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I'm a Cairns, far north Queensland, Australia professional photographer specialising in travel, editorial and environmental portraiture.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wedding Crashers

A wedding is the ultimate celebration. A private festival usually only open to family and friends. Unless you're a foreign traveller, in which case you always seem to get invited to the wedding of the cousin of your taxi driver's second niece's daughter...

You get the picture. This particular celebration was the wedding of the daughter of the owner of a lodge in Manali, northern India.

We got invited along, as did every other foreigner in the neighbourhood, and it was great fun. One thing you always want to be careful of at events like this is not to get in the way. Sure you want to get some great shots but at the end of the day that's not the most important thing. So I spent most of my time on the periphery just enjoying the spectacle.

The bride was in one of the rooms of the house decked out in finery and we all went to pay our respects to her. Outside was where the real action was though. Musicians, food, fun and frivolity. And then there were these guys. The Energizer Bunnies of the wedding dancer world. They went continuously for five days straight.

Day and night. Night and day. Did they take a break? I'm guessing they must have but never when I was around! And we could hear them from our room every night, all night for five days straight. :)

By the time we arrived it was late in the afternoon and the sun had already gone behind the mountains. If I had used a flash and a slow shutter speed they would have been too blurred. If I had used a flash and a fast shutter speed the background would have been completely black. Neither seemed like a good option so I walked around looking for some inspiration.

It was then that I noticed the interesting clouds in the sky. I got down low to give a sense of the feet and movement and backlit them. To prevent them from being complete silhouettes I fired a flash to lighten them up a bit. Because they were wearing white it really helped them to stand out. As a result I got to use my flash and a pretty fast shutter speed but still get a nice bright background (the sky).

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