Fforest Ffotos…

Another month has gone since I posted anything on here! Where the hell is 2011 disappearing to?! Things have been pretty busy though, which is good. I’ve had quite a few wedding shoots in relatively short succession. I don’t think I’m going to do separate posts for all of them, but just pick and choose my favourites. First up, some shots from another fantastic weekend I spent at Fforest in Wales.

It wasn’t the first time I’ve made the six hour (or whatever it is) trip to the Pembrokeshire camp site. I was there in 2010 shooting (and generally attending) the wedding of my very good friends Phil & Stacey. Considering it was in the same place, with more-or-less the same itinerary for the day, it was amazing how different Griff & Vicky’s wedding felt as an event. I think the addition of a lot of kids made quite a difference. The whole thing felt incredibly informal (especially by wedding standards), but it suited me pretty well. Aside from the one, full group shot, there were pretty much no staged shots, so I spent the whole day shooting candids which was great. Thankfully too, my sun dance paid off and we were blessed with two beautifully hot (almost too hot at times) and sunny days which made the whole thing a lot more pleasant. I’m really not sure what I’d do if I was there and it was chucking it down with rain. I’ve probably jinxed myself now. Anyway, here are some photos…

While I was there, and roughly knowing the lie of the land, I thought that I’d use the outdoor opportunity to try out a time lapse as well. I was quite fortunate that in the year since I’d been there, the guys at Fforest have built a solid structure back with a metal roof to the rear of the large tent where the ceremonies take place. This, luckily, faces due west with a really nice, clear view out across the valley. So, at about 5 o’clock I set up my back up Canon EOS 40D camera on the roof and left it merrily clicking away as the sun went down. It came out pretty well, so I thought I’d try and use it somewhere. The obvious solution seemed to be ¬†to do another slide show that could be uploaded to Vimeo. So that’s exactly what I did:

Overall the weekend was a great success (from my perspective anyway. Everyone else seemed to be having a good time too, though). I’m really pleased with the shoots I got and the video. I think one of the most satisfying parts of the process for me however was sorting out the travel logistics. I managed to get the whole thing down to a much cheaper, and more pleasurable mix of train-to-Cardiff-then-drive-to-Cardigan instead of the huge-roadtrip-from-London affair that Snoo and I did before. Especially as I was travelling alone, this was much nicer, far less tiring and, I think, much quicker solution. I also stayed in a lovely little B&B in Cardigan which meant I got a decent nights sleep, instead of just shivering under canvas.¬†Obviously, the more variables you add into the mix, the more there is to go wrong, but it’s certainly made me feel more positive about doing more weddings there in the future. We shall see.

New season starts here…

A couple of weeks ago I shot my first wedding of 2011. It was a really nice day, although it’s very easy to forget how hard a days work it actually is. Tiring as it might have been, I did enjoy it. The day was split between the service at Southwark Cathedral (which looked amazing inside, especially when shot in Black & White), then a short ride on the Thames Clipper to Greenwich for the reception at the excellent Trafalgar Tavern. The weather was pretty changeable across the day, but we largely lucked out and even got some glorious early spring sunshine through the cathedral windows during the service which was a bonus. I was pretty limited to what/where I could shoot during the service. The Canon 70-200mm f2.8 L USM lens which I hired (read more about that HERE) was a total life saver, and meant I could actually get some shots where the bride and groom weren’t just totally swallowed up by the incredible architecture of the building. Shooting without flash in the Cathedral also gave me the opportunity (or necessity, depending on how you look at it) to try out the high ISO on my Canon 5D-MkII. I was shooting largely at around the ISO 2000-2500 mark throughout the service, and for the most part, the shots came out well, and the noise levels weren’t unbearable, even after retouching. That thing is such a sweet piece of kit.

Anyway, that’s enough camera geekery for me; here are some photos. This is just a small selection of my favourites (There’s more to be seen on Flickr as well)…




Simon & Selena…


Simon & Selena’s Wedding, originally uploaded by Ben Grubb.

Today I finally finished editing the photos of another wedding I photographed at the end of August. It was another long, hard but hugely enjoyable and fun day. The bride, Selena, is a girl I went to school with (which was all far too long ago for my liking) but who, up until the middle of last year, I hadn’t really kept in touch with. We were friends on Facebook and then one day I randomly got a message from her asking if I did wedding photography. I’d had a few requests for it at the time, and it was an idea that I was coming round to, having not actually done any at the time. Fast forward tweleve months and I find myself in Chiddingstone Castle on a fortunately beautiful Saturday (a novelty in an otherwise dreary August) surrounded by a load more people who I hadn’t really seen much of since school. It was great, and I thoughly enjoyed myself.

Another exciting aspect was that I took the plunge and rented a Canon 5D-MkII and a Canon 24-70mm f2.8 USM lens for the day. I was starting to feel like I was riding my luck a little having only one camera body, and I’d been meaning to test out the 5D Mk-II for a while. I certainly didn’t regret it! I wasn’t sure if I’d notice too much of a difference, but I was staggered by how much sharper and clearer the images were. It was hard to give it back (although fortunately I did get it for a full bank holiday weekend so I could try it out in other situations which was nice). I’m saving up my pennies to get one next year. Maybe. Possibly. Hopefully.

Anyway, here’re are shots from the day. I’m really pleased with them, but then I guess when the location is that stunning it’s hard to take a bad photo…

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