (Equivalent to 100Ws). This was a little trickier to place, as I had far less room frame right to play with. There's a bench that occupied a space along the walkway fence. The lightstand was basically jammed in, behind the seat, and leant against the fence.

Olympus E-M1 mkII 1/200th sec 12-40mm F2.8 @ F5 ISO400

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This is the seat I was referring to above, so the trellis is now frame left. I placed one of the ELB400s with a stripbox frame left, within the trellis tunnel. The giveaway are the lit leaves frame left. This supplied the accent lighting to our groom, along with lighting our bride's face. The output was turned down to 3.5 (Equivalent to 75Ws).

Frame right, I placed the other ELB400 with a stripbox, approximately the same position I had been stood in to take the first image. This was set to a lower output of 3.0 (Equivalent to 50Ws), as the bride's dress would pick up a lot of the light much easier than the grey of the groom's suit.

Finally, I had that third ELB400 alongside me, immediate frame left. The Quadra reflector had been swapped out for a folding 80x80cm softbox, providing the keylight, although quite soft to maintain the subdued nature of the image. The output was also set to 3.0 (Equivalent to 50Ws). The camera settings were unchanged.

Olympus E-M1 mkII 1/200th sec 12-40mm F2.8 @ F5 ISO400

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Same lighting setup and camera settings as the previous image.

Olympus E-M1 mkII 1/200th sec 12-40mm F2.8 @ F5 ISO400

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I know the first thought you are likely to have had regarding this image. HS heads and trigger. Well, it's the action heads at max sync of 1/250th sec.

Remember what I was saying about losing the sun quite early due to the steeply banked garden and the walls and trees? Well, it can play to our advantage, as it did here.

I placed an ELB400 with a standard 18cm reflector on the far side of our bride, at chest height, and about four feet in front of her. She had strict instructions to close her eyes when told to do so. The unit was firing at an output of 4.0 (Equivalent to 100Ws).

Immediately alongside me, and at a height of seven feet, I had a second ELB400, firing through the 80x80cm folding softbox, angled down towards our bride. The output was set to 6.0 (Equivalent to 400Ws).

Olympus E-M1 mkII 1/250th sec 12-40mm F2.8 @ F13 ISO64
 

retiredfromlife

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Lovely images as usual.
Did you take the shots with and without the flowers? It would be nice to see the difference possibly more simplicity.
 
Joined
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Michael A. Sewell
Just another variation on the first image, no flowers (and no groom)

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Pretty much the same locations for the lights. Same camera setting too.
 

Sam0912

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Mar 1, 2012
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Manchester UK
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Sam Roberts
Wow, you know your stuff. Fantastic images, how did you learn all the techniques (especially lighting)? I’m thinking of getting a wireless flash to have a play, Olympus seem to have a very good/mature system, great to see it used by someone so talented
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2015
Messages
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Location
Bootle, Cumbria, UK
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Michael A. Sewell
Wow, you know your stuff. Fantastic images, how did you learn all the techniques (especially lighting)? I’m thinking of getting a wireless flash to have a play, Olympus seem to have a very good/mature system, great to see it used by someone so talented
Hi Sam.

I got my first camera as a Christmas present in 1968, a Kodak Instamatic 25 (126 cassette load). I had just turned 7.
I constantly stole my father's Praktica MTL5, until he bought me a Zenit E in 1974

In the late 70s, I became interested in adding light to create the images I was after, and experimented with incredibly basic off camera lighting. I had a thyristor automatic flashgun on the camera, which would trigger another two or three thyristor flash guns fired as slaves. Each flashgun was set to auto, and would read the returning light from the subject.
It was extremely unreliable and inconsistent, but a huge amount of fun.

The most difficult part was explaining to the local police officer what I was up to. Mainly because I tended to do this kind of thing about 2200hrs in town.
After a few weeks, I used to just get a wave from the coppers as they drove by.

:cool:
 

Sam0912

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Mar 1, 2012
Messages
299
Location
Manchester UK
Real Name
Sam Roberts
Hi Sam.

I got my first camera as a Christmas present in 1968, a Kodak Instamatic 25 (126 cassette load). I had just turned 7.
I constantly stole my father's Praktica MTL5, until he bought me a Zenit E in 1974

In the late 70s, I became interested in adding light to create the images I was after, and experimented with incredibly basic off camera lighting. I had a thyristor automatic flashgun on the camera, which would trigger another two or three thyristor flash guns fired as slaves. Each flashgun was set to auto, and would read the returning light from the subject.
It was extremely unreliable and inconsistent, but a huge amount of fun.

The most difficult part was explaining to the local police officer what I was up to. Mainly because I tended to do this kind of thing about 2200hrs in town.
After a few weeks, I used to just get a wave from the coppers as they drove by.

:cool:
Great to hear! Suppose we’re spoiled with all this tech now, I have an old oly I’m and a couple of old Russian cameras I’m trying to get working, which I use the lenses off on my EM5 too. I still like working all manual, makes me slow down and think......couldn’t live without super fast af most of the time though!
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2015
Messages
1,245
Location
Bootle, Cumbria, UK
Real Name
Michael A. Sewell
Great to hear! Suppose we’re spoiled with all this tech now, I have an old oly I’m and a couple of old Russian cameras I’m trying to get working, which I use the lenses off on my EM5 too. I still like working all manual, makes me slow down and think......couldn’t live without super fast af most of the time though!
The AF is a definite boon, and I doubt many would dump it altogether.

Shooting motorsport with a none motor driven, manual focus and manual exposure film camera, such as the Fujica ST605n was certainly "interesting".
 
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