10 March 2008

A wedding (and no funeral)

Beso frente a las columnasSusana and Facundo, two of the members of my photographers' group (the Rosarigasinos), got married last Saturday. They've basically lived together for ages, but they surely felt this was a major (even if symbolical) step. Wanting only a small ceremonial gathering where all their relatives and friends could attend, they got married in a small church in their neighbourhood, with a minimum of fancy arrangements.

From what I could gather, both would've rather skipped the church altogether, but unfortunately there's not any other comparable single place where you can get together all the people you love. So we all had to sit down and listen to the priest babble about Jesus, the Virgin Mary, the Christian duties of husband and wife, and the absolute requirement for them to bring forth as much Catholic offspring as possible.

I went around the temple taking pictures (the newlyweds, of course, didn't even think of hiring a photographer — they had about a dozen of them doing that work eagerly for free), so I avoided listening to most of the priest's patter. Marisa, who's no more a believer than I am, cried a little (this she had announced before the ceremony as being very likely to happen) and chose to grab a few pictures from her pew, since her camera is not that good to get indoor shots without the insidious flash, and the altar was already crowded. After that we hugged and kissed the newlyweds, and some threw rice at them as tradition demands. (The lady who swept the entrance of the church wasn't happy — Marisa got scolded for her fervorous rice-showering.)

After church we proceeded to Parque Independencia, which has some nice landscaping — a typical place for photo sessions of newlywed couples and quinceañeras, with an artificial lake, a white bridge, colourful trees, a row of columns, and a flower calendar (updated every day by the park's gardeners). The day was gray, with raindrops falling here and there as if ashamed of their solitariness.

Photo advice: a cloudy sky is good for this kind of event photography, because you usually have diffuse lighting coming from all angles, instead of the warmer but harsh light that comes from an unmitigated sun. Strong point-like light sources (e.g. the sun, but also a flash in the darkness) give faces a sharper look, with darker shadows and possibly blown-out highlights. You usually don't want that when you're doing portraits or weddings. The only thing you have to mind in cloudy days is the light coming from the background. You can (and probably should) use fill-in flash to compensate. That is, force your camera to use the flash even it says the amount of light is enough, so that the flash "fills in" the parts of the subject that lie in the shadow. Combine this with a "cloudy day" white balance, and you're set — better than sunlight.

Feliz pareja III - En el parque

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