The wedding I am shooting in Cape Breton this month includes a church that was damaged in a winter storm. They have replaced the windows and my sister took these photos saying that the windows have a light yellow tint. I can't go to check it out before the wedding. What would you advise for dealing with the yellowish light? It will be at 4:00 pm EST. We can't use flash in the church. Thanks.
You'll have most of the day to prepare proir to the bride and groom sessions to go to the church and do a custom white balance of the ambient lighting, I would think. Shooting raw will give you the latitude to tweak the temperature artistically. That would also be the time to play with your exposures to see the range you should be using during the ceremony.
Based on how you shoot, a judiciously placed tripod might be helpful if the lighting requires a slower shutter speed for some of the ceremony. With a quick release plate, you can move around and still connect to the tripod rapidly.
Tungsten is about 3600 K and daylight about 5600 K.....Most DSLR cameras have adjustments, check yours out.....
Is that a yellow tint or were the pictures taken in the evening with evening light coming through the windows? It's hard to tell from I phone pics. I would think tint on the windows would be the least of your problems. After they turn the overhead lights on you will definitely have yellow light. With the two windows behind the alter depending on the position of the church and the time of day. You will have strong backlight. There isn't much room between the alter and the pews. Trying to shoot the bride and groom with the wedding party should be a challenge without getting, guest heads and more pew than people in the picture. and the cross will be growing out of someones head. The exposure will be about 1/8 sec at F4 Iso 400. Not to mention you can't use flash. However, all the guest will for sure. Yes, this looks just about right for your typical wedding setup. I have shot hundreds of these you will get through it. Let the fun begin. All joking aside I would adjust the white balance and work it out in post processing. Have fun, I hope it goes well for you.
Thank you all for your replies. It should be interesting. This is one of those churches that's only used occasionally so it's rarely open. I will be travelling to the place the day before the wedding so I will try to arrange a visit when no-one is in the church. As to the small size, I was thinking that, if necessary, after the ceremony I would have the wedding party move back inside for a photo up at the front of the church. On the other hand, doing the shot during the ceremony and having some of the guests visible might contribute to the ambiance of the event.
Thank you all for your replies. It should be inter... (
I wish you luck. Do both, shoot during and after. You might be surprised which one will be best. The available light may not be too bad. From my experience I think they will most likely have the overhead lights on. Very few churches have good lighting.If you do get a chance to get in early and you have a good incident light meter, meter everywhere the wedding party will be with the lights off and on. The backlight would concern me a little, but I think you can work around it. I would always ask the pastor if it would be ok to use flash just for the kiss at the end of the ceremony. Most times they would say ok. I hope you will post some of the results after the wedding. I'd like to see how you made out.
The bride was very adamant that the minister doesn't allow flash during the ceremony but we (me and my sister are photographers) both have good cameras and a bevy of lenses that can handle low light levels. Judging by all those windows down both sides of the church, I think it is fairly well lit. Hopefully it will be a bright day. I don't use my incident light meter very often but I will be sure to take it with me. And I'll be sure to post pictures after the event. Thank's for your input.
I wish you luck. Do both, shoot during and after.... (
The bride was very adamant that the minister doesn... (
Thank you for your response.
I don't think you are going to have a problem if you adopt a simple strategy.
Consider the following: In most churches, especially older ones, you are going to be dealing with mixed lighting. There is usually some kind of incandescent interior lighting and depending on the time of day, the position of the sun and the weather conditions, there will be some daylight in the mix- entering through the windows. Most churches will have tinted glass, stained glass or leaded glass- all of which will influence the color temperature of the daylight. Seldom will there be “pure” daylight and even that varies at different times of day.
The incandescent light and the daylight, filtered through the tinted glass should not be too far apart in color temperature. As a general rule in portraiture and people photography, warm color balances are more pleasing and acceptable to the eye than cold renditions. Warm colors also are more romantic and “spiritual”- nice for a church ceremony.
If you shoot RAW and just use you camera's automatic white balance, my experience is that you will produce original files that can be somewhat easily correctable in post processing and will probably end up on the warm side.
At ceremonies, I don't even mind shooting high ISO settings- a bit of noise (grain) adds to the mood.
