The world of amazing wedding photographers

Brett and Ali enjoying a quiet moment

Brett and Ali enjoying a quiet moment

I’m not necessarily a contest hound, but boy do I love seeing what other people are doing.  Especially if it’s good.

Well, this isn’t just good.  It’s amazing.  Here are some really fantastic sites of 20 incredible photographers who were selected as the “Top 20 overall winners from the ISPWP Fall 2010 Wedding Photography Contest“.

Continue reading

Paying Tribute to the Elders

David duChemin lists “study the masters” as one of the best ways to improve your photography.  Well, I’ve been trying to bone up on some portrait work and there is one Elder (or master) that really makes the subject pop.  Dan Winters really has a way with painting light and color on a subject.  He champions smooth lights – a silky feel – an angelic feeling to his work.  His lighting is not over-the-top flash work as I sometimes feel that “strobist”-types like.  It’s a bit more calming.

He has hundreds of photos on his website including a few of my favorites:

woman in dress in water

Christopher Walken

man smoking with Rottweiler

woman in black dress

Most of these have more background and a larger sense of place.  Many of his images lack that quality – being pure headshots.  So in learning from this elder, I have also learned that I want to engage the environment because I believe the environment creates the person.  For instance, the outstanding portrait of C. Walken would only be better if he had included environment. The other 3 contain strong elements of place.  Something I think is integral to any good portrait.

Watch/Listen to Dan get spiritual here.  He’s got a way with words too – sensibility over style.

Mammoth rock climber Peter Chapman bouldering on the "East Side"

A Sense of Lightness

Morse Mountain Preserve, Maine

Morse Mountain Preserve, Maine = Black = Heavy

So I’ve always enjoyed black in photos.  That ultimate contrast color that often plays nicely with lots of white – which seems to be the most common color of webpages nowadays.  Certain functions also cater towards increasing black, I found the “clarity” slider in Lightroom, for instance, tends to increase the prominence of darker shades, lines, thus increasing “shadows”.

Black is great but it is heavy.  It can be overdone.  It can weigh on a photo like an anvil.  Heavy.

So here’s heavy on top of light (think of oil on water).  This is Sitka Spruce from Maine’s Morse Mountain Preserve – the southern range limit of this species.  Isn’t it amazing how one feels very serious, and the second photo much lighter – almost lively-er.

So I started thinking about the work I do – botanical photography – and I wanted to revisit whites.  White is a light color.  It adds nicely to many smaller forbes, grasses, smaller and lighter plants.  Then I came across a really special site – Angie Seckinger’s A Macro Journey.  Please do visit it.  Her triptychs are amazing.  Her eye is precise and well tuned.   She’s also a phenomenally nice person immediately asking how she could help my non-profit – Golden Hour Restoration Institute.

So here’s my thanks to Angie – and a resurrection of a sense of lightness.

stumbling onward

a whisper of fall