It has been a busy start to the 2015 year for me, with wedding shoots happening consecutively for a few weekends in a row now. No I do not intend to mutate into a wedding photographer, and after the third job in a row I knew exactly why. It was physically and mentally draining! I wake up the next day after a full day shoot feeling like a walking dead.
However, I cannot hide the fact that I do enjoy shooting weddings. The joy on the faces of the newly weds, the overall sense of happiness and even the stories of love can be really inspiring.
This time, for Timothy and Stephanie, I was shooting a church wedding, and it was held at St Mary's Cathedral, at Dataran Merdeka, KL. This was my second time covering a wedding in this church, and I have come back much more prepared than my first encounter.
Again, for many times now, my macro shots during wedding assingnment were taken care of by that marvellous 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 kit lens
The following summarizes this wedding shoot:
1) Available Light photography at the church session.
I decided not to use flash and rely on the strong afternoon sun, coming into the church from the side windows. I still had to push up the ISO to about 1600 and sometimes 3200, even when shooting wide open at 1.8 or 2.8 (depending on which lens). I find the ambient lighting to be sufficiently good in quality, providing beautiful skin tone and overall warmth to the images.
2) First Wedding shoot with M.Zuiko 40-150mm F2.8 Pro lens
I knew that this church prohibited the photographrs from running around during the ceremony, having very strict rules on where we can and cannot position ourselves. With limited shooting ground, the only practical solution to get near, and have flexible composition would be using a long zoom lens. It was the perfect opportunity to use the amazing 40-150mm F2.8 Pro lens, and that lens worked wonderfully! I was able to shoot from a distance (thus not having to disrupt or impose my presence at unwanted positions) and at the same time able to get close up shots of the bride and groom.
3) Using Two Camera bodies
I used two camera bodies, the OM-D E-M5 and the PEN E-PL5, with different lenses mounted on them. During the church ceremony, I had the 25mm F1.8 or 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 mounted on the E-PL5, while the E-M5 had the 40-150mm F2.8 mounted at all times.
4) Aperture Priority and General Settings
I normally would use fully Manual control when I shoot weddings, typically because of the use of flash. Since I decided to go with available light, I have switched the setting to Aperture priority, with the consideration made for depth of field control. I constantly watched over the shutter speed to ensure everything was above 1/100sec, just in case, to freeze some motion/movement, as well as prevent possible hand-shake. As I mentioned earlier, ISO was set to about 1600-3200, doing my best to stay at ISO1600
5) ISO1600-ISO3200 Images
I think the OM-D did well in perserving great amount of details, and maintaining pleasing color balance, even though ISO was pushed up to 3200. I shot everything in RAW and processed the images in Olympus Viewer 3, with noise filter set to Low. Bear in mind these images are quick initial edits, and should there be a necessity to further reduce the noise I will not hesitate to run through another layer of noise filtering.