Landscape photography from snapshots to great shots pdf

  1. Macro Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots
  2. Black and White From Snapshots to Great Shots by John Batdorff. Book Review
  4. ISBN 13: 9780321823779

Landscape Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots. Rob Sheppard. Peachpit Press. Eighth Street. Berkeley, CA / “From Snapshots to Great Shots” is a trademark, in the U.S. and/or other countries, of Pearson Education, Inc. . CHAPTER 7: LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY. “From Snapshots to Great Shots” is a trademark, in the U.S. and/or other countries, of .. I own two tripods: one for landscape photography and one for your camera manufacturer's website and download a PDF version of the manual so you.

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Landscape Photography From Snapshots To Great Shots Pdf

Thread: Landscape Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots Read more at or. Thank you for reading landscape photography from snapshots to great shots. As you may know, people have look numerous times for their chosen books like. Landscape Photography From Snapshots To Great Shots - [PDF] [EPUB] Landscape. Photography From Snapshots To Great Shots Landscape.

Landscapes take a more dramatic look, portraits become timeless. The author, John Batdorff, is a landscape and travel photographer. He has learned to see the world in black and white and shares his knowledge and expertise in this easy to read book. The first few chapters will cover fundamentals such as equipment, settings, monitor calibration followed by composition, light and exposure. One great tip in the book I want to share with you now is to set your camera LCD to monochrome. This simple step will help you see your subjects without color and train your eye to see the different tones. As long as you shoot RAW you can still decide to process the image in color later. Each chapter ends with a series of assignments and an invitation to share your images on a Flickr group. If you are new to Adobe Lightroom, this chapter can serve as a great tutorial to get started. John takes a step by step approach through his workflow with plenty of sample images and screen shots to explain each adjustment.

Both figuratively and literally. I just remember being very happy during the dream [laughs]. Always in color. HE was telling me about all these colors involved. Why does this happen? Relaxation is one of the secrets of creativity, as we cannot make creative breakthroughs when we are constantly stressed and wired. Perhaps we can learn a lesson from Eggleston is that we should always be obsessive about our photographs, and always think about them.

And if we are persistent enough, they can even enter our dreams! Why not? So when Eggleston photographs, what does he look for? We see people walking around with their iPhones, ugly shopping malls, and boring supermarkets. However, know that the photographs you take today will undoubtedly be fascinating 50 years from now. Just focus on life today, and history will take care of the rest.

It is always great to get a second opinion, as others are generally better at understanding what our best shots are. Eggleston first approached Szarkowski with hundreds of photographs, Szarkowski helped Eggleston edit down his images to less than fifty.

He would have had thousands of pictures and Bill himself would have little idea what his best pictures were. He would have needed someone to knock the thing into shape and make it tight, make the thing work. But we worked together—-we were choosing all of these and the exhibition, projecting slides on the big screen.

That is how we worked. What I suggest instead is to ask lots of different people for their opinion, independently, on a basis preferably in-person. Then collect all the feedback you get from others as a whole, and then take a more serious and critical look at your own work. Of course at the end of the day, your own opinion is the most important. But still know the importance of getting others to collaborate with you.

This synthesis will ensure that your photos will be bulletproof. Never do that. Every single little tiny space on that page works and counts. To me they were not interesting. If you look carefully in the background, there are always small details which are fascinating.

It is not forced upon us at all. It appears the simplest thing, but of course when you analyze it—it becomes quite sophisticated—and the messages that these pictures can release to us are quite complex and fascinating.

And of course, that is a hallmark of a very good Eggleston. Because he composes so intentionally, he has made the practice of only taking one photograph per scene. Not two. I would take more than one and get so confused later. I was trying to figure out which was the best frame. It is also a great photograph in which the small details really make the photograph. She is sort of acknowledging him being there, yet there is something disturbing about her.

It is great, and the chain is just wonderful. You would pray to have a chain like that—and use it just like a prop. And of course it is a pure coincidence that it happens to be there, right next to that woman. So, serendipity! The way to really appreciate the images by Eggleston is through his photography books.

They are printed much larger and have much more detail which allows you to see the small details in a photograph, from all four corners of a frame. So realize that sometimes it is the small details of a photograph and the composition which makes a photograph great. Think about your own photos this way. This certainly applies to photography. To improve as a photographer is a very slow and gradual journey.

