PhotoZAP 59: You May Dip The Bride

Our critics praise and pan your pictures

"This is a very sweet shot that any newlywed couple would be happy to have among their wedding images."—Ingrid Spangler


Photo © Shirley Helton, Duncan, OK. Gear: Nikon D80, Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC lens, set at 35mm, Nikon Speedlight SB-600 flash with LumiQuest Softbox. Exposure: 1/60 sec at f/4.5, ISO 160, shot in RAW, converted to black-and-white in Photoshop CS4, cropped, edge burn added.

Photographer’s statement: “I would love to say that I had planned and setup this shot!  But the fact is I didn't even see this little girl until I was processing the images and what a nice surprise.  I think the picture captures a pure and innocent moment in time!”

Our critics say…

Ingrid Spangler: This is a very sweet shot that any newlywed couple would be happy to have among their wedding images. It’s hard to believe that the photographer didn’t see the little girl in the background! I’m not clear on why the photographer chose black-and-white for this image but it works well enough. One thing I’m not thrilled with is the cropping; I would have taken it in on the left side up to about the bend of the groom’s elbow, placing the Bride and Groom’s kissing faces almost smack in the middle of the frame and removing the distracting gap between the groom’s vest and his pants and the equally distracting placement of the bride’s hand on his back.

Jack Howard: I think Ingrid is right-on with the crop to get rid of the groom's g-rated wardrobe malfunction! I can totally understand how the photographer, being focused on the primary clients, in dicey reception hall lighting, didn't catch the background elements, which here works amazingly well to enhance a wonderful moment. Too often the inverse it true where there's a deliberate or accidental detracting distraction in the background. As for the added vignette/edge burn effect that's applied here, I still don't get its current popularity and I'm not a fan of this effect in this image. I think the b&w effect works well, but would also like to see the color version for comparison.

Mason Resnick: What a fun image! Wedding receptions can be rich in visual opportunities and surprises, as this image demonstrates. Sure, there’s an element of luck here, but the photographer made her luck possible through her choice of gear and understanding how to use it, plus the good sense to stay close to the bride and groom and be prepared for spontaneous moments. I like it in black-and-white, and the loose framing works well. In this case the burned edges don’t bother me; in fact, I think they help direct the viewer while looking like flash fall-off.

What do you think? Leave a comment!

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