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Ambassadors Programme

Ambassador

Jeff Ascough

Jun06

On the streets of London

By Jeff Ascough, Monday June 06, 2016
The most successful image. Shot as we were literally running to stay ahead of the bridal party. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with an EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens; the exposure was 1/50sec at f/3.5, ISO 800.

The most successful image. Shot as we were literally running to stay ahead of the bridal party. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with an EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens; the exposure was 1/50sec at f/3.5, ISO 800. © Jeff Ascough

One of the things I love about photographing any city wedding is the possibility of experiencing all sorts of unexpected challenges. No matter how much planning and preparation goes into an event, human nature can often tear up a schedule and cause the wedding to go in a completely different direction. Dealing with those challenges and producing great pictures under pressure is one of the reasons why I am still shooting weddings 26 years after I first started.

These images were taken in London just after the bride and groom decided that they would walk from the church to the reception rather than travel on the London Bus which they had hired for the day. It was a spontaneous and unexpected decision and both Sarah and I had to completely change what we had planned to do. The original plan was to go with one photographer downstairs in the bus and one upstairs. Now we were literally running to get ahead of the wedding party while looking for images and visually fighting the bumper to bumper traffic and general public. The route the couple decided to take was the quickest to the venue but it was not the most picturesque; modern, faceless buildings (many of which were under construction), and lots of stationary vehicles lined the street. Not ideal for any creative photography.

I got ahead of the couple and took some pictures of them reflected in the windows next to pavement. Those windows quickly gave way to corrugated steel barriers which wrapped around some of the buildings and I had to move on. I was happy with the window pictures on my side of the road, but felt I needed to get a defining image from that part of the day. I increased my distance ahead of the couple and saw a possible picture. On the other side of the street there was a very modern looking building with huge glass windows and louvred walls. I figured that this would make a great picture if I could get the couple reflected in the glass and if there was a break in the traffic. As the couple moved up the road I stayed with the shot and took a couple of images. The colour image was the most successful.

It is ironic that the steel barrier which caused me a problem a few moments earlier is the one element that makes the colour image work. Without the light grey background the couple and their guests would have just disappeared into the shadows and I wouldn’t have got my picture. The lines of the building add to the composition and the window frames help to break up the image leaving the bride and groom on their own. The distortion of the glass adds some interest to the figures and adds to the feel of the image.

The decision to leave this picture in colour wasn’t an easy one especially given the unusual colour temperature of the reflected part of the image and the warmth of the building and pavement. The shot works almost as well in black and white, as do the previous pictures, but the position of the green stripes in the frame helps to divide the guests from the bride and groom and allow the couple to become the most important part of the frame.

This image was taken seconds earlier. The background wasn't as interesting to my eye. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with an EF24-70mm f2.8L II USM lens; the exposure was 1/25sec at f/3.5, ISO 800.

This image was taken seconds earlier. The background wasn't as interesting to my eye. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with an EF24-70mm f2.8L II USM lens; the exposure was 1/25sec at f/3.5, ISO 800. © Jeff Ascough

A few moments earlier still and this is the picture I shot from the same side of the street that I was on. The traffic was a nightmare. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III, with an EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens; the exposure was 1/50sec at f/3.5, ISO 800.

A few moments earlier still and this is the picture I shot from the same side of the street that I was on. The traffic was a nightmare. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III, with an EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens; the exposure was 1/50sec at f/3.5, ISO 800. © Jeff Ascough