Alright, so along the lines of composition, lens choice obviously is super important, and we're gonna talk a little bit about our process there. So with a 35 millimeter, it's really the focal length that is closest to the way that our eyes see. So it's good for documenting and for showing things just as they are. What's important with a 35 millimeter, or any wide angle lens is to really get close so that you get that feeling of really being in there when the moment is happening. So this is 35 millimeter standing really, really close to the bride and groom. Again, 35 millimeter allows you to make you feel like you're part of the action, it really sucks you in and brings you into the action as it happens.
Do you see how the framing is working here? Yeah, the triangle around her mouth and then the way that the lighter is framed and the woman's head is not cutting through.
Yeah. And especially on the dance floor, we wanna translate the high energy that is happening, and shooting someth...
ing like this with a long lens from far it's not going to have the same effect. You can capture all of the same subjects, you can put all of the same people in the frame, but the effect is gonna be very, very different. It's gonna compress everything, and you're not gonna get that sense of really being there in the action with everybody.
Also the further you are with a long lens to capture action, the more likely things are to get in your way and I'd rather be the only thing between, or I wanna be closer to the action so that there's nobody basically that's gonna be blocking my way. I wanna be the first person in there.
Yeah. And then we obviously use the 35 millimeter wide angle for our environmental portraits. It allows us to really show everything.
So if you're gonna be using the 35 in a wide way like this, everything really needs to be working and things can't be visually interrupting, and that's why the 35, it can be tricky to use in a situation like this. So in a getting ready room, if I'm gonna be shooting far away from my subject, it's everything's gotta be lining up perfect, people have to be framed, there has to be really good light on my subject. Things really have to be working out for me, which actually I think is probably what I was doing with the example we showed of Sarah, right? Where she's getting her makeup done in the mirror and there's her bridesmaids in the foreground. So in that case it works because there are relevant people taking up some space in my frame and there's good light on my subject.
Yup. The 85 can still work, it does look good for documenting moments, but you can see how everybody's compressed and brought a lot closer together. In this instance it works because it's so repetitive visually, but in general, we would wanna document something like this with a 35.
So when you said earlier that reacting never yields a good photo, this is the photo I had in mind when I said, oh not always, because this, I actually just reacted. There was no anticipations here, I was focused on something else and I heard sniffling behind me and I turned around to glance and saw this, so I just got pretty lucky. I did way underexpose it and it was saved in post.
By you. (both laugh)
And again, just bringing the subjects closer together with a long lens, in some instances, we do want that. Here we're trying to include more of the people during the ceremony in relation to the bride and groom having their moment, and if you shoot this with a 35 millimeter lens, or any wide angle, it creates more separation, whereas here we do wanna bring them closer together. And just being really deliberate about your lens choice is really, really, really important. You know in our switch to a zoom lens in the last few months has been one really big adjustment for us, because we work with a 35 and an 85. So it was very straightforward, do I need the 35, or do I need an 85? Now we have 77 different focal lengths between, my math was off.
I was like?
Between 24 and 105 and we have 81 focal lengths.
It's fine. (laughs)
You know, it creates too many options and it's important that we're still very deliberate in the focal length that we choose on a zoom lens so that we don't get stuck making these tiny, little adjustments, which then start messing with our head and take away from anticipations and figuring out our framing and just become this crazy distraction. So on our zoom lens, we'll set it to and try not to touch it too, too much. Same thing on the opposite end of the spectrum.
Basically we don't wanna be needlessly zooming in because we feel insecure, we wanna still have that same mentality of wide lens, long lens, and committing to that vision.
Long lens is great for more going abstract, so this is just shooting through some wine glasses that had some ambient light on them and waiting for the right moment during the first dance.
Yeah, the long lens really blurs out the foreground so much more easily than a wide angle lens. And then same moment, shot with a 35 really shows everything and then, if you photograph this with a longer lens, well it just brings your two subjects a lot closer together. So exact same moment she goes around him seven times, so it's easy to repeat the photo with different lenses. It's a great example of how wide angle versus long lens really work differently.
Actually, so in the previous photo, the wide angle, this is kind of what I was talking about where if you're gonna shoot 35 wide of a scene, you really have to make sure that everything is adding to the photo and there's nothing distracting. So if you had a speaker on the side, or a tripod, or seeing something outside of this mandap that the created, then it would kind of become a visual distraction. So this works really because it's such a clean environment.