Ghyll Manor Wedding

Ghyll Manor Wedding – Emily and Chris (and a bit about working with Prime lenses !)

In Review, Sony A7 series, Wedding, Zeiss by a Comment

Last Saturday we had the pleasure of photographing Emily & Chris’s wedding. This is our last wedding of the year ! Emily and Chris were married at Offington Methodist Church and then headed back to Ghyll Manor Hotel and Restaurant for their reception.

It was rather a cold, foggy day but we still managed to get outside for some of their photographs and had fun using a flash to light the fog 🙂

All the photos were taken using the Sony UK A7 series of cameras and the Carl Zeiss Lenses Batis series lenses. I’ve really loved working with prime lenses and the entire wedding was shot on prime lenses.

I love photographing weddings. Each one is an individual love story. It is a day when families and friends get together for a real celebration. There are less and less occasions that people get together nowadays because we all travel so much more and live so far apart. Emilys Grandparents unfortunately couldn’t make it to the wedding but Emily did take some time out to Facetime them and this is one area that technology is brilliant for; it can make the world seem a slightly smaller place and enable people to share those special moments.

If you follow my Facebook Page you’ll notice that I promised to write a bit more about each photo…. Well, I only used two lenses for the whole day. The Zeiss Batis 85mm f1.8 lens and the Zeiss Batis 25mm f2. I really do love these lenses and working with Prime lenses does make you work slightly differently. I know it may seem obvious but you end up having to move more to get the framing that you want for an image rather than turning a ring on the barrel of a lens. What this does give you is a consistency in the “look and feel” of the images because as you change the focal length of a lens you change the “compression” of the background. The other real advantage is that Prime lenses are designed to work at a single focal length… so there are no compromises in design to cope with the zoom range it needs to cover !


Ghyll Manor Wedding

This photo was taken on the Sony A7s using the Zeiss Batis 25mm f2 lens. The camera settings were ISO500 1/125 sec f5.6. Phill was crouched down behind the couple holding the Sony HVL-F60M flash unit. This was triggered using the Elinchrom universal skyport triggers. This wasn’t the most straight forward of things to get working when we first bought them but I wanted to use flash triggers that work with ALL my lights (studio lights, Quadras and speedlights) so I’ll write a separate blog post about the cables etc needed 🙂

What I wanted to do was to add a bit of drama and definition to the image, without the flash everything just looked flat and a bit washed out. This photo has been edited in both Lightroom and Photoshop to create the image that I saw in my head when I pressed the shutter button.


Ghyll Manor Wedding

As you can see from the location this photo was taken at a similar time as the one above but was taken on the Sony A7R2 with the Zeiss Batis 85mm f1.8 lens.  The camera settings were ISO250 1/160 sec f5.6. Again Phill was holding the Sony flash unit behind the couple but on a much lower power setting than the previous photo… but enough to add some light on to the brick work as well as creating the shafts of light through the fog. Again this has had some editing in both Lightroom and Photoshop. At the moment Photoshop still has the edge if you need to mask areas of an image… in this I wanted to change the colour of some of the foliage but not the brides bouquet that also had green tones in it.. it is this sort of editing that you still need Photoshop for even if I use Lightroom for 90% of what I do !


Ghyll Manor Wedding

This photo was taken on the Sony A7s using the Zeiss Batis 25mm f2 lens. The camera settings were ISO3200 1/160 sec f4. Phill was standing to my left with the Lowel id-light (video light with a tungsten bulb) to add some light on to the couple. What you can’t see are the crowds of people around us, the coffee tables we had moved to make a bit more space and the general hubbub of a wedding ! The Lowel id-light is something I’ve been working with for years and has certainly paid for itself many times over. It is dimmable and has barn doors fitted so we can control the amount of light and light fall off. You can also focus the beam of light or, in this case, spread the light out so light more of the couple. This does make it a very versatile light but as you can see you will still need to be working at quite high ISO’s although with modern cameras this is nowhere near the problem that it used to be 🙂 This photos has primarily been edited in Lightroom but then I removed a couple of distracting signs in Photoshop (this is one area in which Photoshop can still be better than Lightroom 🙂 )


Ghyll Manor Wedding

This photo was taken on the Sony A7RII using the Zeiss Batis 85mm f1.8 lens. The camera settings were ISO5o00 1/125 sec f1.8. This is one of the First Dance Photos…. I had the Sony flash unit mounted on the camera; the flash unit does also have an LED light built in to it with variable power. This means you can just add a tiny bit of light in to separate the couple from the background without killing the ambient light. This does also help with the focussing in the dark ! This image is straight from camera and one thing I’ve been really impressed with is the quality of images I’m able to get from the Sony cameras with the Zeiss Lenses and I thought this photo captured the moment perfectly.



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