Posted on September 19, 2017
I’ve been adding more stuff to my Viewbug home page these days. I like the eyeballs and the feedback I get so posting there’s become part of my blogging/travel writing approach. The average Viewbug visitor is an enthusiast. And as a photographer, I’m intrigued by which of my images evokes engagement and why. As a writer I’ve figured out that when I talk directly to another photographer, my writing hits the level of style that I like.
The point being, to feed Viewbug I’ve been returning to some of my older work. Two years is a long time for me and I’ve done a lot of exploration since both in style and my post-production work. That means I can’t just export all these old Italy shots en mass to Viewbug, I have to touch them again in Lightroom or Photoshop.
Because that’s part of the deal I have with myself. If I can’t see my initial composition idea in the frame, if it isn’t at least in the ballpark, I can’t post it.
So for these older images, I’m standing back and seeing the images as experiences that engaged me. I mean, that’s why we travel right, to be engaged on an artistic and a personal level. And coming back to this little moment, these bride and groom images from Florence, was fun. So to set the stage:
It’s Florence in mid-July; it’s as hot as Florence gets. I was there for most of a week, staying at an AirBnB doing various (non-photo enthusiast) tours, taking reams of images, walking the streets — showering as often as possible to keep it together.
Because it’s Italy, stuff happens, especially when I’m on walkabout. And on this particular afternoon I was roaming the piazza just outside the Uffizi Gallery. I had a 5D Mark III at that point and the old 24-105mm was my walkaround lens. That allowed me to keep some distance and not intrude on a bride and groom who had come all this way to capture their dream.
And to put it as Petrarch might have, “… and the wandering enthusiast came upon a wedding party who had set up in the piazza on that sun-drenched afternoon. … The lusty wench in her wedding dress, the groom, bemused but uncertain …” K, maybe not Petrarch.
Anyway there was a bride and groom doing wedding shots in the afternoon light. I knew that doing shots of brides being photographed is an obvious trope. But in street photography you want to find people that are invested, in the moment. And who cares if other photogs have done stuff that’s similar, I don’t have to sell the shot. I’m doing a photo walkabout and Italy has presented me with a bride working her magic with a photographer.
The thing I like about these kinds of street scene opportunities is that the human relationships are so well expressed in visual terms. The photographer, working with the bride. She strutting her stuff while the the groom, a fifth wheel for now, watches stiffly.
At the time, I framed this shot as the previous. But with hindsight, it was obvious that the real shot was this closeup. So no groom; I cropped tight enough so the viewer could get the energy between model and photographer.
That played out for a bit and then they seemed to wrap things for the day. I’m sure their costumes were painfully hot by then.
But there was one final moment. And this was the shot I liked best.
The whole thing moved along fast, it’s street photography. You need to see moments and respond. So my focus was to shoot from where there was good light, to quickly frame that moment and not worry about a chair in the background.
This final frame was also a wrap for my walkabout . I wandered back to my AirBnB apartment, took another shower and kicked back till the evening light kicked in.
I doubt that I’ll do anything with this sequence beyond the blog and Viewbug post. So I didn’t eliminate the chair or poster behind the bride in Photoshop. I did touch this one in Lightroom yesterday — darkening the photographer’s back, adding some (negative) Clarity and (positive) Saturation to the bride’s face to give her a dewy glow.