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Wedding Photographer Sussex. Martin Beddall shares a wedding photography technique.

At Wedding Photography Select, we don't just want to show you the best images from the best wedding photographers around the world. We want to tell you a little story behind them as well. The idea, the execution, the result. As this section grows, we want to give you an in depth description of each of the shots taken by some of the very best wedding photographers. We hope it proves to be inspiring and insightful.

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There is one question I get all the time about this image - is it a double exposure? It’s not. In fact it’s a very straightforward image but I think people like it because it doesn’t look simple. It’s just a question of the right light, the right angle and at the right time.

The bride had arrived in a black London taxi cab for her wedding in the OBE chapel at St Paul’s cathedral in central London. I had actually tried a shot from the other side of the cab but the reflections were ugly and all you could see were passing tourists looking in but the bride was not visible. I walked round to the other side and the bride had her door open, and being a bit early, she was chatting to her bridesmaids in their cab. It was a hard picture to miss. It was a case of grab it quick before she looked elsewhere or the window was wound down.

I shot it on a Nikon D3S, with a 24-70 f2.8 lens ( 1/250th @ f2.8 and 200iso ). That’s the unusual bit - that I used a zoom lens! I usually shoot with just fast prime lenses and in over three years this was only the third time I’d taken a zoom instead. I tend to vary the kit to each wedding but it’s mainly a 28/1.8 or 24/1.4, the 58mm/1.4, 85/1.4 and the Zeiss versions of the 50mm & 135mm. But I have a print of this image several feet across, it’s pin sharp, which is testament to the D3S and that 24-70 lens.

The lens is pressed up (almost) against the glass of the open door but is slightly angled back. So it picks up the reflection of the cathedral in the glass of the door and even the front of the cab, then the bride, the back of the cab and then the cathedral again in the background. It is layers. No external lighting, just natural light, metering off the bride who we can see clearly thanks to the reflections. Flat light was key here. The effect is enhanced with the image in B&W ( I use Silver Efex pro2 ) - so no distracting blue sky or bright orange door handle - but a nice range of tones. It makes it a harder image to decipher.

It’s an image that has done well for me, picking up a few awards, including ‘Professional Photographer of the Year’. I know the couple love it but also it’s nice for me that it seems to be an image that other photographers like too.





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