Macro Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots

There is no way you will improve your confidence of shooting in the streets, improve your compositions, or create better images just by expecting great images from one or two day of shooting. We need to put in the time, energy, and persistence to create memorable images. One fascinating thing about Eggleston is that not only is he an avid photographer, but he absolutely loves playing the piano.

How did Eggleston pick up the piano? Well, he picked it up just by fiddling around with a little bit everyday— and over time, he got quite good. Anything, particularly—after hearing it once. Not reading music. I would pass a quite fine piano in my house everytime we came from the back from the front—and everytime I would pass it I would play a few things, and without any success at all.

And I got a little better and better, and time went on.


And maybe never playing the same one twice. It aint much different the way I work today, still [in photography]. I myself still have a lot more to learn, but I know that with every passing day that I shoot, read photography books, and write about street photography I make a little big of progress everyday.

Know that the greatest street photographers in history have only really achieved their fame after many decades of photographing in the streets. Rather, they did it because they loved the challenge and how it pushed their boundaries.

There are no shortcuts in life. You need the grit, perseverance, and the passion to pull you through. You can never see progress in a short period of time. Know that if you keep on swinging the axe or playing a few notes on the piano— you will one day reach greatness. Rather, he found color to be more of a challenge and fascinating than black and white. Rather, he focused on documenting his own hometown in a very personal way, taking photographs everyday and looking for the brilliant light and color which made his community unique.

There are a lot of lessons that we can learn from Eggleston and his approach in photography. What I think though is important is that you at least appreciate what he did for photography, and the lasting influence on street photographers from all around the world. It is published by Steidl one of the most renowned publishers in the world and it is truly a work of art. The photographs in the book are like mini-prints, with great saturation, clarity, and beauty.

So it is a double win: you will score one of the finest photography books in history and also make an investment. Probably my second favorite Eggleston book, as it has some of his finest images that he took on road trips between and It was no longer a random app on the AppStore. I had insight on its origins and an understanding of the detail put into place for it.

As far as my usage goes I love it. It brings powerful features and a one handed UI to the iPhone X. Every interaction seems to have been thought of and much like the X you have to familiarize yourself with the gestures and icons.

There are however a few bugs with the app one of them being landscape mode. In-camera meters are very good, provided that you understand how they work and which metering mode is best for various situations. Most cameras have three basic metering modes: With matrix metering, the camera looks at the values of the entire scene and bases the exposure on that. This works remarkably well much of the time, particularly when youre shooting a scene that is straightforward in terms of lighting and contains a mix of tones, but the exposure can be thrown off in certain situations, such as an extremely backlit scene, or one that is either very light or very dark.

With center-weighted metering, the camera looks at the whole scene but gives more emphasis to the center of the image when determining exposure. This mode is a little more reliable for tricky backlit, dark, or light scenes, as long as the most important element of your composition is in the center. Center-weighted tends to be my default metering setting if I choose to shoot in my preferred auto-exposure mode, Aperture Priority.

Spot metering can be both very useful and a bit tricky. With spot metering, the camera bases the exposure solely on that one spot in the frame, ignoring the rest of the scene.

This is useful when you know that you want a certain element of the image to be properly exposedsay, the face of someone standing in a windowand you dont want the camera to try to balance the exposure for the whole scene. You also can use spot metering if youre faced with a scene that is either very light or very dark.

Point the spot at an area of the subject that has a midtone valueneither the darkest dark nor the lightest lightand it will give you a more accurate reading Figure 2.

You can even hold out your own hand and spot-meter on that. Instead of spot-metering and switching to Manual mode, some photographers prefer to use the exposure compensation control on the camera. This tells the camera to consistently adjust the exposure up or down by however many stops you indicate, based on how off the initial exposure is.

One more note about spot metering: It should be used very deliberately in specic situations, because it places so much emphasis on a very small area of the image. For example, if youre just casually shooting in spot metering mode and the spot lands on a black tuxedo, it will give a much different reading than if it lands on the brides white gownand its likely that neither exposure will be the best one for the scene.

