A Series of Near Disasters
A friend was shooting a wedding recently and had been specifically asked to get a shot on the bridge next to the Reception venue which is one of the signature shots that a lot of bride & grooms go for judging by the venue's website - and for god reason, it's a beautiful stone bridge over the River Bollin with trees on both sides and frames the bride and her husband really well.
BUT NOT IN FEBRUARY!
I had arrived at the venue to add a bit of lighting assistance as my friend was concerned that by the time they were ready to do the bridge shot, it would be too dark for his usual setup. I offered the use of my Traveller and came along as lightstand holder and to make sure they worked.
I got to the venue before the wedding party and thought I'd have a quick recce of the location. I got down to the riverbank from where the picture is usually taken and realised that all the trees were barren which, combined with a darkening grey sky meant the picture looked awful. I went onto the bridge to look at it from the other side - the sky and trees looked better from that side but there was nowhere from the roadside to get a shot from because of the trees on the riverbank - you'd be able to get a good shot if you were actually in the river but you can't get there....
Yes, unless you climb over the bridge parapet and drop 10 feet to the ground below then you can make your way through some bushes and climb down into the river from there. This meant that I had to volunteer to get the shot so as the bride and groom made their way to the spot, I got ready to climb down - and promptly dropped my camera the 10 feet to the ground below! I didn't hesitate to follow it and to my joy, the soft ground had cushioned the fall and there was no damage. I scrambled down to the river, put the camera on the tripod, set up the shot ..... and found out my battery was dead!!
I hadn't planned on taking any shots that afternoon, I just took my camera with me to see how it looked through the viewfinder. Panic set in and I set about trying to climb back out of the hole I was in (literally as well as figuratively) and find the second shooter who also uses a 5d to borrow a battery from her - climbing out via a holly bush (ouch) I got the battery, jumped back down the 10 foot drop back into the river and got the shot
I also saw another opportunity to change the framing slightly and get another shot without the strobe and get a nice silhouette for a mono conversion (something I don't do often) which I think came out lovely.
Shot in the back, back out through the holly bush and into the pub for a well-deserved cuppa only to find that my autofocus on my beloved 70-200 wasn't working any more - I prepared the shot in the river using live view and manual focus so I hadn't noticed that the autofocus wasn't working - it must have been knocked when I dropped it - gutted!!
Luckily by the time I was ready to leave - it was working again so I've put it down to the condensation from coming in out of the cold but boy I was worried for a minute.
So there we go - I wasn't supposed to take the picture and it so very nearly didn't happen but in the end we got the shot, and that's all that matters.
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