Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Fridge Magnets

When I go back in the evening I want to take fridge magnets with me. I also like to take a framed enlargement but with this wedding I just had time to take the magnets.

I only had a few minutes to choose a photo. It had to be a close up as the fridge magnets are small and I was tempted by the sepia version with a white vignette. I put a black border around it because I have to cut the paper to fit the magnet but as it happens I went for the colour version of the closer cropping.

Happy snapping

Monday, 30 August 2010

No need for cloning

This photo is a variation on one from yesterday. There were cars parked at the front of the building and I didn't want them to be seen. Yesterday they were cropped out of the picture. Today I knelt down and hid them with the wedding car.

I was saying how easy it was to get a lot of great photos in a short space of time. I don't mind amending photos to make them look better but it is generally better if you don't need to manipulate the photo. Some people don't agree with me and think of manipulation as something bad, but let's say there was a physical barrier to me moving backwards or sideways or in this case a barrier that would stop me kneeling, then I really wouldn't mind making sure that you couldn't see the cars (one of the three was mine) by cloning them out of the picture.

Happy snapping

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Just turn around

Rain affected yesterday's wedding. Fortunately we still managed to get photos like these and most of the photos went to plan. Alright it was too wet to walk on the grass with stilettos - so I am told, but both of these photos were taken simply by the bride and groom turning around.

I did take more photos from another angle and in the space of five minutes we had a couple of dozen great photos. Rain may have affected some of the photos, in fact it was raining a few minutes before these photos were taken, but I will be still be able to hand over hundreds of great photos.

Happy snapping

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Main Group Photo

We had really nice weather for this pre-wedding meeting. You can just see a small amount of cloud which is just the way I like it. It gives interest to the sky.

The weather isn't too important for these meetings but it does give us the chance to look for areas where the main group photo may be taken including wet weather options.

We decided between us that this is the background of choice for the main group photos. It is certainly large enough for all the guests and clearly shows the venue for the reception. There is the bonus that none of the guests has to move far if they have any difficulties walking. As for the difference between the two photos, I don't think manipulating the tarmac is a problem. It looks nicer and you may not want white paint to be part of the memories of the wedding day.

Happy snapping

Friday, 27 August 2010

Enjoying the feedback

I like to place two photos side by side making each of the photos 4"x 3" if they are printed out as 6"x 4"s. One of the photos says thank you and it is fairly easy to cut them in half, stick them on the front and back of a folder piece of A5 card and then write something on the inside of the card.

Even easier is to slip the photo into a thank you card. Even better than me deciding on two photos and adding words to one is if the couple ask for a particular photo. This couple collected their photos last week and asked for these amendments. Any amendments are fine by me. I enjoy the feedback talking about their choice and I enjoy the feedback in general as they look through the photos.

Happy snapping

Thursday, 26 August 2010

You can see the border

This is the same photo as a colour and a sepia version. If you look closely, just between the bride and groom is the venue for the reception. You may just be able to recognise it from the photos earlier this week, but regardless of whether you do this makes it particularly fitting for their background.

Whenever I choose a photo for the gift of fridge magnets to take back in the evening I look for close-ups because the magnets are small. This was a definite contender but I actually chose the photo seen on Monday. I don't have long before I go back for the evening reception but you know that I thought about the sepia image for the magnets because I put a black border on the photo. Welll you have to know where to cut the photo and you can't see the border when you use a vignette.

Happy snapping

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

More on the rings

These manipulations are fairly easy. For once the blur is genuine. As I am taking the photo very close to the subject then there is a small depth of field. This means that there is less of the photo in focus. I always find it better to take a photo in focus and amend it on the computer as per the photos in yesterday's blog, but no such manipulation was needed today.

There is a similarity between these two photos in that I put a white vignette in both. The main difference (apart from the flower) is the angle at which I took them.

Happy snapping

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Photo Manipulations

I have a few photos that I like to manipulate on the computer. If I like any photograph I tend to convert it to monochrome or maybe sepia. On the left you can see what happens if you leave part of the photo in focus. I often use this technique for the first dance but here is an example of keeping the ring in focus.

If there is an aspect of the photo that stands out then it may be left in colour as with the photo on the right. It is a fairly easy technique but isn't everything when you know how to do it. It is even simpler to also add fully monochrome versions to the usual colour version.

Happy snapping

Monday, 23 August 2010

Reading a photo

On the left is a variation on the photos from yesterday. Even though it is a much tighter cropping you know that the car is still there as well as the Midland Hotel. On the right the car is more prominent. Look a little closer and you will see the church in the background.

