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Wedding photos during the day and at night

edited March 2015 Posted in » Nikon D5100 Forum
I have two lens Nikkor 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED and Nikkor 18-55mm VR. My sister's marriage is nearing so I'm planning on taking pictures. Though professional photographers will be there, I still want my capture to be counted. I will be capturing the function at home (Indian marriage). Function will be of 3 to 4 days. Sometimes it will be a lighted situation while other times the light will be less. What other lenses would it require to have sharp closeup photos, or even at some distance during daytime and night both in both the lighting and less light situation? (I'm experimenting with bounce off flash light these days also). Do I need any other lenses for the event or is the one I have enough for the purpose?


  • edited March 2015
    It would be nice if you could get a faster prime lens such as the 35mm f/1.8, or if the space is large and the groups not too large, the 50mm f/1.8. That would allow for cleaner available light shots in poor light without flash.

    If a professional photographer will be there, you can probably not worry about capturing the fundamental ceremonial moments, basic groups, and the sort of thing the pro does best. You also should be polite and not be in his or her way. I would concentrate, instead, on individual shots of favorite people, casual closeups, and amusing sidelights that the pro might miss, and scenes from angles that the pro can't be in.

    Over the years I've been to a lot of weddings and provided a lot of secondary albums that have been well liked (at least I hope they weren't lying), because they captured those more intimate and informal moments that the pro cannot do. After all, when the couple is exchanging vows at the altar, he MUST be aimed at that. You, on the other hand, can catch Aunt Hilda weeping in the ninth row or the little sisters poking each other in the ribs.

    With the lenses you have, you might be able to do all right too. What I suggest is that you experiment some with the space you'll be working in, if possible, and determine how high you can set your ISO for portrait shots without being bothered by digital noise. Portraits can be a bit more forgiving than scenery where noise is concerned, and you may find you can get a pretty fast ISO for available light and still have good results.

    You'll have to experiment a little, too, on what shutter speeds will stop the motion of your subjects. You don't need the speed you'd use for sports, but people do move around some, so you will probably have to keep it up in the 1/100 range or so unless you can tell them to stand still.

    For intimate face shots in a large room, the 55-200mm may prove quite nice at shorter ranges, giving a nice out of focus background to closeups. Again, it would help to experiment beforehand to imagine what focal length might capture a small group of people across a specific room. But if the function lasts over several days, you will have at least a little time to practice too.

    Don't forget to pack huge amounts of memory and make sure you have a spare battery charged up.

  • edited March 2015
    Definitely, I will be never in their way. The 35mm f/1.8 was on my mind, I just wasn't sure if it would be helpful. I was especially confused with the 50mm f/1.8, but not anymore after reading this.Thank you so much for the help. :)
  • edited March 2015
    I'm guessing with multiple subjects and groups you'll do better with the 35mm. If you have a chance to look at the venue, go there with your kit zoom, which can be set to either length, and see which one suits you best. The longer lens is nice outdoors, but can be a problem in. It's easier to crop than to knock down walls.
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