My big adventures in France started with a good friends wedding. I was hoping to have purchased a good flash by the time I arrived but that didn’t happen. I wasn’t really planning on taking any pictures at the wedding since not only was I in the wedding party and probably wouldn’t have time, I also suck at photos of people. While it is something I want to work on, it really isn’t in the direction I want to take my photography.
After a 7hr flight starting with a 4hr delay in Toronto, I arrived in Paris. I had used Aeroplan miles to purchase Executive Class tickets for the flight so I was a little rested. I met up with two friends at Charles de Gaulle and then picking another up in Orly before we all started the 4hr drive to Saintes. I had mapped out possible locations along the way in case we wanted to stop. The 4hr delay pretty much took that option off the table as we were pretty tired and didn’t really stop until we got there. It was a smart idea to have them already mapped just in case, but the time didn’t present itself.
My initial plan for the arrival in Saintes was to try and take some pictures of the city that night and possibly the morning before the wedding. It was really a ‘Nice to Have ‘, so I wasn’t upset when it didn’t happen. I brought my camera with me when we went out for dinner, and took a few shots of our larger group as we slowly came together on the terrasse of a small cafe along the river. I was at a pretty high ISO knowing full well my T1i couldn’t handle it all that well. It did do a pretty good job, so I think I have to try figuring out the optimum setting for these conditions. It would have been nice to have a nice flash, but as I have no idea on how to use one, it probably would have only helped a little. I think a flash is at the top of my list of things I have to learn about next.
I was lucky enough to meet a fellow photographer and we got into talking about gear (like all photographers do I guess ). She is does excellent work, so check her out.
I was pretty tired the next morning, so skipped the whole picture thing and just had a small breakfast and hung out with friends. I really wasn’t in any mood to explore. Besides, I would have wanted to get up way earlier to get the best light and I was there for the wedding and fully planned on being in my best state for it.
The wedding was perfect and an exceptional night followed. Great people, great food, great wine (we were in Bordeaux region). As people danced, and the smoke machine starting filling up the room, I decided to get out my camera and 50mm f1.8 to see how much I could push high ISO through my camera. The final pictures were widely inconstant. Some look great, some very grainy, some blurred from movement and camera shake. I am sure once I analyze the setting I will get a better idea of what works.
The issues are the generic issues that you would think. I kept the shutter speed above what I can handle, and way over twice the focal length. I didn’t pay 100% attention to my setting but I should have. This is another example where I have to do some testing. I tend to say that a lot, but I think it is time to do it. Work keeps me pretty busy, but I should somehow find the time.
So, things I have to test based on this event:
- Working with High ISO
- Working with f1.8 – f2.8