Switch to spot metering, and center the spot on a light to midtone value, such as the girls face, to get the correct exposure reading. Then switch your camera to Manual and dial it in. The histogram is essentially a visual representation of the tonal range in an image. Darker tones are represented on the left and lighter tones are represented on the right.

The peaks in the histogram show which tonal ranges are most prominent in an image. There is no one perfect histogram; the way the histogram should look varies depending on the tones present in the scene and your choices about how to shoot it. In general, though, if youre shooting a very dark subject, your histogram will skew to the left, and if youre shooting a very light subject, it will skew to the right. For a subject with mostly midtones, the histogram for a proper exposure should be distributed throughout the middle portion; in this case, if the histogram is far to the left or the right, its probably an indication that you have either underexposed or overexposed the image.

At a wedding, I mainly use the histogram to quickly check for smashed blacksdark areas with no detail whatsoeverand blown-out highlights. These will show up as lines on the extreme left or right of the chart. Sometimes, this line can be so thin that it almost looks like the border of the graph. This would be expected for certain subjects, such as bright sunlight glinting off water, but for the most part the pure white or pure black pixels indicate that there is no detail information at all in part of the image, and they should be avoided.

Doing these quick histogram checks can help you gauge exposure and make the necessary adjustments. There are many, many rules for achieving good composition, and Ill briey cover a few that I feel are most helpful for wedding photographyalthough I recommend approaching them more as guidelines than hard-and-fast rules. Learn and practice these principles to help build a solid foundation in understanding composition. From there, youll be able to more effectively experiment, play, and bend and break the rules.

If you picture imaginary lines dividing your image into thirds both horizontally and vertically, you should place the most important elements of your composition along those lines, or at the points where the lines intersect Figures 2. The rule of thirds can help you compose well-balanced and interesting images. This rule can help you learn interesting ways to balance a composition.

This composition gives the image a very open feel, and its much more compelling than if the couple were smack-dab in the middle. Lines can be used to lead the viewers eye through the image, as well as to direct attention to the area of the image that you want to highlight Figures 2. There are plenty of naturally occurring lines at every weddingthe ceremony aisle, banquet-style tables, strings of lanterns or lights, rows of ceremony chairs, a garden path or a hotel hallway.

You can nd lots of opportunities to use the principle of leading lines to great effect. This type of setup offers so many great ways to use leading lines. Some elements that you might work with at weddings include trees, arches, architectural details, doorways, and chuppahs.

With an open mind and a little imagination, youll nd that there are many, many ways to frame a subject. Dont take the idea too literallythe framing elements dont need to completely surround the subject in order to be effective. These trees in the background are wonderful framing elements.

These elements can be used to create arresting photographic compositions. Once you really start to notice, youll see that were surrounded by symmetry and patterns and, thus, photo opportunities! A well-designed wedding has many, many examples of symmetrythe decor of the ceremony with, for example, identical urns of ower sprays on each side , the architecture at the altar of a church, the banquet-style table with the same oral arrangements stretching along both sides, and so on Figure 2.

Patterns may be formed by a sea of blooms in a oral arrangement or the petals of an individual bloom , rows of perfectly placed escort cards, or a box of identical bouquets when viewed from above Figure 2. A key to capturing a sense of pattern in a composition is to edit other elements out; telephoto lenses are useful for zooming in on the critical elements.

Viewing the wedding with an eye to capturing its sense of symmetry and pattern will help you create truly compelling compositions. When viewed from above, these identical bouquets created a pattern that made for a really nice composition.

Chapter 2 Assignments Experiment with Aperture and Shutter Speed Experiment with different combinations of shutter speed and aperture that achieve the same exposure.

Remember that for every stop you go down with the shutter, you need to open up one stop with the aperture, and vice versa.

Black and White From Snapshots to Great Shots by John Batdorff. Book Review

Theyre all correct exposures, but the images will look very different. This experiment will give you a sense of the many, many combinations of settings that are possible for correct exposure for any given scene.

You can also use this exercise to see the effects of aperture on depth of eld as you move through the range. And if youre hand-holding, youll see the effects of motion blur and camera shake come into play as you hit the very slow shutter speeds.

