The Visual Vocabulary of Wedding Photography.
~ by Shivali Chopra
Mastering the perspective exaggeration
The magnificence of Indian weddings is synonymous to, and rightly subjected to, the broadened perspectives of an ultra-wide angle lens such as the Sony SEL1224G Lens. It not only adds to the drama of the moment but it also lets you play with perspective exaggeration; the way you want.
For instance, the unique perspective distortion ‒ where relative sizes and distances between the objects and the camera are exaggerated ‒ in this particular shot brought that depth and focus on the bride and groom, who are the closest, while making the subjects behind them appear even smaller and further away.
How to put those tricks to use
Now, to get this effect the appealing way is as challenging as to get by through the ho-hum of Indian weddings. A compact, lightweight lens that you understand like the back of your hand goes a long way. Each set focal length on the FE 12-24mm F4 G lens produces a unique to itself effect.
I shot this moment with the aperture set at f/4.0 at 12mm, at the widest! Combining the intent with a close focus distance, an ultra-wide wide focal length, and aperture ensured I could include everyone’s reaction, even the priest’s hands getting the rings back from the groom.
The visual dominance in the outcome also depends on the angle from which the composition is built; lines converge from the edges of the images upwards, towards each other when the subjects appear from the bottom. In other words, positioning the bride and groom from a certain angle, in this case a bottom-approaching angle, made the top of the image converge from edge to edge. This develops a focus that is less on the background and more on the bride and groom, yet rendering a shot that’s full of depth and drama, including everyone reacting to the action of the moment.
That stated, a lightweight camera paired with your lens that helps you experiment different angles through a tiltable screen largely extends your reach to capture moments from angles and places that are difficult to approach, especially at crowded Indian wedding shoots.
Overcoming situational challenges
While on photo shoots, especially while covering Indian weddings, I always prefer placing myself close to the subjects, which I could do at ease for this shit with the widest focal length at my disposal. For a wide lens, the Sony SEL1224G Lens is pretty small, easily getting me into small corners, for this picture, effortlessly placing me literally next to the priest, making it sure that I convey the story in just a single shot. Its new design significantly reduces overall length and front element size while maintaining the highest possible performance at a mere 565 grams!
With stunning, refined, clear, and ultra-wide corner-to-corner G Lens resolution, as brought out in this shot, and at all apertures, this lens stands true for a versatile range of photography genres. Besides adding agile mobility and quiet, fast, precise autofocus needed in short ranges while maintaining minimal movements at Indian weddings full of people; it counteracts the difficulties for cumbersome exercises, be it shooting movies or stills.
At such a short range as the one I was at, with so many people in the frame, the advanced inner-focus mechanism driven by Sony’s Direct Drive SSM system for fast, accurate autofocus lock-on does deserve its credit for a smooth, quiet operation.
Keeping the essence intact
A complete-in-itself wedding composition conveys not just the subjects but walks you through the moment with each element in it, engulfing you in that moment’s environment. It conveys emotions in its essence. No matter which technique you apply, there are only two factors that make the composition true; one, your signature photographer’s take, two, the gear that enables you to realize your vision through accessibility, quality and versatility. The SEL1224G lens is, certainly, a frequenter in my photography kit for its refined ultra-wide-angle optics to capture expansive scenes such as these, in outstanding resolution and clarity.
About Shivali Chopra
I discovered photography when my grandfather presented me with my first camera. I was fascinated by the craft and knew I had found my calling. I spent the next few years chasing light and capturing moments as I documented weddings. I have been lucky enough to experience everything from a small intimate wedding to grand celebrations across the world. I've found that there will always be more to learn and it is this journey that takes us from strength to strength. I look forward to following my calling and seeing where it takes me.
Story Stats & Gear Used:
|Lens||FE 12-24mm F4 G|
|Focal Length||(130, 10)|
|Shutter Speed||(7965784, 1000000)|
Sony Alpha 9 Full-frame Mirrorless camera - Made for professionals.
G Lens ultra-wide-angle zoom lens.