Making Of A Merit Print

Part of my presentation in Chicago was on the Elements Of A Competition Print where I discussed different aspects of planning, capturing and creating a Competition Print.  It went over very well with many many emails asking me to provide MORE information.  I thought every once in awhile I would post some of my images and describe what I was looking for when creating it.  As most of you know I do enter a lot of competitions as this is not only a personal goal but it is also for my photographic growth.  The more I look at my images a competition worthy the better product I can give to our clients so I strive to make every one of my images a “competition image”.

“Sarah By The Sea” was just awarded “Merit” at this past Professional Photographers Of  Canada Image Competition.  I captured this last April in Jamaica off resort on location.  The sun was high in the sky and strong with a reading of F22.  I knew I needed to get some addition lighting as the sun was behind Sarah throwing her in shadow.   Using 2 off camera flash’s and setting my output on stop stronger than the sun would give me the dramatic lighting I desired.  Of course, I had to expose for the flashes and not the sun.

I wanted to use the leading lines of the clouds and the horizon to bring your attention to Sarah.  Using the dress to shield the flash I had behind her also added to those leading lines bringing your attention into the bride.  Obtaining a correct exposure and white balance is crucial in ANY image (put some thought into this and just don’t go ahead snapping image and “fixing” them in Photoshop later)

Image out of camera

Out of Camera

I then darkened down the sky in various places as I did not want the sun to compete with my brides attention.  Using more of a “panoramic” format with a dark matting to accentuate the leading lines finished off the image.

Sarah By The Sea
Here is my crude lighting diagram


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