Russian Orthodox Christ The Saviour Cathedral

Architectural photograph of Russian Orthodox Christ The Saviour Cathedral

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.

Architectural photograph of Russian Orthodox Christ The Saviour Cathedral

100% magnification to demonstrate the detail. Gold tiled mosaic cross on top of the Russian Orthodox Christ The Saviour Cathedral.

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.

Guests take photos using mobile phones and tablets as bride walks down the aisle with her father in this not unplugged wedding.

Pulling The Plug on Unplugged Weddings

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.) (more…)

Faded vintage film look wedding photography - bride groom on roof - toronto wedding photographer

The Faded Vintage Film Look in Wedding Photography

The Faded Vintage Film Look is a Lie

Two years ago, I published an article that took a lighthearted approach to making fun of the major wedding photograph image processing trends of the day. In today’s post, I will discuss the vintage film look at length. Very broadly speaking, the faded vintage film look is a digital image editing technique that does one or both of the following: raising the black level or lowering the white level of a picture to compress the tonal range of the photo, making it narrower. The effect is most frequently applied to the black levels. Optionally, the faded vintage “film look” can superimpose simulated film grain over the result for additional effect. The visual style this creates has been around since the dawn of photography; however, it was most common in consumer and Polaroid prints. Its popularity in digital lifestyle and wedding photography exploded alongside the rise of Instagram, and later VSCOcam, which sells photo filters via their mobile app and “film look” simulation presets for Adobe Lightroom.

faded vintage film look - bride sitting - documentary wedding photographer toronto

Notice how the both the dark and light tones are shifted further into grey, which causes the image to lose clarity. It’s like looking at a great photo through a dirty filter.


Average price of wedding photography in Toronto. Skyline sunset orange

The Average Price of Wedding Photography in Toronto

In today’s post, I will be covering a topic that should be informative to both couples and wedding photographers alike: the average price of wedding photography in Toronto. However, I did not write a three thousand word report devoted to a single number. My research into the average cost of wedding photography in Toronto and the GTA has yielded quite a lot of extensive information and statistics that were not immediately apparent. If you are looking for a lot of consumer and business insights as it relates to wedding photography in Toronto, continue reading below.  (more…)