The wedding of Susan & James
In May 2016 I had the enormous pleasure and privilege to be asked to photograph the wedding of Susan and James Spray in Sorento, Italy.
The trip was a short 4 day excursion of which two days were travel to and from Italy, but despite the travel the two days I was there was an absolute pleasure. Despite it still being May, the sun was shining all the time and it was about 28 degrees most of the time.
Using photographic film always presents a lot of things that one must consider but that is especially true when travelling abroad. Film is generally considered safe for airport security x-ray scanning, as long as it is slower or equal to ISO800. So, I had to be sure to use film slower than that, but then one must consider the light and how much of it there might be, or not be! I wasn’t certain what the light was going to be like, so I plumbed for Fuji Pro 400H which is my favourite colour film for portraiture anyway, but it also gives a good combination of speed with smooth tones. So whether it was sunny or overcast, I was confident I’d get enough speed. I also took some Fuji Acros 100 which is of course much slower, but if the opportunity arose to use it, I was going to try. That said, given how bright it turned out to be, I would have liked to have had some Fuji Pro 160H for a little extra saturation. On the day, as it turned out, the light was quite hazy and a bit flat, so it made getting punchy colours more of a challenge.
There is also the amount of kit one can take due to weight. So I kept it old school – just two lenses for the Hasselblad (80mm and 150mm) and my 50mm for the Nikon F5. In many ways, keeping your choices to a minimum prevents you getting muddled and wasting time swapping lenses and so on. That said, if you make the wrong choice, it can be a nuisance! The 150mm is a great lens for controlled situations, but its depth of field is so dam restrictive, unless you can shoot at f16 at 1/8th of a second and you tell your subjects to freeze like a statue, it can be difficult to get well focussed shots. That said, in the right setting, you get great results.
So the day started with a few of the girls getting ready, as is traditional. Using natural window light, some white pillows and by pulling the net curtain over the window a little, I managed to get some nice shots of the bride and her bridesmaids getting ready using the 80mm Carl Zeiss on the Hasselblad 501CM.