Thursday, August 31, 2006

We Have A Winner!

I am a member of the Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA) which is an organization for wedding photographers who shoot weddings with a very "hands-off" style. Other than a time set aside for portraits we have very little influence on the events of a wedding. Our job is to observe and record, not to make a wedding into a photo shoot where the photographer controls every aspect of the day to make it more photogenic. We watch for things to happen instead of imposing our viewpoint of what should happen at a wedding.

We also present the majority of our images as straight photographic representations of what the camera recorded. There are times, though, that an image is beyond what the camera can handle or when the photographer sees something in a picture that can be enhanced through post processing. This process can be digital in a program like Photoshop, or it could be one of the many photographic process like Polaroid transfers or darkroom manipulation. The WPJA is for straight photographic images only, but there are many members who use post processing in one way or another. For that reason, the AGWPJA was created. AG is for "Artistic Guild," meaning that artwork has been done after the fact to make an image be more that it was to start. The only way to become a member is to first be a member of the WPJA, then to place in an AGWPJA contest.

This image took third place in the AGWPJA Summer 2006 contest, making me a member of the AGWPJA.

I remember seeing the yellow glass words "Church of God" being lit from the other side by the Sun. I wanted to get them in a picture. I took my spot beside the man on the left and waited for a scene to come together. The girl on the right moved to that spot so she could talk to the man on my left. Click! There was my picture. My patience was rewarded. I knew when I took the picture that the outdoor scene was much brighter than my indoor scene. In an unmanipulated print, all of the attention would go to the big white spot in the middle and the impact of the words and girl's face would be missed.

I usually move to a different spot or find some other way to make an image that will need little or no work in Photoshop but it was not possible in this case. The foyer was too crowded, and the church was filled to well beyond capacity.

Bene' and I both shoot in the raw file format on our digital cameras. This format takes all of the data that the image sensor can record and saves it. The images must be processed in software to make the .jpg files for printing or computer viewing. Because of the greater amount of information in these photos, several different copies of the picture can be made. In this case, I made one where the sign was how I liked it, one where the girl was properly lit, and another for the outdoor scene. I combined all three of these in Photoshop. While I was in there I got rid of a stop sign and bus that detracted from the image.

See more of our wedding photography here and here.


Blogger Marc said...

I'm having a hard time following that. Are you saying you won something?

1:43 AM  

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