My friend Mike’s sister asked me to shoot her wedding. Mike is one of my oldest friends. We go way back to grade 7, which is much longer ago than I care to calculate at this moment. There was no question that I should agree to do it. Shooting weddings really isn’t my thing, but I suppose a wedding once every few years won’t kill me. It turned out to be a pretty nice affair. It all went down yesterday and last night. The reception after the simple City Hall ceremony was a traditional Chinese banquet, replete with twelve mouth-watering courses. I took about 500 photos, trying mostly for a reportage style. I’ve pared them down to my favorite 26.

If anyone in particular (ahem Diny) is wondering why anyone would bother to get a separate flash instead of using the one built into his DSLR, check out the photos from the reception. For the most part, they were taken with my ancient Vivitar 283, which I bounced off the ceiling to create a fairly natural-looking light. I manually adjusted the power of the flash so I could shoot at ISO 400, 1/125 (flash sync) and more often than not, f2.0. Whenever I switched to the longer lens, I had to shoot at f2.8. The room got quite dark at night, with the overhead lights dimmed down to candlelight levels, so I wanted to shoot as wide open as possible, maintaining the intimacy of the mood, while not being disruptive to the people I was shooting. Nothing kills a mood like a full-blast direct flash. I’m sure that with the flash pointing at the ceiling about 18 feet up, hardly anyone noticed when I took their picture. That was important to me. Weddings are about emotion and critical moments. Shooting inconspicuously is a key part of the recipe for capturing moments as they are. You can’t do that with a built-in flash 🙂

By the way, I just installed some scripts that change the way the photos are presented in my blog. I’m up to something with this little experiment… I’ll fill you in on it later.