Soft selling – Creative pictures with soul

Sep 27, 2008 | Business, Wedding | 4 comments

Three seconds at f8 with the camera on a monopod gave just the right combination of long exposure with artistic movement blur

Three seconds at f8 with the camera on a monopod gave just the right combination of long exposure with artistic movement blur. Capturing this image with high ISO, a short exposure, and a splash of flash would have been the safe option. Rarely is 'safe' wonderful.

It’s easy to get sucked in to the quest for absolute sharpness. I’ve been down that road many a time. It is no bad thing to strive for technically perfect images but I believe that often the greatest things in life are flawed… The top supermodels have asymmetrical faces. The great master paintings are alive with texture and crackles. The finest antique furniture has patina. The best oriental rugs have evidence of hand stitching through faults in pattern repeats and I firmly believe that it’s often these faults in things that make the beautiful, wonderful. Take a look at these photographs to see how Julie and I have used induced creative blur on the wedding day to make special photographs.

Here are a few of our photographs that exhibit these ‘the fault makes the image’ characteristics.

This image made a striking print and a big canvas. 1/8th second exposure on my Hasselblad with the lens wide open at f2.8 was needed to get just the right Champagne bubble and camera movement.

This image made a striking print and a big canvas. 1/8th second exposure on my Hasselblad / P25 combo with the 80mm lens wide open at f2.8. The shutter speed was chosen to get just the right Champagne bubble and camera movement.

Another big canvas, this time the camera that Julie used was a Fuji S1 3mp dSLR. Julie used 1/3rd second at f/4

This picture was also sold as a big canvas, this time the camera that Julie used was a Fuji S1 3mp dSLR. Julie used 1/3rd second at f/4 and ISO 800. The picture looked really good at 40" x 30".

Another of my favourite digital images is this non digital looking picture of wedding shoes. I used a monopod with my Fuji S2 set to 1/3rd second.

Another of my favourite digital images is this 'film like' picture of wedding shoes. I used a monopod with my Fuji S2 set to 1/3rd second. ISO 800 and a tungsten white balance were set for a whole series of 'movement' images taken at that wedding in the Landmark Hotel in London.

I used 1/10th Second and +2 stops of exposure compensation to capture these flower girls laying petals.

I used 1/10th Second and +2 stops of exposure compensation to capture these flower girls laying petals.

I used 1/10th second for this exposure too. My creative use of shutter speed goes back 30 years when I read 'Basic Photography

I used 1/10th second for this exposure too. My creative use of shutter speed goes back 30 years when I read 'Basic Photography' by Michael Langford. I was one of the self taught photographers that went out to give it a go when I had read each chapter of the book.

A couple of Julies pictures taken with a pan of the monopod at the time of exposure. Both these pictures made clients albums where a straight shot might not have.

A couple of Julie's pictures taken with a pan of the monopod at the time of exposure. Both these pictures made clients albums where a straight shot might not have.

Please feel free to comment on these pictures or the techniques used. Our main aim with wedding work is to make our prints look non digital. We never add sharpening and we love our pictures to have soul.

Damien.

4 Comments

  1. fred hero

    It’s simply fabulous and challenging.

    Reply
  2. Laurence Jones

    I love the emotion & atmosphere created by this kind of image, especially when the bit of motion blur adds to the strory – it gives the viewer more of an insight into the moment.

    I showed the students at my evening class a 1 sec expsoure image of children dancing, and had to remind them that you couldn’t reproduce it in photoshop!

    Reply
  3. Alan

    Thanks Damien

    A great antidote to all the sharpness junkies’ comments on your 5D Mk II images!

    Reply

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