Photo Of The Day: A Beautiful Dance Floor Panoramic By Oli Sansom

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Wedding Photographer Melbourne, Australia
Bundanoon Trust. Sydney
Wedding Photographer Oli Sansom

I’m a photographer and creative educator based out of Melbourne, Australia.

You know – the bride and groom, Andew and Sarah, were a beautiful curve ball. Art lovers and makers, the day was entirely classy and smooth. And then at some point, shirts were ripped off and beers flying across the room – and it was game on. Credit is due to Sydneys vinyl DJ The Vintage Stylus for ramping the party up!

The Shot

This is an amalgamation of images from the reception. I like to shoot closely on a 24mm lens – it gives a beautiful and immersive feel.

Photography has never been about the truth, and it never will be – it’s an interpretive craft. The moment we put the camera up to our face, we’re selecting just one part of the story of what’s in front of us. In the past – photographers amplified or reduced “micro-truths” in an image in the darkroom. Today we do it in photoshop.

So since it’s not about truth, where does that leave us? With a dance that’s somewhere between what feels authentic, and what feels inauthentic – there’s no way of leaving our mark off the images we make.

With that in mind, I’m constantly looking for new ways of telling a wider story of a moment or a set of moments, in ways that haven’t been done before.

When I realised that this entire party was set against a black sky, I found that my speedlite, which I was using to bounce off the roof, created a beautiful and consistent cut-out of everyone I was photographing. Light bathed them beautifully, almost as if they were studio shots. I quickly realised I could stitch these together, and experiment with a new panorama, one that had never been done before, let alone at a wedding.

It didnt’ take too much time – the winning images kinda stood out all on their own, so this image, in some ways, made itself. The end result is a composite image that gives the best representation of what this party actually felt like when stood in the middle of it all – gloriously, ridiculously wild!

Techinical Details

I used 5DMKIII, with a 24L, and a speedlite bouncing off a ceiling high above them. The technical challenges were in stitching it all together. A sense of proportion had to be kept in mind, and some careful dodging and burning so that at a glance, it looked like it wouldnt be unreasonable that it’s in fact a single scene!

I meter by eye, and I always have highlight-peaking on. Let’s be real – with some artistic exceptions, unless we’re doing highly demanding studio work that requires absolute consistency, the way to approach digital shooting now is simply to have as much usable data in the raw file as possible. For me, this means aiming to have a reasonably balanced exposure, with no useful highlights that are blown out.

Post processing was limited to very careful dodging, burning, and spot healing. Spot healing/spotting images is probably one of the most important and under-used rudimentary techniques that’s left out of a lot of editing, that can make the biggest difference!

I love the final image, because I was pretty thrilled to make a single frame that represented how an entire reception felt, as well as bring a new technique to the industry. The couple were stoked because like a where’s Wally image, they can look deep into it and find heaps of beautiful, hilarious little micro-stories happening with their friends and family.

Wedding Photographer Australia

Wedding Photography Select’s Thoughts.

Just wonderful. We can’t say anymore.

Our ‘Photo Of The Day‘ is a carefully selected image to help inspire you for your big day. Whether you’re a couple getting married or a wedding photographer shooting your next wedding, we want to show you great wedding photographers that think outside the box.  Each image we share has a lovely story behind it, whether it’s the technical details behind each shot or how the photographer arrived at the creative decision to capture it in all it’s glory.  Here at WPS & The Select Bride we’re passionate about great images, great wedding photographers and inspiring you at every turn.

If you want your image featured, we now accept open submissions via our Submissions Form.

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