Light is a photographer’s best friend. But wedding photographers are at the mercy of the location they’re shooting – there is little control or time to carefully compose that ‘perfect photo’. Delivering images of the most important day of a couple’s life comes down to knowing how to work with the light available.
As any photographer will know, no two weddings are ever the same and each one will pose a fresh set of challenges when it comes to mastering light. This could be capturing newlyweds bathed in Majorca’s legendary, yet fleeting golden hour or turning the dreary skies of the Scottish Lowlands into a dramatic backdrop.
Either way, ensuring you have the right equipment to ‘pursue light’ will ensure the resulting images are truly special.
A marriage of light and imaging power
Nikon’s Z system is built around the world’s widest 55mm lens mount. With just 16mm between the mount and the camera’s full-frame image sensor, more light can reach the sensor, therefore providing more opportunity to create and experiment. This, combined with an unrivalled speed and 4k video capabilities, means the potential to work magic with light is greater than ever.
Following the amazing results we saw from the Pursuit of Light: Nature challenge earlier this year, we challenged some of Europe’s most inspiring and exciting wedding photographers to use light to create breath-taking imagery using the Nikon Z 7, Z 6 and S-line lenses.
By experimenting with the golden hour, light and shade, and how light enables those ‘fleeting moments’ – like the groom’s first look at the bride – to come to life, we’ve seen some stunning images produced.
Follow #PursuitOfLight on Instagram to discover more.
Tali Photography experiments with the Golden Hour
Tali Photography’s images make you feel as if you’ve jumped straight into a fairy tale. The photographs captured by German sister duo Tali and Claudia, balance a high-fashion eye with a natural celebration of love. This is clearly testament to a decade’s worth of experience, shooting some of the most beautiful weddings across many an exotic destination, alongside their high-performance equipment.
So, where did it all begin for this inspiring photography duo? Tali’s work as a photographer started in art and fashion magazines. However, after several requests for her services when her friends got married, she realised she could transfer this artistic vision to an area of photography that perhaps needed some creative injection.
“Wedding photography has changed so much in the last ten years. It’s now all about breaking the rules of ‘normal compositions and set ups’ to create something unique but natural. We love experimenting with light, the bride and groom and the gown to achieve beautiful images.”
For this shoot, Tali Photography used California’s famous Golden Hour to capture shots of couple Jamie and Glenn in Palm Springs.
“As you can see from this shot, it’s all about the gown. The Z 6’s ISO range of 100-51,200 means it is a real master of light – incredibly useful as we looked to use the setting sun to frame this beautiful couple and the bride’s stunning dress.”
“The silent shutter is equally handy, as it doesn’t distract from the intimate moment you’re shooting. Having this capability meant we could capture the love and emotion between Jamie and Glenn, right in the moment.”
Showcasing unique stories with The Kitcheners
Moving from Palm Springs to Scotland to follow another talented photography duo, this time consisting of husband and wife Dylan and Joanna – known as The Kitcheners.
Dylan and Joanna have been capturing wedding stories around the globe since 2011, a job which enables them to pursue their love of the great outdoors, adventure and people.
“We’re passionate about the real emotions, the honest moments and capturing how it all really felt. And that’s impossible to do without using the light!”
The Kitcheners’ photographic style offers a soft focus, which experiments with the light and shade of the surroundings.
For this challenge, the duo captured two weddings focusing on both the golden hour and light and shade, using the Z 6’s 24.5MP of imaging power to capture the most intricate of details.
“Light is fleeting so often it can be a race against time to capture the perfect moment. This was certainly the case for the wedding portrait shoot in Spain, where we only had a few minutes of golden light left to work with.
With the incredible IBIS (in-built image stabilisation) allowing photos to be captured at a lower shutter speed than ever before and the ultra-fast shutter speed of 1/8000, the Nikon Z6 has us covered in every outdoor situation from bright midday sun to after dusk.
Using the FTZ adapter we were also able to use our favourite F-mount lens, the NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G. Combined with the Nikon Z 6, this allowed us to capture everything in full, sharp detail at the lens’ widest aperture of f/1.8.”
“One of our favourite parts during the wedding day is the private first look between the bride and groom. This photo was taken in the woods, just a short distance from the wedding venue on a cold and rainy day in the Scottish Highlands.
The first look can quite often be an emotional moment so being discreet and non-distracting is crucial to documenting it honestly. Moments like this only happen once so we chose to use the NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S for its fast, quiet and sharp focus. We’re so confident with the tack-sharp focusing that we captured this image wide open at f/1.8 to separate the couple from the background.”
Additional photography equipment used
In addition to the Nikon Z 7 and Z 6, each photographer was provided a NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S or NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S lens, all which have been designed to be faster, quieter and sharper than any lenses before.
The FTZ adapter also meant they could use their favourite F-mount lenses with the Z 7 and Z 6 where needed.
For more information on the equipment, visit: https://www.nikon.co.uk/en_GB/products/category_pages/digital_cameras/mirrorless/overview.page