No Ambient Light? No Problem
As we all know, weddings (usually) don’t take place in brightly lit football stadiums. Receptions, especially, tend to take place at night and whether they’re indoors or out, the ambient lighting conditions are going to be challenging for the photographer.
Adam Szarmack is a Jacksonville wedding photographer who’s come up with a number of ways of creatively overcoming the low-to-no-ambient-light dilemma from silhouettes to starry nights. 3 photos, 3 lighting diagrams, 3 stories, and very little ambient light follows.
KC and Tatiana (above)
KC and Tatiana had a beautiful nighttime wedding at the Jacksonville Zoo. The challenge for me was that it was held outdoors in virtually pitch-black settings. There were no walls or ceilings to bounce off of so I found myself using my Canon 580EX II speedlights and PocketWizard Plus II’s for almost the entire event. I’ve always found the standard high ISO sparkler shots to be somewhat boring and overdone so I chose to create a more dramatic look for this scene. I placed one Canon 580EX II on a light stand behind the couple, which was raised up pretty high. I placed another Canon 580EX II on a stand right behind me and a little bit to the right. I took the shot just as the couple got to the end of the sparkler line.
Laura and Stephen
Laura and Stephen scheduled their wedding reception at the Deerwood Golf and Country Club. By the time we all got to the venue the sun had already set. After dinner, we went outside to grab a few shots but it was literally pitch black. I had them stand close together and I got down low. With one Speedlight placed behind them for a rim light and another behind me and just to the right shooting through a white umbrella, I was able to light up the couple underneath the stars.
Jason and Lyndsay
Jason and Lyndsay had their engagement session in downtown Jacksonville. After the sun went down, we walked over to one of Jax’s landmark fountains to grab a few shots. With the water shooting up in the background, I placed a single speedlight on the other side of the couple. Using my Plus II’s, I was able to set off the flash while the couple kissed in front of the fountain. The result was a very unique silhouette.
TIP: Did you know that the new PocketWizard PlusX Transceivers are the perfect expansion to your existing PocketWizard radio trigger kit? Expand your creative capabilities today!
All images and quotes in this post are used with permission and ©Adam Szarmack, all rights reserved; story is ©Sekonic. Please respect and support photographers’ rights. Feel free to link to this blog post, but please do not replicate or re-post elsewhere without written permission.