When you edit, go for a nice skin tone and let everything else fall where it may. You may end up with a bit of a tint in the white gown so, DO NOT shoot your formal and groups in the church unless you can use flash- preferably multiple or off-camera flash techniques should be employed if you are familiar with those methods. Moody color goes over well at ceremonies and some romantic shots but may not be acceptable in the portraits.
FLASH((?) I can understand why some brides/grooms and clergy prohibit flash during the ceremony. I prefer available light for most ceremony coverages, however, I oftentimes secure permission to shoot the procession with flash. Sometimes overhead lighting in the aisle is extremely unflattering in that it bring on “raccoon eyes”- folks look tired with dark eye sockets and little or no shadow detail in their eyes. Flash also “freezes” motion as the bridal party walks toward the camera. Whatever is decided between the couple, the clergy and yourself will be fine as long as the “client” is aware of some of the limitations and technical issues when flash is NOT employed.
I have been photographing weddings for over 5 decades and I can tell you that some church interiors can very challenging- crazy lighting, too dark, not the most prefect interiors etc. Back in the film era, much of this was extremely problematic- but not really anymore! With digital technology we can change white balances, ISO settings at any given time- we are not restricted to one or two films. Color films, with a single color temperature balance used in mixed lighting, reeked havoc when making prints. Nowadays we can achieve an acceptable and moody balance in post processing. Add to this, fast lenses, zoom capabilities, auto focus and there are really no worries- just concentrate on getting the shots, being at the right place at the right time and capturing great expressions.
I took one of your test shots of the church and did a quick and dirty color correction. I don't have a skin tone or a gray card for reference and I don't know what color the walls are but you will notice that the wooden pews are more natural- less yellow/red- an easy correction. I burned in the near widow a bit so the eye goes the the stained glass one. I'll post it in the next reply box.
Correction made on smartphone.
Thanks so much EL for your thoughtful input on this. Your experience and help is very much appreciated. And thanks for the processed image. It's amazing what can be done in post these days. I look forward to posting some results from the actual event.
E.L.. Shapiro wrote:
Correction made on smartphone.
Your a pro so you know that you play it safe during the ceremony. I prefer aperture mode most of the time but when I'm in a church with low to moderate lighting and I can't use flash I always go to shutter priority and auto ISO with a cap of 3200 during the o. I set the shutter to 1/80 at 50mm. Typically I find my Canon edging close to wide open, usually f/2 - f/3.2 which works just fine. As Ed mentioned a bit of grain during the ceremony is fine. Once everyone is in their places I'll switch to aperture priority with the ISO set to auto.
That is what I do in low lit churches and I've never had an issue.
Correction looks good Ed ...
I took several samples for white balance from your correction .... it's pretty darn close ;)
Thanks BC. That's very helpful. I generally shoot in aperture priority as well but I'll give your system a try in the church. I don't usually have any issues with weddings (I only shoot family weddings). But this one includes a niece (bride) who has very precise ideas about how the wedding is going to proceed. A bit like a sergeant major! This includes having most of the photos done before the ceremony in the early afternoon, in wide open spaces overlooking a beach. I'm hoping the day will be somewhat overcast. My sister and I do have big reflectors and powerful flash equipment - and good Canon cameras/lenses. Besides the church venue and the open spaces, we have the bride's wedding group getting ready on one side of the Margaree River and groom's party on the other side - so there will be quite a bit of running around. I expect I'll be exhausted after this one! I'm looking forward to the next wedding in October which will be held in one venue in an old downtown building. The bride is open to an industrial-type streetscape background for some of the photos which should be fun. Thanks again.
Deb .... br br Your a pro so you know that you p... (
Thanks BC. That's very helpful. I generally shoot ... (
I meant to say shutter priority during the processional and then switch back to aperture priority once everyone was in their places. I remember one time in a very dark Mission when it was very dark outside that I had each bridesmaid, flower girl and the Bride/father stop halfway down the corridor upon my hand gesture, then let everyone admire them (about 5 seconds) and then I would gesture them to continue their walk. During that 5 seconds I would fire off about 3 pictures and of the shutter could be very slow, usually around 1/30. It worked fine and frankly it was nice to have that 5 seconds so everyone could enjoy having a good look, so often wedding parties zip down the processional way to fast ;)