Wedding & Portraiture
Finding Beauty Where You Least Expect It
Teaching photography to Carnival
Cruise Line photographers has given me an opportunity that few people
have in their lifetime. I spend weeks at a time cruising on the world's
greatest fleet of ships to some of the world's most incredibly
beautiful destinations. During a recent Caribbean cruise I made it a
point to find photographs that you'd never find on postal cards
or see in travel brochures. Photographs that have been hiding there
for years waiting to be discovered by inquisitive minds like mine.
It was our job to create memories
of the wedding that captured the true essence of what it's like
to get married on a Caribbean island. Not such an easy task when you come
to think about it.
After the cake cutting and
champagne toast the couple enjoyed the beach adjacent to the ceremony.
One of the ship's photographers had them stroll alongside the water's
edge. We photographed the couple walking toward and away from the camera.
When the couple stopped to kiss I made Photo 2.
Broadway and Hol lywood seem
to be a theme that goes through at least one of their acts during each
cruise. Here's the finale to Carousel (Photo 4). The photograph
was made by setting my digital Canon on a Benbo tripod right in the middle
of the center-aisle staircase. Other than that, it was a snap. I used
my 20-35mm zoom lens for this and all the other images in this story.
All I did was to set it up with its "P" program automatic
exposure. It sets its own speed and f/stop for you.
The next port was Dominica.
I got up bright and early and was one of the first people to disembark
and go ashore. As I was leaving the pier, I turned and saw the sky behind
the bow (front) of the ship. It was so subtle, so surprisingly quiet and
beautiful, I stopped to zoom my lens in and out to see what I could isolate
for my first picture of the day.
This time, however, on my special
mission, I was intrigued by this arrangement of straw baskets that were
being displayed. I zoomed in and out to come up with this composition
(Photo 6). The early morning light was coming in from above and from my
left, with more open sky behind me for the fill light. It was a ready-made
studio portrait lighting system. Just look at the incredible three-dimensional
quality of each individual item.
First of all, I took the digital
image into Photoshop and straightened all of the vertical lines. What
a difference that made. Then, I saw the stark contrast between the textured
tones of the building against the white fluffy clouds behind it.
Have you ever had the feeling
that you've "been there/done that?" That's what
happened to me when I made Photo 8 from the top deck. Twenty-five years
previously I was standing by the edge of a lake in Austria with my teacher
and mentor, Joe Zeltsman.
Once again I waited and won-dered.
And once again I caught the action at just the right moment to "make"
this photograph (Photo 8). Without the boat and its wake the photograph
would have been just an abstract of sparkles on the surface of the water.
Those sparkles, to my surprise, were further enhanced when I later saw
how the digital camera added so much color to the sparkles in the water.
On the way back to the ship
I noticed some scarves hanging on a clothes line (Photo 10). The sea breezes
were blowing the scarves back and forth. I could see that to show the
color and transparency of the fabrics I'd have to get down below
the scarves and photograph upward toward the sky. No problem.
I became intrigued with the
design and potential photograph that lurked there. At the same time, I
noticed that the image changed with the time of the day. That is, the
sky background made a huge difference to how the design stood out. Then,
one afternoon just before the sun went down, I made two or three exposures
(changing the composition slightly each time) and ended up with Photo