Today is part two of frame by frame! I am really excited about this series because it give me the opportunity to share some details about how and why I took the photograph. If you find this post helpful, please share in the comments below! This will help me to know what posts you want to see in the future!!
As photographers, we know that the detail on the dress is typically one of the bride's favorite things about the dress. I have found that shooting film helps to illuminate the image in a soft way without losing detail in the whites. You can also accomplish this with digital, but it can be a little more challenging.
I rode with the bride in the limo because those pictures were important to her, so after we arrived at the church I had approximately five minutes to photograph the dress. And after you take out the stuffing and carefully remove the dress from the protective cover, that's not a lot of time. As I walked into the church, the first thing that I noticed was that it was dark. No natural light. I considered my options and then walked across the hall from where she was getting ready, through two sets of double doors and fell in love with the solid wood doors that were naturally lit. Finally, some natural light with a backdrop that the bride would love.
I typically photograph the dress with the rest of the details, but the bride had the dress delivered by the designer's assistant to the church on the day of the wedding. This dress was crazy beautiful and took quite a bit of time to get into so the designer's assistant came and helped the bride.
With the dress hanging on the wooden doors that were naturally lit, I photographed this dress: Fuji 400H (rated at 200), 1/125, f/2.0. And do you see that gorgeous bokeh? I have the zeiss lens to thank for that. I didn't use a reflector because of all of the natural light that was pouring into that little space. And I didn't use a light meter, but I know that if I had exposed at 1/60 then I would have lost some of the detail and softness that this photograph retains.
If I was photographing this dress with digital, then I would have bumped my ISO to 320 and shot at 1/250, f/2.2. In post, I would have recovered some of the whites and increased the contrast. The photograph would still have the detail, but it wouldn't be as illuminated as the photograph above. Digital definitely has its place in my workflow, but film typically wins with the dress.