The first wedding I attended as an adult was in 2010. To this day, it stands out as the most extravagantly flamboyant wedding I’ve ever had the privilege of witnessing. In the weeks leading up to it, I had two main concerns, what to bring for a gift and what to wear, in that order. Eventually, my girlfriend and I prepared a thoughtful gift—not cash; sorry, not sorry—in the form of a signed book of nudes photographed by Caitlin Cronenberg. With that out of the way, my brooding turned to the attire because I didn’t own any formal-wear. A similar brooding occurred two years later when I was preparing for my first wedding in a service capacity. (The original suit was out of the question because I had lost weight and it sat poorly. It still does; I should get an alteration.) An established studio had presented me with an opportunity to prove myself, and I didn’t want to let them down—not as a photographer and not as someone representing their brand. Since I had the former covered, it left me thinking about what wedding photographers wear. With this article, I hope to help you avoid the distress involved in selecting the ideal wedding photography apparel. Read more
I was recently commissioned to take this photograph of the Russian Orthodox Christ The Saviour Cathedral. The client contacted me after seeing the vow renewal ceremony I had photographed at the Cathedral in 2012. They plan to have it printed, framed, and presented as a personal gift to someone in Russia. Fascinating!
The reason for sharing this particular photograph is because it’s been my most intense single image Photoshop work in a very long time. The final image was merged from a set of six separate photographs. By itself, merging is relatively easy by being an automated process. The difficulty lies in capturing it correctly. This involves taking the pictures quickly to avoid changes in light, and, counterposing that, being steady to avoid parallax errors. Parallax errors are easy enough to avoid with a nodal tripod head, but I don’t own one because this type of work isn’t typical for me.
The majority of my Photoshop time went towards correcting the perspective manually and removing all of the distractions that would otherwise sully the image. The sidewalk and road had some litter and spray-painted utility markings; a bright yellow fire hydrant screamed for attention near the entrance; several road signs and a couple of sewer access covers were clustered together near one of the corners. All of it had to go.
Unfortunately, it was completely unrealistic to remove the electrical wiring hanging across the façade of the building. There were too many wires crossing too large an area with too many textures. That’s too many too-manys for my retouching abilities. C’est la vie in Toronto, where hanging power and streetcar lines conspire to obscure beautiful buildings all across the downtown core and surrounding neighbourhoods.
Unplugged Weddings: Like Beating a Dead Horse
Unplugged weddings have been written about by wedding bloggers and photographers alike to the point of nausea. In fact, the idea predates my work as a wedding photographer by a couple of years. So at this point, little of anything new remains to be contributed. This article won’t be about offering a new spin on the idea or rehashing old threads; instead, I would like to make a plea to abandon the concept altogether: the unplugged wedding is a fad that has lived well past its prime, and it’s time for retirement. Furthermore, I’ll use the topic as a springboard to stir the pot about the problem of disconnected wedding guests. I’d like to raise the point because it’s a topic seldom acknowledged. But first, let’s have a primer on unplugged weddings for the uninitiated. (Feel free to skip this section if you’re caught up.) Read more