Wedding photographer...or not

Yesterday we attended a beautiful wedding service for Dorian's best friend. It was held at Amelia Island on the beach and it was just the perfect setup. Now when you get invited to these things you always wonder, do I bring all my camera gear or is this a job for the G7? Sometimes you want to be able to just enjoy the event, without have to schlunck around 30 lbs worth of gear. I wasn't the official photographer but Dorian told it it would be "nice" if I could take some pictures. Ok, exactly what does that mean, do I take my stuff or not...take your stuff. We arrive early and it is a perfect cloudy day, soft breeze, and the "real" photographer must have loved it. I was trying to find the best strategic place to sit since I knew I was not going to be wandering around during the ceremony. We found a good spot, 2nd row and I plopped my stuff down. As all the people started coming in and filling up the seats one of the sons came over and asked us to move because there would be some relatives taking the second row. Geesh, no more seats left, glad I came early. So we relocated and I chose to move one row back but towards the far end. As the time approached we could see the wedding party approaching and everyone got up. There goes the view, shooting through 15 layers of bodies just doesn't work.

It turned out that no one ended up on the second row, but I didn't have the nerve to relocate. So I remained content in my seat and did what I could. The ceremony was perfect and so low-key. I really wanted to be the photographer for this event, it was tough staying in my seat. So out came the 70-200 lens and I looked like a big game hunter stalking his prey. Nothing like being discrete with your camera.

We eventually moved indoors and that's when I should have put the camera away. Early in the evening Dorian asked me to shoot a flower arrangement, so I bumped up the ISO to 1600 and handheld a few shots. You guessed it...the ISO never got reset. Flash at ISO 1600 isn't too bad...right! Yikes, I need a big red blinking light in the viewfinder for the high ISO warning. It's not that this is the first time either. My guess is that a few of you have done the same?? At least I wasn't the official photographer.

I was using the Gary Fong Whaletale and maybe because of the ISO screwup I was still getting some pretty harsh stuff. Definitely need to get the flash off the camera.