Wednesday, June 30, 2010

If life gives you lemons...

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to photograph a wedding in Albany.  The bride was getting ready that day at a nearby hotel with it's standard decor and of course, horrid hotel yellow lighting.  And later on, we photographed at a reception with even more horrible yellow lighting.  Because of that, Shinay and I tried to use any available daylight or our own flashes.

I remember that we were photographing the bride getting ready, when someone had turned on a lamp for us, thinking that it would aid us with better lighting.  We had politely thanked the person, snapped a few shots, waited a moment, turned the light right back off and went right back to taking photos.  Don't worry, there was no offense taken by our aide, just confusion.  I didn't think much of that event until later after viewing and editing the images.

At that time, we had just turned a light off.  Only later did I realize that it was a conscious decision in trying to achieve better light quality.  No photographer wants to deal with daylight and tungsten light mixing together and throwing weird color balances into the frame.  At that time, I didn't either.  It was something that I knew instinctively and benefited from it later on.

Or did I?  What about the other various photo we took that day with weird color balances? 

I decided to go with it.  I used the offset-ness and created even more unique and creative images.  My recent set of wedding diptychs are a perfect example of that.  I didn't want to fight the image.  To be honest, NO photographer wants to spend hours of post-editing trying to salvage skin tone by creating layers upon layers of masking, especially if you end up with over 1,000 images from that one day.   So instead, I emphasized the color casts and now I find myself preferring the new color cast look.  It's something different and possibly something a future client might like and want with their wedding photography.

I never try to throw away an image just because at that time, it doesn't instantly look "successful".  If that were the case, we wouldn't have nearly enough successful images to present to a client later on.  But really, you never know what you might like now, can and will change later on and you have to make the most with what you have.

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