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How to photograph a wedding - Part Two of Five - The equipment and what does it do?

Leonard Mossman

The first article was about the basic equipment needed to photograph a basic shoot. Upper end equipment with regards to the camera and lens is your most and best investment. It's not this article's goal to persuade you into any particular brand of camera and lights. The statement "the more you spend the better the equipment" seems to be a truth. Look for camera with low light capabilities and a fast lens with a wide aperture.

Purchase the largest storage card with fast transfer rate cards that you can afford. Also an 18% gray card can help you obtain perfect exposures. Read the instructions with the card and everything is simply described.

The reflectors you have can help set the tone and mood of the photograph. Reflectors are somewhat used like a mirror where it will redistribute light from the sun onto a subject, expect with large reflectors we are softening that harsh effect.

A white light will fill in light and make the subject appear smooth and fairly even.
A silver reflector's light will put in a little more light and can actually brighten up areas, sometimes it can be a little harsh so one has to learn the direction and distance the light source is from the subject and adjust accordingly to obtain the effect they wish.

A portable video light used out of slight and pointed at the skin gives a golden tone much like the tone of movie stars in movies. Used in conjunction with daylight and with the proper angle the effect is awesome. And it also makes for a romantic photograph.

A gold reflector works the same as the silver reflector except its golden reflection will mimic the video light.
A black reflector is used to reduce the light on a subject. When you position it near the subject and after determining the correct position you will see the subject loose light and become somewhat darker.
A strobe or two are for additional lighting that fills in and smoothes out a face. It does have its limitations in that it can't overpower direct sunlight. The light typically works better in shade and used as an umbrella bounce or a shoot through umbrella.

A ladder is used to photograph from an above angle and some great shots can be had using the ladder and a very wide angle lens.

A 1,000,000 candlelit powered handheld light can assist in lighting a bride up close by placing the light down from the side of the head or even under and shooting back up towards the head. The lace material absorbs and reflects a smooth soft fantastic light into the bride's face.

A 35 mm camera is nice to have to take a few infrared special effects shots. Digital isn't up to par with its built-in infrared as is the good ole standby film camera. If you have extra cameras why not load it with some B&W film for those special shots.

A nice assortment of lens is a necessity. How to use various lens in situations is another article itself and will be forthcoming shortly.

Last but not least, if your really serious about selling large prints 20x24 plus, due to price of the digital cameras with large sensors, it might be a good idea to have a medium format camera to take those "old" posed groups shots everyone says they hate but in reality completely love them, quality and all.

Part Three will be - Preparing the wedding shooting plan - coming soon.


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