Throw ISO in the Mix Once youve done the previous assignment and you have a good feel for the relationship between shutter speed and aperture, add ISO into the equation.

Change the ISO and notice how it affects the shutter and aperture settings that are required for a correct exposure. Having a really strong, foundational understanding of the idea that exposure is a balancing act between these three settings, and knowing how each setting impacts the nal image, will empower you to make purposeful choices. Practice Panning Have a friend model for you and practice shooting him as he moves through your eld of vision from one side to the other.

Have him move at varying speedswalking quickly, running, riding a bike. Practice your tracking skills by following the subject with your lens as he moves. Notice how much motion blur each shutter speed causes. Notice also how the speed of the subject affects how slow the shutter must be to capture the sense of movement.

Create Compositions Take another look at the section on composition in this chapter. Then set out to either create or nd examples of each compositional conceptthe rule of thirds, leading lines, and so on. I suggest just walking out the door and around the neighborhood to see what you can nd. At rst, you might feel that looking for these types of compositions is a bit restrictive, but it can be really helpful in giving you a starting point, a way to begin to make sense visually of all thats around us.

Prepping for the Shoot ss Talent and skill will carry you far, but there is no substitute for preparation. In order to capture the truly telling images at the wedding, you must keep a clear head amidst the commotion of the day so that you can focus on the wonderful moments going on all around. Having a solid understanding of the sites where the wedding events will occur, the schedule, and the ow of the event as well as any specic desires of the couple will set the stage so that you can get into the creative zone when it counts.

Shaded spots like this are especially good when the portraits of the couple need to be taken in the harsher afternoon light. A wide aperture creates a shallow depth of eld, softening the background and reducing the distraction of the buildings in the distance. Compositionally, the balcony railing forms a leading line that draws the viewers eye straight into the image.

I metered for the medium shadow on the brides face, so the image retains both shadow and highlight detail. All this time and energy is well spent when it allows me to walk in on the wedding day with a clear sense of how the action will unfold and how I intend to capture it. The more legwork I do ahead of time, the clearer my vision for the day, and the better able I am to simply be in the moment at the actual weddingin tune to the rhythms of the day, poised to capture the meaningful moments.

Theyve hired me to come do what I do at their wedding. Still, I always take time to connect with them and learn whether there are any considerations or concerns that are specic to their event.

Maybe theyre exceptionally passionate about black-and-white photography, or perhaps they want special emphasis placed on certain family members. There may be particular elements of the wedding that are especially unique and important to them Figures 3.

And of course, if there are any tricky family dynamics at play, I need to know about them. At the same time that I gather information from the couple, I also offer my opinion on various elements of their planning that will impact the photography, particularly the timing of events.

Most clients dont realize what a huge impact timing can have on the way their images will look, so I want to be sure to give them the photographers perspective. For example, many couples dream of a sunset wedding. A sunset wedding may be beautiful, but the rest of the wedding will be in pitch dark. From my standpoint as a photographer, its much better to have the ceremony a couple of hours before sunsetthe light will still be somewhat softened at that hour, and after the ceremony has ended theres a nice chunk of time to shoot portraits of the families and the couple, cocktail hour, and possibly even toasts or the rst dance with natural light.

All those elements will be much prettier as a result, especially for an outdoor wedding. The question of whether the couple should see one another before the ceremony often comes up.

From a photographers perspective, its always a great idea, because it allows me to take most or all of the posed groupings before the ceremony, as well as some portraits of the couple. I never pressure couples to see one another, but Im very frank about the implications if they choose not to. If they have large families. If their ceremony is close to sunset, we may not have enough light afterward to make the most of the beautiful setting, and well be much more limited in what we can do with their couple portraits.

If they clearly understand how the decision may impact other parts of the day and they still truly dont want to see one another, then I respect their wishesits their wedding, after all! Based on our pre-wedding conversations, I knew how meaningful this element was, so I emphasized it in the photos.

I might have missed these special touches if I hadnt had good communication with the client. I cant expect them to know all the factors that will affect the photography at their wedding. Part of my job, as a professional, is to educate them about what they can reasonably expect and to guide them toward decisions that will result not only in the best experience of the day but also in the best images possible.

