I’ve photographed several weddings at Clearwell Castle over the past few years, with many of them being winter weddings. Ben & Karen’s extravaganza was no exception and started out on a crisp but bright December day. An early downpour soon cleared making way for the sun, which came bursting though and provided us with a fantastic rainbow arching over the church of St Peter’s where the wedding ceremony would later take place. Low winter sun however, can be somewhat challenging to deal with, as I later find out when back inside St Peter’s Church for the ceremony itself.
(Note: this bit of waffle gets geek!) It’s already a very dark church, making photography particularly difficult, yet on this occasion the sun was at such an angle in the sky it streamed in through the main window and illuminated just a single spot in the church with maximum intensity. In many ways this could also be considered a blessing, divine intervention maybe, it certainly helped photographing anything/one in it’s path. If however I wished to include something in it’s path and also something marginally alongside it (but in the shade) that was going to be possible. Ask any photographer about dynamic range and they’ll soon tell you; cameras aren’t as capable at dealing with the spectrum of light our eyes can see, yet in this situation my eyes could barely cope either! So it was either one or the other, as you’ll later see from the photos. You’re in, or you’re out, was my take on it!
This however wan’t the only challenge presenting itself. I also needed to be prepared for the chilly weather, fogging up of lenses, rushing from a-b at speed, horses that can be unpredictable, whilst still capturing all the formalities but somewhat briskly as no-one wants to stand around in 5 degrees on a wedding day. Add to this the lottery that is photographing fireworks and my day was set to be a test of my skills. Thankfully I’m reckoning I stepped up to the plate at knocked this one out the ball park, or at least cleared a home run whilst outfielders scuffled about! What I’m saying here is, winter weddings are twice as challenging as the summer ones, yet rarely perceived so by outsiders. It’s theses nuances that test my physical and mental endurance during a 9hr wedding day, yet leave me delirious with delight once I finally review all the photos and have a great set of images to show for it. I’m pretty sure weddings at Clearwell Castle in winter will always give me a real sense of achievement and hopefully Ben & Karen’s photos will allow them to relive the day.
St Peter’s Church, Clearwell. Bathed in golden winter light with a rainbow to boot too!
Only moments after Karen wrote a note and had it delivered to Ben, in came the best man with a card for her too….
Christian Louboutin….could you tell?
“Pull….. tighter, pull, I can still breath!”
That’ll be the very bright sunlight in just one place. EPIC indeed, but also a challenge if I wanted to see (with my camera) any other parts of the church in the same frame! Did I mention dynamic range? Well your eyes can see a range of around 24 stops (by the pupil dilating), whereas a camera can only really record around 8 stops in one scene. So in this scenario you can’t have your cake and eat it. It’s firmly one or the other!
“Hands up who’s got the sun in their eyes?”
I love how the confetti stands out against the dark background of this doorway. It’s a lovely photo up close too (zoomed in) as their expressions aren;t spoilt by rouge confetti either.
Smile for the guests…..
…ahh okay, stick your tongues out then!
Carrol singing at Clearwell Castle clearly went down well with this lady.
Check It Out!
The fireworks worked out great on timing today (set off around 4:30pm).
If you have them early enough there’s still a little light left in the sky to create this fantastic blue background to the explosions!
Clearly a top class grooms speech if the bride sheds a tear.
If you’ve been looking for weddings at Clearwell Castle and like these photos, please contact me for a chat about your day.