I want to mention two aspects of the way we look at photos. The first is that we read from left to right and we tend to 'read' photos in a similar way. So as we look closer at both photos we will be led to the bride and groom. The second aspect is the rule of thirds. I like this rule which means the photo is more balanced if a major focus is where the horizontal and vertical thirds coincide. This is roughly the brides eyes in both photos. If you get your ruler out on the right then you may decide it is not following this rule. Well rules are made for bending and I amended this photo because there were members of the public that I cropped out of the photo.

Happy snapping

Saturday, 21 August 2010

A helpful driver

At last week's wedding I was really pleased with the support from the hotel at Bowness because they drove me with the bride and groom to the lake. This week I want to say that the driver was really helpful. He would have taken us anywhere (I was following in my car this week).

You may recognise the Midland Hotel in Morecambe. The driver squeezed into a small space which was not a designated parking space but it certainly makes for a prominent place in this photo. I have tidied the pavement a little. I am sure that you can't tell what needed tidying. As for the photo on the right, a couple of clicks and the colour version turns sepia.

Happy snapping

Thursday, 19 August 2010

High Contrast

For the last two photos from last Saturday I have chosen two high contrast photos. It is an unusual technique which I think works well for these two photos. It doesn't work well for every photo and not everyone will agree with me that it works at all. The point is that it is up to the bride and groom to decide whether they like the technique. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I like the way that the high contrast concentrates attention on where you want attention concentrated. If you have the software then try it yourself. Gradually increase the contrast and brightness and see how some areas are less prominent. You may even choose to make these areas disappear. It is entirely up to you. You may even choose to convert to monochrome or sepia.

Happy snapping

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Yesterday's photos

These are the photos that I meant to include in yesterday's blog. When I like a photo you can tell that I do because I give variations such as monochrome and sepia. I commonly place a white vignette around the sepia version and less commonly I separate the flowers and keep them in colour.

In general I would choose the usual colour version as my favourite, but it does vary from photo to photo and from person to person. If that is the case then the easiest option is to supply all variations.

Happy snapping

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

A really nice sky

I mentioned set poses yesterday and I do give some guidance as to how the bride and groom should stand, but the main emphasis of the photo should be the expressions and I can't give much guidance as to how they should smile.

These evening photos show a couple more poses which are perhaps slightly more relaxed because it is the evening - and that's one of the reasons why I like to go back. In this case I was provided with a meal (thank you) and it was very easy for me to get shots like these. Generally you get dark backgrounds in twilight because the flash changes the exposure. You were supposed to see the moon on the left but I didn't think we would see it, however isn't it a really nice sky?

Happy snapping

Monday, 16 August 2010

Pose Number One

Following on from yesterday's blog we took a few steps to the end of a jetty for our next set of photos. It is hard to believe that we are in the busy centre of Bowness by looking at this photo. The bride was slightly concerned that her dress may touch the water. It just shows how how much water we have during this hosepipe ban.

The pose is the most typical of poses. It is the same pose as the photo on the right and in the background you can just see Windermere. I made five variations to this photo. I'll show you a couple of them tomorrow.

Happy snapping

Sunday, 15 August 2010

What a coincidence!

I am often writing about recognising where you get married. This is Windermere, the largest of the lakes in the Lake District and a very popular destination for visitors so there is a good chance that you will recognise it. This couple didn't get married by the lake but I was very pleased that someone from the hotel drove us to the lake.

With all the rain that we have had recently it is nice to get back to skies like these. I only ask for fifteen minutes of dry weather to get the main group photos done, but it is a huge bonus to be able to take photos like these - and what a coincidence to find a boat with the same name as this couple!

Happy snapping

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Last two from east Lancashire

If you know a building then it is easy to identify. It is much easier if you have a name telling you. On the left you see the name. On the right it is still there but not as prominent.

For these two photos I moved around the bride and groom but we all walked after this to the main gate. The sign there tells us exactly where we are and the whole of the hall is in the background.

I would have liked to show you the way I took the weeds out of the lawn or the oil stains off the drive (there weren't many). I would have liked to have shown you the variations that I made including monochrome and sepia. In particular I made a high contrast version of one of the photos but I only get to show you two photos in this style of blog so we will have to make do with these two. Maybe I'll show more at a later date but we are now in the middle of the wedding season and I'll be moving on tomorrow.

Happy snapping

Friday, 13 August 2010

Different backgrounds

At the pre-wedding meeting we walked to the main road where you see the sign for the venue. There is no doubting where you are when it is in the photo in black and white. We didn't step onto the grass, but for the sake of a few more seconds we managed to get quite a few more backgrounds.

On the left the road leading to the hotel is in the background. Behind that is where we took the photo on the right. In fact the same trees are in the backround of both photos.

Happy snapping

Thursday, 12 August 2010

More typical poses

After yesteday's semi-posed photos, today's are more typical of the type of photo that I would put in a fridge magnet or enlarge and give as a present on the evening.