Most commonly, clients simply dont realize how long things will take. They may be planning to t a lot more into a short amount of time than is actually possible. For example, I was hired by a couple getting married in San Francisco; they had their heart set on driving their entire wedding party to a beautiful location on the other side of the city to shoot group portraits as well as couple portraits, and then returning to cocktail hour.

They allotted 30 minutes in the schedule to do this, which wasnt even close to the amount of time we would actually need! During our pre-wedding conversations, I had to tell them that this wasnt going to be possible. I never enjoy having to disappoint my clients, but its better to have that conversation in advance than it is to go along with a plan thats clearly unworkable and that would mess up the schedule for the rest of the day.

But for the posed family and group portraits, I always do. Despite my heavy bias toward spontaneous, candid moments, I realize that these formal images represent an important historical document of the families present at the wedding.

I want to be sure to capture everything necessary and do it as quickly and efciently as possible. Working with the couple to develop a specic list of groupings helps me do that. Bride with maid of honor and then with bridesmaids Groom with best man and then with groomsmen Bride and groom with entire wedding party Bride and groom with brides parents Bride and groom with grooms parents.

Bride and groom with brides immediate family Bride and groom with grooms immediate family Bride and groom with any other special family members for example, grandparents Every family is different, so I ask the couple to customize this list to suit their needs. I encourage them to keep the list as streamlined as possible, avoiding endless combinations of nearly the same set of people, and to consider what groupings they, or their family members, will actually want to include in an album or a frame after the wedding Figure 3.

If the image isnt going to be used for anything, its simply not worth using precious time on the wedding day to capture it. I also ask them to include the names of the specic individuals who are in each shot, so I can answer any questions that may arise among the family over whos included.

Once I have the nal list, I rearrange the shooting sequence for the best ow of individuals in and out of each shot for instance, I want to avoid making the bride. Preparing all this information is not the most glamorous part of the job, but when the time comes, youll be glad you have all this information on hand. Developing a shot list allows me to capture these images quickly and efciently, while ensuring that I dont miss anything important for the couple or their families. I always shoot kid-centric groupings like this rst to minimize meltdowns!

This is especially important for the rst half of the dayfrom before the ceremony through the end of the cocktail hourbecause so many critical events take place during this time and they often take place at multiple locations. Once the guests are settled in for dinner, I know that Ill only be able to capture whatever is happening, and the pressure eases a bit.

I try to make sure that things like dinner courses and toasts are scheduled in such a way that I have the opportunity to take the couple outside for a mini-portrait session around sunset, when the light is most beautifulassuming that theyre willing, of course Figure 3.

And while events like the rst dance and cake cutting often take place later in the evening, if its an outdoor, summer wedding its sometimes possible to schedule them while there is still daylight, which gives me many more options in terms of the kinds of images I can get Figure 3. Take the couple for a brief portrait session around this time, making sure to schedule it in conjunction with the toasts and other reception events so as not to disrupt the ow of the party. Once I receive the schedule, I look for the following: Do I have enough time during the getting ready stage of the day?

I like to be in the room with the bride for a minimum of 45 minutesand greatly prefer an hour or moreto have time for all the detail work and candid photos of the wedding participants as they prepare.

Does the schedule have me arriving at the ceremony site at least 20 to 30 minutes before the ceremony is scheduled to begin? I need time to get set up for the ceremony and shoot the decor.

Is there a little cushion in the post-ceremony timing? Its good to have some wiggle room in case the ceremony runs a bit late or the families are hard to gather. Is there enough time allotted for the list of family shots I received from the couple?

Allow two to three minutes per shot, plus a little cushion. Is cocktail hour actually scheduled for a minimum of at least one hour? A bit longer is always nice, especially if were doing the family shots during this time. Does the timing of toasts and other reception events allow me the opportunity to slip outside with the couple around sunset for some portraits in the beautiful, end-of-day light?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, I have a conversation with the couple or wedding planner to make the necessary adjustments. I always go around the same time of day that Ill be shooting, so I can see exactly whats happening with the light.

Its incredibly helpful to lay eyes on the sites, take some light readings, and visualize where Ill want to be during the ceremony, as well as other key parts of the day. I also determine whether I need to supplement my gear with any rental equipment in order to cover the event as effectively as possible. For example, if I know that Ill be restricted to the very back of a large church, Ill rent a mm lens to help get a little closer to the ceremony action Figure 3.

