What do a castle, a lake, a pier; a spotlight and a shadow have in common? In this instance, they were all used to create some really striking pictures for Phillip and Marysia during their wedding at Ripley Castle last week.
The Ingilby family have resided at Ripley Castle for over 700 years and are still in residence today. Last year the Castle won the visitor attraction of the year from the Yorkshire White Rose awards. Although the Castle is a busy wedding venue the revenue from tourists is one of the main ways in which the Castle is able to raise funds to enable it to maintain the beautiful artefacts and antiquities to be found within.
On their wedding day, there was a tour booked around the Castle which finished in the same wing of the Castle that Phillip and Marysia were celebrating their wedding. So the wedding guests were timed to arrive at the Castle half an hour after the end of the tour – which meant it was 4.30pm. We were a little concerned about this as we knew that we would be limited with the daylight for photography outside at this time and with such a stunning backdrop as Ripley Castle enjoys we did not want to miss this for Phillip and Marysia’s’ photographs. So we arranged with the Castle to take Phillip and Marysia to the Castle an hour earlier than the guests in order to capture these pictures for them.
What fun we had! As you enter the main gate to the Castle you can take a little path to the left which leads you alongside the Castle walls to a little bridge over the Lake and round through a kissing gate to the other side of the Lake. From here you are rewarded with superb views of the Castle with the Lake in front. At this side of the Lake, there are three little piers. We took photographs of Phillip and Marysia on the first of these piers with the Castle in the background. Walking back up to the Castle we paused for a photograph on the bridge – again with the Castle and the Lake in the background.
At nightfall, the whole ambience and feel of the Castle changes. After the hustle and bustle of the day, it becomes almost eerily silent and it is at this time for me at least that its history comes alive. You can imagine horses and carriageways in the courtyard and knights clinking around in their suits of armour. The Castle is bathed in an orange light from the surrounding floodlights.
This gives us lots of photo opportunities. We love using floodlights and the shadows they create to make different looking photographs to those you would usually expect to see in a wedding album. All through the day we look for and work with “the light”. At night time we work in exactly the same way – using light from whatever sources are available to us along with some pretty sophisticated portable lighting gear we carry with us.
On this occasion, we used the floodlight to create a shadow on the wall whilst at the same time lighting Phillip and Marysia for the photograph. We also used the spotlight under the entrance of the Castle together with one of our creative lighting attachments to capture Phillip and Marysia on the bench just outside the main entrance door to the Castle.
Inside the Castle at night also offers lots of unique photo opportunities with spiral staircases adjacent to beautiful tall stained glass windows. We used the off-camera flash equipment to cast a shadow from the beautifully wrought iron balustrade onto Phillip and Marysia whilst they sat on the window sill. The resulting picture is one of my favourites from the day.