"Under The Sea"
© David A. Ziser
Here is an image I captured at this past Saturday’s wedding. It’s one of my signature images I try to do for every wedding. Before the guests come into the main ballroom, we clear the room of the servers for just a few minutes to get this photograph. The bride and groom alone in the beauty of the surrounds always makes for a beautiful image for their wedding album.
Now having said that, this was not the easiest of images to photograph. It was made at the Tampa Bay Aquarium, a really unique and cool place for a wedding reception. The challenge was in getting the lighting to look good, show the fish in the water tank, keep the reflections down to a minimum with all the glass covering one entire side of the room.
Here is how I pulled it off. First, the tables on the left were under lit when I made my first test exposure. I rigged a small shoe mount flash to fire when my main flash fired. That lit up the left side of the room perfectly.
Next, I had to do something with the illumination of the sea creatures in the water tank. In the daytime, the tank receives a lot of light from the sky above. Not so at 7:30 p.m. How was I going to light the fish? I selected another shoe mount flash and positioned it on the floor behind the bride and groom and pointed it up into the tank. I figured I could have the light catch the underbellies of the fish swimming by and visually make my point that we were indeed in an aquarium.
The easiest part of the lighting was illuminating the bride and groom. That was easily accomplished with my radio triggered Quantum flash at 1/4 power about 12 feet behind the couple. I know, it’s beginning to sound like a Joe McNally shoot with all the strobes going off, isn’t it ;~) A little Photoshop to remove a few stray reflections sealed the deal for this image.
Hey, on a wedding you’ve got to think fast and work quickly to pull off a great shot in a minimum amount of time. I think we did our job quite well here.
Camera specs: Canon 7D fitted with Sigma 8-16mm wide angle lens at 8mm. F5.6 @ 1/15 second handheld, ISO 1250. Enjoy! -David