Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Swept Off Her Feet"

Swept Off Her Feet

"Swept Off Her Feet"
© David A. Ziser

This image represents one of my all time favorite wedding images.  It is one of the featured images in the entrance of my studio.  Even though it was made a number of years ago in the early days of our digital transition(note camera used below) it still retains the lasting quality of an exciting wedding image capturing the “peak” action of the moment the groom dips the bride during their first wedding dance.

Anyone photographing the couple’s first dance know that this is a rare photograph to capture.  In addition to anticipating this “dance maneuver”, you also have to be at the right place on the dance floor at the right time. That happens only rarely, but it this case, I nailed it!

More than just capturing this special moment, I also wanted to capture the beautiful dappled lighting on the bride’s gown.  The room décor included special lighting treatment on the dance floor which gave it a very textured look overall.  That same light was falling on the bride’s dress during the couple’s wedding dance and I thought the effect looked very cool.

To capture that effect I needed to use a slower than normal shutter speed and a reasonably fast ISO. My resultant setting worked just fine for this image.

Backlighting was also key in getting the feeling I wanted in this image.  My assistant followed the couple as they moved around the floor being careful to stay hidden behind the couple till I could find the perfect moment to make my exposure. Yes, my assistant looks like a “hopping frog” as he stays in position and hidden from my camera ;~)  Anyway, with his flash on 1/2 power, about 100 watt seconds, we get the very dramatic rim lighting you see in this image.

I used Photoshop to finish the image by removing extraneous ceiling fixtures,  shiny objects, and a few guests or two to give the effect that the bride and groom were enjoying a very special private moment together.

Camera specs: Nikon D1x fitted with Nikkor 24-105mm F2.8 Tamron lens at 24mm, F5.6 @ 1/50 second, ISO 400.  Enjoy!  -David

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