Most brides would love a full length photograph (a.k.a. environmental portrait) of that perfect moment when all the planning comes together with the beauty of the venue. After all, this is the shot that gets handed down over generations.
Whether these portraits employ elements of formal composition (as in my example) or are more casual and photojournalistic, capturing the “in camera” shot is only the beginning. The artistry starts, but does not end, with creation.
Many years ago, a photographer named Ansel Adams promoted a concept for photographers called “pre-visualization”. Although Adams was a master in the darkroom, there were limitations in his day and he understood it was essential that the photographer capture the correct light, density and composition in the original photograph.
Today is a new world for photography. Technical tools have allowed photographers a whole spectrum of artistic enhancements in post production, thereby extending pre-visualization and creativity to previously unimaginable levels.
If you study the two images of the bride on the staircase (before and after), you’ll see many of the benefits of post production workflow. While I loved the original image, I knew that certain enhancements would benefit her portrait:
- By removing the bright window, and adjusting the overall light balance, I was able to bring the “first reading” to the bride instead of the window.
- Some of the superb wrought iron railing detail was too dark in the original and I adjusted the image so that the bride would be more evenly framed by the railing.
- I straightened the floor, stairs and ceiling areas.
- Although the warm color of the original was pleasing, sometimes color can be distracting. I opted to desaturate most of the color in order for the form and symmetry to emerge.
In my opinion, any photograph can be vastly improved when it incorporates elements of both pre-visualization and post production. When a client receives a dvd of images from the Crandall Photography, these and other post production enhancements have already been applied to many of the images. I’ll explore more of the techniques I use to artistically enhance images in other blog posts.