Monday, December 31

Additional photos that I liked.

Making blog titles can be taxing. Maybe they would be easier if I did not wait until 1:30AM to post... anyhow, sticking with the antique theme for one image, here are a few more from Leigh and Rocco's Christmas wedding up in Estes Park.

Friday, December 28

Christmas Bride

Leigh, married on Dec. 27th, 2007.

Tuesday, December 11

WPJA Third Quarter Contest Results

First Place! Yes! Check it out:

JUDGES COMMENTS: Love the feeling of the wedding couple all dressed up and out in the wilderness in the rain. The groom protecting the bride from wet is a lovely and symbolic gesture and the two walking into the wild together is a nice metaphor.

Like a scene from a wide-screen movie, the bride is led away into the mist. It’s a kind of purposely timeless image.

A beautiful painting by working with the weather elements and presenting Something poetic with substance.

A bit too romantic and looks a little less spontaneous than i would have liked but a great sense of place

Wow, if only I knew who said what. It is amazing to think such great photographers looked at my work. More on that later. I would like to respond to that last comment. The Judge is correct to be weary of wedding images. Though the WPJA stresses very strongly that NONE of the images are to be set-up, (except portraits) you do have wonder about some of the entries. Especially given that, as wedding photojournalists, we are entirely self-regulated when it comes to ethics. That said, let me take this opportunity to state, this image was not set-up. The bride and groom were headed out into the wilderness near Breckenridge for a portrait session, but this was taken before the session started. I snapped the frame while in my car getting my gear together, and wrapped up to protect it from the rain. It was actually shot through my rain-soaked car window, and that is what give it the more muddy look. I WISH I were a good enough portrait photographer to think of photos like this, but instead, I just have to hang out and wait until a great moment happens, then grab it.

I also snagged a 20th place..

While your there, be sure to check out all the winning images. I love being a part of the WPJA because there is so much talent in that group. The winning images are always very inspiring.

Okay, now, the most important part of this contest is found here:

The Judges. For those of you who follow photojournalism, they need no introduction. For those who dont, let me just say, these folks are at the VERY tip-top of a very competitive field. I can say I am humbled to think that they looked at my images, but that would be an understatement. Check out their work, as always, by clicking the VII photo link on the right side of my blog.

Monday, December 10

another example

...of what I wrote about yesterday. This is Rebecca and Zach during the toasts... always a great time for capturing great emotion.

Sunday, December 9

Loosing the Side Effect.

I think one of the biggest mistakes young photographers make, (I was guilty of it) is to constantly try and put their own stamp on the images. When you have a dynamic person in your frame, you really just need to point the camera at your subject, (making sure exposure and all that is correct of course). This cute little flower girl is a great example. (I think she was somewhat overwhelmed with the hustling goings on during bride prep). You dont want to flub up a shot because your trying to get a cool composition or something creative. That is the interesting thing about photojournalism. Of all the fields of photography, it is the least concerned with composition, light, texture, etc. If that is there, fine, but its not the point. One of the oldest sayings in the profession is, "f8 and be there". That is referring to the fact that at f8, one a wide lens, you probably dont have to focus (lots of depth of field). So all you do is point the camera at what is happening. There-in lies the lesson. The photojournalism is about getting there, not in the making of the photo. It just so happens however, that photojournalists manage to pull off interesting composition and lighting in all the myriad of shooting, but always as a side effect, not the impetus for shooting. This may sound obvious, but it is a lesson that took me a while to learn.

Saturday, December 8

Photoshop Wandering

Here is a portrait from way back in June, Anthony, of Olivia and Anthony fame, and his groomsmen. I just finished their album this week, so their images have been on my mind a bit. Every once in a while, an image will strike me, and I'll just sit with it in photoshop for a few hours, not exactly sure what I am doing, just searching for a look.

Friday, December 7

Kelley and Jeff revisited

Here are another couple favorites from Kelley and Jeff's wedding a few weeks ago. I am trying to post a lot the images that have slipped through the cracks over the last couple months. I have so many images from each wedding that I'd like to post, but I just get busy with the next wedding, and usually these images never see the light of day... except via the online proofing.

The first image is a portrait of the couple in the lights of an enclosed pathway just outside the Chruch. It was a late afternoon ceremony in the winter, so you loose the light pretty quickly. That is when its nice to find some artificial light that might make something unexpected. The second photo is of the grand exit from the Church. I usually dont use flash, but I knew this situation warranted something sharp. I used a little trick to make sure the the flash only hit the couple, and the guests. That way, the surrounding lights keep the energetic feeling, while the couple themselves are crisp and sharp. I like how the effect works in this frame. As with all my blog posts, it really helps to click on the image and see a larger version.

Thursday, December 6

Alexis and Phil Revisted

I just finished Alexis and Phil's album last week, and I liked a lot of the photos they chose for the book. That is one of the best things about this business, I am often surprised by the images my clients choose for their final book.

In the newspaper business, you have photos editors who choose your images. It is an interesting dynamic, because the photo editor is constantly trying to decide which of your images will read best with the public. In that sense, the editor's job is to know and understand a photo like a layperson. That is an oversimplification, but it is at least one aspect of the photo editor's job. This is very difficult, because if you see thousands of photos a day, you do loose the eye of the layperson. Compared to wedding photography, where you get direct feedback from your clients every day. There is no photo editor to act as a middleman between the public and me. I like that dynamic, because I know, if the client does not understand the image, it is too complex of an image, end of story. Whereas, at a newspaper, the photo editor might tell me the image is too complex, and I would not necessarily believe them. I was constantly thinking my editors were underestimating the public's ability to understand photos. And thus far, in my experience working with clients, I think I was right. Then again, my clients aren't exactly the "general" public, they all seem to have a good sense of style. Like Alexis and Phil for example.

Alexis is a professional herself, and so does not have the eye of a layperson. She does however have a great eye, and was able to choose several images that I missed in editing her wedding images.

One final note, I want to make it clear that the eye of the general public is not a bad thing. Photography is about communication, and when your images communicates well, everyone will understand it. That is the goal. The goal is not to make subtle images only understood by folks with doctorates in fine art. That is why I enjoy the feedback from the general public. I suppose Alexis and Phil's images were not the best example of that, since she is in the biz. But in the true nature of a blog, this is just what I was thinking about when I was editing these images.