I decided to rent a mm lens, and it really helped round out my coverage of the ceremony. If I can determine ahead of time exactly where I want them to be, then the planner and the couple can pass it on to everyone involved, which helps that part of the day run more smoothly. Ideally, I like to nd a pretty spot outside, with nice, even, open-shade lighting, where I can shoot the family portraits with available light and get great results.

Its also helpful if the chosen spot is set a bit apart from the location of cocktail hour to minimize the chance that key people will wander off. I also look for spots to take the couple for their portrait session. I always try to do these photos outside, so I look for things like pretty paths, beautiful trees, and interesting architectural elements like elaborate doorways, pillars, or arches Figure 3. Indoors, I look for window light and pretty decor. Finally, I wander the grounds and see if there is a way to get a unique view of the ceremony or the reception site itself Figure 3.

If there is a balcony or a window that I want to use, I make sure I know how to access it Figure 3. Sometimes I shoot a few details of the sitethe signage, architecture, and so onso I dont have to take time to shoot them on the wedding day. At the wedding, I sent my assistant to take this shot while I was down below, closer to the wedding party. What is the lighting like for the ceremony? How will you shoot it from various angles and perspectives, given the layout of the site and any restrictions that may be placed upon your movement?

Is there a balcony or another alternative location that gives you a good angle on the ceremony or reception? If so, how can you access it? Is there any special equipment you should rent that will help you cover the event more effectively?

Where do you want to take family or group portraits? Where do you want to take the couple for their portrait session? In that case, I look for images on the propertys website to get a general sense of the place, and then I arrive about an hour early on the wedding day so that I can familiarize myself with the setting.

If Ive traveled in for a destination wedding, I often can swing by the site during the rehearsal the day before. The rehearsal is often around the same time of day as the ceremony, and I have the added advantage of seeing the actual setup, as well as where everyone will enter, stand, exit, and so on. Another benet with destination weddings is that Im often staying at the same place where the wedding will be held, so the night before the wedding, I can really pay attention to how the light changes throughout the evening and further rene my ideas for shooting the event.

Invariably, things will change, and you have to be ready and able to change with them. The ceremony may begin late, impacting the timing of all subsequent events. A tent may be brought in at the last minute, completely changing the light. A critical family member may be a no-show for the family portraits, making it necessary to do those photos later in the day than scheduled.

When something unexpected happens, it may seem as though your carefully laid plan goes out the window and that all the time and effort you spent on it was wasted. But I nd that the opposite is truethis is the moment when all my planning really pays off. Having such a clear vision as I go into the wedding day really helps me keep my thoughts organized when the pressure is on and things are rapidly changing. It helps me stay cool and quickly come up with alternative solutions when necessary.

The better you know your gear, the locations, the schedule, and the desires of your clients, the better equipped youll be to handle whatever curveballs come your way.

Take care of yourself during the couple of days leading up to the weddingget enough sleep and eat well. Dont leave your preparations until the last minute. Leave plenty of cushion in your travel time so that you dont arrive frazzled and on the edge of being late. Try doing a little creative visualization, imagining the day unfolding smoothly and successfully. These steps lay a foundation that allows you to arrive on the wedding day feeling your best and most creative.

Just to be safe, I keep a few essential comfort items stocked in my bag at all times: Chapter 3 Assignments Practice Strategizing for a Wedding Day Visit a common wedding site such as a local church or park and make a plan for how you would shoot a wedding there. Where would you place yourself at various points of the ceremony? What equipment would you use? Where would you take the group shots? The more you practice thinking in this way, the easier it will be to come up with plans for many different types of sites.

Scout Here, There, and Everywhere Whenever you nd yourself in a pretty place, imagine how you would handle a couples portrait session there. Where is the best light? What are some interesting angles? How would you use the elements in the setting to make interesting compositions? Begin to train your eye to view locations in this way.

After years of scouting locations, I nd that I cant turn off that part of my brainIm constantly envisioning couples in the distance whenever I go to a park or beach!

