"She's The Center Of Attention"
© David A. Ziser
Take a close look at this image. Sure, I positioned the bride nearly dead center in the scene. But more importantly look at all the compositional elements leading your eye right to her. The lines of the split rail fence that she's leaning against, the railing on the walkway to the left leading right back up to her, and the sweep of the guard rail in the top right-hand corner leading your eye again right back to the bride. There is no escaping her beautiful face.
Her positioning in this image was done on purpose. A lower camera angle would've meant that your eye would have been distracted with a lot of those other elements being directly behind her instead of around her. With this high camera angle I was able to position her head against the more non-descript grass in the background.
With the bride's eyes directed upwards towards the camera, we also get a great expression for this beautiful wedding image. Along with all the curves and lines that you can clearly see in this image, notice the S-curve running through her body. The S-curve is easily defined by the line running from the top of her head down to her chin and dropped shoulder, then from her chin/shoulder down to her waist, and then from her waist down her hips/legs. Do you see the easy S-curve running through her body now?
Once the composition was set, it was a simple matter to add the lighting. The key light is coming in from camera right, my Quantum flash shooting through my Zumbrella. I wanted to separate the bride from the darker background just a bit so I triggered my small shoe mount flash positioned behind her and dialed it down quite a bit -I'm recalling maybe 1/32 power - to light up the veil just slightly to create the separation I wanted from the darker background.
I think everything came together beautifully for this wedding portrait. It sings for me on many different levels – color, composition, line, and expression – yet a simple, easy wedding portrait.
Camera specs Canon 7D fitted with Sigma 8-16mm wide-angle lens at 16mm, F11 at 1/250 of a second, ISO 200. Enjoy! – David