We sometimes write and do photo essays from our travels along the Sporting Road. We are columnists for, have been featured in, and have had photographs in all of the following publications, among others:
- The Chronicle of the Horse
- Horse Connection Magazine
- In and Around Horse Country
- The Fence Post
- Maverick Press
- Covertside Magazine
For our wedding in France, we selected a wedding photographer, Ben Eden, who is a fine art documentary photojournalist with credits in Time Magazine, National Geographic, etc., who dabbles in wedding photography when he is not on other assignments. This selection of a wedding photographer completely changed our view of photography. This professional photographs weddings using 3-4 Leica M6′s around his neck, shoots in 35mm film, rarely if ever uses a flash, and never photographs staged portraits. He mingles with the crowd and takes lots of candids, shooting mostly in black and white film. The pictures are artistic, to say the least, yet they are riveting and tell the story far better than staged wedding portraits.
He uses the M6 Leicas exclusively, though he admits he is considering the Leica MP (also a 35mm film camera). However, for us, the ability to manipulate images at home with programs like Picasa and Photoshop, have made every photographer in complete control of his own personal darkroom at home, for little additional cost. So, we looked for a digital solution that would still give us as close of an approximation to Ben’s work as possible. We have now come to own the Leica V-Lux 20, the Leica D-Lux4 and the D-Lux 5, the later two are of the few cameras to shoot in RAW format and does so at an astounding 10 megapixels. The body of the D-Lux is somewhat similar to the M-6′s, as nothing changes very fast at Leica. Further, fast changing light can indeed be a challenge to most cameras other than Leicas.
Now, another factor to consider is that negative film – both color and black & white – has a wide exposure latitude. This is perfect for the huge contrast range in wedding photography – think white wedding dress and charcoal tuxedo – compounded with, as you mention it, quite unpredictable light. With digital, the Leica D-Lux still allows for this by photographing in RAW mode only, even if it means increasing mobile storage requirements and processing time/effort considerably. Happy shooting!