I have a lot of respect for wedding photographers. In my opinion, they have one of the toughest jobs in the world of photography. During a wedding there are moments that must be captured, and most are over within the blink of an eye. Wedding photographers have to be vigilant to capture those moments. They have to move quickly to get the shot, but at the same time not interfere with the ceremony. In my opinion wedding photographers are the ninjas of the photography world.
I don’t think I’ll ever be a wedding photographer. Or at least not a paid one. I am not very ninja like in general, so I’d probably be getting in the way. But I have fun playing around with my camera at weddings, and they give me a chance to use lenses that I don’t use very much. But unlike a ninja I don’t move, I just use a long lens to take pot shots from far away.
I used my 50-135mm f/2.8 lens for most of the day. I bought it on a roadtrip to Portland last year, but haven’t used it a whole lot since then. The lens is a bit too big and heavy to carry when traveling, but at the same time it’s a bit too short for wildlife photography. So for the kind of photography I do most of the time, it’s not very useful. It’s a great wedding and sports lens, it’s just I don’t really go to a whole lot of weddings or sporting events. So it was nice using it today.
The lens was long enough to capture the ceremony from my seat which was a good 10 rows back from the stage.
This was taken at ISO 6400 at f/2.8 on the long end of a pretty long zoom in low light. I was actually surprised to get a usable shot. Though there’s a ton of noise in it from the high ISO the picture’s actually somewhat usable. On my old camera this would have been an impossible shot– the ISO didn’t go that high (and even 3200 was pretty ugly), and the camera struggled to focus under low light.
The obvious solution would be to get closer and use a flash– but that would interfere with the wedding photographers. And while I don’t know much about ninjas, I do know that you don’t really wanna mess with them.
My friend who got married is Johann. Johann is a guy that I’ve done century rides with before. A century ride is a hundred mile bicycle ride. What gets you through those rides is camaraderie (it’s always easier to bike with a group of friends) and lots and lots of energy supplements, like gu or shot bloks and electrolyte pills. At the end of a century ride I always feel completely and utterly exhausted and everything below the waist hurts. But at the same time there’s also a feeling of joy and accomplishment that makes it all worthwhile.
The day before his wedding, Johann emailed me. The subject line of his email was, “need some refueling.” He asked me if I could bring some shot bloks and electrolyte pills to keep him energized during the long day ahead. So now, thanks to Johann, I will always equate weddings with century rides, which means utter exhaustion and pain below the waist. But I’m sure there’s that feeling of joy and accomplishment that make it all worthwhile.