Beautiful hair, gowns, shoes, and jewelry. Is it any wonder that getting ready is one of my favorite parts of the day? But, in addition to all the lovely moments with the bride and her bridesmaids, there is much to do in the time before the ceremony: As with every aspect of the wedding day, you need to have a planand then be prepared to change it as needed! I tend to shoot a lot of verticals, but the graceful extension of her arms prompted me to turn my camera for this shot.

Its easy to blow out highlights in the gown with directional window light. Be sure to check your exposure. In this case, the colors in the room would have distracted from the emotional impact of the image, so I chose to shoot black and white. I ease into the situation, often concentrating on various detail shots rst, staying alert for special moments between the people who are there, and thinking ahead to how Ill handle the moment of the bride getting dressed.

People arent accustomed to being photographed in a candid way and they may be intimidated. Part of your job is to help everyone feel comfortable with your presence. The good news is, this will result in more natural, authentic images. A beautiful armoire, a canopy bed, a curtain rod, the back of a door, outside on a patio overhangthere are many possibilities.

I always, always check with the bride to make sure that shes comfortable with my removing the dress packaging and relocating the dress, and Im obsessively careful when handling it!

Before moving the dress, I grab a towel from the bathroom and wipe down any surface that will touch the dress, and I make sure that whatever Im using to hang the dress is sturdy enough to support the weight of the gown wedding dresses can be really heavy!

I shoot both the front and back of the gown, and sometimes I need to use a fairly wide lens to include the whole gown in the shot Figure 4. Next, I move in for close-ups of any wonderful lace, ribbon, or beading details; simple folds of sumptuous fabric as it hangs; the row of tiny buttons up the back Figure 4.

When shooting these details, watch your exposureif youre using an automatic exposure mode such as Aperture Priority, the light color of the gown can trick the cameras meter into underexposing the image. This isnt a disaster, but youll save some time in post-processingand the image quality will be betterif you take a moment to make sure its exposed properly in-camera. I used a wide focal length on my mm lens in order to get the entire dress in the shot. The sensor makes the 35mm lens look like a 52mm lens, and it focuses in very close.

Once Im nished shooting the dress, I very carefully return it to the place where I found it while breathing a small, private sigh of relief!

Then I look for all the other accoutrements, such as shoes, jewelry, handkerchief, and so on, and I nd nice spots to photograph each of these items.

The possibilities are endless! Shoes look great placed on a window ledge, hung on a pretty doorknob, or placed daintily on an ottoman or a freshly made bed. Jewelry can be artfully arranged on a wooden table or on a pretty bedspread or throw pillow. If the rings are available to shoot, they can be placed on the jewelers box they came in, on a spread-out scarf or pashmina shawl, or simply in an outstretched hand.

If you have a macro lens, now is the time to use itespecially to get wonderful close-ups of the rings Figure 4. Notice how narrow the area of focus is. The slightest bit of movement while shooting would throw off the focus, so I took a few shots to make sure that I got one that was perfect. This creates a shallow depth of eld that gives the images a wonderful softness and helps the subject stand out from the slightly blurred background. Be careful, though, and keep an eye on your depth of eld use the depth-of-eld preview button on your camera to check it.

It can sometimes be too shallow, with only the tiniest sliver of the image in focusand not always the part you intended. The slightest movement when youre shooting can also move the focal point to an unintended spot, so be mindful and hold still when releasing the shutter.

I move the owers close to a window or take them outside if possible; a shady or backlit spot is perfect for capturing beautiful, natural color. I shoot a wide variety of images: Once the ladies have picked up their bouquets, I shoot them again as theyre being held.

I also reshoot the boutonnieres on the guys lapels. I adore shooting the owers, and I can never get enough Figures 4. I used a wide-open aperture to create separation between the bouquet in the foreground and those beyond.

Keep the other wedding vendors in mind as you shoot the orals and decor. Your responsibility is rst and foremost to your client, of course, but you should also strive to capture images that showcase the work of your colleagues at the wedding.

Afterward, the planner, orist, designer, rental house, caterer, and so on will be thrilled to receive the images. Not only will they share those images with future, potential clients, but theyll be more likely to refer you, knowing that youll take the time and care to create images that show their work in the best possible light.