A fridge magnet is small so a bold image of the bride and groom like that on the left is needed. Maybe I would have chosen this one but there really is a wide selection to choose from. That's what happens when I am given the opportunities.

Both of these photos were taken from a similar point, but the next photos that I took were really easy to arrange. I walked roung the bride and groom and took them from the opposite side.

Happy snapping

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Semi-posed photos and natural smiles

I was fortunate enough to be taking photographs in east Lancashire yesterday. I would normally go back to take photos at the evening reception and take with me some fridge magnets and an enlargement. However yesterday I didn't get back because I didn't get home. The bride and groom will get their 'surprise' gifts but it will be when they pick up their photos.

I usually use these photos as my blog and I normally pick 'classic' poses. However I was not limited today by my choice for the gifts. In fact I have chosen these photos as they aren't classic poses. Alright walking down the aisle is semi-posed but I didn't ask the bride to look to her right or the groom to look straight on. I certainly didn't ask the bride and groom to laugh in the photo on the right. That's why I like taking photos at the speeches. I get so many natural smiles in such a short space of time.

Happy snapping

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

No need for lights

On Saturday I went to my second wedding reception held in a marquee. I have been to a couple of evening receptions in marquees and they are really useful if location is important to the bride and groom. As for the photography it was easy to take photos inside because it was so light.

The lining of the walls looks really good on photos too. As you can see from these photos it is a really light background and is probably the lightest background that I have ever used for the artificial cutting of the cake. It gets even lighter with the vignette.

Happy snapping

Monday, 9 August 2010

A high contrast version

This pre-wedding meeting was only a few days ago and the wedding was on Saturday. This particular photo is from an almost identical position as that shown in the blog from Friday, so the couple were expecting to have their photo taken like this.

On the left we have the unmanipulated original. Alright it has been cropped. On the right we have a monochrome version with a high contrast. The contrast has been increased so much that you can't see the mountain in the distance. You may not see the mountain but you can still see the expressions, in fact they become more obvious because of the change in contrast.

Happy snapping

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Sepia variation

This is a photo that really has to be taken if you get married at the Ashton Memorial. The trouble is we don't always get nice weather in Lancaster. It had been raining heavily before the wedding and there was even light rain falling at times while we were in the park.

However we did manage quite a few photos with the whole of the memorial in the background. The lawn wasn't quite this nice but with a few moments on the computer it was soon tidied up.

The difference between colour and sepia is there for all to see. The most obvious difference for me is that the flowers are emphasised in colour. Sepia does give warmth to a photo but as it was a nineteenth century technique then it makes me think that the photo was not taken recently.

Happy snapping

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Natural and posed smiles

These photos are from yesterday's wedding. I haven't had chance to look through all the photos properly but I glance through them to see which photo I should enlarge and take back to the evening reception as my present. I chose the photo on the left.

I also choose a photo for a three 'surprise' fridge magnets for the bride and groom and for the parents of the bride and the groom. One comment from the best man was about natural and posed smiles. He preferred the photo on the left. I suppose he is right but I like both and it is so much easier to get a photo like the one on the right. You just ask for it.

Happy snapping

Friday, 6 August 2010

Can You guess where we are yet?

This pre-wedding meeting was like others in that we were looking for a background for the main group photos and we wanted to look at backgrounds for smaller groups.

You would not recognise Keswick from the photo on the right. You may just recognise the mountain in the background (I am not sure if it is Skiddaw or Blencathra but I am sure the couple do) but you may guess that we were in the Lake District.

Happy snapping

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Sawley Abbey

This was the first time that I had been to Sawley Abbey. The lawns are kept really well and when you look at these photographs the lawn takes up quite a proportion of the whole picture. It may be a third of this photo, but there are one or two weeds. Look on the right and they have gone.

We didn't go to the abbey because of the lawn but the lack of weeds was definitely a bonus. We went because of the ruined abbey. You could easily be back a few hundred years except for that van in the background. Look on the right and its gone.

Happy snapping

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Same place, different view

It is often the case that I can walk around a bride and groom and find four different backgrounds. I like efficiency and if I can get four great photos in a few seconds then I will. It is the same with poses. If a slight change in pose brings out a different expression then it is worth doing.

You only have so long to take a photo. Generally I take two of everything. I decided on this pattern because sometimes people blink and I can amend the photo as long as I have some eyes that are open. Sometimes the first photo looks better than the second and vice-versa. Any more and the expression could turn to boredom.

These photos are a perfect example of the difference that my position makes to the photograph. I think the bridge makes an equally good photo from either side. Maybe if I had taken one along the bridge then this would have been equally as good.

Happy snapping