One of the challenges of wedding photography is getting a unique and different (close up – macro shot) of the bride and groom’s wedding rings. At some weddings a theme just pops out you, at others a little more hunting for a theme is involved. At Lillie and Jeff’s wedding the idea was right there on the table at the reception. Each table was decorated with a Lucky Bamboo Plant which is thought to bring good fortune in Chinese culture. While bringing good luck is one feature of the plant, another is the ability of the plant to hold the wedding rings steady and allow different placements.
One step in process down (picking the theme), one more to go (getting a great looking photo). After placing the rings on the bamboo, I first tried to photograph them at the table. The rings and the bamboo looked fine, the background looked very cluttered. So the next step was to move the rings and bamboo over to table where the wine glasses were. The table was pretty much empty and that allowed me to shot in any direction and get a cleaner background. Depending on the circumstances I normally use a tripod for the ring photo. I didn’t have the tripod with me at the reception, so I was going to have to make one “MacGyver style”.
The first attempt to photograph the bamboo plant involved using a empty wine bottle box and resting the camera vertically on it. This gave a much improved background, but it still wasn’t right. The next step was to put the bamboo plant on an empty box, and then put a second box under the camera. This cleared the background even more, but it still wasn’t perfect. Because the camera was still pointing down a little to much I put my wallet under the lens hood to raise the angle of the camera. That was close, but not perfect (not enough money in the wallet I guess). I then pulled out my car keys and put them on top of my wallet under the lens hood. Finally I had to right angle. Also I was out of things to put under the lens hood. Because I was shooting in a rather dark restaurant, a rather long shutter exposure was required. Also empty wine bottle boxes aren’t really designed to hold a camera steady, so I had to use the 10 second shutter delay to stop all the shaking.
The wedding ring photo below was made with a Canon 5D Mark2 with an 85mm 1.8 lens and a Canon extension tube EF25. The image was taken at ISO 2000 for a during of 1/2 second at f22. Fill light was added by a Canon 580ex speedlite that was slaved with the Canon speedlite transmitter ST-E2 to add that extra sparkle.