I frequently jump back and forth from still-life work to candid shots of the bride getting ready, the bride having her hair and makeup done, bridesmaids and family members hanging out or busy with their own preparations, and so on. Be sure to shoot everyone who is present in the room, and, of course, give a little extra emphasis to mothers and other family members Figures 4.

I prefer to hang back from the action as much as possibleparticularly at this part of the day when were in such close quarters with one another, everyone is still getting accustomed to my presence, and nerves may be running a bit highso I use my zoom lenses and shoot as unobtrusively as possible. I abandoned the shoes to hustle over for this shot; my mm lens got me close enough without intruding on the scene.

I want to capture the moment in a timeless, beautiful way, and it helps to think about where the bride should stand and how exactly I intend to capture it. I plan it out in advance so that when the time comes to shoot, my focus is on capturing the genuine emotion that is expressed by the bride and by those around her as they see her in the gown for the rst time.

Although I like the environment to look natural and authentic, I dont want something like an ugly water bottle mucking up the background of my shots. When the time comes for the bride to dress, I ask her to stand near the window, andunless its really dark in the roomI turn off any overhead lights to avoid the unattractive color clashes that can come from mixed natural and tungsten lighting. I measure the exposure ahead of time and preset my cameras; I want to be completely prepared because, often, the actual moment of getting dressed happens very quickly!

There are, of course, many ways to do it. I can silhouette the subject Figure 4. Youll have your own personal vision of how to best capture the moment, but the important thing is to be in control of your tools and know how to use them to realize that vision.

Happy accidents are wonderful things, but we cant rely on them at a wedding! Know what you want to do, and how to do it. For images of the bride getting dressed, I usually choose to expose for the subject and allow the background to blow out, and I almost always shoot it in black and white because I love the dreamy and timeless look that results.

With that in mind, I have a trick for setting myself up to achieve the effect I want. From the angle where the bride will be backlit, I use my handheld light meter to measure exposure for the shadows.

If you dont have a handheld light meter, you can measure it in-camera by pointing at someone who is standing in front of the windowjust use spot metering, or move in close enough so that the subject lls the whole frame. You dont want the light streaming in from the window to interfere with the reading. Set your camera to Manual, and dial in that exposure. When shooting from that angle, I use the Manual setting, so that the backlighting doesnt trick the camera into drastically underexposing the image.

When I swing around to shoot from another angle, where the light is falling directly on the bride rather than from behind her , I quickly switch to Aperture Priority and let the camera make the necessary adjustment to exposure Figure 4. When I move back to my original position, I switch back to Manual and keep shooting. In this way, I can move very quickly and capture many different angles, while being assured of the proper exposure throughout.

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I quickly switched from Manual to Aperture Priority so that I could shoot continuously and still be assured of the proper exposure. The room is often fairly dark, so keep an eye on your shutter speed, making sure that its fast enough that you can hand-hold without motion blur remember that you can increase your ISO to help achieve a faster shutter speed.

Sometimes, this results in a beautiful, dreamy image, and sometimes it results in a mushy mess. Once the dress is on, I use my mm lens on one camera and my mm lens on another camera to capture everything from wide shots of the whole scene to tight close-ups of the back of the dress being buttoned or the ribbon sash being tied.

As with every part of the wedding day, capturing this variety of perspectives is key to creating a descriptive set of images that, taken together, truly tell the story. My clients tend to be fairly camera-shy, and one of the reasons theyve hired me is because I help them feel natural and at ease in front of the cameramainly by letting them be themselves and allowing them to forget that theyre being photographed. I nd plenty of great opportunities throughout the getting-ready process to shoot a bride in ways that capture beautiful, spontaneous, expressive portraits without asking her to pose for me Figure 4.

Figure 4. A great time to look for portrait opportunities is right after the bride has gotten dressedshes still standing in the window light, shes excited about nally wearing the gown for real, and shes surrounded by her best friends and family, who are all equally excited.

The interplay between them creates some wonderful, vivid moments, and the bride is so caught up that she doesnt even notice that Im shooting. Im nearly always able to nd naturally occurring portrait opportunities for the bride, but if I feel that its not happening, Ill simply ask her to come to the window or step outside if its a pretty setting, and shoot a few quick images in a casual way.