‘Sat Under the Table…’

Fujifilm X-E2, XF35mm @ f/1.4, 1/60th sec, ISO-1600.

One of the joys of photographing a wedding is the almost endless opportunities they present for engaging in candid photography.  As social events go, weddings have everything the photographer needs; people – all shapes, ages and sizes, engagement, an overall sense of occasion and a desire to make friends and have fun.  The guests will be dressed in their best, determined to put their best front on for the benefit of the newly-weds.  Best of all however is having permission to capture all of this for posterity. While I enjoy other genre of photography, I always have some sense of ‘stealing’ images in street photography or of ‘manipulating’ the image in the studio.  At a wedding people are just being people and for the most part are happy for you to capture their image, if only out of a sense of wanting to please their hosts as much as any actual desire to have a ‘picture taken’.  Most of the time, and if I’m doing my job correctly, they won’t even know I’m there, or be aware that I am the ‘official’ photographer.

My recent shoot at Kathryn and Alan’s wedding presented numerous opportunities for some lovely images.  This one is a case to point and one of my favorites.  I was sat taking a bit of a breather during the reception.  I already had more images from the day than I would know what to do with so was not too concerned that I might miss something at this late stage.  Anyway I then spotted the little girl, one of the young bridesmaids, sat under the table just across from where I was sat.  She was alone at first and sensing a picture waiting to be captured, I placed the camera down to her level and hit the shutter button.  The the boy then came into view and here we have the interaction between the two children – both it would appear quite unaware of the camera.  Was the girl playing hide and seek?  Or maybe just wanted, in her own way, a moment of quiet during what must for her felt like a very long day?  I don’t know. But I like this image for it’s quiet intimacy…

‘Bridesmaids…’

Fujifilm X-E2, XF18mm @ f/2, 1/4ooth sec, ISO-400, spot metering, Classic Chrome film simulation.

Captured at the wedding prep shoot at the start of a wonderful day capturing the wedding of Kathryn Donlon to Alan Shaw at Mytton Fold, Lancashire, February 2017.  These three pretty girls are the couple’s grandchildren and were, of course, smitten at being bridesmaids as all little girls are… the bigger ones maybe hope to be the bride!  The image was captured in natural light within the somewhat cramped bridal bedroom but I had the girls sat on the bed facing the window which provided a nice degree of natural light. I added a touch of blurring and a light vignette to complete the image post-capture.

‘Nearer My God to Thee…’

Fujifilm X-T10, Samyang 12mm f/2 @ f/8, 1/2500th sec, ISO-800.

Colne has a really lovely cemetery, located on the south-side of the town with the calm tranquility of Wycollor dene beneath it and the dark moorland mass of Boulesworth beyond. I would be happy buried here, as so many already are of course.  It’s most famous ‘resident’ is probably Wallace Hartley, the musical leader of the band that played on as the RMS Titanic went down in the cold, dark mid-Atlantic in April 1912.  Born in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, Wallace was a resident of Colne from being a young child.  A talented musician, he made his living playing aboard the great transatlantic liners of the period and would have seen the Titanic’s maiden crossing as a very plumb job indeed!  When disaster struck, Wallace and his associates kept their nerve as the hugh liner breathed her last that night, their playing soothing the fears of their fellow passengers before the water finally reached them to, sometime around 2:15am, Monday 15th April 1912.  It is believed that their last act together was to play the Hymn ‘Nearer My God To Thee’, although there is some dispute about that.

Anyway, of the 1500 souls who entered the freezing water that night and perished, only some 300 bodies were recovered including Wallace’s – with his violin still strapped to him. While the vast majority of those found ended up in a cemetery in Halifax, Nova-Scotia, Wallace was instead returned to the UK and in May 1912 he was buried after a funeral procession that took his remains through Colne for internment in the cemetery, where he remains to this day…  A public subscription raised the funds for this memorial stone to be erected as well as a bust which was placed in the centre of the town where it remains to this day.  As you can see the memorial here has on it a violin and the open music for the hymn he is thought to have played before he died.

‘That First Dance…’

Fujifilm X-E2, XF35mm f/1.4 @f/2, 1/160th sec, ISO-1600 & side-mounted  EF-X20 flash set on 1/64th power and set to ‘manual’ control rather then TTL.

Again as has been previously the case during wedding shoots, I have relied greatly upon flash photography for capturing those reception shots where, regardless of ‘time-of-year’, the light is inevitably minimal and some artificial lighting is required.  The Fujifilm EF-X20 is a tiny flash unit but perfectly formed and appears to deliver excellent results time and again, particularly when married with the 35mm f/1.4 lens, as is the case with this image of the bride and groom taking the floor for the first dance of the night.  Tones are excellent and there is a nice throw of light on the couple despite being far from ‘in-their-faces’ at the time, indeed there was still some room for crop even at 35mm.

I have found that, as a rule, I prefer to use the flash on it’s manual setting; there would appear to be more control over the amount of power although that might be just me…

Tracy & Gary

Fujifilm M-E2, XF35mm f/1.4 @ f/1.4, 1/80th sec, ISO-1000.

Captured in the Regency-period ‘Green Room’ of Burnley’s historic Towneley Hall where Tracy and Gary celebrated their wedding last weekend.  A gallery of images from this special occasion can be view on the right of this image.

Mark…

Fujifilm X-Pro 1, XF60mm @ f/2.4, 1/125th, ISO-320. Huddersfield UK, October 2016.

Mark asked me some time ago for some photo’s of himself he could use as he seeks a career in acting.  I am not a ‘model’ photographer as such but, as with so much I have done this year, there is a first time for everything and so I went across to Huddersfield to do some shots with him.  There is a gallery opposite where you can view a few of the images we got.

I like this one however.  I captured all of the images in colour – Pro Neg-H is my preferred choice on the X-Pro 1 (I would also use Classic Chrome but unfortunately this camera doesn’t have that particular film simulation).  In post capture edit however I do tend to reduce the overall colouration of any image right down to this very muted colouring that has, I think, a very aged ‘classic’ look of a colour image from the 30’s and 40’s.  Otherwise images are converted fully to monochrome through Adobe Elements.

Anyway I hope my adopted son likes his pictures!