ohannesburg Wedding PhotographersPlainly stated, exposure is a state of vulnerability. More specifically and when thinking about wedding photography in Johannesburg or anywhere else in South Africa, exposure is the amount of light being reflected off your wedding couple and falling onto your wedding camera’s image sensor. It stands to reason that the more light which you allow into your professional wedding photography camera, the more saturated with light your image sensor would become. Thats obvious to anyone… The converse is also true in that if you limit the amount of light entering your camera, you’ll experience a resultant decrease in exposure. An uncomplicated analogy…To explain exposure is to imagine light as being random particles or rays and your aim is to trap one thousand of these tiny particles into a small black box. You get faced with two scenarios, firstly one in which you find yourself on the surface of the sun! To trap a thousand particles or rays there, your common sense would tell you to open the box for a very short time to let your required quota of particles inside your box.

No problem, there is light everywhere so your box gets filled quickly. Second scenario, place yourself on the dark side of the moon or in a dimly lit wedding reception venue where you are well shielded from the suns influence. In order to fill your box you would need to take the lid off the box for a very long time if you wanted to stand any chance of catching these elusive rays. You find yourself keeping the box open for a considerable time and you still may not necessarily meet your one thousand light particle quota.

Let’s transpose the above analogy into photo-graphical terms on the wedding shoot day. Replace the word box in the above sentences with the word wedding camera, and replace the word lid with the term shutter. On the suns surface you would logically opt for a very fast shutter speed (in the order of milliseconds) to try to limit the number of light particles or rays entering your wedding camera and falling onto your image sensor, because, too many light particles will unquestionably over expose your brilliant wedding photograph and ruin it making you question your abilities as a wedding photographer in Johannesburg! Now going back to the moon or that very dimly lit wedding venue, a very slow shutter speed in the order of minutes or hours would ensure that you do not under expose your image sensor to light rays, and ultimately produce a photo which is too dark. Of-course thats naturally impossible at any wedding photographer in Gauteng…

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An example of high F-stop Johannesburg wedding photography where the aperture is tiny and the light rays entering the camera are highly collomated to ensure a deep focus, as sharp as possible.

It’s important to remember that exposure and aperture go hand in hand with one another and that one can never consider either in isolation of the other. When timing a shoot, and your subject is in motion, make sure you never go below 1/200 of a second. Doing so will result in blurry wedding photographs for which you will not be very popular when handing over your package to the bridal couple clients. If by setting your wedding camera to 1/200 or faster puts your in screen light meter miles to the left of neutral, try decreasing the F-Stop or increasing the ISO. Remember that increasing the ISO will mean the you sacrifice quality for eventual graininess, and lowering your F-Stop means you will get a very shallow depth of focus, and if you’ve focused on the face of the beautiful wedding bride, anything in your frame in-front or behind her will look very soft and blurred – also known as bokeh’ed!!