Good Morning Everybody,
First off, it looks like my private workshop, The Sedona Experience is completely sold out. After yesterday's early morning post, the last seat went quickly. I’m really looking forward to next week’s private workshop. We have a fabulous locations in which to shoot, beautiful models, and six very excited photographers. I’ll keep you posted as to how things develop.
Today we head to Phoenix, AZ for this weekend’s wedding. We’ll try to catch up with Beverly and Jonathan later today to go over the remaining wedding details and plan for tomorrow’s shoot with the both of them and review plans for the rehearsal dinner tomorrow evening. I had a chance to sit down and visit with the couple in Atlanta earlier this year and am really looking forward to spending the next few days with them and their families.
Hey gang, we are out the door in just about 90 minutes so I need to get right to today’s post this morning. Here we go…
The One That Got Away – Almost
I can’t believe how time flies – we just finished shooting in Florida, now it’s off to Phoenix and Sedona, and just about a month ago we were in Dallas, TX teaching at Texas School. It’s the Texas School experience that I want to revisit today.
If you check back on the posts of that time frame, you’ll read how we walked into one of our church locations and wondered just how in the heck we were going to pull anything off in this very small, rather simple location. As luck would have it, my Sigma lens came to my rescue.
Looking through that lens, I was enamored with what I saw. Almost too enamored in one case to the point that I almost “blew” the shot.
I was setting up what I thought was a very cool wide angle portrait of my groom. Here is the first image below.
I’m thinking groom “dead center” – all lines leading to him, right. Well, at first glance, I thought I had something “cooking”. In fact, I like everything about this image with the exception of one thing – the ceiling beam “growing” out of his head – yikes. Without that beam behind his head, I think the image works quite well. But, alas, without the beam the entire roof of the church would have collapsed on our heads – ouch ;~)
Once I noticed the problem, I knew I would have to recompose the image repositioning the groom left or right of the beam. I chose to move him first to the left and see what that looked like. Check out the 2nd image below. It’s a slight improvement, but not much.
OK, time to bring in the heavy caliber compositional artillery – my surer wide angle lens. Yep, I racked out my 8-16mm Sigma to it’s widest setting, 8mm – 121 degrees of wide angle, rectilinearly corrected wonderfulness. Now, I was getting something to happen. Check out the 3rd image below.
The inclusion of the ceiling lights really helped the composition. Plus, the super wide optics carried the eye into to and up the image. I was liking how things were developing. How about another tweak?
This time I re-composed the image so that the groom was repositioned into the bottom right quadrant at my nodal point #4. I was liking this a whole lot better. In fact, I could have stopped right there and been happy with the image. It had great leading lines, a nice balance visually, the area behind the groom's head was clear of any distractions – life was good. Check out the 4th image below.
OK, one more try – let’s try the composition vertically and see what happens. I’m thinking the lines soaring to the ceiling would really give a sense of strength to the final composition. I re-composed and shot away. This time I decided to balance the ceiling with the pews below.
I really like how the pews “throw” 4 diagonal lines across the bottom of the image contrasting with the strong mostly vertical elements of the roof beams. Even with the groom near the center of the frame, I think the image still works rather well. Check out the 5th image below.
Folks that know me say that I “iterate” my way to my final images. This is a perfect example of that process. That process is also kind of fun for me. I like to see how the subtle changes in composition can so dramatically change the impact of the final image. It is important to note that all of these image were all made within the span of only 2 1/2 minutes! That means I knew what I wanted, I just had to keep “iterating” to get to my final result. Image #4 and #5 are my favorites, BTW – I think they both would make nice portraits for my client.
I hope you’ll take the time to re-read and review the succession of the images presented. I really believe that if you see what I was up too, how I worked toward my final composition, you’ll have some strong compositional tools you can use in your future images. The secret is to know the basic rules of composition, execute those rules the best you can, light the scene/subject to best compliment your subject and setting, and then shoot away.
Have fun everybody!
Hey gang, that’s it for me today. We’ve got planes to catch, places to go, and people to see. See ya’ in Phoenix tomorrow!
Adios everybody, David