A lot of wedding photographers think their work is mostly for the bride, and I can see why. Usually, it’s the bride who spends countless hours looking for the right person to capture the best day of her life, sometimes even years before the actual wedding. I’ve had men contact me more than once, of course, but eight times out of ten, it is the bride’s letter that reaches me. Every little detail has to be perfect, and brides-to-be are more than happy to dive into the planning to make sure it is exactly like that. On the wedding day itself, it is the bride that receives the most attention and most admiration. Not to say the groom is secondary – oh no. His admiration and attention are the most important, he is her knight in shining armour, so to speak. And yet, she is the princess. So if she is happy, he is happy, isn’t that how they say it? Strangely enough, I’ve found that it is not the bride that is hardest to impress with your work. After all, if she’s chosen you, she already knows, more or less, what to expect. And the groom? That is a somewhat different story.
Here I am, sitting at a cozy coffee house. Not just some coffee house, too, but a place where a lot of young people hang out – students, mostly. They come here for a cup of coffee much like people do at Starbucks overseas. Like me, they also come here to work – I’ve seen more MacBooks here than I did in iDeal (official Apple product distributor in Lithuania, similar to iStore / Apple Store). But I don’t have a MacBook. Perhaps that is why through the corner of my eye I notice a young girl looking my way. Now, my Julie has no reason to worry. The girl is not interested in me whatsoever. What caught her eye is the computer on my lap. She notices me noticing her and immediately says – “What sort of computer is that? It’s pretty.” Right. So this might not help my self esteem, but the girl is indeed correct. I appreciate a good design and, well, this thing looks the part. Coupled with the bright blue keyboard, certainly good enough to attract attention.
Whether you want it to attract attention or not is a different matter. More importantly, though, it’s not all looks and no substance. Quite the contrary, in fact – Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 is ready to give someone a bloody nose.
It did not take long for Sony to bring its new A7 II full-frame camera to the US market. But then, even from the Japanese announcement article, it is clear that the A7 series of mirrorless cameras are very popular among photographers, and this new model adds the very welcome sensor-based 5 axis image stabilization that works with any lens. Ought to be a real success for the manufacturer, especially at this price.
We all have our strengths and weaknesses, as well as ways to deal with the latter. And it is only natural for us to sort of… drift towards our strengths. Hold on to them, practice as often as we can and, by doing so, get even better at them. And so, before I inevitably talk about close-up portraits (which I am not very good at), I thought I’d first discuss much more loosely composed photography (which, though far from having mastered, I dare say I am rather better at).
My word. This is such a relief to write about.
Sony is very, very serious about the full-frame mirrorless cameras and would seem they plans no break for the competition. The Japanese giant has just announced a replacement for the first and (currently) cheapest full-frame compact system camera, the A7. Dubbed the A7 II, it brings, more than anything, refinement to what is essentially the same core feature set. Mind you, so far it has only been announced in Japan. It is still interesting to see where the manufacturer is going with all the full-frame offerings.
Many have been hoping Nikon would start a rebates program on lenses alone. Unfortunately, it hasn’t happened yet, but don’t run off. If you look past it, you will notice some truly staggering rebates taking place. To start with, Nikon D610 price is down to $1600. Look closer and you will notice that the camera comes with a handful of gifts, too – worth over $140, no less. And there’s the 2% rewards program, too. Oh, and free Expedited shipping. A good time to buy a full-frame Nikon camera, then, but even better if you need a lens to go with it as some of the best Nikkor lenses are now up to $400 off the original price, whilst certain cameras coupled to kit lenses add up to savings of up to $800.
At the start of this week the LoveCases giveaway has ended and, as always, we were tasked with drawing five winners randomly. A whopping 747 of you have chosen to take part in the contest! And now that the winners have all been contacted and the packages are already shipped out, here is the list of the people to receive their new bags and accessories.
The Photography Week, our first ever event, has passed. The fact that it has ended a week ago and I am only publishing this article now is a good indication that for us, it did not go quite as planned. The reason for it is very simple – despite the huge effort from our team to deliver content, I overestimated how much spare time I would have during PPE in New York. The long flight did not help matters at all. Because of that and the busy schedule in New York, I wasn’t able to publish all the content in time. On the flip side, you’ll be seeing some more articles similar to the ones already published during the event in the coming week, and hence a nice distraction from all the great, yet more technical pieces we are working on currently.
But all of this is just me making excuses. What’s important is that I’ve learned, through trial and error, just how much effort the event requires, at least if I want to fulfill my obligation. And I do. The question is, should the even ever take place again and turn into a tradition of sorts? That, our dear readers, is up to you to decide. Let’s look through all the articles that have been published during our first ever Photography Week, and once that is done, our whole team is very curious if you’d want the event to happen again.
It has always been very hard for me to judge my own work. No matter what I do, more often than not I end up not liking it. I find flaws, things I could have done better, almost all the time. The worst sort of case is when I just feel there is something missing, something I can’t quite put my finger on. But here’s the funny bit – I am betting you feel me. Because it’s the same with most photographers. I often ask Nasim if he thinks the photographs I show with my articles are “good enough”, he does the exact same thing, too. Self-critique and uncertainty is a very important and inseparable part of being a photographer, a sort of an “engine” that drives us forward. Or stalls us.
You already know a great deal about the composition choices that I make. You know my thoughts on what matters most in photography, the rule of thirds, central composition and element placement at the edges of the frame. Whichever preference is yours, I certainly hope you’ve learned something from reading those articles. Now, I am about to share something else with you, and here is where we start: regardless of where I place the important elements in my photography, whenever I have the chance I always, always surround, enhance, bathe them in negative space.