Photos from Ian and Briana’s Wedding

Ian and Angelika Walking Down the Aisle

My cousin Ian and his fiancée Briana got married last weekend (Labor Day weekend) in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. As it turns out, they live in the Chicago area (I believe), but they chose to have the wedding in the Charlotte area since many relatives (including Ian’s parents and my parents) live there.

Ian and Briana had their wedding at a botanical gardens in the area and it was lovely. There happened to be a 30% chance of rain on the day of the wedding, if memory serves, but it didn’t end up raining until quite later in the evening. The reception was held indoors, so the rain didn't have much of an effect on the festivities; and, even when people went outside for a smoke (or just to go outside), there also happened to be an awning around the circumference of the building.

It also so happened that this was one of the first opportunities I’ve had to make use of my Lightsphere flash diffuser. The basic idea with diffusers, if you’re not familiar with them, is that they serve to diffuse and scatter the light coming out of one’s flash in order to help reduce that portrait-in-the-headlights look that can be common to some cameras.

With the Lightsphere, like all diffusers, the enclosure attaches to the end of one's flash. On top of that, an additional strategy that’s often used — and one that I put to use — was to fire the flash upward to reflect it off the ceiling. In may sound a bit weird to fire, at first, but by firing the flash upward, the light becomes even more diffuse as it bounces off the ceiling (and then the walls and so on, a bit like billiard balls might travel across a pool table).

What ends up happening is that the light which may have formerly been harsh and direct is now much softer and generally absent of that yucky-flash look. This is all a good thing, but I can attest that it can take a little getting used-to. One adjustment (both on the part of the camera and its operator) is that the camera isn't always able to compensate for the longer distances that the light from its flash has to travel (up to the ceiling, off a wall, nothing but net and onto the subject).

Fortunately, this generally only requires a few minor adjustments to bump up the flash power; unfortunately, the operator has to remember to do so. In my case, I fell more into the latter category. Luckily, I was shooting entirely in RAW mode (well RAW+JPEG), so I had some leeway toward adjusting some of my shots that had ended up a tad underexposed as they came out of the camera. In the end, though, I was quite pleased with how things worked out. I had a great time at Ian and Briana’s wedding and the photography fun was just an added bonus.

Photos from Erica and Chris’ Wedding Reception

Kristin and Alison

My friends Erica and Chris got married near the end of May and I brought my camera along for their reception and took a few shots. I wasn’t the official photographer or anything — just some guy that brought his camera along to try his hand at a few shots.

Still, even though I’m pleased with how things turned out overall, I do regret that I wasn’t able to salvage any shots of Erica or Chris :(. As luck would have it, either the lighting was working against me during those shots, or other guests unknowingly ended up stepping into the frame at the time. D'oh!

As I did with my trip down to SXSW, I once again rented Canon’s 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens. That lens hasn’t let me down yet and I probably ought to buy it outright rather than simply stuffing the pockets of the lens-rental companies ;). (All kidding aside, came through for me yet again and their service has been great.)

Photos from Jenny’s Wedding

Well, it's been a couple weeks since Jenny's wedding and I’m ready to post some photos. (Oh, and I’ve also signed up for Flickr. Nifty, eh? Well, more to the point, Bryan was generous to give me a Flickr Pro account. What a nice guy!)

I was only there four days and I took just 18 photos; I’ve posted 10 online. If nothing else, I was reminded once more that my camera really likes daylight and doesn't take kindly to underlit indoor shots. Still, I can’t complain too much — the indoor shots were at ISO 800 and they turned out less badly than I thought they would ;).

Standard photo-entry text: All my photos are released under a Creative Commons license which roughly states that you’re free to “copy, distribute, display, and perform the work”. Also, I’ve resized all the images to 1280-width before uploading them as it can be a bit hard to get your head around a full 5 MP image. However, if you want the full-resolution version of any images, just ask.

PS It’s semantic geekiness time. I was thinking about including one of the photos inline within this post but I just couldn’t decide on what CSS class to give it. I initially considered “” but what if I included an inline image in a later post that wasn’t a photo but rather screenshot or something? My current favorite, in fact, may be “img.inline-image” but, then again, they wouldn’t really be inline in the CSS “display” sense (as I had planned on floating them in one direction, at least for now). Maybe “img.image-inside-post” or “img.featured-image”?

Jury Duty Next Tuesday

I’m flying off to England tomorrow as my cousin Jenny is getting married. I’ll be flying into London (Heathrow) but the wedding itself is in Beaconsfield (map). As it turns out, I’m flying there by way of Miami (yeah, I didn’t expect that one either) and after the layover plus the time change, I end up getting there on Thursday morning. Yeah, I’m sure I’ll be wiiide awake after that one ;).

Fortunately, my flight back is only on Sunday — the wedding is on Saturday — and so I have at least a few days to get acclimated to the time change. On the other hand, I get back Sunday evening and (surprise, surprise), I have work on Monday. But, I’m not going to look forward to spilled milk (or something). I'm just determined to relax and have a fun time. My whole family will be there and I’m looking forward to seeing all of them and spending some time with my extended family as well.

Then, on Tuesday, I have jury duty. I received notice for this a couple weeks ago and I counted my lucky stars that it didn’t coincide with this wedding. For any Dallasites reading, it’s at the Frank Crowley Courts Building which I believe is kinda in the West End. And while I'd normally reserve such trite commentary for its title attribute, that page for the Frank Crowley Courts Building has some truly hideous web design. What, are we still living in 1995?

I’ve never been to jury duty, so I don’t have much of an idea about what to expect. Interestingly enough, the jury summons includes a tear-off form asking for various information about me. Much of it is ordinary and expected — “name”, “date of birth” and so on — but why do they care about my “religious preference”? And, for that matter, my race? The form does appear mandatory, but it does make me a bit uneasy that they’d have any use for some of those tidbits.

From what I gather, there’ll be a lot of waiting around, so I’ll be sure to bring a book (perhaps my copy of The Tipping Point, unless I bring it on my trip to England and finish reading it there). And, I was about ask about whether I’d be allowed to bring my iPod (filled with NPR, natch) but I just ran across this D Magazine blog entry on jury duty which says that it’s apparently ok. And besides what I should or shouldn’t bring along, I’m also curious about how long it lasts — assuming for a moment that I’m not selected for the jury, I’m guessing this would this be an all-day thing? Anyway, if you’ve already been to jury duty, I’m open to any suggestions on what to expect or other tips.

Bryan & Lyn’s Wedding — Photos

There’ve been several blogger weddings over the past couple months and I've finished processing my photos for Bryan and Lyn’s wedding. Bryan has been clamoring for some pictures and I would have given him a TrackBack to his post but I couldn't find a TrackBack URL ;).

In all, I took 87 photos and I’ve posted 17 in the gallery. Though I haven’t taken photographs at that many weddings, the lighting seemed particularly tough this time around. It was a bit dim inside, which would normally imply a flash, but my camera doesn’t have TTL flash compensation (variable flash based on the available light). So, my camera compensated by extending the exposure times which created some interesting effects of its own.

Standard photo-entry text: All my photos are released under a Creative Commons license which roughly states that you’re free to “copy, distribute, display, and perform the work”. Also, I’ve resized all the images to 1024-width before uploading them as it can be a bit hard to get your head around a full 5 MP image. However, if you want the full-resolution version of any images, just ask.