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Wedding Reception Panorama – How We Shot It

By Matthew Saville on April 15th 2013

While we’re on the subject of silhouettes, here’s another!

The Photo

 IMG_6873-Edit-2(Click here to view a larger panorama!)

The Equipment and Settings

  • Cano 5D mk2
  • Sigma 50mm f/1.4
  • 1/30 sec @ f/1.4 & ISO 1600, hand-held
  • Manual exposure, manual WB, RAW
  • 3 separate images merged into a panorama

The Shooting Conditions

Yesterday I shared a portrait of a couple at sunset and we talked about why I decided to go with a single exposure and create a dramatic silhouette look, instead of going nuts with wireless flash or HDR techniques.  Today’s image is a similar situation: I like these shadows deep and, okay let’s be honest they’re totally pitch black!  I think it absolutely works for this scene.

Keep in mind, I am a huge strobist geek and HDR fanatic.  I love having fun with wireless flashes, and/or bracketed exposures, etc.  But I also enjoy some good ol’ fashioned moody shadows, when the light and composition are just right…

So, always keep an open mind.  You may have a style that you consistently stick to, either an advanced technical style or simple and natural style.  Having a consistent style is great, but on the other hand, be careful not to let your style become that “box” that everybody is always saying you should think outside of…  ;-)

For reference, here is another image made at this wedding reception, where I did indeed decide to merge two separate exposures:  A totally different look, and I think both of them work!

Matthew-Saville-Photographer-85

The Post-Processing

Simple color correction was applied to the original RAW frames, and then they were merged to a panorama in Photoshop using the “Photomerge” feature.  To watch a video on how to create such a panoramic portrait, click HERE!  To watch a video on how to blend multiple exposures, click HERE

I couldn’t decide how much “pano” to keep in the final image, so as you can see I have included both a 1:2 aspect ratio image and a wider, 1:3 aspect ratio image.  I enjoy the full view of the 1:3 panorama, but sometimes a viewer will comment that the left-hand side looks like it is “extra”.  What do you think?

Either way, the whole point of this image is, in my opinion, how the extreme darkness contrasts with the beautiful light and colors.  Thanks for reading, folks!

Take care,
=Matthew Saville=

Matthew Saville is a full-time wedding photographer at Lin & Jirsa Photography, and a senior editor & writer at SLR Lounge.

Follow his personal wilderness adventures: Astro-Landscapes.com

See some of his latest wedding photography featured on: LinandJirsa.com

Comment

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Very nice.

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