In the irregular postings of photo assignment walks, today’s topic is on triangles. I went for an hour walk, looking for triangles. They are relatively easy to spot, but getting a good photo brought me back to the theme that a photo should clearly show the one idea that you are trying to present. I’ll start with a few duds and then move to the better examples.
At the conclusion of this walk, I might see triangles more now. While I already knew that a photo has to do a good job of conveying the idea I am presenting, this exercise really reinforced this concept. It is why I regularly ask myself, “What am I trying to show with this picture?”. I can then use the answer to choose how to compose and expose the image.
I have been in India the last several weeks on non-photography business. When I did get out to take photos, I was yet again shown the importance of spending more time when taking the image to save much more post-processing time later. Here are a pair of images (you can click on them to see a larger version):
The one on the left is the one I took. I was so focused on the woman’s face that I missed the very distracting motorcycle parked behind her. And, I had the camera set at a higher aperture to give reasonable depth-of-field, making the problem worse. The second image is what I wish I had taken. I’m not completely happy with my post-processing of the motorcycle out, so before I would really use the image, I’d need to re-do it. Overall, the result is spending much more time than it would have taken to stop, think about the picture I wanted to capture, and then getting it right in the camera. To get it right would have taken maybe five minutes. To post-process reasonably well will require an hour or few. Multiply this by several such photos, and these photos are a real time sink to make any use of.
So, the lesson is a repeat of what has been said several times before by several other photographers: Create an image, do not take a picture. The difference is the difference between a snapshot and a good photograph.
When I shot the wedding recently, the family said that they did not need photos of the rehearsal. I considered not going, but decided to attend, and I was really glad I went.
While the rehearsal is for the wedding party to know what will be happening when, for me, it was a chance to experiment with lighting options—churches are large, and, even with the lights all on, it was not well-lit. Luckily, the priest allowed me to use flash at any time during the ceremony, so I could figure out what settings and locations for me and the off-camera flash worked best for the various parts of the ceremony. There is no time for experimenting during the ceremony!
Another benefit of being there for the rehearsal, I saw who was going to be where when. This meant that I was prepared for shots on the wedding day.
I got few good shots in the rehearsal; one is attached to this post. This is the bridesmaid, flower girls, and ring bearers as they process down the aisle (they all went together, not separately as in other weddings I have been to).
Recently, I shot my first wedding as a professional photographer. I have shot a few others before just as a favor to friends, but this was a real job, in more ways than one. I can say that the photographers who charge $1000 to $3000 for shooting a wedding earn this price.
This wedding was non-stop shooting from 9:30 in the morning till we left after 8pm at night. We managed only a five-minute lunch between running between various venues, and dinner was inhaled at the reception, in between getting photos of the various reception events.
I will write more about the things I learned in separate posts. Also, if you want to learn more about shooting weddings, a quick web search will quickly give you more advice than you have time to read. Some of this advice was very useful, and combined with the fact I had attended a friend’s wedding about a week before, I was more-or-less ready for the chaos.
To see example wedding photos from this and other weddings, you can check out the gallery of my portfolio. The bride and her mother said that they were happy with their photos.