Good Morning Everybody,
We continued to have our photographic socks knocked off with the magnificent locations set up for us by Jeff and Roland. Thursday’s shoot, I think, was the “pièce de résistance” for the week!
On Thursday morning it was off to an on-location photographic shoot at the VERY impressive Hungarian State Opera House for our morning session. Built in 1875, the richly-decorated building is considered one of the architect’s masterpieces and one of the finest opera houses in all of Europe and the largest in all of Hungary. Built in the neo-Renaissance style, with it’s gilded vaulted ceilings covered in gorgeous murals, it’s marble columns, chandeliers, floor to ceiling mirrors, vast sweeping staircase, rich velvet draping's, arches, arches, arches……truly a spectacular location.
The auditorium was being used for rehearsal for the upcoming production of Falstaff and was off limits for any interruptions. We were allowed a sneak peek at the end of our 4 hour session. The auditorium was built in a horse-shoe shape, holds 1261 seats, impressive box seats, spectacular staging and is said to have the third best acoustics in all of Europe. It was a first for the Opera House to “rent” the location for a photographic event and we extend to Jeff and Roland for making the arrangements a VERY BIG thanks.
A Day At The Opera: What a Shoot!
I’ve included several photos I want to share with you today. I’ve given a brief recap of each image, what I was seeing in my mind’s eye and how I put the image together. Please enjoy the series.
Photo 1: This first image was really a lesson in composition. Look at the marble staircase. Notice how I position the subject, Gary, at the intersection or where “X” marks the spot. My rule: Wherever the eye is being led in the image – place your subject there.
Photo2: This image below looks like it was taken pretty much like the first image but, in fact, there was a BIG difference in the lighting. The light was brought in from camera right obviously but not through my Zumbrella. There just was no room for it in this tight corner space of the opera house. I asked my assistant to remove the Zumbrella, flip the speed-light 180 degrees and bounce the light off the beige marbled wall. Since the light is still coming from the same direction, the lighting pattern is still the same as if I used my trusty Zumbrella.
Photo 3: Set up for this image is pretty much like the first image with the minor exception that I wanted the bride’s head to be positioned at the corner of the two intersecting arches you see behind her. I also added a second speed-light behind her dress to give a bit more background separation or backlighting to the bride. I really love the final results in this image.
Camera specs: Canon 5D Mark III fitted with my Sigma 12 – 24 mm lens at 24mm, 1/80 second at F5.6 ISO 3200. Lighting camera left, Canon 600 EX-RT speed-lite through my Zumbrella. A second Canon 600 EX-RT speed-lite is place on the floor behind the bride about 10 feet away pointing up at her shoulder blades.
Photo 4: This image was made seconds before the above image. I simply moved a bit closer to the bride and re-positioned the bride’s face in the arch you see behind her. A nice close up, don’t you think?
Photo 5: Here is another image where I’m playing around with subject placement in the space of the opera’s magnificent staircase. This time I wanted to see more of the grandeur of staircase. I carefully positioned the bride’s head with in the interior frame element, or better said, in front of the window you see behind her.
Camera specs: Canon 5D Mark III fitted with my Sigma 12 – 24 mm lens at 13mm, 1/80 second at F5.6 ISO 1600. Lighting camera left, Canon 600 EX-RT speed-lite through my Zumbrella. A second Canon 600 EX-RT speed-lite is place on the floor behind the bride about 10 feet away pointing up at her shoulder blades and dialed down from the earlier image above.
Photo 6: In this next image I took the top position on the staircase and shot down the steps. The composition is quite different that in all the previous images yet still strikingly impressive! To add to the impressive scale of the space, I used my Canon fish to bring in as much of the grandeur of the surrounds as possible. I subsequently did a giant lens correction in Lightroom 5 to remove any hint of the fisheye effect.
Lighting-wise: Due to all the highly reflective marble of the staircase railing I really needed to control the light on the railing camera right. Using my Zumbrella would have heavily illuminated the rail. I reduced the “cone of light” coming out of my flash by placing a black “beer koozie” over the flash head to give me a very restricted “cone of light” falling on the subject but not on the marble railing. Pretty easy, cheap and cool solution, I think ;~)
Camera specs: Canon 5D Mark III fitted with my Canon 8-15 Fisheye at 15mm, 1/40 second at F6.3 ISO 1600. Lighting camera right, Canon 600 EX-RT speed-lite through my beer koozie. A second Canon 600 EX-RT speed-lite is place on the floor behind the bride and groom about 10 feet away pointing up at their shoulder blades.
Photo 7: This is a signature “Ziser” shot, as LaDawn likes to call it! I take this photograph at every wedding – but not necessarily is such spectacular locations. Wide lens, add some backlighting and shoot away. This image was again captured using the Canon 8-15 Fisheye but correcting the “fish” effect in Lightroom 5 certainly added to the dramatics. If this had been an actual couple the next image would have been the couple sharing a kiss and then sometimes I even have the groom dip the bride, all in the same location and using the same lighting.
Camera specs: Canon 5D Mark III fitted with my Canon 8-15 Fisheye at 15mm, 1/80 second at F6.3 ISO 2500. Lighting from behind supplied by my Canon 600 EX-RT speed-lite placed on the floor behind the bride and groom about 10 feet away pointing up at their shoulder blades.
Hey gang, I’ve still got about another half dozen images to show you but time is running short on this end so I’ll try to get them up over the weekend.
Have a wonderful weekend in what ever part of the world you’re reading this and I’ll see you again soon.